Bertha is on track to finish tunneling this week. I’m not going to lie, Bertha completing her project is going to feel like the end of an era to me. I might have to do an honorary reading the The Little Engine that Could in her honor when she makes it through.
Everybody knows Seattle is growing. We’ve got a number for how much. Adding around 1000 people per week is a little daunting to think about, especially when I start wondering where to put them. No wonder inventory is so low.
More interesting to me is this analysis of the correlation between an improved transit score and house prices in major metro areas around the country. I definitely see a lot of buyers who are very interested in staying near existing or planned transit development with their purchases, so the hefty uptick in pricing found in Seattle doesn’t surprise me at all.
And last week we noted that the new Seattle Renter’s Commission was poised to pass. It’s official.
Also, the sun has started making afternoon appearances and there are bona fide buds on many of the trees around town. Spring might be here.
The news this week is a little more focused on community than markets. WSDOT released a very neat video of the SR 99 tunnel in progress and Bertha, the ginormous (that’s a technical term) drill digging the tunnel.
Pike/Pine is getting a little bit tastier, but not how you’d expect. A culinary student is setting up a center to bring chefs and gardeners together for everyone’s improved yumminess. There may have been a more serious point about understanding ingredient origins and incubating variety, but I got distracted.
The Seattle Renters Commission made it a step closer to becoming a real thing and is up for final approval on Monday. This is looking like a very good thing to me; a lot of investors want rental properties that will be attractive, and the commission is poised to improve community amenities to increase that attractiveness in a large swath of areas.
As promised, we’ve got stats. For the most part, they just confirm that we’re seeing more of the same. Inventory is down and prices are up. Mix in the first increase in interest rates in a decade that looks like it might be more than an temporary blip, and the situation is getting rough for buyers. My hope is that if interest rates do stay up, it’ll be balanced by a slow down in price increases.
What I’m finding interesting are the details behind the headline on the trends for rent prices. One bedroom rents are up, but studios and two bedrooms are showing signs of softening. Anything that helps buyers save for a down payment or gives them a good alternative in the face of low inventory is good news to me. I’ll be keeping an eye on it that.
If you’re looking for a breakthrough, you could hang out with Bertha. After a break for a quick course correction the drilling is moving into its final stretch. The tunnel is starting to look like it might actually be finished some day.
It’s going to be hard to top Thunder snow for big stories in the last week. I have to take personal responsibility for that one – I’d just finished mentioning to a client how I’d gotten lucky and only been out during dry weather when the sky opened up to start dropping ice. I’ve learned my lesson. I highly recommend checking out the video footage of lightning hitting the Space Needle, though.
With today kicking off a new month, next week will probably be chock full of market data. Come back for that!