In a Press Release from November 1st, executives of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) announced that half of the top 16 condominium sales in downtown Seattle year-to-date were represented by RSIR brokers while the firm maintains its place as the top selling branch office of urban condominiums since the Great Recession in 2009, according to Trendgraphix research.
On Sunday, March 1 more than sixty registered guests joined a dozen brokers from Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) to welcome delegates from North India Sotheby’s International Realty on their first stop in a multi-city tour of the US. Promising “Conversations and Cabernet”, the hosts covered topics ranging from India’s emergence as an economic superpower to our own region’s propensity to attract foreign direct investment and immigration. RSIR’s Kirkland branch office and its adjoining Maison DeLille wine lounge quickly became a think tank about transfers of global wealth, and India’s approaching dominance over China in terms of GDP growth rate and population in the years and decades ahead, respectively. The event was covered by The Puget Sound Business Journal.
Ashwin Chadha and Ankit Tyagi, co-owners of North India Sotheby’s International Realty visited with RSIR executives and brokers over several days to learn about the Seattle/Bellevue metro area. They shared a dynamic presentation about the economic and political trends within India that shape India’s meteoric rise within a global economy. Interestingly, not only are resident Indians targeting the US for investment and lifestyle reasons but many non-resident Indians (“NRIs” ) are increasingly also reinvesting within India.
“Benefiting from political reforms and the largest democracy in the world, India has become very attractive to NRI’s to invest in their home country,” said Chadha. “At the same time, global corporations seek to benefit from the blossoming economy as well.”
Chadha added that a rising middle class is also driving the prospect for immigration and education into the US as it is in China. The expanding economy of the Pacific Northwest region is creating many opportunities for young families to target new lives overseas. Most notably, Microsoft has attracted many employees of Indian descent including the CEO, Satya Nadella.
ABOVE AND BELOW: Presentations by North India Sotheby’s International Realty and Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty arrayed the opportunities for international investment.
Meanwhile Dean Jones, President & CEO of RSIR presented recent findings within the Wealth X and Sotheby’s International Realty Global Luxury Residential Real Estate Report 2015. Guests learned that there is enormous wealth generation in markets such as Asia, with North America and Europe being the top two destinations to invest in real estate.
“Our proximity to Asia, lifestyle and relative affordability bodes well for the Seattle/Bellevue metro area to continue tapping this outflow of investment from other countries,” said Jones. “Given that international is our middle name, we’re playing a meaningful role cultivating these networks.”
Likewise, Jones recently co-hosted the Passport to Luxury event, which attracted more than two dozen lifestyle brands on February 21 in celebration of the Chinese New Year.
According to the International Monetary Fund, India will soon outpace China in terms of growth rate of Gross Domestic Product and by 2045 will have a greater population – the highest of any country in the world.
“The Made in India story will play out as global enterprise targets our educated, industrialized and effective workforce, which creates economic prosperity at home” said Tyagi. “At the same time, Indian’s are permitted to invest up to $250,000 per person per year in foreign markets – that’s five times the limitations placed upon Chinese nationals that are limited to just $50,000 per person per year.”
Tyagi says their tour is in part to identify NRIs that are living in the US and may be interested to invest in India. North India Sotheby’s International Realty represents numerous residential investment opportunities where NRIs are able to invest with no limitation and discover successful returns from leasing out the properties, in part to a rising expat population that is unable to own real estate in India.
Several audience members shared stories about family members that are actively pursuing inbound and outbound investments adding credence to the presentation.
As a special guest, Kevin Corbett of Beijing Sotheby’s International Realty also attended the reception and provided some additional perspective on the Chinese market as comparison to India. Both Asian affiliates commenced operations in 2014 marking the importance of these emerging markets within the Sotheby’s International Realty network.
The India Meets Seattle event was the first of several gatherings with North India Sotheby’s International Realty. The delegation was also provided a waterfront tour of Lake Washington and a preview of Vistas View Estates at Mondavio in Redmond, which has been a popular community for international families. North India Sotheby’s International Realty later departed for San Francisco and will visit Dallas and New York on their delegation tour.
The US is the most popular country for foreign ultra- wealthy individuals looking to buy secondary residences.
Nearly US$3 trillion of the world’s private wealth is held in owner-occupied residential properties, a value greater than the GDP of India, a new report by Wealth-X and the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand released yesterday showed. Meanwhile, Seattle-based affiliate Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty says a wave of foreign-direct investment and immigration has arrived to the Pacific Northwest as an alternative to traditional West Coast gateway markets.
There are 211,275 ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals – defined as those with US$30 million and above in net assets – in the world and 79% of them own two or more residences.
Some of the main hubs for luxury residential real estate are New York City, London and Hong Kong, but niche locations – such as Lugano, the Hamptons outside New York City, and rural areas around the world – are gaining in popularity.
“We know that some secondary markets have become a primary focus for many savvy overseas investors – they target and help to create the next global cities,” says Dean Jones, President and CEO of Seattle-based Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. “The Seattle/Bellevue metro area has gained favor as a destination for UHNW, especially those from Mainland China. They prefer the close proximity to Asia, relative affordability compared with other top-tier cities and a high quality of life without a state income tax.”
The Wealth-X and Sotheby’s International Realty Global Luxury Residential Real Estate Report forecasts that the ongoing shift in the wealth creation cycle from the West to the East, and the growing significance of inter-generational wealth transfers will have significant consequences on the luxury residential real estate market – with a noted emphasis on new developments and a change in investment grade cities.
Below are other key findings from the inaugural report:
- The value of UHNW-owned residential real estate assets increased by 8% globally in 2014.
- On average, UHNW individuals own 2.7 owner-occupied residences.
- As of 2014, over 7% of the world’s UHNW population made their wealth through real estate, up from 5% in 2013.
- Ultra affluent women value real estate assets more than their male counterparts, holding 16% of the net worth in such assets, on average, compared to less than 10% for men.
- Luxury residential real estate is an asset class typically favored by UHNW individuals with inherited wealth: these individuals hold 17% of their net worth in such assets, compared to just under 9% for self-made UHNW individuals.
- UHNW individuals with net worth between US$30 million and US$50 million typically keep their primary residences for over 15 years and their secondary residences for over 10 years.
- Billionaires change one of their four properties, on average, once every three years.
- Secondary residences are typically 45% more valuable than primary residences; twice the square footage and have 10 acres of land.
- At 83%, Monaco has the highest density of foreign-owned UHNW residences.
- Over 6% of the world’s UHNW population have relocated their primary residence to a different country from which they were born – these individuals often keep a secondary residence in their home countries, and India is the leading country in this respect.
The Wealth-X and Sotheby’s International Realty Global Luxury Residential Real Estate Report 2015, which looks at trends in the UHNW population’s appetite for luxury residential real estate across the world, identifies specific attitudes, behaviors and locations that matter to this industry and this wealth segment.
Wealth-X President David Friedman commented: “Wealth-X is pleased to partner with the Sotheby’s International Realty brand for this inaugural report, which underscores Wealth-X’s commitment to conducting groundbreaking research on the world’s ultra-high net worth (UHNW) population. Expert commentary from the Sotheby’s International Realty team complements Wealth-X’s global intelligence on the world’s UHNW population, producing a report that demonstrates a true collaboration between the world’s leading UHNW intelligence provider and the global leader in luxury residential real estate. Luxury residential property is a core component to the anatomy of the ultra-affluent at the intersection of their lifestyle and investment.”
“We are proud to partner with Wealth-X to provide valuable insights into today’s luxury real estate market and the buying behaviors of the ultra-high net worth consumer,” says Philip White, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “We believe that a solid investment in real estate is one of the single best factors for building long-term wealth, and that many of today’s ultra-high net worth consumers would agree.”
Download the above-referenced report here.
A previous Luxury Lifestyle Report published by Sotheby’s International Realty with reference by Dean Jones on the portrait of an affluent Chinese consumer can be found here.
About Wealth-X: Wealth-X is the world’s leading ultra-high net worth (UHNW) intelligence and prospecting firm with the largest collection of curated research on UHNW individuals, defined as those with net assets of US$30 million and above. Headquartered in Singapore, it has 13 offices on five continents.
China Daily interviewed with RSIR’s Dean Jones regarding the meteoric rise in Chinese nationals purchasing properties in the Seattle/Bellevue metro area in a January 5, 2015 article. Despite the rising home prices spurred in part by international demand, the article suggests the Pacific Northwest may be “globally undervalued” when compared with other gateway markets like Vancouver, BC, San Francisco and Los Angeles. These kinds of statements have rallied local real estate brokers and spurred local media attention as well.
The comprehensive article cited numerous reasons why the Puget Sound region has found favor. These include Seattle being the closest mainland port to Asia with numerous direct flights; having renowned schools and universities popular with Chinese students; and most critically, Seattle being a relative value compared with other world-class cities.
Jones is quoted from the article saying:
“We are downstream from what I believe will be a steady flow of housing demand stemming from China, akin to what we’ve all seen before in Vancouver, BC, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Now the current is flowing into Seattle, given our proximity, prosperity and propensity for capital appreciation – we’re the next market on the rise.”
To be sure, the adverse changes in the Canadian immigration policy has diverted international home buying to the south while heavy taxation and expensive real estate in California has diverted traffic to the north. These recent changes have created a funnel effect into the Seattle/Bellevue metro areas.
“Chinese buyers are very savvy and they know these trends,” adds Jones. “It creates a self-fulfilling prophecy about a rising home market. In some ways it’s appropriate that 2015 is the year of the Ram because Chinese like to follow each other to create new communities.”
Chinese buyers are anticipated to be the top international home buying consumer again in 2015 and Washington state is expected to receive the most activity second only to California. The lifestyle has been promoted in a recent romance comedy moving called “Beijing Meets Seattle”, which has become a surprise blockbuster hit throughout China. It helps too that joint research between immigration giant VISAS Consulting Group and the HURUN Wealth Report cite that the majority of ultra-wealthy Chinese plan to emigrate from China.
RSIR covered many of these trends in a recent blog post following their delegation tour to Shanghai in December.
Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty is currently leading a dynamic approach into the Asian marketplace through exclusive relationships, events, collateral, partnerships and marketing. Last fall, RSIR executives visited Beijing for the Grand Opening of Beijing Sotheby’s International Realty, the first affiliate of the global realty network to operate within Mainland China. Later in the winter, Dean Jones, President & CEO of RSIR, returned to Shanghai for the Luxury Property Show, co hosting a flagship exhibition booth representing Canada, Washington State, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and San Diego. This was the sixth such tour in China in three pivotal years for RSIR representing the Pacific Northwest.
RSIR is involved with local events catering to Chinese culture and clients, including the Annual Pacific Rim Real Estate Summit, the NanHai “Seattle Biz-Tech Summit” and the Luly Yang Fashion Show. Most importantly, the Kirkland Branch office of RSIR currently hosts the Asia Desk, a team of independent brokers fluent in foreign languages, customs and logistics when working with international homebuyers. Far more than a website, our listings are directly represented abroad with unparalleled exposure. RSIR currently partners with AREAA, Juwai.com, the FIABCI-USA and Caimeiju. For a second year in a row, Dean Jones was again invited to be a panelist during the AREAA Global + Luxury Summit, being held in Chicago on April 19-21, 2015.
Read a Complete List of Asia Initiatives Here.
The New Year brings further evolution at Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty in response to significant growth and a move towards localized branch management. Following three pivotal years as RSIR’s Director of Sales and Designated Broker, Chad Zinda will begin a new chapter as an independent business owner. Dean Jones, President & CEO of RSIR appointed Founding Director James Stroupe as incumbent Designated Broker for the firm to be supported by Founding Member Denise Seavitt as Assistant Managing Broker. Founding Member Chris Loeliger has been appointed as the Managing Broker for the Eastside branch offices (including the Issaquah branch – coming soon) and Kevin Pearson has been appointed as the Managing Broker for the Bainbridge Island branch offices.
“It’s been an honor to support RSIR during such tremendous growth these past few years,” says Zinda, RSIR’s former Director of Sales. “While I’m parting with a phenomenal organization, I’m very excited about my future. In my eighteen years in real estate I view the past three years among the finest of my career. I know I’ll collaborate with RSIR on plenty of transactions ahead as friends and peers in this amazing industry.”
Zinda will remain engaged by RSIR for several weeks to oversee the brokerage management transition to Stroupe and will help establish localized management within each branch office.
“Chad is a tremendous talent and we are grateful for his countless contributions to RSIR during a meteoric time in the development of our company,” said Jones. “I admire his entrepreneurial vision and we wish him all the tremendous success he deserves.”
As a Founding Director for RSIR, Stroupe helped lay the foundation for the firm in 2010 alongside Julie Roh, Moira Holley and Scott Wasner. Now five years later he’ll play another leading role in its next generation as a committee head. In his capacity, Stroupe draws upon more than 20 years as an active broker and earned valuable experience as an assistant manager at his prior brokerage.
“I look forward to supporting the growth of our entire RSIR network and working closely with our new branch management teams,” said Stroupe. “My door has always been open since we launched RSIR, so this role is a natural fit for me. I enjoy mentoring our brokers and contributing to their success and that of our Brand.”
Jones’ new management approach is a strategic move to grow each office. The company will continue to have centralized marketing and transaction management from the Seattle headquarters while brokers will now report to their respective branch managers. Recently the fast-growing firm added a second “Gallery Office” for Bainbridge Island; they expanded their marketing department in Seattle; and they augmented their recently completed Kirkland branch with a broker annex and the new Asia Desk. RSIR further expects to announce the opening of their Issaquah branch office soon.
In addition to supporting their brokers, Stroupe and the Jones’ will lead a Management Committee of their branch teams to support the next evolution of each office.
“We’re taking this opportunity to review, reload and resource our infrastructure to prepare for further expansion ahead,” adds Jones. “It’s an organic approach. We attribute much of our success to listening to the needs of our team leaders and their brokers.”
RSIR is certainly growing. According to Trendgraphix research, the firm closed out 2014 with more than 60% growth in terms of gross sales volume – the greatest expansion amongst the top ten largest residential real estate companies in Puget Sound. To learn more visit: RSIR BLOG – Not All Brokerages are Created Equal
The RSIR Executive Team
Seattle Branch Office
Kirkland Branch Office
Bainbridge Branch Office
Corporate Marketing Team
Fast-Growing Real Estate Firm Attracts Top Producing Brokers; Appoints More Senior Global Realty Advisors
Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR), the Pacific Northwest’s largest affiliate for the fast-growing real estate network, announced today the appointment of Ev Winningham and Kimberleigh King to its panel of Senior Global Realty Advisors, welcoming their top producing team to the firm. Celebrating twenty-three years in a successful real estate partnership, Winningham King is one of the longest running broker teams in the marketplace. The broker duo exemplifies an increasingly popular trend for real estate teams to expand their collective businesses by uniting efforts at RSIR.
“We are elated to be the chosen platform for the next generation of Winningham King,” says Dean Jones, President & CEO of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. “Having completed a protracted international transaction with Ev and Kim, we discovered that we share a similar business philosophy and work ethic. We welcome them to our brand. Meanwhile, their long term partnership will demonstrate how broker teams thrive within our organization.”
The referenced transaction was actually the most expensive, non-waterfront sale in King County in recent years and closed at $8.5 million after nine months in escrow (extensions are common with large, international sales). Winningham King also represented their seller as a buyer on a new RSIR listing, which went pending immediately. By working together through a concert of opportunities and schedules, Winningham King and RSIR closed two nearly simultaneous transactions grossing more than $14 million in sales to the delight of two buyers and two sellers.
“We feel it’s our obligation to offer our clients every advantage we can find in this industry,” said Winningham. “That led us to join Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. In addition to our most recent sales experience, we are drawn to the global exposure, local relationships and matchless marketing offered by our new firm.”
Observers say real estate teams like Winningham King are surprisingly few. That’s likely because most brokerage models are calibrated to host more brokers rather than encourage more production per broker. To the contrary, RSIR’s business model is more similar to that of a venture capitalist whereas the company invests resources into brokers (or their teams) to expand their business and then participate in that growth.
“We don’t believe that our office production is tied solely to the number of brokers on the roster,” says Chris Loeliger, Managing Broker for Eastside Operations. “Our business is increasing our brokers’ business. We add value. That includes offering a shared economic structure so that teams can thrive together within our brand.”
Loeliger says the success of Winningham King is a case study for broker teams and a harbinger of the future. By uniquely serving clients throughout their entire life cycle of real estate, Winningham King provides a single point of accountability regardless of the price point, product type or neighborhood. It helps too that Ev lives on the Eastside while Kimberleigh lives in Seattle making the most of well positioned RSIR branch offices.
Billed as “Life Cycle Experts”, Winningham King defines success by the number of decades they service repeat clients versus the number of transactions they close. King says they have many clients that have bought and sold real estate spanning the generations and ranging from lease properties to starter homes, from family homes to move down properties, and both second homes and investments too. All the while their valued clients refer their kids and friends along the way.
“We value RSIR for the same reason that Ev and I partnered more than two decades ago,” adds King. “We have aligned business interests. RSIR offers us exclusive marketing platforms and a strong presence on both sides of Lake Washington, not to mention both sides of the Pacific. The Seattle/Bellevue metro area has become a global marketplace and Winnignham King needs to evolve with these trends.”
To be sure, RSIR is a leader in productivity. According to Trendgraphix research that compares the top ten largest brokerage brands in Puget Sound by total dollar volume, RSIR has the highest percentage of producing brokers, the highest production per broker and the highest average listing and selling prices by a wide margin. The firm of 120 brokers will have closed $580 million in sales in 2014 and remarkably, 13 percent of these sales were with a RSIR broker on both sides of the transaction.
RSIR was also ranked again amongst the top 100 “Fastest Growing Private Companies” in 2014 for the third year in a row, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.
The year 2014 was one of tremendous growth for RSIR and for many of our top producing brokers. In total our real estate professionals generated 794 transaction sides totaling in excess of $580 million in gross sales volume, as compared to 494 transactions grossing $330 million in 2013. That’s an increase of about 60-percent. Roughly half of our sales were as the listing broker and the balance were representing buyers on other listings. Interestingly, RSIR brokers were on both sides of 13-percent of these transactions. The average selling price in 2014 was $730,000, which is on average twice the value of the remaining top ten top producing real estate brands in the region. The firm also increased referral revenues by 70-percent demonstrating traction with other Sotheby’s International Realty affiliates in other interstate and international markets.
In comparison to our peers, RSIR is consistently growing faster, has a higher number of producing brokers and the highest average listing and selling prices.
While RSIR is perhaps best known for representing extraordinary properties and lifestyles, our price point distribution reveals that 46-percent of these sales were actually below $500,000 while 34-percent of our sales were between $500,000 and $1 million and 20-percent were valued over $1 million.
See how RSIR compares to the top ten real estate brands in the Puget Sound:
See RSIR’s Agent Production compared to the top 5 real estate brands:
Our broker count has increased from 69 licensed real estate professionals at the end of 2013 to 120 by year end 2014. That’s an increase of 58-percent. In addition to opening our flagship Eastside office in downtown Kirkland, we also opened a second Gallery Branch Office on Bainbridge Island in 2014. In early 2015, RSIR will also open in Issaquah.
Congratulations to all RSIR brokers, employees and executives for a phenomenal year of growth. Happy New Year!
Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (“RSIR”) properties and Pacific Northwest lifestyles were headlined at the Shanghai LPS (Luxury Properties Showcase) on December 12 – 14. As an invited representative of Washington State, RSIR President & CEO Dean Jones joined other Sotheby’s International Realty affiliates from Beijing, Canada, Luxembourg and California comprising both San Francisco and San Diego for the much-anticipated event. An estimated 5,000+ guests were drawn to the Marriott City Centre Hotel in Shanghai, China.
In addition to hosting a flagship booth during the tradeshow, RSIR and affiliates provided a well-attended seminar on West Coast markets, they met with global bankers and their clients, and they took in the many sights and flavors of Shanghai. The initiative was well-timed with changes to the US visa policy and tapped trends for overseas education, foreign direct investment, immigration and global citizenship.
“Our most recent visit to China was direct confirmation that we’ll continue to see a steady increase of Seattle home buying from Chinese nationals,” said Jones explains. “I believe our new Asia Desk is well positioned to service this expanding demand.”
RSIR recently announced the development of their Asia Desk – a collective of multi-lingual brokers familiar with the customs and logistics associated with international buyers. Currently under construction within their Kirkland branch office, the Asia Desk is expected to be complete by early January 2015 and will feature a tea room, private offices and a collaborative work space as executives prepare for increases within this target market segment.
WHY ARE CHINESE NATIONALS BUYING OVERSEAS?
- Emerging Chinese Affluence: China remains one of the world’s fastest growing economies and will soon have the greatest GDP nudging the US into second place. Such vitality, spurred in no small part to its massive population of more than 1.3 billion people, has produced an estimated three million millionaires and more than a thousand billionaires in relatively recent years. Many seek to become “Global Citizens” exploring and the world and according to Hurun research in collaboration with VISAS Consulting Group, the majority eventually plan to emigrate from China. Likewise a broadening middle class population now has the means to send their kids overseas to school and realize their version of the “American Dream”. This segment commonly views the US as providing a more prosperous, healthy and dynamic lifestyle vs. remaining in China where a slowing domestic economy, concern over political stability and high ratio of persons to opportunities could mean dwindling prosperity at home.
- Investment Diversification / Financial Safe Harbor: Many Chinese nationals garnered significant wealth by investing in real estate domestically and now they seek to diversify There is concern that policy changes by the Chinese government will continue to affect the domestic real estate market. Many are also concerned about a housing bubble. Conversely, the US is considered to be among the most stable economies in the world, it offers fee-simple real estate (compared to China where the land is leased) and by most accounts the prospect for capital appreciation is greater.
- Domestic Restrictions in China: In an effort to dampen what had been a superheated domestic housing market for many years, Chinese nationals are now only permitted to purchase one primary residence in their registered city under a “Hukou” – effectively one’s passport to officially reside in that city. Should a resident purchase a second home or outside their Hukou they are subject to steep stamp duties of 30-percent on the purchase price and few financing options. These measures combined with weakening home values (an intended effect) has effectively curbed speculation domestically and caused investors to look outside China for opportunity.
- Investment Return: Wealthy Chinese nationals are attracted to the rebounding US economy and rising home values following a well noted median home price correction between 2008 and 2012. Chinese investors generally prefer the relative control and security offered by real estate vs. stocks or bonds, especially considering the fact that global stock markets experienced a long run and appear to be frothy. Meanwhile the capital gain tax exemptions available in the US for principal residency and the opportunity for 1031 exchanges (deferred tax payments) of investment properties are further attractions. These considerations are not found elsewhere.
- Education & Lifestyle: Many Chinese nationals are buying homes for their student-aged children as they target renowned schools and top-ranked universities abroad. Others are buying a home as their future residence once their immigration to the US is complete. Some simply prefer a US lifestyle and will purchase a vacation property to visit, which also doubles as an investment. The recent policy change between the US and China now allows for 10-year multiple entry visiting visas provided that foreigners don’t surpass annual time limits spent inside the US. This new policy effectively invites Chinese nationals to buy a second home in the US without having to immigrate officially.
WHY ARE CHINESE CHOOSING THE SEATTLE/BELLEVUE METRO AREA?
- Increased Visibility & Rising Popularity: The recent box office hit movie “Beijing Meets Seattle” (also known as “Finding Mr. Right”) released in China provided unanticipated exposure throughout Asia and showcased an enviable and exotic lifestyle of living abroad in Seattle. Chinese nationals have further discovered that the Seattle metro area is an attractive tourism alternative to other West Coast markets. It helped too that numerous direct flights are now offered by competing carriers at Hainan Airlines and Delta Airlines so tickets are typically cheaper than other cities. SeaTac Airport remains the closest mainland US port to China offering quick, affordable and convenient service to numerous Asian markets (currently direct flights to China are available to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing). Meanwhile it is also broadly noted that former US Ambassador Gary Locke, a Chinese American, has retired from government service and his family returned to live in the Seattle area. Likewise Bill Gates, the world’s richest man, also lives in the Seattle area validating the lifestyle proposition. Numerous high-profile media articles now parade these sorts of observations to an attentive audience in China.
- Relative Affordability: The Seattle metro area may be globally undervalued when compared to other West Coast gateway markets. The median household incomes are among the highest compared to peer cities yet real estate values are typically a third to half the price for similar Markets like Vancouver, San Francisco and Los Angeles have already become “hedge cities” where decades of immigration and foreign direct investment has caused property values to rise well above what would be normally supported from job and population growth alone. Savvy Chinese nationals realize this is a harbinger for the Seattle area and recent housing trends promise rising home values and greater purchasing power all at the same time. In short, Chinese nationals know that other Chinese nationals will follow, which creates a self-fulfilling prophecy about a rising home market.
- Renowned Schools and International Tolerance: Chinese nationals are discovering many nationally-ranked private and public schools already have a high concentration of Asian students and ESL (English as Second Language) programs. They feel that paying property tax at 1% of assessed home value is a small price for education provided by the best public school districts found on the Eastside, on Mercer Island and on Bainbridge Island as well. Meanwhile, the University of Washington is ranked #15 globally for academics (the highest rating on the West Coast outside California) and typically 10-percent of the freshman class is foreign born (half are from China). With a high Asian population and demonstrated tolerances for international immigrants, Chinese nationals can feel comfortable living in the Pacific Northwest. In fact, some even affectionately consider Bellevue a suburb of Beijing as the family roots locally but commutes abroad for business. This very trend has been occurring for more than a decade just 150 miles north in Vancouver, BC and is a familiar scenario.
- Pristine Natural Environment: With rapid growth, China struggles to curtail environmental pollution. Those with the means desire the fresh air, clean water and trustworthy food that is offered in Washington State. They also are drawn to the natural beauty, matchless geography and even the seasonal weather patterns. Surprisingly, many Chinese nationals actually prefer the overcast cloud cover and rain over the dry and hot climate found in Southern California (it’s common for Chinese woman to shelter themselves from direct sunlight). Also, waterfront living is revered in China because there are few opportunities to live by a lake or the sea, especially near large cities. Conversely, the Seattle area offers an abundance of opportunity to on the water and it’s relatively affordable (for now).
- Preferred Economic Climate: Chinese investors are expert at spotting market fundamentals and opportunities for capital appreciation with real estate (most amassed considerable wealth from investing in growing cities within China). The Puget Sound region is bustling with economic prosperity and the Growth Management Act has forced much of the anticipated expansion to occur within the urban areas. This is a familiar proposition for Chinese nationals – they know price escalation is ahead. Meanwhile, the lack of a state income tax in Washington offers further incentive to invest here over California or Canada where the combined tax rates (and real estate values) are much higher and the economies are not as strong.
“Ultimately, the value proposition is much greater in emerging markets compared with peer cities,” remarks Jones. “Having spent much of my life in Vancouver, BC, I witnessed firsthand the effects of gaining favor with international homebuyers. Now I sense a similar cycle forming here in the Seattle/Bellevue marketplace.”
Home of the Day is a new feature presented by the Puget Sound Business Journal and Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. This is your invitation to view some of Puget Sound’s most-luxurious properties. Come inside and take a look around. Click on the image above to view the “Home of the Week” winner, Casa de Mar a Cielo, listed by Joanmarie Curran!
Honest, this is Seattle. Surprised? The best kept waterfront secret in the Pacific Northwest. Perfectly sited, this 1931 jewel is steeped in Hollywood lore with a legacy of welcoming guests. Complete with unobstructed Puget Sound and Olympic Mountain views and room-size decks. Remodeled to exacting standards with scrumptious materials and indulgent features. Brilliant entertaining ease. Tie up the boat, pull in the crab pots, savor your sunsets.
Learn more about our exclusive partnership with the PSBJ here:
Interactive Tool Allows Viewers to Compare Featured Listings and Elect “Home of the Week” Based on Popularity
Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, the Pacific Northwest’s largest affiliate for the global real estate network, announced today its collaboration with The Puget Sound Business Journal (PSBJ) in the launch of an interactive voting tool on their exclusive “Home of the Day” platform. The media partnership had previously introduced “Home of the Day” on PSBJ’s multi-media website and as part of the popular afternoon newsletter that reaches nearly 20,000 subscribers. Now users are able to activate a dynamic voting component where they can register their preferences for the “Home of the Week”, which will be further promoted online and in print within the weekly newspaper. The updated “Home of the Day” feature is now live.
“We’re excited to launch this new voting enhancement to our ‘Home of the Day’ feature, which has already been very successful for the Seattle market,” said Gordon Prouty, Publisher of The Puget Sound Business Journal. “It’s clear that our audience enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest’s most extraordinary properties and now they can further engage with ‘Home of the Day’ by voting for their favorites.”
The Journal reports impressive statistics for the platform. Since launching on September 1, 2014, over 656,000 photos have been viewed from 44 property galleries. “Home of the Day” has risen in popularity each month, going from 4.26% of PBSJ’s website traffic to accounting for 7.76% in early November.
The voting tool will allow consumers to submit votes for the properties they prefer, similar to a “Like” on Facebook. The total votes each week will be tallied and the most popular listing will be identified as the “Home of the Week” on the platform as well as published as the winner in the PSBJ’s print edition the following Friday. Likewise, each weekly honoree will compete for “Home of the Month” and even “Home of the Year”. All listings will remain active on the website portal for a minimum of 30 days and the vote counter will track the number of unique votes in real time.
“We believe this voting feature will enhance the social media component of this platform as our brokers, clients and consumers rally behind their favorite,” says Andrea Savage, Marketing Manager for Seattle-based Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. “In addition to showcasing select properties from around Puget Sound, we will also soon introduce featured markets in sun, snow and surf destinations that are popular for residents of the Pacific Northwest.”
The “Home of the Day” platform is currently running in metro areas in several states across the U.S. including California, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Oregon and Washington, D.C.
For more information visit www.NWHomeoftheDay.com.