W[REPORT] https://getthewreport.com Blog Fri, 18 Sep 2020 20:28:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.1 https://i0.wp.com/getthewreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/cropped-site_icon-1.jpg?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 W[REPORT] https://getthewreport.com 32 32 156950321 Local Market Update – September 2020 https://getthewreport.com/local-economy/local-market-update-september-2020/ Fri, 18 Sep 2020 15:30:59 +0000 https://getthewreport.com/?p=3391 August saw the lowest number of homes for sale in more than 20 years and the lowest mortgage rates on record. Sparse inventory and high demand pushed home prices to  new highs.   With pending sales outpacing new listings, inventory continues to shrink. King and Snohomish counties each have about a two-week supply of available homes.  […]

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August saw the lowest number of homes for sale in more than 20 years and the lowest mortgage rates on record. Sparse inventory and high demand pushed home prices to  new highs.  

  • With pending sales outpacing new listings, inventory continues to shrink. King and Snohomish counties each have about a two-week supply of available homes.  Four to six months of inventory is considered a balanced market, favoring neither buyers nor sellers.
  • The region saw the second consecutive month of record-setting price growth with home prices experiencing double-digit increases as compared to a year ago.
  • Fierce competition among buyers has made multiple offers the norm. In King County, 46% of home sold for more than the list price. Last August that number was 24%. In Snohomish County, 58% of homes sold above list price as compared to just 28% the prior year.

The charts below provide a brief overview of market activity. If you are interested in more information, every Monday Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner provides an update regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the US economy and housing market. You can get Matthew’s latest update here.

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Regional Housing Inventory at a 20-Year Low https://getthewreport.com/the-state-of-real-estate/regional-housing-inventory-at-a-20-year-low/ Fri, 18 Sep 2020 15:29:26 +0000 https://getthewreport.com/?p=3449 As many aspects of life have readjusted and resumed amid the pandemic, the real estate market is not acting as usual heading into fall. Typically, late summer sales start to slow and housing stock rises as we head into the rainy season. But this year, the reverse has been true: the pace of home sales […]

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As many aspects of life have readjusted and resumed amid the pandemic, the real estate market is not acting as usual heading into fall. Typically, late summer sales start to slow and housing stock rises as we head into the rainy season. But this year, the reverse has been true: the pace of home sales has been unseasonably hot and there is no sign that the number of homes for sale will rise sufficiently to meet the voracious demand of home buyers.

Windermere’s Chief Economist Matthew Gardner recently spoke with KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross about the historic low inventory the Puget Sound region is currently experiencing.

“When we look at active listings and inventory in the region right now — I went back as far as my numbers go, which is back to around 1999 — over 20 years, I have yet to find a month with this low a level of inventory in the marketplace, it is quite extraordinary,” Gardner said.

According to Gardner, in August the number of residential listings was down 38% in King County, 51% in Pierce County, and 56% in Snohomish County.

Although this has created a hyper-competitive market with limited selection for buyers, sellers are currently enjoying increased home prices as demand continues to rise. According to Gardner, part of this is due to “Economics 101.”

“When you have net new demand and you limit supply, what happens to prices? They rise,” Gardner said.

However, the rising prices have not deterred buyers from trying to take advantage of historically low interest rates. Currently, 30-year fixed rates are sitting around 2.8% and 15-year rates are at an unprecedented 2.4%. Those who are able to overcome the sticker shock might use this time to lock in a favorable mortgage.

Gardner also notes that while low mortgage rates and high prices can be beneficial to the homeowning class, renters have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. Although the city of Seattle has an eviction moratorium in place, concerns about rent depression and mortgage payments continue to plague landlords, and the future is still looking uncertain for renters.

According to Gardner, the apartment market is one to watch as the pandemic drags on. While the real estate market for homeowners has bounced back, the rental market may remain impacted for some time yet.

This article was originally posted on MyNorthwest.

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Study Ranks Seattle as Nation’s Best Large City for Real Estate https://getthewreport.com/the-state-of-real-estate/study-ranks-seattle-as-nations-best-large-city-for-real-estate/ Fri, 18 Sep 2020 15:28:36 +0000 https://getthewreport.com/?p=3418 The real estate competition in Seattle has long been fierce, with tech giants like Amazon and Microsoft pulling ever more workers into the city. Between ample job opportunities, scenic surroundings and charming neighborhoods, it’s easy to see why so many buyers are eager to put down stakes here. But despite this competition — or perhaps […]

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The real estate competition in Seattle has long been fierce, with tech giants like Amazon and Microsoft pulling ever more workers into the city. Between ample job opportunities, scenic surroundings and charming neighborhoods, it’s easy to see why so many buyers are eager to put down stakes here. But despite this competition — or perhaps because of it — Seattle has recently been recognized as the best market among large cities in which to buy a house.

The study, produced by WalletHub, gave Seattle a score of 67.77 out of 100 — the highest in the nation of any large city, and second-highest overall. Over 300 cities were surveyed, and the only city ranked higher overall than Seattle was Boise, Idaho. The rankings were determined by factors including median home price appreciation, job growth, average number of days a property is on the market and the percentage of homes in the area with negative equity, among 20 other criteria.

Seattle is in good company, too. In Eastern Washington, the town of Spokane Valley ranked no. 2 in the nation among small cities, with Tacoma and Federal Way coming in at no. 5 for best mid-sized and small city, respectively. Bellevue was also highlighted in the study as one of the fastest markets to sell a home, along with Renton.

At the bottom of the list for large cities was Baltimore, Maryland, ranked at no. 65. The worst city for real estate, according to the study, was Miami Beach, Florida, ranked in last place among both small cities and in general at no. 135, with a total score of 37.07.

Among large cities (with populations over 300,000), Nashville and Austin also ranked in the top ten overall, but Seattle was the only west coast locale to rank within the top ten.

What these findings suggest is that despite the pandemic and the tough competition, Seattle’s housing market remains healthy. For buyers who are willing to join the fray, a home in Seattle is a sound investment — and one that many people are seeking in this bustling city.

This article was originally posted on KOMO News.

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Bellevue Weathers the Pandemic with a Bright Outlook for the Future https://getthewreport.com/local-economy/bellevue-weathers-the-pandemic-with-a-bright-outlook-for-the-future/ Fri, 18 Sep 2020 15:27:59 +0000 https://getthewreport.com/?p=3421 A challenging situation for most people, businesses and cities alike, COVID-19 hasn’t shaken Bellevue as the city gears up for what appears to be a booming future. While Seattle has reeled from the lack of foot traffic affecting street-level businesses and the shift of major employers like Amazon and Facebook to remote work, Bellevue keeps […]

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A challenging situation for most people, businesses and cities alike, COVID-19 hasn’t shaken Bellevue as the city gears up for what appears to be a booming future. While Seattle has reeled from the lack of foot traffic affecting street-level businesses and the shift of major employers like Amazon and Facebook to remote work, Bellevue keeps getting good news on the employer front.

Most notably, downtown Bellevue is preparing for an influx of Amazon employees into the city within the next five years. In February the tech giant announced it would add 15,000 employees to its existing Bellevue workforce. Then just this month the company announced its plans to bring an additional 10,000 jobs into the area. With more than 25,000 employees in Bellevue, Amazon’s operations in the city will equal or surpass those of its HQ2 in Virginia.

To accommodate these employees, Amazon has leased 2 million square feet of office space from Seattle-based real estate company Vulcan. The two leased properties are the 555 Tower and West Main, which are in walking distance of the future Sound Transit Downtown Bellevue Station, which will open in 2023.

In conjunction with this, Amazon is set to begin development on its new Bellevue 600 office space — a 27-story office tower with retail and public space. The project is aiming for LEED Gold certification, and is set to be completed in 2025, although construction has not yet begun.

While Amazon is settling more firmly into Bellevue, another local company, REI, has pulled out. The recreation retailer was set to move its headquarters from Kent to Bellevue’s newly built Spring District over the summer. Due to the pandemic, REI chose instead to pivot and close its never-used campus and focus on more flexible work-from-home arrangements.

The unused headquarters didn’t sit idle for long though, as Facebook has since bought the 400,000-square foot campus from REI for $390 million. In 2019, Facebook had previously purchased another office space in Bellevue’s Spring District. Outside of Silicon Valley, Seattle is Facebook’s largest hub, but with the recent expansion, that too may change. Bellevue remains an attractive destination for employers and the city’s resilience in today’s cloudy business landscape is proof that its future shines bright.

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Washington Ranks as the Best State for Workers https://getthewreport.com/local-economy/washington-ranks-as-the-best-state-for-workers/ Fri, 18 Sep 2020 15:26:00 +0000 https://getthewreport.com/?p=3424 Amid the tolls the pandemic has taken, there is a bright spot — Washington state has been ranked nationally as the best state for workers. In a recent survey by Oxfam America, the Evergreen State beat out the rest of the nation, including D.C. and Puerto Rico, when it came to wages, worker protections and […]

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Amid the tolls the pandemic has taken, there is a bright spot — Washington state has been ranked nationally as the best state for workers. In a recent survey by Oxfam America, the Evergreen State beat out the rest of the nation, including D.C. and Puerto Rico, when it came to wages, worker protections and workers’ rights.

With New Jersey at no. 2 and California at no. 3, Washington finds itself a national leader when it comes to worker protections related to COVID-19. This includes the state’s ability to protect workers on the frontlines of the pandemic, as well as ensuring workers have access to healthcare, given the limitations of employer-provided insurance.

Beyond that, Washington ranked no. 1 for its unemployment benefits. In our state, unemployment typically covers about 86% of the cost of living, while in Mississippi unemployment covers as little as 7% of the average cost of living.

Overall, Washington scored 76.41 out of a possible 100 — the highest in the nation. The areas in which the state scored particularly well include worker protections, which cover everything from underlying workplace protections such as paid sick leave and paid family leave to COVID protections like state-funded childcare for essential workers, to community-level protections such as mandated face masks in public and state-provided personal protective equipment.

This is not the first time Washington has topped the charts for workers. In 2018, the state was also ranked no. 1 by Oxfam, and hopefully it will continue to lead the nation in setting best practices for worker protection and care.

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How COVID-19 is Changing Home Design https://getthewreport.com/architecture/how-covid-19-is-changing-home-design/ Fri, 18 Sep 2020 15:25:44 +0000 https://getthewreport.com/?p=3427 We’re all spending a lot more time at home these days. Between remote work, e-learning, video exercise classes and more, it’s beginning to feel like our homes are our whole world. Residential builders and developers are taking notice of this, and consequently the home of the future may look a little different than it does […]

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We’re all spending a lot more time at home these days. Between remote work, e-learning, video exercise classes and more, it’s beginning to feel like our homes are our whole world. Residential builders and developers are taking notice of this, and consequently the home of the future may look a little different than it does today.

A recent survey of builders from Meyers Research found that the most popular design change homeowners are considering is adding more dedicated office space or work stations in their home. Close behind that is a desire for more flex space and e-learning space for kids. Since homes are now also serving as schools and workplaces for the foreseeable future, these modifications could greatly increase the productivity and functionality of a home.

According to Sam Cochran, Architectural Digest’s Features Director, open floor plans may also soon be a thing of the past. As he told Cheddar, people may be feeling a greater need for privacy away from family and roommates, and traditional floorplans that maximize the use of space throughout a home may be more desirable in the future.

Some builders are also now including more health-related features in new homes, including touchless faucets, bacteria-resistant paint and air filters. While the demand for dedicated e-learning space in a home may soon fade, the pandemic could have a long-lasting impact in how people prioritize their health when at home.

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Get Your Culture Fix at Seattle’s Reopened Museums https://getthewreport.com/happenings/get-your-culture-fix-at-seattles-reopened-museums/ Fri, 18 Sep 2020 15:24:09 +0000 https://getthewreport.com/?p=3430 In the months since the pandemic hit, one persistent problem has plagued us all: boredom. Orders to stay inside for the health of our communities, combined with a plethora of canceled events have led to a general restlessness and total indifference to what’s on Netflix. Luckily, there’s finally something to break up the monotony. Under […]

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In the months since the pandemic hit, one persistent problem has plagued us all: boredom. Orders to stay inside for the health of our communities, combined with a plethora of canceled events have led to a general restlessness and total indifference to what’s on Netflix. Luckily, there’s finally something to break up the monotony.

Under the governor’s revised reopening plan, Seattle’s numerous museums have been permitted to reopen during phase two, albeit with some modifications. Among these adjustments are the requirement that every guest wear a mask, museums can only operate at 25 percent capacity, all interactive exhibits must be changed to touchless formats, guests must purchase timed tickets for entry ahead of time and the museum must create a one-way flow of traffic through the exhibits.

While this may sound like a lot to take in, many of these sensible policies have been in place at other businesses for some time — and if it means we can all get out of the house for a bit then it’s probably worth it. Below, you’ll find a selection of museums that we can’t wait to visit:

MoPop

Like many others, the Museum of Pop Culture has been shuttered since March. Under the revised reopening plan, guests can once again experience Seattle’s vibrant music history in person. In addition to MoPop’s famous musical exhibits, guests can also explore Body of Work: Tattoo Culture (which debuted only shortly before the pandemic), along with Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, among other exhibits. Since MoPop is a highly interactive museum, guests should be prepared for some modifications and potential closures to existing attractions. MoPop reopens to the public on weekends starting Friday, September 18.

Burke Museum

Only recently renovated before the pandemic, the new and improved Burke Museum is once again open to the public. Featuring intriguing natural history exhibits, including Fossils Uncovered along with immersive cultural exhibits like Culture is Living and Northwest Native Art, the Burke is an entertaining and educational way to spend an afternoon. The Burke Museum reopens to members on September 19 and 20, and to the general public starting Tuesday, September 22.

Seattle Art Museum

Looking for a classic art gallery experience? The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) is among those that will be reopening this month. Guests can enjoy dozens of exhibits currently on display, including Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas: Carpe Fin, On the Edge, Aaron Fowler: Into Existence and many more. An unexpected upside to the modified reopening: museum staff have expressed that visiting during this time may be a more pleasant and less crowded experience due to the reduced capacity. The SAM was reopened to the public on weekends starting Friday, September 11.

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Local Market Update – August 2020 https://getthewreport.com/local-economy/local-market-update-august-2020-2/ Wed, 19 Aug 2020 17:50:00 +0000 https://getthewreport.com/?p=3358 While the pace of daily life may seem slow right now, the local real estate market has had an unusually busy summer. The number of new listings in July was up, sales increased, and home prices followed suit. • While overall inventory is at historic lows, more sellers put their homes on the market. New […]

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While the pace of daily life may seem slow right now, the local real estate market has had an unusually busy summer. The number of new listings in July was up, sales increased, and home prices followed suit.

• While overall inventory is at historic lows, more sellers put their homes on
the market. New listings of single-family homes in King County jumped more than 25% from a year ago. Snohomish County saw a 7% increase in new listings.

• Pent-up buyer demand fueled sales activity in July.  The number of pending sales was up 17% over a year ago in King County, and up 13% in Snohomish County.

• With buyers snapping up new listings as soon as they hit the market, total
available inventory dropped to a 10-year low for the month.

• The lack of inventory is benefiting sellers, and multiple offers are now common at every price point. As a result, single-family home prices rose 7% in King County and 15% in Snohomish County.

The charts below provide a brief overview of market activity. If you are interested in more information, every Monday Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner provides an update regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the US economy and housing market. You can get Matthew’s latest update here.

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Seattle Works to Reverse Gentrification in the Central District https://getthewreport.com/the-state-of-real-estate/seattle-works-to-reverse-gentrification-in-the-central-district/ Wed, 19 Aug 2020 17:49:07 +0000 https://getthewreport.com/?p=3344 With its varied neighborhoods and robust international district, Seattle has long been a melting pot of cultures and identities. But despite the city’s diverse population, many neighborhoods in Seattle have fallen prey to rising housing costs, and as a result, long-term residents — in particular people of color — have found it increasingly difficult to […]

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With its varied neighborhoods and robust international district, Seattle has long been a melting pot of cultures and identities. But despite the city’s diverse population, many neighborhoods in Seattle have fallen prey to rising housing costs, and as a result, long-term residents — in particular people of color — have found it increasingly difficult to continue to live in the neighborhoods they have called home.

Acknowledging years of gentrification in Seattle’s historically black neighborhood, the Central District, Seattle City Council is now working to correct the effects of gentrification in the area. The council recently voted to use $18 million annually from a new business tax to fund a community preference housing project, starting in the Central District with a partnership with the nonprofit Community House.

A new subsidized apartment complex, called Jackson Heights, will provide 74 rent-capped units for residents in the area. But beyond providing affordable housing, Jackson Heights aims to bring back residents with longstanding ties to the area, reserving half of the units for applicants who can demonstrate that they or an immediate family member lived in the neighborhood prior to 2000.

The demand for units in Jackson Heights has been fierce. Reportedly over 850 people entered a lottery for the community preference units in the building. They had to provide documentation of their former residency and meet certain income requirements to be eligible.

Jackson Heights isn’t the only new development in the Central District, but it is the first in the neighborhood to utilize community preference as a factor in screening applicants. In accordance with fair housing laws, developers for this and future projects can screen applicants for community connections, but they cannot use race as a factor in their decisions. This helps to ensure that diversity in an area is either maintained or improved, by identifying long-term community members, regardless of race.

In addition to providing much-needed housing and enticing former residents to return to the Central District, Jackson Heights will also include retail space at street level. Community House has currently reserved that space for a child-care center and a restaurant.

With the high demand and positive reception of Jackson Heights, it seems that the city has taken a successful first step in strengthening a core neighborhood and creating a model for bringing residents home once more.

This article was originally posted on the Seattle Times by Daniel Beekman.

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Kirkland Grows in Population, Housing and Business https://getthewreport.com/local-economy/kirkland-grows-in-population-housing-and-business/ Wed, 19 Aug 2020 17:48:04 +0000 https://getthewreport.com/?p=3341 Across Lake Washington from Seattle, quiet Kirkland is in for a bustling future. Prior to the pandemic, the city was experiencing growth as it worked to accommodate 8,361 new housing units and 22,435 new jobs by 2035, averaging out to about 363 housing units and 975 jobs per year. Even with the pandemic in mind, […]

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Across Lake Washington from Seattle, quiet Kirkland is in for a bustling future. Prior to the pandemic, the city was experiencing growth as it worked to accommodate 8,361 new housing units and 22,435 new jobs by 2035, averaging out to about 363 housing units and 975 jobs per year. Even with the pandemic in mind, Kirkland is preparing for a growth spurt.

The cause of this exponential growth? Everything from continued investment from businesses like Google, new construction projects and the annexation of land from nearby Finn Hill, Juanita and Kingsgate. The result is a population increase of 82 percent between 2011 and 2019, and a sizeable increase in land area thanks to the newly incorporated areas.

To accommodate a growing population and increasing job opportunities in the area, Kirkland is also developing a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system that will include a new station in the city which will serve the greater I-405 corridor. The station will also allow for transit-related development and new construction within a half-mile radius of the station. Currently, the area includes multi-family residences, schools, parks and commercial/retail and office spaces.

One of the other notable new projects includes the completion of the Village at Totem Lake. The 26-acre urban lifestyle village has been under construction since 2016, but the development plans to wrap up by the end of this year. The Village includes commercial tenants such as Cinemark, Whole Foods and Nordstrom Rack, while the nearby Aura Totem Lake apartments have 202 housing units available, with two more complexes to be completed by spring 2021.

Another developing property, Kirkland Urban, is a mixed-use project on 11.5 acres in downtown Kirkland. The project caught the attention of Google, who purchased most of the property for $435.7 million in 2019, and has now added 1.1 million square feet of office space in the city. Google already had offices in the area, and during the pandemic many of its employees will continue to work from home. Additional businesses in the area will include restaurants, bars, shopping and more housing at the recently-opened Uptown Apartments.

Thanks to its rapid growth, Kirkland is now more committed than ever to the “Innovation Triangle” it forms with Bellevue and Redmond. Together, the three cities have formed an attractive hub for tech businesses and workers alike, as they foster improved commutes, residential areas, job opportunities and positive growth.

This article was originally posted on 425 Business by John Stearns.

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