Just 3 percent of apartments in Tacoma now renting below $1,000, new report says
This post was written by Debbie Cockrell and originally published on 6/1/2022 on The News Tribune
Tacoma continued to see double-digit percentage increases in rents in May compared with a year ago, according to new data on apartment rental trends in Tacoma. The latest figures from Rent.com, as of May 30, show average apartment rents and percent change from the same time last year were:
▪ Studios: $1,503, up 7 percent.
▪ One bedroom: $2,093, up 19 percent
▪ Two bedroom: $2,501, up 20 percent
▪ Three bedroom: $2,552, up 24 percent.
Only 3 percent of the Tacoma market offers rents between $701 and $1,000, according to the data, while half of the market offers units with rents $2,101 and above.
The price of studio apartments downtown saw the most dramatic rise, with the average at $1,663, up 48 percent. Only Edmonds saw a bigger increase, with its studios averaging $3,200, up 101 percent, according to Rent.com’s report.
It noted the most expensive rents are in Northeast Tacoma, where the average one-bedroom apartment goes for $2,540, and downtown, where renters pay $2,313 on average for a one-bedroom.
Among the more lower priced neighborhoods, the report listed the South End, where the average one-bedroom apartment goes for $1,100; Eastside, with rents at $1,495 on average for a one-bedroom apartment; and Central Tacoma, where the average one-bedroom apartment goes for $1,812.
Tacoma’s market rate supply is still going strong.
The Hailey Apartments, 1210 Tacoma Ave. S., was developed by Los Angeles-based Cypress Equity Investments. It has surpassed 50 percent occupancy in the months since construction completed late last year, according to Michael Sorochinsky, CEI founder and CEO.
CEI expects the apartment site to be fully leased by the end of the year.
CEI took over the project in February 2020 to develop the 186-unit market-rate project. Plans to develop it under a 12-year multifamily property tax exemption offering some affordable units under another developer were switched to an 8-year MFTE in 2019.
The city offers an eight-year MFTE for developers, meant to incentivize market-rate unit creation, and a 12-year version, which sets aside 20 percent of units a project at a rent-restricted, or “affordable,” rate.
Rents at the Hailey run from more than $1,400 for a 484-square-foot studio to more than $2,700 for 1,124-square-foot two-bedroom, two-bath apartment, according to its website.
Hailey’s success has the company looking for more development opportunities in the area.
“The City of Tacoma has proven to be a professional, collaborative and open-minded civic partner,” stated Sorochinsky in the company’s news release. “From acquisition and permitting, to construction and completion, Hailey has been a textbook example of how smooth the development process can be when everyone is aligned with a singular purpose – and that is to bring much needed quality housing to downtown Tacoma. We look forward to additional opportunities in the South Sound.”
Around 70 percent of Hailey’s residents are from the greater Tacoma area “and further regions of the state,” according to CEI. It noted that a “significant” number of residents are healthcare workers employed with St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital, and Virginia Mason Franciscan Health.