New Market Research Sheds Light on Puget Sound Apartment Sales
SEATTLE – Colliers’ Seattle Multifamily Team, led by Dylan Simon and Jerrid Anderson, released the first issue of its 2019 Apartment Market Study. This report offers data and insights for Puget Sound apartment sales in 2018, including King County (5+ units), Snohomish County (20+ units), Pierce County (50+ units), and Kitsap County (50+ units).
“After a long run of consistent growth and good news in Seattle’s apartment market, 2018 marked a year of uncertainty for investors,” notes Simon. “To match the dynamism of the market, we are releasing multiple market studies this year, beginning with an analysis of nearly every 2018 apartment sale in Puget Sound — as well as trends for the last 15 years.”
Across the region in 2018, the market experienced a decline of more than 20% in transaction volume from the peak sales year of 2016; however, overall pricing was up — measured both by price per unit and price per square foot. In each county, submarket, and neighborhood, unique dynamics emerged that will impact operating and investing decisions. Key takeaways include:
- Urban King County: Urban King set a record for price per square foot, but transaction volume remained below the peak of the market cycle — not just due to fewer listings, but also fewer closings as buyers and sellers grappled for the upper hand.
- Suburban King County: North King proved a stable market, but a lack of outsized demand did not push rental rates or apartment values. Yet, East and South King maintained their long-term desirability for investors due to employment centers, transit expansions, and rental-rate growth.
- Snohomish County: While North Snohomish saw banner growth begin to taper, affluent cities in South Snohomish have become an attractive alternative to Bellevue, pushing rental rates and higher pricing for new buildings.
- Pierce County: Apartment pricing surged this market cycle with average price per square foot growing 270%. Job and income growth make rental-rate increases viable, yet a slowdown could quickly impact renters’ ability to pay ever-increasing rental rates.
- Kitsap County: Averaging fewer than three 50+ unit sales per year over the last 15 years, Kitsap does not offer many data points, but the data we do have shows Kitsap offers risk-adjusted returns beyond sexier markets, with long-term fundamentals comparable to the overall region.
“This is the time to really focus on what the data is telling us. While the region may be slowing down from the peak of sales activity in 2016, not all locations and building classifications should be treated equally as owners and investors plan for 2019 and beyond.”
The Seattle Multifamily Team releases market research to provide clients with profitable insights validated by granular data. The team of leading apartment sales brokers represents apartment investors and developers in the purchase and sale of apartment buildings and development land ranging from $1 million to more than $100 million.
A digital copy of the full study is available for download at SeattleMarketStudy.com.
About Colliers International Group
Colliers International (NASDAQ, TSX: CIGI) is a leading global real estate services and investment management company. With operations in 68 countries, our 14,000 enterprising people work collaboratively to provide expert advice and services to maximize the value of property for real estate occupiers, owners and investors. For more than 20 years, our experienced leadership team, owning more than 40% of our equity, have delivered industry-leading investment returns for shareholders. In 2018, corporate revenues were $2.8 billion ($3.3 billion including affiliates), with more than $26 billion of assets under management.
Colliers’ Seattle Multifamily Team is based in downtown Seattle and comprises seven highly-qualified real
estate professionals specializing in brokerage of apartment investments and developments in Seattle and
the Puget Sound region. The team focuses on representing buyers and sellers of apartment buildings and
development sites from 5 units to 500 units.