How Does Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant Plan to “Make Seattle Affordable for All”?

I drove down to Leschi last weekend, and I saw a surprising number of yard signs promoting the re-election of Kshama Sawant to the Seattle City Council. As you can see in the photo at right (taken from her campaign’s Twitter feed), the slogan on these signs implies that Sawant’s main goal is to “Make […]

KUOW Nails the Problem of Placing Blame for Rising Rents

In March I wrote a post calling out people who blame investors for rising rents and unaffordable housing. Today I’d like to highlight some reporting that gets it right. This story by KUOW’s Joshua McNichols is a couple weeks old, but he hits the nail on the head, and I wanted to make sure it […]

Don’t Blame Investors For Unaffordable Housing

An article published this week in Seattle Weekly titled A Letter to the Investor Buying Our Apartment Building pinned the blame for the lack of affordable housing in the Seattle area on investors and their dirty obsession with profits.

…Eve and Charles told us they were putting the property up for sale. Who could blame them? The building is a century old and so much work went into maintaining it, especially for a couple of people who, also, are aging. But it’s prime real estate, right on the water with a view that would make even Donald Trump drool. So we had a good idea of what would happen after the sale went through. Skyrocketing rents and a landlord we’d never see, much less ever know…

Another Real Estate Bubble? Price to Rent Ratio Shoots Up

Another Real Estate Bubble? Price to Rent Ratio Shoots Up

With home prices approaching or even exceeding their 2007 peak levels in parts of the Seattle area, there has been renewed talk about whether we’re in another housing bubble or not. This week I’d like to go back to the same data I used in 2005 and 2006 to definitively recognize the bubble at a […]

Undervalued to Overvalued in Less Than a Year

Undervalued to Overvalued in Less Than a Year

Local home prices gone from undervalued to overvalued in just a year. In January 2013, Seattle-area home prices as measured by the Case-Shiller Home Price Index were four or five percent below where local per capita incomes would suggest they should have been and one percent below where rents suggested. By December 2013, massive gains […]

Rapid Rent Increases Not Keeping Pace with Home Prices

Rapid Rent Increases Not Keeping Pace with Home Prices

There have been a few stories in the Seattle Times recently about the rapid rise of local rents: August 24: Soaring rents force lifestyle changes September 23: Local apartment rents continue climbing So I thought it would be a good time to take a look at how rents are comparing to home prices, since they […]

Demand for Seattle Rentals Still Outstripping Supply

There’s a great in-depth article on local rent increases in today’s Seattle Times: Soaring rents force lifestyle changes For renters and homeowners, market forces are permanently altering the familiar face of many neighborhoods. While wealthy newcomers are helping to revitalize neighborhood business districts, the reality is that many renters, saddled by stagnant wages, are being […]