I came across an article this morning that sums up the Seattle growth story and the impact that companies like Amazon are having on our local economy. It is a lengthy piece, but well worth the read. We often talk about the Amazon impact on South Lake Union and Seattle as a whole. This particular piece really delves into the growth story and shares the intimate details. I’ve included a few excerpts, but I highly encourage you to read this article. Bottom line is, as a condo owner in Seattle or someone looking to buy, this kind information is priceless:
Even with increased competition for talent, Amazon is growing at a remarkable rate. Last year, the company’s employment base grew 67 percent to 56,200 employees worldwide. Just 90 days later, Amazon’s head count had jumped again, to 65,600—a hiring rate of more than 100 people per day.
Head to South Lake Union any weekday morning, and you can see it in the flesh. On sidewalks where hardly anybody walked five years ago, Amazon employees are everywhere. They come from every direction—pouring out of buses, crowding the street corners, and streaming down the sidewalks, wearing the telltale light-blue ID badges. They tend to move quickly, and don’t spend a lot of time chit-chatting. Amid the most significant corporate expansion this city has seen in years, there’s work to be done.
For me, articles like this just validate my bullish outlook on owning real estate near South Lake Union in the downtown core. It will be exciting to see how new developments that are underway will continue to shape the future of Seattle.
I just read a great article today about apartment developers who face a potential supply bubble. It highlighted some very important points that are worth considering as we examine the next 5-7 years in the Seattle market. We are in massive cycle of apartment development. Just this last year, we’ve seen an incredible amount of new projects get underway. Developers, builders and investors are trying to take advantage of the rise in rental rates and the current demand for rental units in Seattle.
The question for our market is, with all the new apartments projected, when will we begin to see an over-supply? With an improving housing market, investors and banks have to be worried about finishing their projects right when the housing market has picked up steam. It seems logical that if the employment conditions continue to improve in Seattle, then the increase in income per household will follow. Seattle has a healthy job market right now. We have a young educated workforce who are taking advantage of high paying jobs. In my opinion, it is only a matter of time before we see more demand for purchases fuled by a limited-supply of condos. So the real question is – Are we creating a new kind of housing bubble? Will an over-supply of apartments be the next cycle that banks, developers and builders wish they could forget?
As rental rates continue to rise, a natural condition in the housing market begins to take shape. High rent influences home purchase demand when leasing begins to exceed the cost of owning a home. As rents rise and developers continue to take advantage of the situation, it will encourage buyers to give home ownership a try. Inversely, if apartment supply comes quickly then rents have a likely hood of decreasing due to excess supply and competing projects. In my opinion there will be a steady cycle of home ownership demand due to high rents. This will come before we reach an over-supply of apartments. What do you think?
If you want to participate in our recent survey, tell us where you think the next Seattle condo project will come from – What Will Be Seattle’s Next Condo Project?
I’m currently in NYC. Yep. I’m touching base from my hotel room. Not playing at the moment, just working – go figure! I had some important news to share with you guys.
I caught word yesterday that November condo sales were up BIG. As I was investigating this morning I ran across an article citing the listing service statistics published yesterday and titled “Home sales outpace number of new listings for first time in five years”. According to Eric Pryne of the Seattle Times King County condo sales this month were up 70% in comparison to November of last year. Prices have continued to slide but so has inventory levels. The article also added that units for sale were down 25% from a year earlier. If you read the entire piece, you’ll also notice a few other interesting facts. For one, the number of bank owned listings in our market is now 20% of our total inventory. In my opinion that number could go up as banks continue to purge their bad assets. In doing so, it will continue to put some pressure on pricing. I wouldn’t expect prices to fall for an extended period of time. Seattle has strong employment and pent-up demand for home buying. As sales continue to increase and inventory falls, simple economics will prevail. As supply shrinks and demand increases, pricing will increase. I’m already noticing a huge impact in the Downtown Seattle market. Inventor is really starting to move and units that are new and priced well are selling quickly. I’ll provide some examples towards the end of the week. I’m off to grab a cup coffee. Cheers!
I’ve been getting emails from readers about the lack of condo inventory for rent. So I thought it might be interesting to see whats actually on the market. I don’t always track the inventory on Craigslist, but I do watch the available properties on the MLS. I was surprised to see that there are only 28 total units in downtown Seattle for rent. I know most of you prefer visuals, so I decided to put the inventory into a pie chart (see below). Pretty interesting to see how few properties there are under $2,500 per month.
Are you in the market for a rental? Is the inventory stale or limited?
Want to see the 28 units?
This house is SICK. Before you see the pictures (below) and drool all over your keyboard like I did, let me tell you how I found it.
I was doing my typical afternoon review of local and national housing stories and ran into a really cool piece on CNBC. It features some of the worlds “skinny” homes and designs. As a part of that piece, it featured this place on Alki. Um, wow. My jaw dropped the minute that I saw it. I mean, come on. It is an architectural gem, it has incredible street appeal and it features some the best views in all of Alki. I love the interiors, the location and would probably cut off my right arm to have the rooftop deck (not really, but you get the point).
Listed at $1,850,000 it features 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and over 3,500 sq. ft. It has cork, tile, slate , concrete and bamboo flooring. Custom lighting, gas fireplace and walls of windows. The rooftop deck features indoor and outdoor space with a gas fireplace, BBQ and stunning views. If you are already concerned about its verticality, fear not; you can always take the elevator to the floor of your choosing. This type of home is the reason that I am in this business. The blog is where I get to share it with all of you. I hope you enjoy looking through the pictures. I know I did.
[c/o R. Stone]
Sometimes I can’t resist. It is easy to get away from posting on in-city pads when designs like this hit the market. It is a Tom Kundig design with over 132 feet of floor to ceiling glass. Such a cool build and great views. I love the use of concrete, steel and glass. I’m such a sucker for modern design. What do you think?
It’s located in Kirkland/Jaunita and the asking price is $1,250,000. You can see the listing here. [c/o B. Loveless]
Is there job growth in Seattle?
I ran into this piece on annual job growth this afternoon and thought I would share it. Ultimately, jobs and income growth are going to be the catalyst to a recovery in our local housing market. According to the article, Seattle ranks as one of the best percentage bumps in the entire country.
You may also be interested in this article written about Seattle technology driving demand for office space. As written in the article, Seattle has a growth rate in jobs (tech industry) that is 4 times better than the national average.
As a condo owner in Seattle, this should be music to your ears. More jobs, more tech, more money = better housing market.
Check out this 3 star built green home in Greenwood. I love the modern exterior, the kitchen and the steel staircase connecting the main level to the 2nd floor. It is 1,620 sq ft with 2 bedrooms and 2 baths. Pretty good size yard and great concept in a cantilevered master bedroom to create a carport.
[Courtesy of NWMLS / Coldwell Banker Danforth]
Check out the listing here:
Big views a massive rooftop deck (2000sf) and an outdoor pool are just some of the highlights at 2480 Crestmont Place in Magnolia. As soon as I saw this place, I started this post. This contemporary home is quickly moving up the “I WANT IT” list. At 5,700sf this 2007 build is a masterpiece. It has 5 bedrooms, 4.75 bathrooms and a 4 car garage. With city views like these who couldn’t imagine living in this Seattle super-pad. I love the big windows, the contemporary kitchen and most importantly the enormous roof-top deck with wet bar. If you looking for a view of Mt Rainier, The Cascades, Mt. Baker, West Seattle, The Sound and the Olympics, then this home might be the one. Just bring a cool $3,300,000. [picture courtesy of Carol Ard]
Click Here For A Look At The Listing:
There have been a string of really cool mid-century modern homes on the Seattle market in the last few weeks. Just days ago we posted about a home in Greenlake, and this morning, a super unique modern in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle hit the market as well. According to the listing agent, the homes design was Palm Springs inspired. I found the house to both unique and priced well for the 2,840 sf. I’ve included the pictures in addition to more listing info below. [Courtesy of H. Ward]
Listing Information: Mid-Modern
One of our friends of the blog just listed this really cool mid-century modern near Greenlake. It is just blocks from the lake on 77th. The home is updated with subway tile in the kitchen, white counters, over-sized tile and stainless appliances. It has a new roof, new paint, the bathrooms have been updated and the owners added a really cool patio set to their outdoor space. Check it out.
Check out the listing here: Mid-Century Modern, Greenlake
When I saw the rooftop deck on this home in Leschi, I almost fell out of my chair. There are a lot of cool homes in the city. This particular home stood out to me for a number of reasons. Stunning rooftop deck, a sexy exterior, big kitchen, large master and most of the rooms in the house feature a killer view of Lake Washington. So whats the catch? Nothing really. In my estimation the price is fair and I would guess that it sells in less then 60 days. Personally, I would change a few of the design elements but at the end of the day this is a super cool pad in a great location. Check out the pics. (717 35th Ave S, Seattle 98144)
I love my job.
Photo and listing credits to Evan Wyman of Windermere Real Estate
I went for a run around Greenlake yesterday and for a moment I thought I was in Central Park in New York. The park was packed. Runners, bikers, roller blades, sun-bathers, swimmers, BBQ’s, parties and more. It was fun to see so many people taking advantage of a perfect Seattle summer day.
As far as condos go, there are not a lot of great options near the lake. That doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy it. Here is a list of neighborhoods and their proximity to one of Seattle’s most popular summer hangouts:
Queen Anne To Greenlake (19 mins):
Downtown To Greenlake (12 mins):
Capitol Hill To Greenlake (11 mins):
Ballard To Greenlake (11 mins):
Bellevue to Greenlake (17 mins):
Redmond to Greenlake (20 mins):