Seattle Sees Biggest Drop in Rental Prices

When times were good in Seattle and job opportunities and the promise of stock options at booming tech companies such as Microsoft (MSFT), Amazon.com (AMZN) and Real Networks (RNWK) lured new residents, this rainy northwest city became one of the country's most desirable—and expensive—places to live. The high cost of living became difficult last year as thousands in the area were laid off and the jobless rate climbed to 9% in December. To the relief of those leasing apartments, the average monthly rent in the Seattle area dropped 13.8% in 2009, the steepest decline of all U.S. metros, according to new data from AXIOMetrics, an apartment market research firm in Dallas.

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