Seattle Property Market and Real Estate Guide

(Seattle, Washington - WA, USA)

Photo of Seattle viewSeattle is the northernmost major city on the west coast of the US and has long been popular as both a residential area and tourist destination. It is an important seaport, especially for trade with Asia, and is surrounded by water and magnificent mountain scenery.

With major employers such as Microsoft and Boeing, as well as a temperate climate, property prices here are higher than the US average, especially for lakeside or seafront locations like Alki Point.

In response to high demand for housing and geographically limited space, satellites such as Bellevue have sprung up and can offer better value for both renters and buyers. However, this is rapidly changing, with Bellevue recently voted the best place to live and do business in the US.

Renting Serviced Apartments

Seattle has a good mix of rental accommodation, including short-term serviced apartments, many of which are of a luxury standard. Downtown prices typically range from mid-range prices per month for a single-bed simple property to around triple the price for a studio with two beds. This does, however, vary greatly depending on standard and location.

Many Seattle serviced apartments offer services such as laundry and are flexible with regard to letting periods and deposits. A good proportion of apartments are unfurnished and located away from downtown. Utility bills are often included and parking may also be on offer.

Buying Apartments and Houses

Unlike much of the US, the 18 percent fall in Seattle's property prices since 2007 has slowed down. US interest rates remain low at around 4.5 percent for a 15-year fixed mortgage and realtors currently describe the situation as a buyer's market. Prices may continue to fall, but are likely to recover quickly in the Seattle area when the US recuperates from the economic downturn.

First-time home buyers paying US taxes can claim tax credit, while existing homeowners can also claim credit under limited conditions. There are no restrictions, such as a green card, for non-US citizens to buy property in the US; however, obtaining finance may prove difficult and expensive. Realtors are obliged to reveal known material defects in a building, but it is still incumbent on buyers to exercise due diligence.

Although it is normally sellers who pay their realtors around three to six percent of the sale price, in practice it is arguable that buyers end up with all or part of this cost in the price they pay for the property.

Real Estate Agents

As with many major cities, Seattle has numerous realtors offering properties in the area. As the catchment spreads inland, many focus on local areas rather than work far and wide. The Internet contains a large number of listings which reflect this local nature of Seattle realty.

Check out the following Seattle realtors and real estate agents:

Coldwell Banker Bain
Address: 1200 Westlake Avenue North, Suite 406, Seattle, Washington WA, 98109, USA
Tel: +1 425 454 0470
Coldwell Banker Bain handles a range of properties for sale in the Seattle area, from luxury through to small apartments.

Windermere Real Estate / East, Inc.
Address: 1200 112th Avenue Northeast, Suite B100, Bellevue, Washington WA, 98004, USA
Tel: +1 425 462 8000
Windermere Real Estate deals with houses for rent and sale in the Bellevue area.

First Exclusive Inc.
Address: Two Union Square, 601 Union Street, Suite 4200, Seattle, Washington WA, 98101, USA
Tel: +1 206 579 9884
First Exclusive offers a wide range of properties in the Puget Sound region of Seattle, in the northwest of the city.