Study Ranks Seattle As Nation’s Best Large City For Real Estate

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.


Posted on September 29, 2020 at 6:40 pm
Lynly Callaway | Posted in Local News | Tagged , , , ,

SEATTLE RANKS AS 9TH-BEST CITY WORLDWIDE FOR STARTUPS

Seattle has long been home base to big tech businesses like Amazon and Microsoft, but the city is increasingly a haven to smaller startups and spin-off companies as well.  Recognizing the city’s potential for hosting successful startups, think tank Startup Genome recently placed Seattle at no. 9 on their list of the top 30 global ecosystems for startups.

To generate their rankings, Startup Genome evaluates ecosystems on seven indicators of success, including performance, funding, market reach, talent, connectedness, knowledge and infrastructure. The top five ecosystems on this year’s list — Silicon Valley, New York City, London, Beijing and Boston — were also at the top of the list for 2019.

Seattle, however, jumped up three places from last year — landing it within the top 10 startup ecosystems in the world. Of the various success indicators, Seattle ranked particularly high in connectedness, even beating the overall number one ecosystem, Silicon Valley, in this category.

Among Seattle’s other indicators, performance, market reach and talent were also particular strengths.

According to GeekWire, researchers at Startup Genome also noted Seattle’s high performance in big data, A.I., analytics, and its thriving life sciences industry.

Another point of interest is Seattle’s “startup genealogy,” as defined by Startup Genome. Essentially, new founders can draw on a strong legacy of experience from other industry leaders like Microsoft and Amazon. The prevalence of spin-off companies helmed by employees with experience at larger, established companies creates an environment in which startups can tap into time-tested industry knowledge and experience from the get-go. Research and talent from the University of Washington has also been beneficial for improving the Seattle startup ecosystem.

Though Seattle scored lower on funding resources according to Startup Genome, in 2019 the city saw venture capital funding for startups reach a record-high of $3.59 billion. Additionally, Seattle has stayed strong as a tech hub for STEM jobs, drawing more interest from local investors and national firms alike.

By some estimates, Seattle may be heading for a boom in venture capital investment. According to GeekWire, the city’s pool of talent in tech, STEM programs, angel investors, new venture funds for earl-stage startups and more support for company-building could lead to an influx of capital.

Provided these businesses can weather the present storm of coronavirus, the future looks bright for Seattle’s next generation of startups.

This article was originally posted on GeekWire by Taylor Soper.


Posted on July 23, 2020 at 10:21 pm
Lynly Callaway | Posted in Local News | Tagged , , , ,

SEATTLE’S HOUSING MARKET REMAINS RESILIENT DESPITE COVID-19

The Seattle area housing market in May continued to show resiliency amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, with increases compared to the previous month in new listings and pending sales.

A report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service — which covers 23 counties in the region — showed King County had 3,585 new listings during May, compared with 2,707 new listings that came on the market during April. The total number of active listings in King County also went up slightly month over month, from 3,255 in April to 3,467 in May.

“The market has proved to be very resilient,” Northwest Multiple Listing Service Director Mike Larson said in a news release.

But the number of active listings in May of this year was still about 40% lower than the total active listings in May of last year, according to the report.

The report also found pending sales in King County went up month over month, from 2,246 to 3,358. But the number of pending sales was about 20% lower than it was at the same time last year.

The median home price for closed sales in King County dropped month over month, from $650,000 to $627,000.

“I don’t think anyone should be surprised that home prices in King County took a ‘breather’ in May,” said Matthew Gardner, Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist. “Clearly COVID-19 was the cause for this drop, but I’m confident this is a temporary situation that will be reversed as King County starts to reopen, and fresher inventory comes to market.”

Gardner said he expects prices to go up again in the months ahead.

While the local housing market is still hot, it looks a bit different than in previous years. The number of new listings dropped in the first few months of the shutdown, but homes going under contract (pending sales) are on the road to recovery.

The pandemic caused some sellers to put their sale on pause, compounding the fact that the Seattle housing market was already experiencing low inventory and strong buyer demand.

The drastically low inventory is posing some challenges, making it feel like there just aren’t enough homes. Properties under $1 million are selling quickly, with new listings going pending after just a few days on the market. Bidding wars and multiple offer situations are again becoming commonplace. A balance in the market is unlikely until more sellers decide to list their homes and new construction accelerates to meet demand.

Since the start of the pandemic, real estate agents have been taking advantage of technology, doing virtual tours and using social media to interact with clients. Even as the pandemic put much of life on hold, people have continued needing to sell and buy homes.

While experts have said that uncertainty remains about the long-term impacts the coronavirus pandemic may have on the housing market and the region as a whole, real estate agents are staying positive. The market is strong with improving outlooks week over week.

A version of this article was first published on seattlepi.com by Becky Savransky.


Posted on July 3, 2020 at 8:48 pm
Lynly Callaway | Posted in Local News | Tagged , , , ,

Windermere Insights: How Low Inventory Is Influencing The Market

“While we see more sellers getting ready to list,” observed Pat Grimm, owner of Windermere Capitol Hill, “every week that those homes don’t go on the market, we risk losing buyers to what I’d call a reasonable fatigue.”

Grimm pointed to Seattle’s imbalanced market activity in the first half of June. Pending sales of single family homes were up 21% from the same period last year, despite a 45% reduction in the number of active listings. By mid-month, there remained a paltry 0.8 months’ supply of homes for sale, based on pending sales. Low inventory led Seattle buyers to purchase homes and condos faster and for higher prices than in June 2019.

“Sellers should benefit from this dynamic,” Grimm said, “if they can undertake a move at this stage of the re-opening.”

On the Eastside, the market is undergoing a similar push-pull, according to Joe Deasy, co-owner of Windermere East Inc. “Active listings are being absorbed faster than we can get new For Sale signs up,” he observed. With month-to-date pending sales activity up 21% this June versus last, Deasy noted that the Eastside’s supply of homes is down to only 0.9 months.

Through the first half of June Eastside single family home listings were down 46% from the same period last year, while there were 28% fewer condo listings. “There’s a bottleneck happening, and we could see sales drop unless we bring more homes to market,” Deasy said. “But more listings will lead to more sales,” he added.

One community that has been keenly watching its real estate market dynamics is West Seattle. Hit by the double whammy of the shutdown and the bridge closure, brokers there were wondering how May and June numbers would stack up for this “small town” within the city.

It turns out that West Seattle is experiencing the same demand-supply issue as other local areas. In the first half of June, the supply of single family homes for sale was down 31% from last year. Based on a 9% increase in month-to-date pending sales, the supply of homes stands at just one month.

“Ours is still a seller’s market,” said Larry Johnson, general manager of Windermere’s West Seattle office. “June has seen faster market times and higher selling prices on the units that have gone pending.” The squeeze on West Seattle homes has also led buyers to move on condos, Johnson noted, with month-to-date pending sales up 56% over last year and average sold prices up by 22%.

SOURCE: Windermere Get The Report


Posted on June 30, 2020 at 7:04 pm
Lynly Callaway | Posted in Local News | Tagged , , , ,

Neighbors in Need Raises $690,000 for Food Banks

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected populations across the globe, but those who struggle with poverty and count on food programs to meet their basic day-to-day needs are in an especially uncertain place. While coping with increased demand and a bottlenecked pipeline of food supply, food banks are desperate for funds to continue to serve their communities. Because of this, Windermere decided to challenge its offices to raise $250,000, every dollar of which would be matched by the Windermere Foundation and donated to food banks in the areas where Windermere operates. We titled it the “Neighbors in Need” fundraising campaign.

Neighbors in Need kicked off on April 21, with the goal of raising $250,000 by May 5. As word continued to spread, online donations and contributions from both our agents and the public began to increase. Neighbors in Need was given a boost by Seattle Seahawks starting safety Quandre Diggs in a heartfelt message encouraging support. Over the final 24 hours, leading up to the May 5 deadline, support poured in from across the Windermere family as the final figure exceeded the initial goal of $500,000, landing at a total of $690,000.

Neighbors in Need exemplifies Windermere’s deep commitment to supporting our local communities, which traces back to 1989 when the Windermere Foundation first started. Since then, we’ve proudly raised more than $41 million for low-income and homeless families throughout the Western U.S.

On behalf of the Windermere Foundation to all those who joined the effort: Thank you. We could not have made this large of an impact without your help. We are humbled to be able to do our part to help those who need it most during these uncertain times.


Posted on May 13, 2020 at 6:03 pm
Lynly Callaway | Posted in Local News, Windermere Community | Tagged , , , ,

Saving to Buy A Home During COVID-19

Image Source: Canva

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way people plan for their future. For those saving to buy a home, the landscape may seem daunting. However, this new world of social distancing and stay at home orders is an opportunity to rethink your spending and saving plans. Keeping the following suggestions for your budget and finances in mind can help make your dream of buying a home a reality.

Rethink your budget:

If there have been changes to your income amid COVID-19, adapting your budget is a logical and necessary step. If your income has gone unchanged, certain tweaks to your budget can yield significant savings. Knowing the leisure portion of your normal expenditure has been removed for the time being is a great starting point for reassessing your spending.

  • Begin with your income and assets
  • Determine your household’s new baseline and arrange your new budget accordingly
  • Divide your budget expenses out into Fixed and Variable
  • Adjust for changes in essential costs—Housing, Utilities, Insurance, Food
  • Put into savings what normally would have been your leisure spending money

As the stay-at-home lifestyle continues, take a look at your unnecessary costs for such things as memberships, subscriptions, and online shopping. Reach out to the subscription organizations and see if they are offering any options to delay your membership until a later date.

  • Categorize all active memberships as Cancel, Adjust, or Keep
  • For live entertainment, research how far out the venues have postponed shows
  • Adjust your online shopping needs for your current lifestyle
  • Reassess the must-haves of your new stay-at-home daily life

Review your finances:

If you’re planning on buying a home in the near future, you are likely already on your financial planning journey. With added uncertainty around COVID-19’s effective timeline, the more information you can gather, the better. In these unprecedented times, flexible solutions are being provided to customers. Exploring what options your banks and issuers are offering will keep you informed and prepared while keeping your finances in order.

Contact your credit card issuer to see if they are offering any of the following options to customers:

  • Payment deferral or forbearance
  • Flexible fee policies
  • Lowering your monthly payment or interest rate temporarily
  • Forgiveness or relief from late fees

Following the steps outlined above can go a long way towards helping you save for a home. As your finances are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, take time to adjust accordingly. Continuing to gather information and developing a strategy will help you steer your eventual home purchase in the right direction through these uncertain times.


Posted on April 23, 2020 at 9:59 pm
Lynly Callaway | Posted in Local News | Tagged , , , , ,

ATARI BRINGS GAMING HOTEL TO SEATTLE COMPLETE WITH “GAMING PLAYGROUNDS”

Video game pioneer Atari is coming to Seattle in a big, new way.

Working with GSD Group — a brand strategy company with ties to Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak’s Woz Innovation Foundation — and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtlesmovie producer Napoleon Smith III, Atari is bringing eight new hotels to locations across the U.S.

More than just a place to stay, the Atari hotels will offer immersive entertainment experiences with the latest tech and state-of-the-art gaming venues including pro-level esports studios for competitions, plus “gaming playgrounds” that will cater to more casual and curious gamers.

The first location will break ground in Phoenix, AZ this spring. Locations in Seattle, WA, San Francisco, CA, San Jose, CA, Austin, TX, Chicago, IL, Denver, CO and Las Vegas, NV will follow.

Home to Microsoft and Xbox, Nintendo’s North American headquarters and major gaming studios like Bungie (creator of Halo), Seattle’s high profile in the industry makes it an ideal fit for this new hotel concept.

A version of this article was originally published on Geekwire by Nat Levy. 


Posted on February 21, 2020 at 8:43 pm
Lynly Callaway | Posted in Local News | Tagged , , , , ,