In light of the news about increased inventory in June, this article from Redfin about national market trends is interesting. That change wasn’t seen nationally. Given that the rate of growth and inventory depletion we’ve seen has diverged from the national trends (by being faster) that isn’t necessarily surprising. Seattle gets a special call-out for market competitiveness. We’re tied with Denver and Portland for shortest median time on the market at 7 days.
Dovetailing with news about market competitiveness is this report on the growth of poverty in high-density neighborhoods. The article goes into detail about the differences between trends in Seattle as compared to national trends. The insights are likely to be useful to anybody following the upzoning and MHA (Mandatory Housing Affordability) programs in progress across the city.
Mostly unrelated to anything else, there’s a report out tracking how much time people spend in Seattle looking for parking. It’s not pretty. But we already knew that.
I was just singing the Seattle Bubble’s praises, but I’m going to do it again. They’ve put up an analysis of housing affordability in the area, with adjustments for what the index would be with different interest rates. I highly recommend reading the article as a whole, less for its information about affordability rates in the area, and more because it winds up being a very useful discussion of interest rates, where the current rates fall in comparison to historical norms, and the potential affect they can have on the market. With affordability reaching for historical lows and interest rates creeping back toward more normal ranges, the rising interest rates could put some pressure against rising prices in many markets. I don’t foresee it having much of an impact on that front in the Seattle market since we have plenty of cash, and high-cash buyers who can avoid or mitigate those effects, but it could start to affect national trends which will, eventually play into the Seattle market.
If you’ve been paying attention to the upzoning going on around the city as part HALA, then you’ll be wanting to pay attention to the next neighborhood up for review: the International District. And not just because increased density in that neighborhood might increase floorspace for tea shops. (Though, in my opinion, that’s a very good reason to pay attention.) The two neighborhoods that have already been through review had unanimous approval, but they were also, arguably, the least controversial choices. There was small but significant opposition to the downtown plan because many activists wanted an increase in the Mandatory Housing Affordability component of the downtown plan, the opposite of the NIMBY trend expected in most neighborhoods, but overall these were straightforward approvals. The International District is a different creature altogether, and relatively unique in the city, too. Paying attention to the conversations going on during its review could be enlightening about what to expect as HALA approvals move into more controversial parts of the city.
And a final farewell to Bertha. After many years, many breakages, and a lot of disappointment, she’s finished her job and gotten dismantled. SDOT has continued their support for webcam curiosity and has a video up to let you see the giant drill head for her final resting place. (She’s mostly getting recycled.)
This week’s news is dominated by traffic. The number of drivers commuting alone in the area is down, which takes some of the sting out of finding out that our traffic ranks as the 10th worst in the country.
Yesterday brought us Mayor Ed Murray’s state of the city address. Affordable housing and homelessness were two of the six main topics covered.
If you’re looking for weekend plans, there’s a special new bloom on display at the Volunteer Park conservatory. As the article notes, the Asian Art Museum will be closing for renovations soon, so a trip to Volunteer Park in the near future is a good idea anyway.