Seattle Centric: Historic Jobless Rate, Urban Gen-Y Renters, & Investing in Multifamily

Happy summer! Now that it’s officially apartment-hunting season, how will you celebrate? With a good power-washing, perhaps? Or maybe something more fun–it’s supposed to get into the eighties this weekend…Seattle CentricIt’s the first day of summer–and Seattle’s is the longest in the contiguous US!

Okay, so this story doesn’t have much to do with the rental market–but we’re just plain excited. Say what you will about Seattle weather, but we can pat ourselves on the back when it comes to the Summer Solstice. According to the Seattle PI, on June 21st, Seattle “has more daylight than any other major metro in the contiguous United States.” 15.59 hours of daylight, in fact. Take that, California! So how will you spend the longest day of the year? Is it time to spruce up the outside of a property, or will you take the day off? Rest assured that whatever you’re up to, you’ll have plenty of daylight to do it in. Read more.

Seattle jobless rate hits 4.7%

We know, we started out the last edition of Seattle Centric talking about the state jobless rate; but that was a whole month ago, and now we’ve got great news for Seattle unemployment. That’s right–while a year ago, we were looking at 7.3%, now, for the first time since 2008, the Seattle jobless rate has fallen below 5%. So what (or who) is to credit for this recovery? According to economist Paul Turek, it’s “the Boeing factor.” Also noted is the jump in construction. And the cherry on top? According to Maria Ramirez, an economist with MFR, a jobless rate of 5% or less can be defined as “full employment.” Congratulations, Seattle! Read more.

Seattle apartment market shaped by Gen-Y employees

And speaking of jobs, the Puget Sound Business Journal just featured an article about the current demand for smaller, more urban apartments–and how that demand is shaped by the jobs available in our city. Seattle-based companies like Nordstrom, Starbucks,, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are attracting young professionals who view the city as a land of opportunity; and these Gen-Y employees, who don’t yet have families, prefer smaller, more versatile apartments, located in walkable neighborhoods that are easily accessible from the office. Read more.

In a tough investment market, expert looks to rentals

Yikes: “This year’s stock market surge has stalled and the market is too choppy to provide any sort of reassurance,” journalist Christina Rexrode writes in a new AP article. So what’s a smart investor to do? The article polled five experts in the field to see what their suggestions were, and according to Mickey Segal, a managing partner at an investment firm in LA, the time is ripe for investing in the apartment market. Segal cites conditions which describe the Seattle rental market: the high demand and low supply in the current market, combined with the very tight supply on homes for sale–which, in some areas, is due to investor groups buying houses to turn into rental properties. Finally, development of new apartments in 2013 is scheduled to fall short of 2012 development, meaning multifamily will continue to be strong going into next year. Read more.


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