Observations

What’s brewing in Seattle?

Posted 12.30.16
By Paul Zeger
Paul Zeger
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State of San Diego’s Multifamily Market Event Recap
December 14th, 2016 / Seattle

The Bisnow Seattle Multifamily forum is where industry leaders meet to discuss what is going on in the dynamic Seattle market. Polaris Pacific’s Paul Zeger recently participated in a panel discussion up there and here are some of the takeaways.

There are actually two Seattle Multifamily rental markets. One is the upper end, which comes with a risk of too much product and seems to be causing an amenities arms race. Developers and owners have the difficult task of figuring out the next big thing or watching the tenants move on. The good news is the Seattle market is supporting high-end job growth. The other rental market is everything else. The big challenge there is producing enough product in the expensive and very regulated Seattle market to meet demand.|

The panel also noted that Seattle is slowly becoming a high-rise town. There is some resistance, but due to an influx of residents from other parts of the country where high rises are the norm, acceptance is growing.

The condo market has been sluggish with a few factors being cited. The looming threat of litigation has increased risk and slowed development. Another factor is risk. Debt and equity investors favor rental apartment development. A downturn could make it hard to sell a condo, whereas an apartment provides some cash flow in tougher times. Amenities play as big a role in condo sales as in rental properties. Untraditional amenities like neighborhoods are being included in the success of multifamily properties and Seattle has a multitude of dynamic neighborhoods to entice both renters and condo owners.

 

Additional Reading
Seattle Multifamily
Untraditional amenities like neighborhoods are being included in the success of multifamily properties.

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