Seattle once again nation’s fastest growing big city; population exceeds 700,000

For the first time, Seattle is adding more people on average each year than during the post-Gold-Rush boom years. We’ve never grown this fast, and we’ve never been this populous.

by Gene Balk, The Seattle Times, 5/25/17

 

Seattle is back on top.

For the second time this decade, we’re the fastest-growing big city in the country, according to my analysis of population data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

If you’re among the thousands of folks who moved here this past year, give yourself a pat on the back — you’re part of the team effort that got us there.

 From July 1, 2015, to July 1, 2016, Seattle had a net gain of nearly 21,000 people — 57 a day, on average. That pencils out to a 3.1 percent population increase for the one-year period. Among the 50 most populous cities in the nation, that’s easily the fastest rate of growth. Previously, Seattle had ranked fourth among big cities.

Last year is also a personal best.

Back in 2013, when Seattle first topped the ranks of major cities, we added 18,000 people for a growth rate of 2.8 percent. At the time, that seemed mind-boggling. Now, those numbers sound almost quaint in comparison. Seattle is a city on steroids.

Let’s put last year’s growth spurt in context: It marks just the second time since the start of this decade that one of the 50 largest cities exceeded a 3 percent growth rate. Austin, Texas, hit the mark in 2012.

Austin is also the only other city to rank No. 1 for growth twice since 2010. But the Texas capital has slowed in the past couple of years, falling out of the top five. So has the previous No. 1 city, Denver, which fell back to eighth place.

Seattle, on the other hand, seems to be picking up steam. How long we can keep going at this dizzying pace is anybody’s guess.

What you might think would be a logical deterrent to such rapid growth — the high cost of housing — sure isn’t keeping folks away. Not when the city is adding thousands of high-paying jobs.

With the big bump in population, Seattle also hit a milestone this past year, passing the 700,000 mark for the first time. And remarkably, it didn’t even take us 10 years from the previous milestone of 600,000 — that happened in 2009.

Seattle’s population, to be exact, hit 704,352 in 2016, according to the Census Bureau’s estimate. We remain the 18th largest city in the country, and also the 10th most densely populated, now with 8,391 people per square mile.

In terms of raw numbers, Phoenix was the top city for growth in 2016, adding more than 32,000 people. But Seattle’s gain of 21,000 residents still ranks an impressive fifth, just slightly behind New York.

But wait, there’s more.

With last year’s influx, we’ve added on average 15,658 people a year since the start of the decade. That eclipses, for the first time, the annual average growth from the city’s post-Gold-Rush boom years.

Among Washington cities with at least 50,000 people, only one grew faster than Seattle: Redmond, with a 3.2 percent growth rate. Bellevue grew less than half as fast. And only one lost population, though it was just by a 10th of a percent: Shoreline.

Seattle, of course, remains Washington’s largest city, ahead of Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver and Bellevue, in that order.

Its smallest?

Krupp, in Grant County, which has only added one person since 2010.

Total population: 49.


Posted on May 30, 2017 at 10:14 pm
Beth Bylund | Posted in Uncategorized |

Windermere Greenwood Beer Garden for Charity


Posted on May 24, 2017 at 11:41 pm
Beth Bylund | Posted in Uncategorized |

Unique Furniture Stores of Seattle

Buy local and find those one-of-a-kind pieces you’ll never see anywhere else.

Looking to add some pomp and flare to your dwelling? Yearning for a unique piece to tie the room together? Look no further. Each of the stores on this list are small, independently curated boutiques, perfect for finding one-of-a-kind furnishings, vintage pieces, and home goods with a distinctly Seattle flair.

Adorn

This is a store with a super-stylish perspective. Adorn is a great place to find something unique for your home. The staff is well known for its friendly attitude and the always charming Rocco, the shop dog.

Flock_StormGrey_FL086_Enviro_RGB_1024x1024

Unique Find: Temporary wallpaper in uber-stylish prints

Ballard Consignment

This is a store with a super-stylish perspective. You’ll find an impeccably curated inventory of eclectic vintage furnishings and art.

warthog1

Unique Find: Warthog Taxidermy Mounted Head

Camelion Design

In addition to an amazing array of furniture styles and a seemingly endless selection of fabrics, it’s also a boutique housewares store full of goodies. You’ll discover gifts for everyone in their offerings of serving ware, candles, furniture, art, accessories, and gifts for baby.

monroe-006

Unique Find: Modern furniture that doesn’t compromise comfort for style

Capers

Let your Seattle pride shine at this West Seattle home and lifestyle shop. Featuring the work of local, independent, and eco-friendly artists and craftspeople, Capers is a great spot to pick up a beautiful new cookbook that also serves as a coffee table book.

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Unique Find: Coated outdoor linens that are chic and functional with really stylish textile patterns

Digs

This Market Street staple has an exuberant mix of art, furniture, and craft; boosting a healthy mix of mid-century and contemporary pieces with a generous dose of whimsy.

sculpture

Unique Find: Life size cow sculptures

Fremont Vintage Mall

A basement full of furniture, art, and accessories could be considered the mother of all vintage stores. Spending a couple of hours browsing here is like shopping an entire antique district. Each visit will reveal new things. From the roaring ’20s to midcentury, this gallery isn’t stuck in a particular decade.

Fremont Antique Mall

Unique Find: 1950’s metal carnival clown baseball toss game

Phase Two Interiors

Gigi Buchanan opened Phase Two as an art, décor and furniture shop for gently used home furnishings that are worthy of a second life span, in a new home. The showroom has a large and varied selection spanning many different design styles.

Phase 2

Unique Find: Scooter the shop dog apparently has great taste and is happy to help you find the perfect throw pillow

Second Use

The ultimate store for a hardcore scavenger; going to Second Use feels like being at a 100 yard sales under one roof. From old lumber, vintage cabinet pulls, and fun retro lighting options to modern appliances, unused doors and large stock piles of unused wood flooring options; they literally have it all.

2nd use

Unique Find: Antique Pine Winnowing Table used to separate the wheat from the chaff – great for a side table


Posted on May 19, 2017 at 12:12 am
Beth Bylund | Posted in Uncategorized |

2017 Pacific NW Summer Music Festivals & Concerts


Posted on May 10, 2017 at 8:44 pm
Beth Bylund | Posted in Uncategorized |

The Gardner Report | First Quarter 2017

Gardner Report  | WWA Q1 2017

The following analysis of the Western Washington real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

ECONOMIC OVERVIEW


I’m happy to report that Washington State continues to add jobs at a steady rate. While the rate of growth is tapering, this is because many markets are getting close to “full employment”, during which time growth naturally slows. That said, I believe that the state will add around 70,000 jobs in 2017.

Washington State, as well as the markets that make up Western Washington, continues to see unemployment fall and I anticipate that we will see this rate drop further as we move through the year.

In all, the economy continues to perform at or above average levels and 2017 will be another growth year.

HOME SALES


  • There were 15,652 home sales during the first quarter of 2017. This is an increase of 9.5% from the same period in 2016, but 20.7% below the total number of sales in the final quarter of 2016.
  • With an increase of 45.5%, sales in Clallam County grew at the fastest rate over the past 12 months. There were double-digit gains seen in an additional 10 counties, suggesting that demand remains very robust. The only modest decline in sales was seen in Grays Harbor County.
  • The number of homes for sale showed no improvement at all, with an average of just 6,893 homes for sale in the quarter, a decline of 33% from the previous quarter and 25% from the first quarter of 2016. Pending sales rose by 2% relative to the same quarter a year ago.
  • The key takeaway from this data is that 2017 will offer little relief to would-be home buyers as the housing supply remains severely constrained.
Annual Change in Home Sales

HOME PRICES


  • With demand continuing to exceed supply, home prices continued to rise at above-average rates. Year-over-year, average prices rose by 9.5% but were 1.1% lower than in the final quarter of 2016. The region’s average sales price is now $409,351.
  • Price growth in Western Washington is unlikely to taper dramatically in 2017 and many counties will continue to see prices appreciate well above their long-term averages.
  • When compared to the same period a year ago, price growth was most pronounced in Kittitas County, which rose by 19.6%. Double-digit price growth was seen in an additional 10 counties. The only market where the average price fell was in the ever-volatile San Juan County.
  • It is clear that rising interest rates have not taken much of a sheen off the market.
WWA Heat Map
Annual Change in Home Sale Prices

DAYS ON MARKET


  • The average number of days it took to sell a home in the first quarter dropped by 16 days when compared to the first quarter of 2016.
  • King County remained the tightest market, with the average time to sell a home at just 31 days. Island County was the only area where it took longer to sell a home than seen a year ago; however, the increase was just one day.
  • In the first quarter of the year, it took an average of 70 days to sell a home. This is down from the 86 days it took in the first quarter of 2016, but up from the 64 days it took in the final quarter of last year.
  • Given woefully low levels of inventory in all Western Washington markets, I do not expect to see the length of time that it takes to sell a home rising in 2017. In fact, it is likely that it will continue to drop.
Average Days on Market

CONCLUSIONS


This speedometer reflects the state of the region’s housing market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors. For the first quarter of 2017, I moved the needle a little more in favor of sellers. The rapid increase in mortgage rates during the fourth quarter of 2016 has slowed and buyers are clearly out in force.

ABOUT MATTHEW GARDNER


Matthew Gardner is the Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, specializing in residential market analysis, commercial/industrial market analysis, financial analysis, and land use and regional economics. He is the former Principal of Gardner Economics, and has over 25 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.

Posted on May 1, 2017 at 11:50 pm
Beth Bylund | Posted in Uncategorized |

Windermere Foundation Quarterly Report | Q1 2017

Dear Friends of the Windermere Foundation,

Thanks to the generosity of Windermere agents and the community, the Windermere Foundation collected over $325,000 in donations during the first quarter of 2017. This is an increase of 17 percent compared to this time last year! Individual contributions and fundraisers accounted for 55 percent of the donations, while 45 percent came from donations through Windermere agent commissions. So far, we have raised a total of $33,431,017 in donations since 1989.

Each Windermere office has its own Windermere Foundation fund account that they use to make donations to organizations in their communities. Year to date, a total of $545,354 has been disbursed to non-profit organizations dedicated to providing services to low-income and homeless families throughout the Western U.S.

One organization that has been the recipient of Windermere Foundation funds is the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless operates a range of integrated programs to support children and families. These include family support services, pediatric services, eye and dental care, child, adolescent, and family therapy, and child care.

A recent donation from the Windermere Real Estate office in Centennial, Colorado is helping to fund the Coalition’s Family Support Services Program. The program provides services including emergency shelter information and referrals, housing information and referrals, referrals to other agencies, programming designed specifically to meet needs of children ages birth to 6 years, access to medical and mental health services, and diapers and baby supplies.

Generous donations to the Windermere Foundation over the years have enabled Windermere offices to continue to support local non-profits. If you’d like to help support programs in your community, please click on the Donate button.

To learn more about the Windermere Foundation, visit http://www.windermere.com/foundation. To share this information with your clients and/or on social media, please go to the Windermere Blog.

Gratefully,

Christine Wood
Executive Director
Windermere Foundation


Posted on April 28, 2017 at 5:53 pm
Beth Bylund | Posted in Uncategorized |

Windermere Cut Party – Cinco de Mayo!

Windermere Cut Party – Cinco de Mayo!

Cinco de Mayo is nacho average holiday and this year the Windermere Cup has planned the biggest Cinco de Mayo party in Seattle in conjunction with one of the world’s premier rowing regattas. What do they have lined up? Let’s taco bout it!

The party will take place along the north shore of the Montlake Cut, west of the Montlake Bridge. Here you’ll have access to a Beer and Margarita Garden, while enjoying live music and a stunning waterfront view overlooking Portage Bay.

Brian DiJulio and The Lovejacks will kick off the event, playing from 6pm to 8 pm. Following them, the always entertaining Spike & the Impalers will take the stage and play out the evening till 10pm.

Food Trucks will be on hand with three of the most popular and sought after Mexican food vendors in the Seattle area; El CamionTaqueria Tonita, and Tacos La Flaca.

Don’t lay there and siesta – It’s time for a fiesta! Purchase your tickets online at Brown Paper Tickets. And don’t forget, you can come back down to the Montlake Cut on May 6 for Seattle’s biggest free sporting event – The Windermere Cup. More info on WindermereCup.com.

2017_wreCupEmailSignature_RealEstate


Posted on April 20, 2017 at 6:55 pm
Beth Bylund | Posted in Uncategorized |

Seattle Farmers Markets Schedule


Posted on April 12, 2017 at 11:40 pm
Beth Bylund | Posted in Uncategorized |

Affordable Downtown Seattle condos are getting competitive

Affordable Downtown Seattle condos are getting competitive

The units going the most above asking in 2017 were listed at below $400K

Downtown Seattle’s condo market is heating up in a big way. 2017 kicked off with 46 percent higher condo sale prices, and just last week, 75 percent of the Nexus to sell out two years in advance.

As Seattle residents are scrambling for more affordable housing options, more affordable condos could be at the forefront of that demand.

Data compiled by Urban Condo Spaces (UCS) found that in 2017 so far, the five condos in the greater downtown area driven the most above asking were all listed at below $400,000. Most of them were listed at below $300,000.

The condo driven most above asking listed at $299,900, sold for $370,000—a full 23 percent above asking.

 On average, Downtown Seattle condos are going for about 2 percent above asking.

“The story that seems to developing is not just an inventory issue but an affordability issue,” Jeff J. Reynolds of Urban Condo Spaces tells us. “These are all small units with very affordable price points, which has more buyers driving the prices up.”

He notes that there are only two available units downtown under $400,000 right now, plus four in Queen Anne and seven in Capitol Hill.

 The transition from renting to owning can get difficult—in addition to needing money on hand for a down payment, the more affordable units are in shorter and shorter supply.

The inventory problem isn’t isolated to affordable units, though. At the time that the last unit in the Insignia sold earlier this month, Downtown condos were experiencing a 57 percent decline year over year.


Posted on April 6, 2017 at 8:41 pm
Beth Bylund | Posted in Uncategorized |

Windermere Greenwood Shredding Event 2017

Join Us for a FREE Shredding, Electronics Recycling, and Clothing Donation BBQ!

Reduce * Recycle * Re-Use

Saturday, April 15th
from 11 am to 2 pm

Windermere Greenwood will have three trucks on site to shred your paper material, recycle obsolete electronics and donate clothing.

 

Paper Shredding: Shredding sensitive documents is one way to reduce your risk of becoming an identity theft victim. Bring your sensitive papers, bank and credit card statements and personal documents to be destroyed by a professional document destruction service with a mobile shredding unit on-site.

*10 box/bag limit per person

Electronics Recycling:
Items Accepted: DVD players, VCRs, stereo equipment, desktop & laptop computers, monitors, cell phones, iPods, keyboards, mice, cables, scanners, copiers, and TVs under 40″.
Not Accepted: Microwaves, kitchen or other appliances, TVs over 48″, styrofoam or cardboard.

Big Brothers Big Sisters: This year, we will also be accepting used, worn & damaged* clothing donations!  Big Brothers Big Sisters accepts donations for all of your clothes, shoes, and linens. Even items that are ripped, torn, have holes are acceptable! Even single shoes, socks, gloves, and other items that are normally paired-up.
* Please do NOT donate are items that are wet, mildewed, or contaminated with hazardous material.

Have Lunch on Us! We will be serving grilled brats, veggie & hot dogs, soda, chips, coffee, cookies, and a smile to thank you for your support!

 


Posted on March 24, 2017 at 9:05 pm
Beth Bylund | Posted in Uncategorized |

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