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Wednesday Links: November 1

If you know Seattle, you know it’s a fairly literary city, but now it’s internationally recognized as such.  UNESCO has designated Seattle as a City of Literature, after a years-long campaign by locals for the recognition.  This confirms me in my strategy of establishing knowledge of a neighborhood by knowing where, from any given house, I’d go for grocery shopping, tea drinking, and book buying.

The Case-Shiller numbers for August are out, and price increases are still going strong.  “Strong” in this case means 11.3% compared to August of 2016.  If you’re distressed by that, this article from the Seattle Times might help put things in perspective.  It compares the Seattle market for housing (buying and renting) to San Francisco’s market, and the comparison generally comes off favorably for Seattle.  That said, having perspective doesn’t mean you won’t still be distressed; “San Francisco is worse” doesn’t mean things aren’t rough here.

This one caught me by surprise: Florida is one of the top places people arriving in Seattle hail from.  Our weather is objectively better than theirs, so I can understand the impulse.  Welcome, Floridians!

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Wednesday Links: October 4

Lots of news about the rental market this week, and not terribly consistent news, either.  On the one hand, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal, vacancies are up, though they attribute the increase to new units entering the market.  Meanwhile, median rents are up once again, across all the various places that calculate it.

Everybody who was worried that the news about Amazon’s hunt for a location to set up a second HQ spelled the end of the cushy Amazon-Seattle relationship can comfort themselves with the news that Amazon isn’t finished growing in Seattle.  They already represented a significant portion of the office space tenancy downtown, and now they’ve signed a lease agreement for huge chunk of the Rainier Square project.  I’m skeptical about the wisdom in facing the fragility inherent in being dependent on a single company by throwing in with that single company harder, but it is hard to say no to the opportunities Amazon offers.

At least if somebody other than Amazon wants to move in, they’re likely to have the space to do it.  The Uptown/Lower Queen Anne rezoning passed, so the area will be eligible for taller buildings.  Every neighborhood up for review so far has passed which is a promising trend both for increasing density in Seattle and putting the prospect of affordable housing on the horizon.