While renting might sometimes feel like you’re flushing a hefty portion of your income down the drain, as it turns out, renting might make the best financial sense for a few years. According to a reporting from Zillow’s breakeven horizon metric, (a system measuring the number of years it takes after buying a home is more financially beneficial than renting) Seattle ranks # 2 in the top 10 cities where renters actually might have the financial edge over homeowners.
Zillow’s results were found by taking the period of time calculated with the net cost of buying a home, and also the costs of renting that same home. The results show the average and median breakeven points at the city and metro areas. Seattle ranked 2nd only to NYC, and advised renters in New York City need not feel rushed into buying, unless you’ll be staying for at least 5 years, as it generally makes more financial sense to rent a flat within the city limits. The average breakeven point for Seattle homeowners is 4.3 years, so renting for the short term, might be the best financial option. More information on Seattle Rentals can be found here.
The past two years have not been promising for the Seattle Condo Market, and condo developers are finally starting to see a turn around in the Downtown area. According to the Seattle Times, roughly two dozen new projects were at work between 2007-2010 during big the real-estate crash. Many of those who bought the pre-sale backed out and several developers ended up converting their buildings to rental units to cater to the economy. Those who stuck it out had to slash prices, and in many cases had to lower the costs by up to 40 percent.
Today the market is starting to look more appealing and beginning to have the first signs that it will bounce back. A few good indicators include Escala raising some of their prices; one of the largest downtown projects to date, Escala did so quietly, with the majority of their condo units selling for 99% of the asking price, they’ve begun upping the anty as their inventory gets smaller. Also of the 2,500 condo projects that have been built in downtown and surrounding areas, fewer than 250 units is left unsold. There are currently no new projects in place; most developers and lenders have put condos on hold to allow the market to recuperate. If you’re interested in learning more about finding a condo in the Seattle area, here is a list of available units.