Market Trends

How Cool is Seattle?

For those of us from the Seattle area, it’s easy say we think our city is the best. Now, however, we have scientific, data-driven proof, as Forbes published its list of the Top 20 Coolest Cities in the U.S., and our gorgeous Emerald City ranked #2! 

Image Courtesy of RSIR

The Seattle PI, who reported on this achievement, explained that Forbes considered “entertainment, number of restaurants and bars, recreation, diversity and population growth, especially in the 20-34 age group,” which speaks to the growing millennial population in the city, often correlated with the high number of technology companies that dwell here. Other factors that elevated Seattle to the near-top? Forbes notes its “abundant outdoor attractions” and its “foodie culture” as the “city has a relatively high preponderance of farmer’s markets, breweries, & CSAs per capita, compared to other metro areas, and 81.6% of its restaurants are local rather than chains.”

What Do You Think of the Zillow-Trulia Merger?

You've probably heard by now that Zillow purchased Trulia in a $3.5 billion deal, and it's left many wondering what the effect on the real estate market will be. The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that real estate agencies in the Pacific Northwest agree that it won't be bad for business. The article reads, "[t]here are literally hundreds of real estate aggregating websites out there, said Dean Jones, owner and CEO of Realogics Sotheby's International Realty. Because there are so many places for people to find listings, he expects the expanded Zillow to take a cautious approach to raising its prices because agents could easily advertise elsewhere."

Image Courtesy of RSIR

With the Zillow/Trulia company set to control up to 70% of online real estate listings, it will be interesting to see how this merger plays out in the coming months.

China Likely to Meet 2014 Growth Targets

The NY Times says that despite debt problems, The World Bank predicts that China will likely meet its 7.5% economic growth target this year. While The World Bank remains optimistic, saying that China’s growth momentum will accelerate as 2014 moves on, many private economists aren’t so sure. Their worry comes from China’s debt, following the 4 trillion renminbi ($585 billion USD) stimulus the government implemented during the financial crisis in 2008-9; a debt that will require China to rethink fiscal and financial policies and systems. Something everyone is excited about? China, traditionally focusing on export and investment, is also turning toward domestic consumption. 

Central Business District of Beijing

Market Highlights: Growth and Competition in the Seattle Market

The RSIR Blog writes, "when looking at the Seattle real estate market these days, growth continues to emerge as a key factor. Chris Daniels and Jake Whittenberg from King 5 newsreport that Seattle grew 2.8% in the last year alone, citing Leonard Garfield, the Executive Director of the Museum of History and Industry, who told King 5 he attributes growth to Amazon and other tech companies that are looking for “cheaper property outside the Silicon Valley and Bay Areas.” In addition, many neighborhoods have already exceeded their 2024 growth targets. One notable neighborhood is Ballard, which has already soared to 317% of its target.

Growth means home prices have surged, a trend Sanjay Bhatt from The Seattle Times describes. He says that in March, Seattle posted “the biggest gain among all metro areas except San Francisco” and adds that home prices have risen 11.6% in the last year and are expected to rise continue to rise by another 6% in the coming year."

Photo Courtesy of RSIR

"So what does all this mean? For one thing, growth and higher home prices make for a competitive real estate market in Seattle. Sam DeBord from the Seattle Pi describes the difficulty many first-time homebuyers are experiencing in a climate where homes sell for an average of 102% of their list price. DeBord’s solution? He says home buyers must find ways to stand out from the crowd, which may mean having an approval letter from a reputable lender, maintaining availability and flexibility, or including a personalized home buyer’s offer. Extra touches that really do make all the difference and speak to our method here at RSIR as well."

Wall Street Journal & Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Shed Light on Trend of Wealthy Chinese Buying US Real Estate for Students

Just in time for the AREAA event, the Wall Street Journal reported on the trend of wealthy Chinese nationals purchasing real estate in the US to anticipate school attendance for their children and in some cases, to ensure the American Dream.

Dean Jones contributed to the article, saying, “the real estate axiom overseas isn’t Location, Location, Location,” says Jones.  “It’s Location, Education, Environment.  The Seattle area has it all with the closest mainland port to China, renowned public and private schools and of course, fresh air and a culture of health and wellness, not to mention no state income taxes.  The Chinese know that they can send their kids here for school with confidence that they’ll graduate with honors, secure a job in quick order and can still afford to buy a home and raise a family without restriction.  That’s not all possible in China and increasingly more difficult in other West Coast markets where jobs and homes are just out of reach for many.”

RSIR Mentioned in March 2014 Editorial in Alaska Airlines Magazine

Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty was featured in the March edition of the Alaska Airlines Magazine, thanks to the professional insight offered by Owner and President Dean Jones. He said, “Millenials are time sensitive and really prefer to walk to work,” and describes that we’re seeing condo-high rises in the city because they accommodate employees who’d prefer to live near their workplace but aren’t ready for a single-family home yet. A home the article says will likely be desired in the future and means the move may be, “just four blocks” away.

Sotheby’s International Realty Reports Gains in Key Performance Metrics for 2013

As Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty has experienced growth this year with the opening of our new Kirkland Showroom, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC is also reporting continued growth. In 2013, its U.S.-affiliated brokers and sales professionals handled 24% more transaction sides compared to 2012, a number nearly 3 times higher than the National Association of Realtors.® reported 9.2% gain. Sales volume also rose to 29%, a full 10% higher than the overall market numbers, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Sotheby’s International Realty network only promises continued global growth in 2014, with the opening Beijing Sotheby’s International Realty, which Philip White, president and chief executive officer of Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC says, “is slated for the first quarter of 2014.”

KOMO TV Says Downtown Seattle is Moving North

In an article outlining the recent increase in residential construction just north of Downtown Seattle in communities such as northern Belltown and the Seattle Center, Lindsay Cohen from KOMO TV turned to Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty’s Owner and President Dean Jones for insight.

“I think we’re seeing this neighborhood being targeted by developers because the CBD has become so expensive to develop and arriving later in this current development cycle suggests building within smaller building envelopes,” said Jones.  “The zoning in this neighborhood surrounding Seattle Center is much lower so we’re talking about more boutique communities where the developer can get into the city, get vertical quickly and be out to market in some cases before other high-rise projects are completed, even if they are under construction today.”