Downtown Seattle Real Estate Market May Be Heating Up



We see more signs that the Seattle real estate market is heating up. Last week we posted the blog of a homeseeker who reported facing  multiple buyers and tense confrontations. Today, Realogic Sotheby's International Realty reports that it has sold 18 condos at Olive 8 since March 1, representing $15 million in sales. That project was completed soon after the financial crisis and has struggled to sell its condos.

"The rising tides in the market and strong sales at Olive 8 afford us the opportunity to be selective about what and when we sell moving forward," says David Thyer, President of RC Hedreen Company. "We've sold a quarter of our inventory in the last 60 days so in-city market fundamentals have definitely improved."

Realogic says there are now only 191 unsold new construction homes remaining in the downtown market. That positive news seems to fly in the face of broader trends that have shown price declines in the broader Seattle metro region in recent months. But that may because distressed property sales represent about a half of all sales in the broader metro market compared to about 20 percent in downtown Seattle.

Rental Market May Finally Be Cooling Down in Greater Seattle. Still Hot in Tacoma.

Rental Market May Finally Be Cooling Down in Greater Seattle. Still Hot in Tacoma.

With new units on the market and occupancy down, rents are growing more slowly.
Rent growth is accelerating in Tacoma while slowing in Seattle

In a sign of what could be the beginning of the end for the hot rental market, average rents are no longer growing at a torrid pace. While average monthly rents increased by 5.6 percent to $1,777 in the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area in September from the year before, average rents actually declined slightly from the previous month.

“Seattle is still among the top-performing metros in the nation, but deliveries of new units accelerated in the third quarter and the pace is expected to quicken through the second quarter of 2017,” says Jay Denton, senior vice president of analytics for Axiometrics, a market research firm. Denton says the new supply is weakening the ability of landlords to boost rents as much as they have in the past. That's good news for tenants, but landlords may not be as excited.

By contrast, rents in Tacoma continue to soar. Check out the story we published on Tacoma's hot market earlier this year. The average rate of growth for rent in the Tacoma metropolitanTacoma increased for the 11th straight month in September, climbing to $1,266, up 9.6 percent from the year before and far outpacing Seattle. Occupancy is also higher in Tacoma — at 96.7 percent in September compared to 95.4 percent in the Seattle area. 

Rents in both Seattle and Tacoma increased faster than the nation, where they grew by just 2.6 percent to $1,290 in September from the year before.


Seattle-Bellevue-Everett                                     Sept 2016                  Aug 2016                  Sept 2015

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