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Seattle rent should decline in 2017, report says

A new report predicts that rent increases in the Seattle area should slow down next year. The report was produced by Apartment Insights, a company that surveys the rental market. It finds that vacancy rates are increasing and that rents are dropping in the fourth quarter of this year.

Some experts say the report illustrates the cyclical nature of the rental market. Peter Orser is the interim director of the University of Washington's Runstad Center For Real Estate Studies.

Orser: "Supply got out in front of jobs and immigration and that's the way these things tend to go. Permits come in chunks. Buildings come in big increments, 50 or 100 units. Sometimes supply gets out in front of demand a little bit."

In other words, rent hikes might be slowing down because there are many new rental units opening up. Orser says the slowdown will probably be short lived. He says if policy makers want to make rents more affordable, they should pass more policies that increase more rental units.

Year started with KUOW: 1998.