As Seattle battles over housing density, a new study finds that the apartment industry and its residents contribute $34.4 billion annually to Seattle’s economy.
The study by Hoyt Advisory Services – a real estate consultancy based in Florida – says the apartment sector is responsible for 118,594 jobs.
“Combatting housing affordability issues in Seattle requires holistic solutions, resources, and tools that meet the diverse needs of all residents,” says Jim Wiard, executive director of the Washington Multi-Family Housing Association.
Though Seattle’s white-hot apartment market has been slowing, the city still absorbed more new apartments than almost any other market in the United States in the first quarter of 2019, according to RealPage Analytics. The city has added roughly 3,000 units each quarter for the past year.
The Hoyt study – which was commissioned by the National Apartment Association and National Multifamily Housing Council – found that resident spending pours $27.5 billion into the economy, operations add $2.9 billion, new construction contributes $3.3 billion and renovations and repairs add $690 million.
The apartment sector contributes $80.1 billion to the state economy and $3.4 trillion to the national economy.
Over the objections of neighborhood activists, the Seattle City Council earlier this year passed the controversial Mandatory Housing Affordability program, which could create greater housing density in 27 neighborhoods across the city if developers commit to build or fund affordable housing.