Reopening Seattle’s economy is high on our list of concerns at Seattle Commercial Real Estate. Let’s take a look at what’s at play. Regionally, Seattle is still the bellwether name. It is no surprise that “Seattle” is ranked as one of the top 10 economies in the US. The misnomer is technical: “Seattle” is really part of the SMSA (Seattle Metropolitan Statistical Area). That encompasses the geographic area from Everett through Tacoma and incorporates all the cities on the Eastside, like Bellevue, Kirkland, Issaquah, etc. In that context, “Seattle” deserves its accolades. The evidence of this growth is the awakening of Bellevue to the need for “affordable” housing. Tech has been and still is the driver. The statistics show that 33.2% of workers in these areas have only 0-3 years of experience. This is the fertile base for continued growth.
Is The Future Working From Home?
The mitigating factors affecting commercial real estate are increasingly more evident. 35% of these same tech workers say that their productivity increased by working from home. 65% saw a decrease. Vacant commercial real estate and closed restaurants in downtown Seattle are the face of working from home. A barometer of this recovery will be the multi-family sector. Rents are currently down 20% with incentives offered to new tenants. When that dynamic turns around it will indicate the trend towards a more healthy commercial real estate economy.
A huge part of the Seattle economy that might not be able to work from home is the Life Sciences industry. Investment in this area of commercial real estate continues to increase with a banner year projected for 2021. You simply cannot do this work from home. The projections call for investment of some $20 Billion dollars in this sector in 2021 on a national level.
Reopening in Phase 2 is Key
As we enter mid-February in 2021 with our seniors getting shots, phase 2 openings authorized by the wizards in our capital of Olympia, we are hoping and looking for the return to vitality of commercial real estate in the core of Seattle’s downtown. The salutary effects of changing that dynamic will reverberate through our commercial real estate industry and the economy. The professionals at Seattle Commercial Real Estate can hardly wait…