Wall Street Jumps Into Seattle Rentals Market

bellevue rental

First-time home buyers often save for years in order to amass enough cash for a down payment on a home, but in the past couple of years, potential buyers have found themselves outbid by Wall Street investors with no shortage of readily available cash. According to The Seattle Times, firms such as The Blackstone Group have formed subsidiaries that buy large numbers of entry-level homes, often for less than $300,000, and renovate them for the rentals market. These firms are often able to pay all cash and close on the property much more quickly than a regular home buyer could.

According to market researcher RealtyTrac, major investors made at least 7 percent of all single-family home purchases in the Seattle area in 2013, buying 3,100 homes throughout the year. Blackstone’s Invitation Homes subsidiary alone bought at least 1,585 homes in 2013. Analysts do not see a slowdown in investor-purchased properties, and predict Wall Street could funnel $20 billion a year for the next few years into financing these purchases.

Neighbors who live near these homes are worried about the impact they will have on their neighborhoods as a whole, seeing investor-owned properties being neglected or violating housing laws or homeowner association rules. Some experts say these renovated properties could have an overall positive effect on neighborhood homes values, but that the increasing investor demand for rental properties could hurt regular home buyers by driving up prices.

For more information about Seattle rentals or real estate, contact your local real estate agent today.

 

 

 

 

 

Tech Cities See Rise in Rent and Residential Costs

Madison park rental

Madison Park Rental

If you rent in Seattle, your pockets have certainly felt the rise in rental rates over the past few years. According to a report by Trulia, so have renters in other large tech cities. After dissecting housing reports Trulia found that prices were generally 82% higher in big tech hubs compared to other large metro cities. While engineers and and highly paid coders are well paid in the industry, the cost of living increase is still making it difficult to afford to live in these cities and bridge the affordability gap. According to the report, 48% of homes listed in these tech cities were affordable to the middle class based on the median household income, compared to 63% listed in other metro areas.

There are also huge variances even in affordability among the big tech hub cities: 14% of homes in San Francisco compared to over 60% in Washington DC and Raleigh. The big year over year increases in asking price were up in the top 10 tech cities, with a high rise of 24.4% in Oakland, and a low of 6.5% in Raleigh. Seattle’s asking price was up 16.6%, which was above that is San Francisco and San Jose. The rise in rent has also been prevalent in these tech hubs, with a standard 2 bedroom renting for over 37% more than in metro cities, and a year over year rise in Seattle has seen a 9.2% increase. If you’re looking for affordable housing in the Seattle area, contact your local real estate agent today.

41 Story Luxury Apartment Building Breaks Ground

Boston Developer GID Development Group announced yesterday that they had began construction on a 41 story apartment tower at 2030 8th Avenue, right across from the Amazon campus. The tower is planned to have 355 luxury units, ranging from studios to 3 bedroom apartments, and 3,000 sf of commercial space. construction

Seattle architecture firm Weber Thompson designed the tower, and according to the  Seattle Pi believes this  “will be Seattle’s most advanced high rise residential product.” The building has been designed to receive a silver rating in the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Program. The building will feature indoor and outdoor features surrounded around health, fitness and relaxation, entertaining and a variety of private events. The building will also have a concierge, an on-site maintenance team, and on-site management. Find more information on this project here.

How is Your Cost of Rent Determined?

There are several factors that come into play when owners, landlords, and housing boards decide how much to rent a particular space for. In Seattle it can be assumed that since inventory is low, the cost of rent is rising and will continue to do so for the next few years. The Seattle Transit Blog has an interesting take on how your rental price is determined, and why that price was decided maybe even before your apartment was built!

According to Seattle Transit, construction costs, and debt accumulated are taken into consideration, as well as what the market will hold when determining the set rent. They suggest that the cost of rent is decided before the unit is finished being built. There is a supply and demand factor in the housing price decision. If inventory is low, rent is high, but if there is a surge in construction maybe the quality of housing will decrease and renters will wind up eating extra costs. Seattle Transit suggests that if all goes well in the construction process, and attracts prospective tenants, we should be seeing an increase in supply and lower costs in housing production. Read the full story to gain a better understand of all the bells and whistles that come into play when deciding that final rental rate. Understanding that there are many factors at hand and wrapping your head around what those factors are should open the flood gates for new ideas to cut costs for renters and builders alike.

Buying a Home Might Not Get Much Cheaper

Many renters today are choosing to put off buying a home for several reasons, statistics show that buying a home might not get any cheaper than it is right now. Experts say that 2012 may bet the last year for buyers to take advantage of the weak housing market and foreclosure influx. According to CNN Money, home prices are down 34% Nationally from 2006, and mortgage rates are at an all time low, making it the best year yet to find the bargain deal of a lifetime.

Economists with PNC Financial Services believe that home prices will flatten out by the third quarter of this year, and might begin to climb at the beginning of next year. There are several indicators that the housing market is picking up like the decline in foreclosures, and continued job growth nationwide, and buyers will have more access to affordable mortgages as they build their credit scores. While some prospective buyers who have been wary might be more willing to follow through because of the all-time low mortgage rates and lower home values, some renters still aren’t in a position to take the next step and will ultimately miss the grace period. For more information on the housing market, click here.

Only One Unit Left in the Art Stable!

There is only one unit left for sale in the Tom Kundig designed Art Stable in the South Lake Union neighborhood! Check out this listing, along with others for sale/lease, that the folks over at Urbnlivn have compiled.

Up and Coming Neighborhood for Renters & Buyers: Atlantic

The Atlantic neighborhood in Seattle, nestled in between Beacon Hill and Mt Baker is gaining popularity with younger home buyers and renters in recent months due to it’s convenient location, and up and coming amenities.

Not even five years ago, we remember when this neighborhood was experiencing mass redevelopment and construction of the 2nd I-90 bridge, leaving the Atlantic area is rubble, covered in a film of dirt. Left in the midst was abandoned housing, sky high dirt mounds and 23rd Ave S was closed to traffic. Today the neighborhood is home to trendy bars and restaurants like Dallas BBQ Soul Food & Catering and Farestart Cafe, has a light rail stop, is in close proximity to downtown and the Eastside, and has several trails for bikers and runners; even has it’s own dog park! The neighborhood started looking promising to buyers and renters a decade ago and today affordable pricing plays a huge role in the deciding factor.  According to the Seattle Times, in February this year the median value of all single family homes was estimated at $284,200, down 2.2% from the previous year. The median cost of rent in the neighborhood for a single family home was estimated at $1,674/mo, while apartments were estimated at $1,521/mo; up from the previous year, but significantly less than other areas around the city. If you’d like more information on for sale listings around the area visit Ewing & Clark, and find rentals around the neighborhood here.

New NW Housing Search Tool

King County has created a new website geared to help Seattle residents search for housing that fits within their budget, (income based housing, and non-income based housing). HousingSearchNW.org is a free resource where property managers and owners throughout King county can post their apartments or homes for rent anytime, and their updated daily, meaning these listings should always be current. This website is sponsored by the City of Seattle, King County, United Way of King County, Seattle Housing Authority and King County Housing Authority. This website is always free for both landlords and tenants, and along with rental properties also provides useful tools such as a rent checklist, affordability calculator, and even links to other helpful tools. If you’re looking for a place to rent in the Puget Sound Area, this new website is a very useful tool to help you find the right home for the right price. For more details visit HousingNW.org.

Seattle Rental Rates Continue to Rise Through 2012

Are you currently a renter who believes you’re paying too much for your rental house on Queen Anne, your Ballard apartment, or your West Seattle condo? If you are not then consider yourself lucky because the cost of rent continues to rise as vacancies around Seattle continue to shrink. While rates are predicted to continue steadily rising through 2012, next year real estate analysts say the trend may come to a halt. 

Rent is continuing to rise in the King and Snohomish counties and according to the Seattle Times, several experts suggest these rates will continue to rise until next year, when a surge of current projects are scheduled to be completed, creating more vacancies around the city. According to the Apartment Insights Washington, the average monthly cost of rent in Seattle is currently $1,094, up 1.7% from last quarter. Our region is in the largest apartment construction boom we’ve seen in over two decades, and should expect rental rates to drop, or at least begin to rise more modestly after this year. For more information, please visit the Seattle Times.

Seattle Rental Rates Continue to Rise Through 2012

Are you currently a renter who believes you’re paying too much for your rental house on Queen Anne, your Ballard apartment, or your West Seattle condo? If you are not then consider yourself lucky because the cost of rent continues to rise as vacancies around Seattle continue to shrink. While rates are predicted to continue steadily rising through 2012, next year real estate analysts say the trend may come to a halt. 

Rent is continuing to rise in the King and Snohomish counties and according to the Seattle Times, several experts suggest these rates will continue to rise until next year, when a surge of current projects are scheduled to be completed, creating more vacancies around the city. According to the Apartment Insights Washington, the average monthly cost of rent in Seattle is currently $1,094, up 1.7% from last quarter. Our region is in the largest apartment construction boom we’ve seen in over two decades, and should expect rental rates to drop, or at least begin to rise more modestly after this year. For more information, please visit the Seattle Times.