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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

October 28, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Seattle real estate expected to be hot in 2015

Once again, Seattle ranks among the top 10 markets in the influential Emerging Trends in Real Estate by the Urban Land Institute and the consultancy PwC.  For 2015, it ranks No. 8 overall based on the tech industry, highly skilled workforce and attractiveness to millennials. “Seattle is one of the top capital destinations outside the major core markets,” the report said, “and as such is attractive to institutional and local investors alike.”

The showing continues a remarkable, multi-year run. Last year, Seattle ranked No. 6 overall. For 2015, a relative weakness is in the outlook for more single-family housing, where we rank No. 17 among the 75 markets Emerging Trends examines. No. 1 is Houston, followed by Austin, San Francisco, Denver, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles and Charlotte. Boston and Raleigh-Durham round out the top 10.

Portland ranks No. 16. For the first time, the report breaks out Tacoma, which comes in at No. 62. Spokane is No. 67 and Boise No. 58.

Much of the focus is on vibrant downtowns, and here Seattle shines. In general, the report says:

No longer is it accepted that only the great coastal cities can be alive around the clock and on weekends. Downtown transformations have combined the key ingredients of housing, retail, dining, and walk-to-work offices to regenerate urban cores, spurring investment and development and raising the quality of life for a roster of cities. So let’s call these reemergent downtowns “18-hour markets.”

Though they quiet down noticeably in the wee hours, deep into the evening the mix of shops, restaurants, and entertainment truly generates excitement. This is catalyzed by walk-to-work housing that encourages employers in the knowledge and talent industries to keep their offices downtown

Millennials are attracted to cities with vibrant downtowns, but so are many boomers. These changing tastes, if they hold, would be one of the most profound residential trends since the end of World War II.

The industry professionals interviewed were on guard against “black swan” events, especially global unrest. That, however, makes America even more of a safe haven for world investors. Other swans are home-bred. “Upcycles breed optimism, but excessive optimism can promote recklessness,” the report says.

You can download and read the entire report here.


 

Today’s Econ Haiku:

We sailed on QE

The austerity iceberg

Meant many were lost


 

 

Comments | More in Real estate | Topics: Downtown Seattle, Portland, Real estate

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