Michael Luis is a public policy consultant who has been wrestling with housing, growth and economic development issues around Washington State for over 30 years. He is author of several books on local history and served as mayor of Medina.
The drops in rents we have seen in the past year have mostly happened in expensive markets where renters have been less likely to be burdened. Rents in markets that are both more affordable and have high rate of rent burden, have actually risen.
This is not a story of flight to affordability. Both high priced and more affordable market areas can be seen on the top and bottom of the list. The Eastside is generally favored in this list, but not all parts. More affordable inner suburbs like West Hill and Des Moines are doing well, while Shoreline and Lake Forest Park are not doing as well.
The easiest way to think about suburbs is as the parts of a metropolitan area that lie outside the boundaries of the central city. By this definition, the suburban footprint varies quite widely among metro areas.