A teardown a day: Bulldozing the way for bigger homes in Seattle, suburbs
Mike Rosenberg, The Seattle Times, August 26, 2106
Home demolitions have altered residential neighborhoods across King County, as small bungalows are replaced by large, boxlike houses that on average cost about three times as much.
As the Seattle area zips through a historic building boom, one of the most visible changes is a surge in bulldozing old, small houses to make way for big, new homes that typically carry much higher price tags.
Seattle on average now sees one home teardown every day. More houses have been demolished and replaced in the past 18 months than in the four previous years combined, a review of property data shows.
And a few suburbs are seeing local streets transformed by teardowns at an even higher rate.
The new three-story box homes going up where modest bungalows once stood have become a symbol of a hot real-estate market that has set record prices this summer.
The new homes usually sell for more than $1 million, about three times as much as the old one was worth, a review of sales figures shows. Even some companies profiting off the construction acknowledge the trend’s impact.
“It has a huge effect on the market,” said Anthony Maschmedt, whose Dwell Development does teardown jobs. “It’s pulling out inventory people can afford and replacing it with bigger product fewer people can afford.”