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Seattle area real estate market expected to remain HOT in 2018

Seattle ranked as 2018’s top real estate market by ULI’s Emerging Trends report

By Marc Stiles
– Staff Writer, Puget Sound Business Journal
Oct 25, 2017, 9:01pm PDT

As if real estate professionals in Puget Sound region need something more to crow about.
The Seattle-Bellevue market is expected to be the nation’s top performer in 2018, according to the Emerging Trends in Real Estate report that the Urban Land Institute and PwC issued this week.

It’s the first time since 2009 Seattle has ranked No. 1 on the annual report, which is one of the industry’s premier bellwethers.

Seattle landed on the top spot due to its job opportunities, diverse economy and young, educated workforce, according to ULI, a nonprofit education and research institute. The rankings are based on interviews and surveys with more than 1,600 investors, developers and other real estate professionals. The surveys and interviews were conducted before Amazon.com announced its search for a second North American headquarters.

ULI Center for Capital Markets and Real Estate Senior Vice President Anita Kramer said Amazon’s plan shouldn’t be a factor given the Seattle-area’s diverse mix of industries, including growing tech, life science and gaming companies. Boeing and the expansion of international trade also are fueling the economy.

Rounding out the top 10 on the Emerging Trends list are Austin, Texas; Salt Lake City; Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina; Dallas/Fort Worth; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Los Angeles; San Jose, California; Nashville, Tennessee; and Boston. Of those, ULI considers only Boston and Los Angeles major markets. The growing interest in smaller cities by real estate investors is influenced by their relative affordability, PwC Partner Mitch Roschelle said in a news release.

One interesting note in the new report is that Tacoma is ranked higher (No. 9) than Seattle (No. 14) for multifamily investment. Tacoma is seeing significant apartment development.
Among the new trends are:
• The Gen Z Effect: Brick-and-mortar stores must meet the needs of the “gadgeteria” ethos of the post-millennial generation, which craves “omni-channel, social media worthy shopping experiences,” the report said. Workplace design also will be affected with Gen Z wanting more structure, suggesting a return to personal offices.
• Housing shortage: Millennials and Generation Z number more than 150 million, and baby boomers are remaining in their homes longer. This is an opportunity for homebuilders willing to build smaller houses, townhouses and condos.
• Senior housing: A demand for more senior housing tops the list of all residential segments as present inventory does not meet the needs of this group, which is projected to grow by 25 million in the next 15 years.

The Emerging Trends report will be presented in Seattle on Nov. 15 at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel.

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