Fixed Mortgage Rates Slightly Higher than Record Lows

As 2011 comes to a close, fixed mortgage rates are ending at 3.95%, 0.04% higher than 3.91%, the lowest fixed mortgage rate recorded in the past 50 years.

This year, mortgage rates stayed mainly under 5% throughout the year. However, next year is looking up. According to the Seattle Times via the Conference Board, over 5% of households said they plan to purchase real estate in the next six months. For more details, check out the Seattle Times article.

Ballard Nordic Heritage Museum to Be Built

Ballard’s Nordic Heritage Museum will be moving and expanding, becoming a more prominent symbol of downtown Ballard. The Nordic Heritage Museum will be in its fundraising stage for the next six months, as it raises money for the $55 million construction of its new museum and cultural center at 2600-2800 Ave and NW Market St. in Ballard. It will act as a neighborhood hub and feature exhibits, classrooms, galleries, a Nordic restaurant, and more. Click here for more details.

Redevelopment of Seattle’s Yesler Terrace to Begin

Roosevelt Neighborhood Height RezoneAccording to the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, The Seattle Housing Authority has submitted plans to the city to start on the redevelopment of its 30-acre Yesler Terrace, located on First Hill. The first building will be a six-story, 100 unit residential building at 1105 East Fir Street.

The Yesler Terrace redevelopment will take between 10-15 years and around $2 billion in funding. Once it is completed, Yesler Terrace is expected to have 5,000 housing units, 900,000 sq. ft of office space, 88,000 sq.ft for retail, and 65,000 sq.ft dedicated to neighborhood services. The Seattle Housing Authority is continuing to move forward with its other buildings and will announce a partnership next month with a private developer to construct a 100-unit residential building at 12th and Yesler.

For more information regarding the Yesler Terrace redevelopment, check out its homepage at the Seattle Housing Authority website.

Portion of Pioneer Square Merrill Place Sold to NY Firm

Vulcan Real Estate has sold two-thirds of its Pioneer Square Merrill Place complex to New York private investment adviser firm, Angelo, Gordon & Co. The two-thirds portion of the 191,600 sq. ft Seattle property located at 411 1st Avenue sold for $23.9 million.  Read the Seattle Times article for more details.

Regence Seattle Headquarters Sold to Real Estate Firms

Roosevelt Neighborhood Height RezoneEarlier this week, Prudential and Talon Private Capital purchased the 15-story Regence Headquarters building at 1800 9th Avenue for $76.5 million. For the 313,000 sq.ft building, that’s about $245 per sq. ft. Regence will lease back 30% of the office space for its own use. For more information, visit the Seattle Times article.

Capitol Hill Site To Become Apartments

According to the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, the property at 1519 Minor Ave. in Capitol Hill in Seattle has been sold for $5.5 million to Portland-based Gerding Edlen. The 14,400 sq.ft lot will become a seven-story, 119-unit apartment building with underground parking and retail space below. Construction is expected to start in early 2012.

City Council Encouraging Development in the West Seattle Triangle

Magnolia ApartmentIn an effort to encourage development in the West Seattle Triangle, the City Council introduced new land-use rules yesterday to that area. The new rules allow for residential buildings in that area to be up to 85 feet tall and more amenities for pedestrians, keeping up with the demand from residents. The West Seattle triangle is located at Fauntleroy Way, 35th avenue, and Alaska Street, near Diva Espresso, Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe, and the West Seattle Stadium. Here is the location. Click here for more information.

Seattle Property Crime Decreases!

According to a recent FBI report, property crime in the Seattle area dropped this past year. Property crime includes burglary, larceny, and vehicle theft. It decreased by 3.7 percent. This trend follows the general trend of crime across the country. For more info, check out the Seattle Times article.

Skyway Luggage Western Avenue Building Up For Sale

The 101-year old business, Skyway Luggage, is selling its historic Western Avenue building, located at 2501 Western Avenue. This is to prepare for liquidation of the company and to pay its creditors, so the Skyway brand may continue. The sales price for the Seattle Western Avenue building is 2.1 million cash. For more details, read the Seattle Times article here.

Three Pioneer Square Seattle Buildings Sell for $19 Million

Three Pioneer Square Buildings Sold for $19MThe Canadian-based asset management firm, Nicola Crosby Real Estate Investment, recently purchased three classic Pioneer Square buildings for $19.1 million. At 127,200 square feet, the three buildings located at 1st Avenue South and 100-300 block sold for 47% less than what they sold for in 2007. It includes the Maynard Building, Seattle Quilt Building, and the iconic Grand Central Building in Seattle. For more details, read the article here.