Monday, May 23, 2011

Seattle Makes List of "Cities Where Rents are Rising the Most"

The folks on MSN Real Estate published a list of U.S. "cities where rents are rising the most", and not surprisingly, Seattle made the cut. Seattle was given the No. 9 slot, and it’s no wonder considering how hot the rental market currently is. The weak housing market coinciding with a decreasing (albeit slow) unemployment rate is forcing Seattleites into renting. If I remember the concepts of my microeconomics class correctly, then yes, it’s likely a large majority of renters will be seeing rent increases in the coming year(s). A recent Seattle Times article published in March revealed that vacancy rates fell to 4.9 percent, the lowest since 2007. Developers are also taking advantage of the trend with proposals for apartment buildings and complexes in multiple Seattle neighborhoods. For example, the Pine Street Group is planning a twin-tower complex in Denny Triangle, Schuster Group changed condo proposal plans to an apartment proposal set for Belltown, and Avalon Bay Communities plans to have two, seven-story apartment buildings in the U-District-just to name a few. Don’t fret, renters. If you’re phased by the increasing rents, consider finding rentals from private parties through agents or a listing database. Not to say their rates won’t reflect the current market, but they could be less likely to systematically raise rents which can often happen with large apartment buildings. Please follow the link if you’re a renter and searching for your perfect Seattle rental.

Friday, May 13, 2011

New Program Has Building Owners Tracking Their Energy Consumption

The Seattle Department of Planning Development launched a new program this week to help commercial and multifamily residential business owners measure their building’s energy efficiency over long periods of time. Owners will use the U.S. Energy Star ratings and disclose these ratings to the city and other related parties like tenants, sellers and buyers annually and/or at request. The program is called the Seattle Building Energy Benchmarking and Reporting, and is aimed to reduce gas emissions and reduce energy consumption in Seattle’s buildings by 20%. Part of the program’s appeal is gaining results at a very low cost, and job creation in the green field. The “benchmarking” portion of the program calls for owners to calculate their rating based on actual utility bills, averaging them with number of tenants, building usage, etc. and comparing it with other local buildings. This process kind of reminds me of Microsofts Hohm website which I previously blogged about, encouraging homeowners to do the same sort of energy use tracking. This is a great way to expose owners to their building’s green footprint, and an easy thing to track. Although benchmarking for large buildings is considerably harder, utilities now have automatic applications to upload energy data to the EPA. All commercial buildings 50,000 sf or greater must comply with the program by October 3, 2011 and report annually every April 1st, and commercial buildings and multifamily building of 10,000 sf or greater must comply by April 1st of 2012, and annually report every April 1st. For more information on the Building Energy Benchmarking & Reporting program, please refer to the official website.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Twin Tower Apartments Breaking Ground Soon

According to the Seattle Times, a Seattle developer plans to start construction on a twin tower apartment complex in Denny Triangle. This apartment complex, Sixth & Lenora Apartments, will have 654 units available for rent and will also have approximately 18,000 sqft of ground floor retail available. This article is further truth to our last blog "Seattle Rental Market Is Hot". To get more details on the project, please click the link above.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Seattle Rental Market Is Hot

It's great new if you are landlord and not if you are in the market for a Seattle rental. The article, Hot Apartment Market Settles in For a While, in the Seattle Times gives details about what is going on with the Seattle apartment market. Basically with less people owning their homes, whether they are scared to buy (debate per the article), they lost their home, or if they are just moving here and do not want to commit until they experience Seattle, the demand is going up for Seattle apartments. And that applies to the luxury rental market as well. For example, The Bravern, the Bellevue 440+ unit building that was converted from condos to apartments, is already half full even though not all the units were on the market until past October. In addition, the supply for rentals is increasing slowly since there are not as many apartments being built as there were in the past. According to the graphs on the article vacancy in King county apartments is down to 4.3% from 6.8% two years ago. In the same time period, average rent has gone from $1,015 to $1,045.

To get more details, read the article by clicking the link above. It is an interesting article if you are looking for a Seattle apartment or if you are a landlord.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Seattle Real Estate News- March 18th

Seattle Commercial Real Estate News:

Office space leasing is picking up in Seattle, from the Dendreon deal in the Russell Investment Center to’s transaction of 460,000 sf in the 1918 Eighth office tower. The space leased by big tech companies in downtown Seattle has made for some of the biggest commercial lease transactions of 2011.

Seattle Real Estate News:

The owners of a Leschi home that was injected with tear gas canisters, after police mistakenly thought it to be the location of police-shooter Maurice Clemmons, is getting or over $900,000 in damages from the city of Seattle. About $250,000 of will be attributed to home repairs.

Rent demands are on the rise and the people of Seattle shall be heard. Some, like the Schuster Group hear loud and clear. The Schuster Group recently changed a condo building proposal to an apartment building proposal set for Belltown as a result.

Developer Avalon Bay Communities has proposed a new apartment complex to be in the U District near University Way N.E. The two buildins will have a combined 385 units and 12,000 sf of retail.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mercer Island Home- Available

Our Mercer Island office has a home on Mercer Island's popular First Hill neighborhood for rent. The home features breathe taking views of Lake Washington, Downtown Seattle and the Olympics. This residence was built in 2001 and is 5,200 sqft with 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms. Several perks can be found through out the home, which include a Chef's kitchen with top of the line appliances, formal dining room, a guest suite and an executive office. The multiple decks are great for BBQ's and watching the sunset over the Seattle skyline. To find other Luxury Rentals, pleas click here.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Redmond Apartment Complex Fire

This past weekend, in the early hours of New Year’s Day, a fatal fire in a Redmond Apartment complex killed a father and four children. The fire, at Sammamish Ridge Apartments on Redmond Way, apparently began around 2:30 in the morning after New Year’s celebrations had ended and the children were put to bed. Lily Reasor, the mother of three of the children and step-mother of one, escaped the blaze and was held back by fire fighters from re-entering the building. Although the cause of the fire is under investigation, police are considering the possibility that the fire was accidental caused by smoldering ashes. A witness told police that Reasor had been flicking her ashes into a bathroom garbage can earlier in the night. The building had smoke detectors which were working, according to surrounding residents, yet the complex did not have a sprinkler system installed. Sprinkler systems were not required when the building was built. We offer our condolences to the victims’ families in this tragic accident.