Seattle: hotbed for real estate investment

Posted: December 5th, 2012 by Brad

In its latest outlook on real estate, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) pegged Seattle as one of the top seven markets in the U.S. for investment, development and homebuilding. Compared to a year ago, the city’s overall ranking dropped a notch, despite improvements in each category.

Now in its 34th year, the Emerging Trends in Real Estate® report is undertaken jointly by ULI and PwC. Findings reflect the views of more than 900 individuals who were surveyed or interviewed.

The authors believe the real estate recovery will continue in 2013, with modest gains in leasing, rents and pricing expected to extend across U.S. markets. In the opening chapter titled “Recovery anchored in uncertainty,” the forecasters noted “real estate continues to meander along a slower-than-normal recovery track behind a recuperating U.S. economy, dogged by ongoing world economic distress.”

On a brighter note, market recoveries are gathering some momentum across most of the country and in all property types. For the third consecutive year, surveys indicate that U.S. property sectors and markets “will register noticeably improved prospects compared with the previous year.”

Seattle, which was listed among “cool places” with 24-hour characteristics for echo boomers and “veritable wealth-island magnets for investors” in last year’s report, was singled out in the latest edition for its walkability and good quality of living. Seattle’s diversified new age corporate base, also drew favorable comments.

The city’s position as the global center for the software industry draws both domestic and global investors, prompting one investor to suggest “Seattle belongs in the primary market category.”
Survey results indicate investor sentiment is focused on job-producing industries and those markets that contain them, notably San Jose and Seattle.

The Trends report projects a 1.2 percent increase in Seattle’s job growth next year, 50 basis points above its ten-year average.

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