Homes for Under a Million

The Seattle real estate market continues to be one of the hot topics in the nation.  As prices rise and inventory remains low, many first-time home buyers are in bidding wars for their dream home (or close to their dream home). Queen Anne has become Seattle’s first neighborhood to have a median home price of $1 million dollars and Capitol Hill is not far behind at $890,000. Condominium sales are also struggling with inventory, down 24 percent from a year ago. The median sales price for condos last month was $328,675, which is an increase of 9.6 percent from a year ago. Some think there is no chance of finding a home under a million dollars, but here are some for you to consider!

3030 80th Ave SE, Mercer Island

Available for $499,950

20012 27th Dr SE, Bothell

Available for $700,000

2721 1st Ave, Belltown

Available for $309,000

3116 164th St SW, Lynnwood

Available for $255,000

Ewing and Clark is Seattle’s oldest real estate company. Our agents are experts in the market and have been for many years. Contact us today and we can make the home buying process feel like a breeze.

Seattle Just Keeps Growing

In spite of the building boom in downtown Seattle, there have been very limited options for buying a home, versus renting. Resembling giant glass Rubik’s cubes stacked 41 floors high, the Nexus Seattle condominiums will be taking ground at 1200 Howell Street in the Denny Triangle. The building will feature 382 units, varying in size and price, ranging from $300,000 to $3.5 million. Sections of the building are twisted to face different directions, views will vary depending which floor the home is located on.

According to the Nexus website, 80% of the units have already been reserved as of this past November (2016). Underscoring the market’s desire for permanent housing and the influx of people for high-paying tech jobs downtown, hundreds of buyers lined up to pay a $5,000 refundable deposit to be guaranteed a spot at a priority presales event on June 4th last year. Some people even camped out overnight to be first in line.

Burrand Group, the Canadian company that owns the site, plans to break ground this month to begin construction. The Nexus building will be within walking distance of at least two large-tech work campuses in the South Lake Union area. An article with Puget Sound Business Journal states a fitness center, common co-working space, the option of renting a guest room, and a rooftop terrace will be some of the amenities available.

As of October 2016, the median price for a downtown Seattle condo was $650,000. The median price for a 1-bedroom rental is currently $1,820 per month, reflecting the 40% hike in rent over the past 5 years. Seattle is now in the top ten of most expensive apartment markets in the United States, as of April 2016.

Commercial Lease Rates Hitting New Heights In Seattle

seattle sunsetThe Highway 99 Blues Club, established in 2004 and located in the basement of a hundred-year-old brick building, is possibly one of the best blues clubs in Seattle. As reported by The Seattle Times, in June, the business was notified that their rent would be increasing. Somewhat normal and understandable considering the immense growth Seattle overall is experiencing, especially downtown. However, their rent isn’t going up just $500, or even $1,000. Starting in January 2016, the blues club, if they intended on staying, would be responsible for paying $14, 959 a month. That’s an increase of 225 percent (or $10,359 more a month) and how the business sees it, an eviction notice.

The commercial real estate market in Seattle is reaching new heights, quite literally and figuratively speaking, so much so that downtown tenants, like the Highway 99 Blues club, are being squeezed out due to astronomical rent increases. This gentrification of downtown Seattle is well supported, as companies haven’t a problem finding tenants to fill local office space in exchange for a pretty penny. In fact, not only are rents 7.5 percent higher (an average of $36.76 a square foot) than last year, but in June of this year “the vacancy rate was 11.4 percent, down nearly by half from its high of 21 percent five years ago,” according to the Seattle Times.

This rise in lease rates in Seattle, Bellevue, and surrounding areas has been greater than any other metro area in the US, and that includes tech hotspots like San Francisco, San Jose, Boston, and New York, according to the New York based market research firm Reis. Still, Seattle is cheaper than Manhattan, San Francisco, and London, and currently offers a thriving and exponentially growing technology and health industry. In fact, many San Francisco-based businesses are on the hunt for Seattle offices, including cloud-computing giant, Salesforce.com.

It’s been reported that three-quarters of newly occupied office space in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties is located in downtown Seattle. Last year a top floor office space went for $30 a square foot, this year a lower floor office space in the same building is asking $36 a square foot. That’s a 20 percent rent increase. Demand for land is what is moving these prices, as business owners are paying huge premiums and signing large lease transactions in order secure a spot to set up shop.

Adding to the difficultly in securing an already existing office in downtown Seattle or nearby areas, many companies are signing pre-leases on buildings that are still under construction. Some of these companies being:

–          Amazon just leased 817,000-square-feet of Troy Block, which is part of two-building project in South Lake Union.

–          Holland America Line just leased Martin Selig’s new 185,000 square foot building in Lower Queen Anne, set to open next year.

–          Tableau Software is set to lease a new 2016 210,000-square-foot building north of Gas Works Park.

–          And Juno Therapeutics leased 287,000 square foot building which is under construction at 400 Dexter Ave. N in South Lake Union.

It certainly seems “Seattle is a landlords market,” Stuart Williams, managing director of commercial real-estate brokerage JLL told The Seattle Times. This isn’t a playground for the mom and pop smaller tenant. This game is only available for big time tenants ready to pay up, commit to long term leases and wait patiently for their space in the ever changing Seattle metropolis.

Two Men Shot in Pioneer Square

Police are investigating a shooting which happened around 2:00am this morning near Occidental Ave. S. and S. Washington St. Police responded to a call of shots being fired and found the two men who had been shot while sitting in a car. The men were treated for their injuries and transported to Harborview Medical Center. The suspected shooter could not be located. Anyone with any information regarding the incident should contact the Seattle Police Department.

UW Plans for Redeveloping Rainier Square

rainier

Some may not know that the University of Washington is one of Seattle’s largest land owners in the city. UW owns Rainier Square and plans to make changes soon. They have reached out to at least four developers, 2 local and 2 national, and have asked them to come up with ideas to redesign the properties. The developers have until the end of the month to submit their proposals, UW will then choose one in November. UW hopes to begin the redevelopments in a year.

DSA letter to Mayor requests action upon rising violence downtown

sdp rangersThe Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) has a sent a letter to Mayor McGinn requesting something be done about the rise in violence in Downtown Seattle. In the letter DSA asks that there be more park rangers available and present at all city parks as well as additional bike and foot patrol officers on the streets throughout the city. These recommendations stem from not only the rising violence but also the fact that with increasing economic stability and population growth comes more revenue which should allow the city to be able to provide services to keep the city clean and safe.

August 11-17 is Westlake Park Family Fun Week

Photo courtesy of downtownseattle.com

Photo courtesy of downtownseattle.com

The second annual Westlake Family Fun Week is being produced by the Metropolitan Improvement District and Seattle Park & Recreation and is sponsored by Children’s Research Institute. Kids can enjoy activities such as face painting, bouncy house and Pacific Science Center Hands on Activities. Other fun entertainment will include Bubbleman, Bremen Green Puppet Show and music from Casper Babypants and Rolie Polie Guacamole. The event is held in Downtown Seattle’s Westlake Park August 11th – 17th from noon to 2pm. The event is free.

Things to do around the city with Dad on Father’s Day

fathers dayFather’s Day is Sunday, June 16th and there are many things that kids of all ages can do with Dad on Father’s Day around the Seattle area. Spend the day at the Children’s Museum located at the Seattle Center. Dad’s and father figures are admitted free when accompanied by a child 10 years old or younger with a paid full price admission. Adults and children are $8.25 each while grandparents are $7.25 each.

If your dad loves cars he might enjoy attending one of a few car shows taking place on Father’s Day. Father’s Day Car Show in downtown Burien is from 10:00am to 4:00pm and will feature over 200 cars. Fenders on Front Street will be happening from 7:00am to 3:30pm in Issaquah.

KEXP is hosting a Father’s Day Kids Dance Party at EMP from 11:00am to 2:00pm. There will be plenty of family and kid friendly activities to enjoy. Tickets are $8.

The Museum of Flight is a great idea for the whole family to enjoy Father’s Day with dad. It is open from 10:00am to 5:00pm and offers fun and activities for all ages to enjoy. Kids can enjoy an Interactive Play Zone and in the afternoon Dad can meet famous NASA astronaut, Michael Foreman, and get his autograph.

The Washington Brewer’s Festival is Father’s Day weekend (June 14-16) at Marymoore Park in Redmond and the perfect place to take the dad who loves beer! It is open to all ages accept Friday night which is a 21+ event. Go online to purchase the best ticket prices. A three day pass costs $40 which gets you admission for all three days, a tasting cup and beer sampling tokens.  

There are many things to do with Dad on Father’s Day……..Visit one of the many Seattle parks and recreational areas such as Discovery Park, take Dad to brunch at one of the many neighborhood restaurants, or a stroll downtown and a ride on the Great Wheel are great ideas as well.

Headliner of Capitol Hill Block Party Announced

The music lineup for the Capitol Hill Block Party has been announced aschbp well as who is to headline it. Many will be excited to hear that the   Flaming Lips have been chosen to headline the event. Though the the Capitol Hill Block Party isn’t until July, three-day festival passes are being sold at a discount price now through this Saturday for only $75. The price will then go up to $95. Those who buy the passes early receive free tickets to see Pickwick and Radiation City tonight at Neumos.

The festival takes place on Capitol Hill July 26th-28th. Street closures are Broadway to 12th and Pine to Union. This is the area that the festival will be held and you will need a ticket to enter. Businesses in the gated area will only be accessable to those with tickets.

There will be pleanty of vendors, independant booths and food trucks available. Many of the businesses around the area offer special deals during the festival. For the full music lineup go to Capitolhillblockparty.com/lineup.

Possibility of Streetcars returning to Seattle

It has been over 70 years since Seattle has had streetcars. Once people began moving out of the city and into suburbs and cars became more popular and convenient, there wasn’t as much of a need for them. The railTrolleys were removed and paved streets took their place. But now, as more and more people begin moving back into the city the idea of bringing back functioning streetcars has emerged.

One idea is to have the streetcar run down 4th and 5th which would serve mostly commuters and may not have as much use on the weekends as the more favored idea of having the streetcar run down 1st Avenue would. Although having it run on 4th and 5th would be almost $50 million cheaper, being on 1st, the streetcar would run past bars, new restaurants, shops and places that are more popular to tourists all days of the week including weekends. Tom Graff of Ewing and Clark, Inc. agrees that running down 1st is the better option. It would help boost business and attract more to the area.

Some business owners are concerned that if the project does move forward, construction may cause problems by limiting parking spaces and obstructing accessibility to their businesses. They realize that they will benefit from it being on 1st and accept the idea if construction can be controlled. The City of Seattle held an open house Wednesday evening for those who wanted to learn more and discuss the topic as well as to kick off the                                         Center City Connector Project which will explore transit options for downtown.