A recent study published by the Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers, reported here on the Seattle P-I, put Seattle as the #7 real estate market in the country. While the definition of "real estate market" in this case applies to retail, industrial, commercial, and residential real estate, there are significant factors pointing to the local residential market picking up more steam through 2013.
The study pointed to smaller and mid-sized cities, like Seattle, that aren't traditionally on the top of developers' lists. These cities are seeing large increases of young technology workers, with relocation for employment opportunities fueling the need for more housing near the employment centers.
While we're already seeing some appreciation in the Seattle residential real estate market, the forecasts point to larger gains in the coming years as investors see real estate appreciation as a safe haven for the short term future.
From the article:
"Many of the top markets have gotten crowded, leading investors to look at smaller cities, Roschelle said. "One of the darlings of that field is Seattle (which is seventh on the list). ... If I were to pick a place where I'd see cranes in the skyline in the next 24 months, Seattle's one of those places."
Seattle and Houston are among a handful of cities with big growth in "Echo Boomers," people who are now 25 to 34 years old.
"They're really the ones that are going to be the homeowners in the future, the people working in the future," Roschelle said.
Developers are looking to build in markets where these young people are, he said. "It's sort of reverse 'Field of Dreams.'"
Echo Boomer growth has topped 20 percent over the past decade in Seattle, Houston, San Antonio and Austin, Texas, Raleigh/Durham, N.C., Albuquerque, N.M., Orange County, Calif., and Oklahoma City, Okla.
Data Source: NWMLS - The Northwest Multiple Listing Service did not compile or publish this information.