In a feature published August 14th, Sightline Institute asks a question on many minds: why does Seattle build apartments but Vancouver, BC, builds condos? As the article notes, “last year nearly 60 percent of new housing starts in the city of Vancouver, BC, were condominiums; meanwhile, Seattle saw no new condominium buildings open.” Seattle’s lack of new condos won’t be changing anytime soon, as reportedly “less than 10 percent of all building slated for downtown Seattle in the next two years will be condos.” So, what gives? Sightline says it all comes down to economics.
Luxury Real Estate Market
Tucked on a hillside just above Lake Washington and adjacent to the Cross Kirkland Corridor Trail, you’ll find Portofino, a distinctly private enclave of 7 uniquely NW Modern homes crafted by one of our region’s most elite builders. Each thoughtfully designed residence offers unparalleled harmony with the natural setting of the private greenbelt and the skillful craftsmanship only accomplished in a of a one-of-a-kind custom property.
VIP Guests, Brokers and Musicians “Playing Music in the Sun”; Tour Rock Legend’s Estate
On July 6th, scores of guests attended a first-of-its-kind rendezvous at the home of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Steve Miller, of the Steve Miller Band. Mary Norris, a Senior Global Real Estate Advisor with Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) hatched the plan to showcase this unique compound on its namesake in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, which invited local and Seattle-area brokers as well as VIP guests.
On May 19th, Mansion Global shared the “Secret of the San Juans” with its readers, celebrating the beloved archipelago for its “remoteness and simplicity,” and highlighting its most recent achievement as “the hottest luxury real-estate market in the country.” As Nancy Keates writes, the growth in the area “has been fueled in recent years by an influx of high-tech companies to Seattle, where soaring home prices make the San Juans look like a bargain,” and for its allure as an idyllic retreat.
Last week we introduced “Global Affluence: The Emerging Luxury Consumer,” a report examining the confidence, spending habits and purchasing interests of emerging luxury consumers from around the world. Today, we take a deeper dive into the confidence of the emerging luxury consumer; the report found that those with $250,000 USD to $1 million USD in investable assets are have an overall level of confidence.
Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC is proud to present “Global Affluence: The Emerging Luxury Consumer,” a report examining the confidence, spending habits and purchasing interests of emerging luxury consumers from around the world, defined as those with $250,000 USD to $1 million USD in investable assets.
The report, which is based on a survey that focused on luxury consumers in the United States, United Kingdom, India, United Arab Emirates and China, found that this emerging luxury consumer demographic is confident when it comes to their personal economy and the economy of their respective countries.
The “Fifty Shades of Grey” penthouse in the Downtown Seattle’s Escala Tower has sold with remarkable speed after being on the market for only one day, although the deal has just been finalized. The sale was closed by Realogic Sotheby’s International Realty’s founding director and broker Scott Wasner for $8 Million, which is a record for the Escala Tower and the highest price paid for a downtown Seattle Condo since 2009, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.
Given the Manhattanization of Seattle, arguably the fastest-growing metropolis in America, who wouldn’t desire an island escape that’s close yet a world apart from the frenetic energy and congestion of city life? This collection of 172 named islands and reefs in San Juan County have long been a secret getaway for Pacific Northwest families. But increasingly the San Juan Islands have been found by a new generation of affluent homebuyers, so it’s little surprise that the tides are rising.
“Without question, the San Juan Islands are among the most beautiful and protected natural sanctuaries in the world – perfectly positioned between the global cities of Seattle, Vancouver and Victoria, BC,” said Dean Jones, President and CEO of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR). “Unlike their East Coast harbinger markets in the Hamptons, Cape Cod or Martha’s Vineyard, The San Juans remain refreshingly low-key and relatively affordable for now but perhaps not for much longer.”
The in-city housing market in our Emerald City has a split personality. Buy or rent, the message is the same – it’s going to cost more and more to live here. This fact is reigniting the debate between renting and homeownership and developers are listening.
Downtown Seattle is a very robust rental market, which has welcomed more than 12,500 new construction units since 2011. Despite this massive increase in supply, economist Brian O’Connor says rents have still grown by more than 40-percent over this term due to an imbalance with supply and demand. According to Zumper, Seattle is now in the top ten most expensive rental markets in the nation with a median price of $1,800 per month (half are more, half are less) for one-bedroom apartments. Average rents of newer apartment towers downtown can demand $3.50 to $4.25 per square foot, per month. So a 600 sq. ft. one bedroom could easily cost a renter $2,100 to more than $2,500 per month. That kind of monthly payment could service a healthy mortgage. Recently, Zillow stated that 22-percent of Seattle’s renters can afford to buy. They have the incomes and credit scores to own, so why don’t they?