Monday, October 3, 2011

Seattle Housing Recovery?

Dave Lindahl, the commercial apartment guru, came to Seattle this past weekend to present a seminar for the Real Estate Association of Puget Sound. Lindahl is known for his research on housing market cycles and his work on emerging markets. As one of the benefits of attending this workshop, he promised to share his market research on the Seattle housing market.

According to Lindahl,there are four market cycles for housing: Buyers Market I, Buyers Market II, Seller Market I, and Seller Market II. Most areas of the country have been in a Buyers Market II cycle. Characteristics of a Buyer Market II cycle are: increased demand as more buyers are qualified to buy at low prices; market slowly absorbing oversupply of houses; virtually no new construction, and very few properties coming on the market; rents at their lowest level, but slowly increasing; and unemployment drops.

When the market turns into a Seller Market I, construction will be in full swing, with a 1-3 year spike in building permits, rents begin rising, as do demand and property values. The housing inventory begins to dwindle, and properties sit on the market for shorter periods of time.

According to Lindahl, the apartment sector leads the way in a market turnaround, with single family home prices lagging the furthest behind.

Seattle has a tightening vacancy rate of 5-7% in apartment rentals; rents are projected to rise by more than 4% this year. Job growth has been steadily increasing since 2008; and supply is becoming more limited. Hence, Dave Lindahl believes that Seattle has rounded the corner, and is about 1 1/2years into a market recovery.

Best markets in Seattle are in the high-demand areas of Capitol Hill, Queen Anne, Ballard, and other areas close to the center of jobs and employment.

In this type of market, it is time to buy everything that one can afford to buy, while prices are still on sale!

For a peek at multifamily properties in Seattle that are on the market now, go to or call 888-621-4999 x4.

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