There’s a statewide report about the market for the second quarter out from the UW center for real estate research. Most of it is what you’d expect; low inventory, rising prices, and King County standing out for both. I’m paying particular attention to the details at the end about building permits. In a market so desperate for an increase in inventory, seeing new permits down 8% is a bummer.
The Case-Shiller numbers for May-June are out, and there aren’t any huge surprises there, either. We’re still in the fuzzy are-we-aren’t-we territory around whether the market is starting to bubble, but it’s looking more and more like we did embark into bubble lands in the spring.
It might be interesting to take a look at the effects of flood insurance programs on housing. We’re not seeing much flooding in Seattle, despite setting records both for rainfall, and stretches of time without rainfall, this year. Still, good food for thought.
Zillow released a report on the number of million dollar zip codes across the country and Seattle gets some attention. While the Bay area dominates the million dollar zip code range, Seattle gets special attention for doubling its number since the housing peak in 2007. Keep in mind that these numbers are being judged based on the Zestimate, which is a fraught metric.
Continuing with the spate of stories about the state of the local renter market, a new study using census data indicates that every generational group in Seattle has a significant portion of people who are overburdened by the rent. The report looked at the proportion of income spent in rent for three different age groups by people who rent instead of owning. While the different groups had very different rates of homeownership, they were all fairly similarly burdened by their rent.
Related to the theme of Seattle’s growth from the last several weeks, Seatac is growing, too. The south terminal has been undersized for quite some time, and the new terminal is expected to double its capacity. The hope is that this will reduce delays and crowding in a way that significantly improves the Seatac experience. Hurray!
Today’s news is all about rents. Curbed Seattle has done their monthly aggregation of the various sites comparing current rents to this time last year. Depending on which site you use (they all have different data sets and methodologies) rents are up anywhere from 5.6%-8.4%. The article also notes that according to Adobo, we’ve fallen out of the top 10 for most expensive cities in the country to rent. Frankly, that’s a ranking chart I’m happy to fall off of. Despite those increases in rent, the highest and fastest growing rents in the area aren’t in Seattle. Bellevue has higher rent, while Tacoma and Kent both have higher increases in rent. The latter are likely an effect of people being priced out of Seattle. The former is just another reminder that Bellevue is the region’s sleeping giant for real estate prices.
In legislative news related to renting, the “Fair Chance Housing Ordinance,” unanimously passed the city council. Designed to help address the city’s homelessness problem by reducing barriers to renting, the ordinance limits how prior convictions and arrests can be used as part of a rental application. The ordinance has many exceptions for small landlords, and focuses primarily on crimes with low recidivism rates.
We have numbers for July. Inventory is up compared to June, down compared to July of last year. Not the good news I was hoping for, but better than it could be.
It’s trendy to complain about the traffic in Seattle, but I-5 had a particularly spectacular traffic event: an escaped pig went wandering up the highway. The big was rescued! And sent back to auction.
Everybody loves talking about millennials and the market. It looks like they’re putting down their avocado toast, skipping marriage, and buying homes to give their dogs more space. This actually seems practical to me. (Not the toast part. I’m not putting that down.) Then again, I’m a millennial.
Inventory went up again in July! Two months in a row! Let’s make it it an ongoing trend!! Dancing for everybody!
If you want a peek into one of the factors contributing to the general lack of inventory, here’s one; we’re adding jobs faster than we’re adding housing. The bright side of the article, I suppose, is that we’re the tenth city on the top ten list, so there are nine places who have it worse. You’ll note that San Jose was in the news recently as the place taking the top spot for fastest growing market. These things travel together.
Anybody following the upzoing around the city will be interested in the latest – after a bit of a delay, the upzones for the International District have passed, along with some companion legislation meant to curtail and mitigate the potential displacement caused by the upzoning.
The market is the only thing hot this week; we’re under an excessive heat advisory and it is quite warm by local standards. The city has a list of places you can go to stay cool and protect yourself from the heat. Many of them are places you might be inclined to hang out anyway, which is handy. Stay safe!