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christmas-ship

For those of you who don’t know about one of the greatest PNW traditions here in Seattle, here’s your key! All month long enjoy The Argosy Christmas Ship Festival at one of their 65 different Puget Sound waterfronts. The Argosy Christmas Ship sails around to different waterfront communities caroling holiday cheer through their state-of-the-art speaker system. Take a look at their December 2016 schedule, and join your community for a bonfire while listening to the Christmas Ship!

The Argosy Cruise donates a portion of all ticket sales to benefit The Seattle Times Fund For The Needy. The Puget Sound charity ensures that local nonprofits will continue to provide programs and services that serve children, seniors, and families

downtown seattleAs some of you may know, real estate in Belltown is booming! But do you know by how much? With all the new buildings going up in the neighborhood one can just assume how many people are attracted to the hip and trendy area. There are currently 93 pending listings, 45 of them being in the Insignia building. According to the NWMLS, last June (2015) there were 35 sold listings. This June there were a total of 164 sold listings, 102 of them being, once again, the Insignia Building. The cumulative days on the market dropped from forty days to fourteen.

Surprisingly, it seems prices aren’t jumping as much as you would think. The highest price for a home has dropped from $1,615,000 to $1,272,000, the lowest going from $219,000 to $210,000. But on the other hand, the median sales price is up from $557,800 to $414,950. According to the Development and Construction Projects on www.downtownseattle.com, there are currently more than 18,00 residential units in pre-development downtown. Looks like there will be a lot of inventory for next June!

Yesterday, the Seattle Times published an article that sheds light on the Belltown and Greater Seattle rental market in the coming months. It suggested that Belltown apartment residents will see a stabilized rental market, with a possibility of lower rental rates.

Over the last several years since the recession, Belltown and Greater Seattle apartments have been steadily increasing in cost. In 2014, real estate and rental agencies expect the Belltown apartment market to stabilize.

This information comes from Apartment Insights Washington, a Seattle-based firm that partnered with RealData in Phoenix last November to survey nearly 1,200 apartment properties for the report. They found that although Bellevue has the most expensive rent for a one-bedroom apartment ($1,434 per month), the Belltown apartment market is within the most expensive sub-market of the Greater Seattle Region.

“Downtown Seattle — including Belltown, Denny Triangle and South Lake Union — is the priciest submarket, at $1,624,” the firm reported.

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Seattle Curbed also got in on the discussion, noting that in 2013, King County renters saw rent rise 6.5%, with the average rent in Seattle at $1,371 per month.

However, while rents rose in the early three quarters of 2013, Apartment Insights Washington found that the average monthly rent in the Seattle apartment market dipped in the fourth quarter. Only by $5 per month, but that is a dip! Vacancy also rose up from 4.4 percent in the third quarter to 4.6 percent in the fourth, meaning properties will offer more concessions to potential renters in order to get their units leased.

“It’s a clear signal of the market softening,” said Tom Cain, who is a principal at Apartment Insights Washington. According to Cain, 2014 will offer more choices and the disappearance of rent hikes seen in 2013.

According to the Seattle Times, “The Seattle metro area is in the middle of the biggest apartment building boom in two decades. Robust job growth has pushed vacancy rates to historic lows, placing Seattle among the worst U.S. cities for recent rent increases.”

Look for a better Belltown apartment market in 2014!

Featured photo from SeattleTimes.com, credit Mark Nowlin. Source: American Insights Washington.

 

gun freeBig Picture Theater in Belltown has become the 100th Seattle business to join in the effort of creating a gun-free zone which is jointly sponsored by the city and Washington CeaseFire. Many privately owned businesses are asking that customers do not bring guns into their shops. At a news conference to announce the 100th milestone, Mayor Mike McGinn pointed out that since the program started in August, there has been almost an average of one business a day signing up.

Supporters of the program realize that a gun-free zone sticker in the window is not going to keep a person who intends to do harm out of the business but will help prevent an argument from turning deadly. Gun-rights advocates are skeptical and do not think it will necessarily help since there is nothing physically stopping someone with a gun from entering the business.

The construction for Seattle’s first modular apartment building is already underway at 3rd Avenue and Bell Street, where workers are building the foundation and street-level space for the residential structure. These new Belltown Seattle apartments will be made individually at a factory in Oregon, to be stacked one by one when they’re finished in a style reminiscent of LEGOs.

‘N’ Habit: Belltown will be located near 3rd Avenue and Bell Street, with 49 rental units. While the base is being erected right now, the units are undergoing construction in a factory in Klamath Falls, Oregon. The factory assembly allows for faster, more efficient construction as well as evading any delays caused by bad weather. With this process, each unit is built in about 10 days, a SeattlePI.com report said.

When the units arrive by truck in the next couple of months, they will be fully complete with all finishing, plumbing, wiring, fixtures, appliances and flooring. “When the units show up, we like to say everything except the shower curtain and the toilet paper’s in place,” said Dale Sperling, the president and CEO of OneBuild, the apartment’s construction company.

“We consider them great, big, large Lego blocks, and they’re going to be attached, they’re going to be stacked, unit-by-unit over two weekends,” Sperling said in a KOMO News report (watch it below).

The current plan is that the units will be trucked to Seattle in September, and then put into place over two weekends. They are expected to require one hour each to stack into place and connect all plumbing and wiring. According to the ‘N’ Habit website, the units will be available for rent in December of this year, with studio apartments, double-lofts, and typical one- and two-bedroom units.

With the speed and quality going into these new modular units, will we see more LEGO buildings in Seattle in the future?

Featured photo from KOMONews.com.