Earlier this month, Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) Owner & CEO Dean Jones sat down with Buzz Buzz News to discuss current and future trends in Seattle’s dynamic real estate market, from home prices and foreign investment, to the impact of Seattle’s Silicon Forest.
Jones says the most exciting trend in the Emerald City today is “without question, the urbanization of Seattle.” He notes the staggering 68 tower cranes and convergence of our diversified and rapidly growing economy with urban campuses, which “attracts new jobs and spurs housing demand in the downtown core.” Though voters approved Sound Transit 3, which will increase the length of the light rail by 62 miles, he says that “in the interim the trend is to build up not out, hence the vertical building boom in downtown Seattle.”
The impact of the tech boom is undeniable, and when questioned about concerns regarding sustainability, Jones says “we are well diversified with multiple corporations fostering a healthy level of competition and innovation” and that he’s not worried so much “about the sustainability of these companies but rather the government policies affecting our economy and the competitiveness of our region” given the current political climate. “Another challenge is the rising cost of housing. Seattle is starting to look more and more like our West Coast peer markets of San Francisco and Vancouver, BC,” he adds.
Jones also touches on Seattle as an attractive city for foreign investment, as he describes the trends he’s seen over the past decade and says “it’s clear that foreign buyers figured out the Seattle metro area offers a matchless combination of affordable home prices; immediate access to Asia; national-ranked schools; a lack of a state income tax; and extraordinary prospects for economic expansion – all within a moderate climate.”
When asked about what neighborhoods to invest in, Jones cited the emerging East Village, which houses the forthcoming NEXUS condominium tower, and the International District, “which is in walking distance to hundreds of thousands of jobs yet also moments from the regional transportation hub of King Street Station.”
Looking forward to the next 5 or 10 years, Jones says we will expect to see an additional 13 million square feet of office space by 2020, “which is about as far forward as one can project in the current development cycle. This added supply is good news for other, more traditional companies feeling the pinch from the overwhelming influence b the tech industry. This supply, should it all be delivered, will help attract more jobs and further support the urban housing demand.”
For more market predictions and analysis, read Jones’ full interview here.