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Seattle Signals Glut Risk as Apartment Construction Rises

The biggest surge of Seattle-area apartment construction in a quarter century is threatening to undercut the growth in rents, a trend that’s also emerging in such U.S. cities as Washington and Houston.

Seattle went from “dead last” in rent increases three years ago, following the collapse of mortgage lender Washington Mutual Inc., to 13th out of 88 markets last year, according to Axiometrics Inc., a multifamily real estate research company. The construction boom spurred by rising rents is now stoking concern that revenue growth may stall as an increasing number of units compete for tenants.