Seattle Battles Ghosts of Recessions Past

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor Recent news indicates that Seattle’s real estate market is on the move. Significant changes experienced by the housing sector are evident in the way renting is currently evolving. Supply has decreased considerably during past years, with [...]

Recent news indicates that Seattle’s real estate market is on the move. Significant changes experienced by the housing sector are evident in the way renting is currently evolving. Supply has decreased considerably during past years, with fewer and fewer housing projects making it to the Seattle design-review boards. In the meantime, the opposite trend is taking place with demand, with renters gaining in numbers, many coming from the ranks of potential homebuyers who don’t wish to take chances on buying real estate in a collapsed market.

In a Seattle Post-Intelligencer blog post discussing the price drop experienced in King County since July 2007, Tim Ellis was quoted with a comment on current opportunities for buying low. Indeed, in July 2007, the median sales figure stood at about $ 481,000, versus the $334,000 measured last month.

This situation has had positive results for landlords, who are capitalizing on the constant growth of the rental sector.

The commercial real estate market is seeing a different sort of activity. Discussions are underway regarding height limits in South Downtown. Citizens of Seattle are invited to comment through April 18, after which the plan will be submitted for vote by the city council.

Also Downtown, Stockbridge Capital Group purchased the Queen Anne Square office complex from Legacy Partners at the end of March. The Bay Area fund advisor reportedly paid $34 million for the 155,766-square-foot, two-building office complex, which includes two floors of covered parking. Legacy Partners purchased the property for $32.3 million in 2006; it underwent a $7 million renovation in 2008.