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What Do Local Experts Predict For Seattle Real Estate in 2016?

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As 2015 comes to an end, we wanted to close out the year by surveying local real estate & architecture luminaries as well as trendsetters & tastemakers to get a read on the highlights and lowlights of the past year of real estate and development in Seattle. Today in Part Three, we'll look ahead to 2016 and what we can expect. Part One took a look at Seattle neighborhoods and Part Two looked at building trends in 2015.


Image: Via

What Seattle-area trend would you like to see go away in 2016?

Brad Hinthorne, Perkins+Will

Multi-colored glass.

Jeff J Reynolds, Urban Condo Spaces

There are too many developers in the townhouse world that our building safe, replicable townhouse designs. I would like to see more steel, glass and concrete. Those products are expensive, but the consumer is willing to spend the money for it. We don't want to do the 10,000 craftsman Townhome look-a-like again decade again. Lets be creative. The Seattle market is ready for it.

Anthony Maschmedt, Dwell Development

That every single new single family home or town home being built is NOT a modern Hardie panel box.

Kate Knight, Redfin Builder Services

TRAFFIC!

Peter Orser , UW's Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies

Tent Cities. It absolutely amazes me that we're are talking about designating sites for tent cities instead of enabling structures with services to support the issues that come with homelessness. We could produce temporary housing on church parking lots or city-surplused land for $50,000 a door – 1,000 units would cost $50 million or 10% of a new stadium or tunnel or floating bridge.

Matt Goyer, Urbnlivn

Apartments.

Christian Nossum, broker and co-host of Seattle Real Estate Radio

Less competition for homes. Although I have created a great system that get's my buyers offers accepted after either their 1st or 2nd offer, I'd still like to see it cool off a little bit. The market is so hot that it's turned away a lot of people that would love to buy a home, and that's disappointing to see.

Matthew Gardner, Windermere Real Estate

Uninspired architecture. We are starting to see some very generic design, especially in the more urban markets where mid-rise buildings are replacing older, traditional low-rise buildings.

Charles Strazzara, president of Studio Meng Strazzara

Traffic.

Seattlish's Hanna Brook Olsen

"Luxury" apartment buildings that are super-expensive but named after historic figures, like the Angeline building in Columbia City. Princess Angeline was an important figure in Seattle's history and, specifically, the settlers' shameful treatment of the native populations, and naming a building full of $2,000/month studios after her seems...uncool.

Seattlish's Sarah Anne Lloyd

I'd like to see less luxury units being built in general, in favor of more basic, functional housing—and the ~*~market~*~ might actually call for this soon, although probably not fast enough. Less yoga decks and marble countertops, please.

Seattlish's Alex Hudson

Price-gouging people out of their homes seems like a great trend to turn the tides on.


Image: Brian Glanz

What is your real estate/development prediction for Seattle in 2016?

Brad Hinthorne, Perkins+Will

Continued "High" performance/design/density.

Jeff J Reynolds, Urban Condo Spaces

Given the massive inventory issues, we will likely see transactions go down. Prices should remain steady and hopefully the election propels us into continued growth. I think the Seattle market remains very strong through the 2016. I also think we will see another 2 condo projects announced downtown. The most problematic real estate trend will be an over supply of apartment product downtown. This should stabilize rents in 2016.

Anthony Maschmedt, Dwell Development

That Seattle will continue to see consistent growth in all walkable neighborhoods. That housing inventory levels will remain at record lows. That our local economy will continue to explode with growth from: Amazon, Boeing, Microsoft, Starbucks, with Google/Facebook and SpaceX joining the group. That residential home sales and prices will grow, but at more moderate levels, and that Seattle will find a way to resolve the "affordability" issue that is dividing our city.

Kate Knight, Redfin Builder Services

Buyers will continue to search for the perfect balance of convenience and affordability. New micro-neighborhoods will emerge, and we think we'll see vibrant new retail in close-in or transit oriented neighborhoods.

Peter Orser , UW's Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies

The proposal to build more density in the neighborhoods was misunderstood when first proposed by HALA. And yet it is the one initiative of substance where we could make some real progress on affordable housing. There are 10,000 city blocks in Seattle. One new triplex per block that looks and feels like a single-family home would add 30,000 units. This is actually a low-impact solution the market is ready to accept, in a big way. I predict we will circle back around on this proposal and find the right regulatory framework to enable this solution.

Matt Goyer, Urbnlivn

2016 will return us to a more balanced real estate market. More homeowners will realize they're no longer underwater and will sell. More homes for sale will mean fewer bidding wars making it easier for buyers.

Christian Nossum, broker and co-host of Seattle Real Estate Radio

In a nutshell, what I predict will happen is that interest rates will eventually rise, and this will eventually slow down the market so that the supply and demand will even out a little more. It's currently so out of whack that it can't go too much more the sellers way, so it's got to come back toward the buyers a little. That said, I still think prices in Seattle will increase 7-9% in 2016, and it will still be competitive (not as competitive as this year, but still a sellers market).

Matthew Gardner, Windermere Real Estate

I expect that housing in Seattle will continue to appreciate in value, but at a slightly lower rate than this year. Interest rates will continue to rise modestly, getting close to 5% by the end of 2016. Inventory levels should rise to some degree but will not meet demand. Although we will see one or two condominium projects break ground, this market will remain very underserved. Finally, the urban apartment market will continue to soften as supply starts to exceed demand.

Charles Strazzara, president of Studio Meng Strazzara

More of the same. Everyone, "keep calm and carry on."

Seattlish's Hanna Brook Olsen

More of a hope than a prediction, but I'm very much looking forward to/pulling for the construction of more dense, family-sized housing, especially now that MFTE has been expanded. We have enough housing for people living alone. Time to build apartments with more than one room. I would also hope that those units would be priced for families, too, instead of two-bedrooms priced at just slightly less than two studios.

Seattlish's Sarah Anne Lloyd

Can we just do hopes instead of predictions? Because I hope that we see some more residential development in central, but very low, neighborhoods like Interbay (or, as it's known in its few residential listings, "West Queen Anne") and SODO—which may require some zoning changes, but could temporarily take some development pressure off neighborhoods that are already pretty dense. Not saying that growth is bad or should stop, but I think we can create some new, mixed-use spaces in areas that aren't getting a lot of utility right now.

Seattlish's Alex Hudson

I think we're peaking pretty hard on high-rise and luxury development in Seattle, especially in the apartment market, and anticipate seeing a serious cool down in the pipeline. I also predict seeing more multi-family out in the burbs, as long we continue to invest in our long-term interests in transit. ST3!!!!