THE CONDO COMEBACK: NEXUS WILL BE “FIRST AND FOREMOST” AMONG THE “FEW” HIGH-RISES FOR SALE IN DOWNTOWN SEATTLE

Following a record apartment construction surge that delivered more than 12,000 new rental housing units in downtown Seattle, it’s curious that, since 2011, only 866 condominiums were added. What’s more extraordinary is that so few of those new condominiums remain available to purchase today.  Simply put, 99-percent of what was built for sale in the last five years has been sold and more than two-thirds of what’s planned for delivery by 2019 is already reserved through priority pre-sale.

Among the few planned condominium buildings in the downtown area is NEXUS – a 41-story, 382-unit high-rise, located at 1200 Howell Street, is slated to break ground in January 2017 with occupancy by mid-2019. Its developer, Vancouver-based Burrard Group, took a unique stance on the market by choosing to build for sale, while 94-percent of the historic supply was built for rent. A demand to own was clearly underscored by hundreds of pre-sale buyers lining up on June 4th, some of which slept overnight, in order to secure a reservation for priority pre-sales. Reservations are offered for a $5,000 refundable deposit and provide prospective home buyers with a unit specific and first right of opportunity to purchase when the homes are officially released for sale in the New Year.

NEXUS reservation holders are savvy and now enjoy a preferred position in the next development cycle, according to Michael Cannon, Sales Director for the development.

“Our buyers realize the market is rising and see the value of securing an option to purchase without fear of multiple offers, price escalation or worse – missing out on the opportunity to purchase a home in one of the few developments likely to deliver before 2020,” said Cannon. “NEXUS isn’t quite like anything that has been offered before in downtown Seattle – progressive architecture, flexible floor plans, robust amenities, and high-tech features – NEXUS has become an exclamation point on the buy vs. rent debate.”

Cannon believes an unprecedented number of apartment dwellers are considering their options with ownership, especially at more attainable price points below $600,000, as down payments require are set at 5-percent of the purchase price and mortgage payments are typically the same as prevailing rents in comparable apartments. 

More than 80-percent of the homes at NEXUS are currently reserved.

“It’s a stark reminder that when it comes to new construction high-rises, demand can rise much quicker than supply,” says Dean Jones, President and CEO of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR).  “It can take three to four years to design, entitle and build a new condominium tower. Median home prices are rising by double-digits year-over-year, which is only driving more demand for pre-sales in today’s escalating housing market.”

The Seattle metro area has become the second fastest-growing home market in the US according to S&P/Case-Shiller, rising 11.4-percent year-over-year in September 2016. Nowhere is that demand more evident than in the center city markets. Year-to-date, as of October 2016, the median home price of a downtown Seattle condominium has increased by 16-percent to $650,000 while total absorption increased by 17-percent year-over-year, per NWMLS analysis by RSIR.

Currently, there are only 7 new construction units available in recently developed towers and fewer than 60 resale homes available on the market, according to NWMLS records. It’s not just the lower priced units in demand either. On November 11th, RSIR broker Scott Wasner closed a sub-penthouse unit at Escala, eclipsing his prior record set in 2010 at The Four Seasons Private Residences.  The 5,170-sq. ft. listing was the inspiration for the 50 Shades of Grey book and fetched fifty shades of green at $8 million with one day on the market – that’s $1,547 per sq. ft.

Jones suggests the shortage of new condominiums has less to do with consumer demand and more to do with developer preferences.  Rents have risen by more than 40-percent over the last five years, buoyed by a boundless number of new residents chasing thousands of high-paying tech jobs within the expanding urban campuses at Amazon and Facebook, not to mention new facilities planned by Google and Expedia in downtown Seattle. Apple is also rumored to be expanding their offices in the region.

“Seattle has become a preferred job fulfillment center for large tech firms based here and for those headquartered in the Bay Area as well,” said David Speers, Sr. Vice President and Partner of Kidder Mathews, a leading commercial real estate brokerage with offices throughout the West Coast. “It’s far easier to recruit to an urban campus in downtown Seattle because the cost of living is considerably lower than California but the salaries are similar and we don’t have a state income tax in Washington.”

According to the Washington State Department of Licensing, 201,181 out-of-state drivers obtained a Washington driver license in a 12 month period since October 2015, an increase of 4.8% over the same period a year earlier. The top three states which people moved to Washington from include California with 40,923, Oregon with 22,172 and Texas with 11,456. Approximately 40-percent of those new residents established residence in King County and most prefer the urban centers of Seattle and Bellevue.

Despite the boom of development, Speers notes that Millennial tech workers have been filling up office towers and nearby apartment towers as fast as they can be built. As long as the jobs are present, he says that demand to rent and to own will follow suit. But why so few condominiums?

“Sky high rents and low capitalization rates means that apartment builders can sell a rental tower to a single institutional investor at a value similar to selling condos to hundreds of individuals,” explains Jones. “Developers are not in public service – they seek the strongest returns with the lowest risk.”

It makes sense most new residents will initially seek to rent as they settle into their new job but Jones says this trend has been going on for years. “If only 5-percent of the most recent apartment dwellers decided to buy, and I think that’s possible – we’ll be out of new and resale inventory until 2020,” he adds.

The National Association of Realtors states that October 2016 was the strongest month for existing home sales in nearly a decade, spurred by a stable job market, high consumer confidence, and low but rising interest rates. Their nationwide survey states only 33-percent of people planning on purchasing a home were first time buyers in 2016. In 2017 this demographic is expected to jump to 52% with a staggering 61% of the perspective buyers under the age of 35.

Rising lease rates spur an increase in buyers. The median rent for a one bedroom in Seattle is now $1,820 per month, according to Zumper – the 9th most expensive market in the US. Meanwhile Zillow finds 22-percent of Seattle area renters are qualified to buy, having both the incomes and the FICO scores to own. Given the limited supply and rising demand, it’s little surprise Redfin confirms more than two-thirds of houses for sale in Seattle are under contract in less than two weeks.

That’s what happened in Ballard, where a two bedroom, one bathroom home on a 3,900 – sq. ft. lot was listed for $650,000 and sold after 8 days with many offers submitted. RSIR broker Eleanor Heyrich says the closing will set a price per sq. ft. record for the neighborhood as the home has only 940 sq. ft. of finished living area.

“You know it’s highly competitive when a nearly century old home is the same size and price of a high-rise condominium in downtown Seattle,” says Heyrich. “Buyers are laser focused on neighborhoods close to job centers to avoid the freeway traffic jams.  Just wait until Expedia relocates thousands of jobs from Bellevue to Interbay – Sound Transit’s expanded light rail may be too little, too late.”

Heyrich calls it like it is with Seattle traffic, “You can see where you are trying to get to but the gridlock won’t let you,”. And that’s not likely to change anytime soon as small town infrastructure struggles with big city growth. There’s nowhere to go but up.

“The high-rise zoned areas of central Puget Sound are effectively limited to downtown Seattle and downtown Bellevue – a combined area of about two miles by ten miles like the island of Manhattan,” says Jones.  “Except, we have Lake Washington and single-family zoned neighborhoods that dominate our region unlike New York City.  Our urban centers are relatively small, hence the boom of land sales and high-rise development taking place.”

With its enviable location, cutting edge design, and high-tech features NEXUS is unique on many levels.  Perhaps its most notable attribute may be the fact that it has inventory for sale — at least for now. Homes at NEXUS will start from the low $300,000s to more than $3 million.

SOTHEBY’S® INTERNATIONAL REALTY APPLE TV APP

Sotheby’s® International Realty is proud to present a new app for Apple TV which allows users to experience an innovative and exciting new way to explore the real estate market.

The app allows users to fully immerse themselves in a luxury real estate experience and explore the world’s most extraordinary properties with a expertly curated selection of high resolution photography and high definition video.

Using Siri voice dictation, users can browse properties by city, state, or country or explore the lifestyle categories; whether you are interested in a metropolitan experience or you are a wine connoisseur interested in vineyards and wineries.

Find a property that sparks your interest? You will be able to contact a sales associate directly through the app.

Download the app today on the Apple TV app store. Search for “Sotheby’s International Realty

To learn more please visit: Sotheby’s International Realty | Apple TV App

ANNUAL SALES PRODUCTION EXCEEDS THE ONE BILLION DOLLAR MARK

Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) announced a pivotal sales milestone of surpassing $1 billion in residential sales volume over a trailing 12 month period as of October 2016, according to Trendgraphix research.  Since commencing operations with the Sotheby’s International Realty network in February 2010, the new Seattle-based brokerage firm has quickly expanded to five regional offices including Downtown Seattle, Bainbridge Island, Kirkland, Issaquah and Madison Park, with more than 200 brokers and employees that proudly serve all property types and price points.

“Today we recognize the collective accomplishments of our entire team and the power of this extraordinary brand by reaching this significant sales marker,” said Dean Jones, President and CEO. “We are truly honored to represent Sotheby’s International Realty and the thousands of clients that have chosen to work with us over the years.  This milestone is a testament to the company we keep and the results we create – one sale at a time.”

Perhaps best known for selling priceless works of art at the auction house and noted estates worldwide, the Sotheby’s® brand is synonymous with luxury. RSIR has participated in 31-percent of all the sales valued above $5 million in the region during the trailing 12 months and it’s brokers currently represents 30-percent of the most valuable listings in the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.  However, the firm also applies its unique platform to deliver unparalleled service at all market segments.  Over the past year, home sales priced below $500,000 and between $500,000 and $1 million were equally balanced – each segment comprising 37-percent of the 1,171 residential sales while 26-percent of sales closed above $1 million.

“To us, luxury is an experience and not just a price point,” said Jennifer Johnsen Cameron, Vice President of Brand Development for RSIR.  “Our commitment is to deliver an exceptional level of service and matchless visibility for all our properties, whether that’s a $400,000 starter home or a $40 million estate.”

Johnsen Cameron credits RSIR’s ability to innovate and provide unique marketing solutions as essential for the company’s success; “We offer our robust Asia Services Group, we benefit from exclusive partnerships with Puget Sound Business Journal and Geekwire, and we represent some of the most important high-rise and mixed-use developments in the region,” adds Johnsen Cameron. “These platforms have been a catalyst to our growth because our company has developed programs that are only available at RSIR.  Ultimately, our objective is to provide every available advantage in the industry to our brokers and to our clients.  As the market evolves, so do we.”

Despite being the newest brokerage to join an established peer group of the largest residential real estate brands in Washington State, RSIR consistently ranks among the highest average selling prices, maintains the greatest percentage of producing brokers, and the highest listing sales production on a per broker basis.  The firm has also been recognized among the fastest growing, with a 43-percent growth in sales volume year-to-date in 2016 and represents 73-percent of the sales for the Sotheby’s International Realty Brand in Washington State.

Worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty has grown to include more than 800 offices with 19,000+ sales professionals representing 47,850 exclusive listings.

REALOGICS SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY & TIGER OAK MEDIA REPRINT “ENCORE EDITION” OF ALL-CHINESE MAGAZINE; WELCOME INAUGURAL XIAMEN AIRLINES FLIGHT TO SEATTLE

Global Real Estate Leaders Confirm Rising Demand among Chinese Investors; Cite Tax-Based Diversions of Investment to Washington State

Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) and Tiger Oak Media announced the distribution of an encore edition of the popular 92-page Seattle Luxury Living magazine timed with the inaugural flight of Xiamen Airlines, which arrived in Seattle on September 27th —the third airline to offer non-stop flights between Mainland China and SeaTac International Airport. The magazine is published entirely in Mandarin and is widely distributed to a Chinese readership to meet the rising demand among Mainland Chinese considering the Seattle/Bellevue metro area for investment, immigration, and education. The first edition with 20,000 copies was launched and quickly distributed on January 6, 2016, prompting the decision for an encore edition. The reprint was also motivated by recent media events that are magnifying Chinese interest in the Pacific Northwest.

“We’re definitely on the map,” said Dean Jones, President and CEO of RSIR. “Policy making by surrounding US and Canadian government bodies combined with Puget Sound’s relative affordability and close proximity to China have helped to make our region an increasingly preferred market for savvy Chinese. It’s no surprise that Xiamen Airlines and local business leaders are vying for this investment.”

Jones points to the recent decision by Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia, to tax all foreign buyers 15 percent on new real estate acquisitions in Vancouver effective August 2, 2016. This act has since forced the luxury housing market there into freefall, prompting international homebuyers, most of them Chinese, to consider alternative lifestyle and investment markets like Seattle. Executives at Juwai.com, the largest real estate portal in China, noted that in the month of August 2016, inquiries for real estate in Vancouver dropped 86 percent, while interest in Seattle increased by 146 percent. Such dramatic shifts in demand prompted RSIR to author an article in Seattle Luxury Living titled “SEATTLE: Is it Vancouver Deja-Vu?,” which documents a shift in real estate investment toward Seattle. Meanwhile, Jones suggests that the higher property prices and income tax of California, which until recently had been among the top US markets for Mainland Chinese, has likewise diverted Chinese demand. New commercial service from companies like Xiamen Airlines and record real estate sales to Chinese buyers further validate these trends.

“Seattle is the new West Coast gateway for the US,” says Ji Rongzhong, General Manager for the recently established Seattle Office of Xiamen Airlines. “We are proud to welcome our guests with a copy of Seattle Luxury Living Magazine upon arrival.”

A welcoming ceremony for the inaugural Xiamen Airlines flight was held at 11:00 a.m. on September 27th at the SeaTac Airport arrival hall.

PICTURED ABOVE AND BELOW:  Xiamen Airlines began operating direct flights from Shenzhen and Xiamen in Mainland China to Seattle on September 26, 2016 and is advertising in the Seattle Luxury Living magazine. 

Other than the trending article about Vancouver’s foreign buyer tax, the magazine is largely a reprint of the prior publication. But new advertisers have been added, including The Bellevue Collection, Aegis Living and NEXUS Condominiums, to name a few. The magazine articles include features on topics such as lifestyle, culture, cuisine, shopping, the economy, and real estate.

“We will print a second edition in 2017 with all-new editorials and advertising. Clearly this is a conversation that must continue,” said John Spear, Executive Publisher of Tiger Oak Media. “Many local businesses are interested in reaching this emerging demographic. Seattle Luxury Living is a sign of the times. This is what a global city looks like.”

Matthew Moore, Juwai’s president of the Americas, said Seattle currently ranks the No. 1 most-visited market online. A majority of Chinese buyers cited education as their primary motivator, followed by lifestyle, travel opportunities, and investment potential.

“Our collaboration with this magazine is just another example of how we differentiate ourselves as change agents in our industry,” said Jennifer Johnsen, Vice President of Brand Development for RSIR. “’International’ is in our DNA, so it’s only fitting that we are at the forefront of international trends that benefit our brokers and our clients alike.”

Copies of Seattle Luxury Living Magazine are distributed across the RSIR network; in participating airline lounges and the international baggage claim area of SeaTac Airport; among host retailers and hotels; and digitally via targeted newsletters. The magazine is also available through RSIR’s popular WeChat app, which is broadly shared locally and within China, where an estimated 600 million members consume WeChat-hosted content.

According to Jones, more than 60,000 copies of the magazine have been downloaded on their WeChat app so far in 2016. The most popular story of the year was the discussion about Vancouver’s recently imposed foreign buyer tax. In response to rising interest, Jones appointed a full-time Research Editor, William Hillis, formerly a Shanghai-based analyst for a Big Four financial advisory firm, to report on trends. Hillis now researches and authors regionally-focused original content in English and Chinese for the growing consumer base that is following news in the region.

PICTURED ABOVE AND BELOW:  Research Editor, William Hillis of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty outlines the trends diverting Chinese homebuyers to the Seattle/Bellevue metro area in an article entitled “SEATTLE: Is it Vancouver Deja Vu?”

“Seattle real estate has become a viral topic in China,” adds Hillis. “Many of our top sales in Puget Sound are to Chinese buyers.”

The inaugural Xiamen Airlines flight drew attention from local media, as Puget Sound Business Journal  reported that the Xiamen Airlines Dreamliner flew into Seattle, “marking the Chinese airline’s inaugural flight to the U.S. with direct service from Shenzen, China’s technology hub city.”

The article outlines that Xiamen will offer flights between Seattle and Shenzen three times per week and that “the goal is to boost business and cultural exchanges between the two cities.” The airline also “signed a partnership agreement with Seattle-based Alaska Airlines to fly Chinese tourists and business travelers landing at Sea-Tac onto connecting Alaska flights to 61 major and secondary destinations across the U.S., Canada and Mexico.”

Read the Full Article >>

SEATTLE TIMES REPORTS THAT “SEATTLE BECOMES NO. 1 U.S. MARKET FOR CHINESE HOMEBUYERS”

Cites Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty Brokers Lili Shang & Mei Yang in Analysis of Seattle Housing Market

Last week, Mike Rosenberg of Seattle Times told readers “there’s been a large increase this year in Chinese buyers looking for property in the Seattle area, and a new tax on foreign homebuyers in Vancouver, B.C., is expected to amplify the trend.”

As the article outlines, “Seattle saw more inquiries from mainland-Chinese homebuyers than any other American city in four of the last seven months, according to Juwai.com, China’s biggest real-estate site for buyers looking in North America.”

A large draw for foreign homebuyers is the relative affordability they find in the Puget Sound market when compared to other West Coast cities such as Vancouver, B.C. and San Francisco, California. As Mei Yang, RSIR broker and Asia Services Group member told Rosenberg, “when they look at Seattle, they think wow, everything seems like a screaming deal.”

The piece highlights the particular desirability of many of the wealthiest communities on the Eastside, for their top-rated public education systems and increasing Chinese populations. As Rosenberg writes, “at a $3.5 million lakefront listing in a gated Kirkland community last week, Realogics broker Lili Shang and another bilingual staffer showed Chinese buyers around, handing out pamphlets in Mandarin.”

The Gated European-style Waterfront estate, listed by Lili Shang, is situated a secured Kirkland community and offers many of the top amenities that attract buyers to the area.

Property details >>

The Seattle Times coverage follows a recent report released by Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) entitled, “Seattle: Is it Vancouver Déjà Vu?” which outlines Seattle’s position as an international gateway city on the rise given its relative affordability, propensity for capital appreciation and the recently imposed 15-percent foreign homebuyer tax in Vancouver.

Read the Full Report >>

SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY TO TARGET CHINA’S WEALTHY WITH NEW JUWAI.COM ALLIANCE

Sotheby’s International Realty has announced an alliance with Juwai.com that enables the luxury real estate brand to generate Chinese buyer interest on one of the world’s most prominent real estate websites with over two million monthly visitors. As a truly international brand, Sotheby’s International Realty now has the most global representation on Juwai.com, displaying luxury listings from 65 countries and territories.

Chinese Real Estate Buyers

China is already the second-largest source of visits to sothebysrealty.com, only after the United States, and accounts for one out of every 10 visitors. Additionally, in a recent report released by RSIR, the imposition of a 15% foreign investment tax in Vancouver, B.C. is increasing search traffic by Chinese buyers for real estate in the Puget Sound. Matthew Moore, President of the Americas for Juwai.com, noted significant changes: “Juwai.com buying enquiries to Seattle increased by 143 percent in August 2016, compared to one year earlier. Meanwhile, buying enquiries to Vancouver dropped by 81 percent during the same period, with all of that drop concentrated in the premium end of the market.”

The partnership with Juwai.com is timely, and offers another platform to optimize global exposure for brokers and clients. “There’s no doubt that Asian homebuyers, particularly from China, continue to be a material component of our local real estate market,” said Dean Jones, President and CEO of RSIR. “Our Asia Services Group is uniquely qualified to assist foreign buyers as they are specialized in the language, culture and logistics necessary. We view Juwai.com as a strategic portal to showcase our Asia Services Group and all the properties that RSIR represents.”

Details of the Alliance

The Sotheby’s International Realty brand alliance with Juwai.com includes the following components:

  • Listing display: Sotheby’s International Realty property listings will appear on Juwai.com and in its real estate search results.
  • First responders: Juwai.com’s Chinese-language team is located in mainland China so they can respond to consumer inquiries in real time, translate the inquiries into English and forward them to the Sotheby’s International Realty sales associate who has the listing.
  • Brand page: A Sotheby’s International Realty brand overview page carries information about the brand, a contact form and the network’s listings – all in one place.
  • Banner advertising: Sotheby’s International Realty banner ads will run on the Juwai.com homepage, promoting the company’s new brand page and listings to Juwai.com’s audience.

“We are constantly looking for opportunities to expand globally by adding new distribution opportunities that showcase properties to affluent consumers in key growth markets,” said Wendy Purvey, Chief Marketing Officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “The alliance with Juwai.com achieves that by giving us better access to a market that is already one of our most important, and which promises great future growth.”

Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, which has offices in Seattle, Bainbridge Island, Kirkland, Issaquah and Madison Park, offers exclusive Sotheby’s International Realty® marketing, advertising and referral services that are designed to attract well-qualified buyers to the firm’s property listings. Property listings from Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty also are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website, as well as on the firm’s local website, rsir.com.

As a Sotheby’s International Realty affiliate, the firm and its clients also benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s Auction House, allowing the firm’s sales associates the opportunity for real estate referrals with auction house clientele as well as the unique ability to refer real estate clientele for appraisal services for jewelry, art, antique furniture and collectibles.

The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 19,000 affiliated independent sales associates located in approximately 850 offices in 65 countries and territories worldwide. Each office is independently owned and operated.

Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty flagship office is located at 2715 1st Avenue in Seattle, WA. For additional information, please contact 206.448.5752.

EVENT RE-CAP: ASIA SERVICE CENTER OPENS AT THE GREAT WALL MALL; CREATES HUB FOR FOREIGN NATIONALS TO SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE IN REAL ESTATE, LEGAL, ACCOUNTING, & INSURANCE

This spring, members of the Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty’s (RSIR) executive team and many of the firm’s brokers attended the Grand Opening of the Asia Service Center (ASC), a new “one-stop shop” where foreign nationals will have access to expert real estate, legal, accounting, and insurance advice, in addition to strategic partnerships with mortgage companies and banks, wealth management firms, property management companies, and travel services, among others. All of the center’s professionals are bi-lingual and bi-cultural with experience living, studying, and working in both China and the U.S.

Robert Pong, ASC Member and broker with RSIR, introduced the concept of the ASC before welcoming Mayor Suzette, who gave well wishes on behalf of the city of Kent. Then Christine Lee, Owner & Developer of Great Wall Mall, offered her congratulations before Dean Jones, CEO & President of RSIR, discussed what promises to be a symbiotic relationship between the ASC and his firm’s Asia Services Group. Finally, Robert Purdy discussed the ASC’s importance and how it will help Chinese investors as they search for properties in the U.S.

“It was a pleasure seeing so many faces at the Grand Opening event,” said Robert Pong. “I was honored and humbled by the strong showing of support with guests who traveled from as far as China, Amsterdam, and San Francisco. We have developed a true spirit of community building and collaboration in this new space, and will continue in our endeavor to do great things for our community. I look forward to what the future will bring!”

The center will, in many ways, serve as a concierge for its clients. Each core member of the storefront has their own office in Seattle or the Eastside, to serve clients from around the Puget Sound. Its location within the Great Wall Mall allows the ASC to benefit from the Mall’s tremendous growth in recent years and act as a complement to the EB-5 center across the way, so that foreign investors may seek service nearby or find other locations to meet as needed.

Pong extended his gratitude to event sponsors that included Ferrari of Seattle, who provided luxury vehicles on display in front of the Asia Service Center, Ferretti Luxury Yachts and NEXUS, a new condominium development tower in downtown Seattle.

Among those in attendance were Suzette Cooke, Mayor of Kent; Christine & Omar Lee, Developer & Owners of the Great Wall Mall and Washington Tower EB-5; Dean & Stacy Jones, Owners of RSIR; Lee Travis, Owner of Wipliance; David Leong, President of Great Seattle China Chamber of Commerce; Benjamin Lee, Former President of the Hong Kong Association of Washington; Robert Purdy, Juwai.com’s Vice President of Sales in North America; and Andrea Keikkala, CEO of the Kent Chamber of Commerce.

Interested parties are encouraged to call or visit the Asia Service Center:

18230 East Valley Highway, Suite 120   |   Kent, WA

206.310.2014

MAISON DELILLE POURS WINES FOR KING 5 EVENING

Last week, King 5 Evening  featured Maison DeLille Wine Lounge, a boutique tasting room in the heart of Kirkland at the Connoisseurs of Life Showroom. Maison DeLille is unique in that they pour glasses of limited edition artisan wines produced by DeLille Cellars, which are typically served only by the bottle at local restaurants. Whether you’re a longtime DeLille Cellars connoisseur or new to these grapes, we highly recommend the Rhone Flight, which features a 2015 Roussane, a 2014 Métier and the 2013 AIX.

As Greg Lill told King 5 Evening, “here, you can just come in with friends, have a glass of wine, enjoy a bottle of wine, and it’s more casual. It’s a much more easygoing, more social experience.”

In celebration of their 25th harvest season, Maison DeLille extended their weekend Happy Hour with $4 off any glass of wine from 1 to 6pm, the perfect complement to light bites that include charcuterie and flatbread.

Learn more about Maison DeLille >>

REALOGICS SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY RECOGNIZES SEATTLE/BELLEVUE METRO AREA AS A GLOBAL GATEWAY CITY; LEADS WITH INNOVATIVE INTERNATIONAL MARKETING PLATFORMS

2016’s arrival comes with the acknowledgement that the Seattle/Bellevue metro area has joined its West Coast peers as the newest global gateway city. That was the common thinking amongst the more than 120 VIP guests who attended the January 7th release party for the all-Mandarin Seattle Luxury Living Magazine, hosted at the Starbucks Reserve on Capitol Hill. The event was attended by the publishers, featured advertisers, a collective of brokers from Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, politicians, key members from the local Chinese community and even the distinguished Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks.

An evening filled with excitement and talk of the Seattle market and foreign investment began with a few remarks by John Spear, Publisher of Seattle Luxury Living:

“There are so many people to thank and I don’t want this to sound like the Oscars so here I go. I want to first thank Starbucks and Tom Douglas for hosting tonight’s event. Starbucks, as you know has a lot of stores in China and here in Seattle. I am very grateful for their partnership in distributing Seattle Luxury Living here and in China and for hosting tonight’s event!

Craig Bednar the owner of Tiger Oak Publication and Seattle magazine. I merely mentioned the idea to him and he was on board saying do it. Then Craig and I went to Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty and talked with Dean and Stacy Jones. Not only did Dean say I was brilliant, but he immediately offered to help me. And help he did by supporting editorial content and advertising with Sotheby’s International Realty affiliates. He also got me distribution in China. Next Dean had me at a 7 am breakfast with the Washington State China Relations Council. After that meeting I felt, ‘OK, this is doable.’ Next thing I knew Dean had his public relations machine going and his agents were excited and calling me, and even other real estate companies were calling me (I had to tell them that Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty had already committed to the publication). I also met with Nyhus Communications who as most of you know has an office in China as well as Washington DC. They thought the idea was fantastic as they already handle so much business going both directions Seattle to China and China to Seattle.

So I tell you all that to say so far no one said I was barking up the wrong tree. But as Craig was quick to remind me, we are not in the nonprofit business – this publication had to make some money, no matter how good the idea is. Next I did a little field reconnaissance to see if the water was warm. All three of my covers got sold that way. Tawny Papper of the Four Seasons said that is my market I have been waiting for a publication like this. Lyn Quitslund of Roche Bobois said ‘I don’t need Seattle magazine- your Mandarin Seattle Luxury Living is the market I have been trying to figure out how to reach- where do I sign!’ And Steven Goldfarb, whom I also did a custom publication for this Fall said a lifestyle magazine in Mandarin- why not! So selling the three covers in about 30 minutes told me this was going to be good. The rest is history. I hired an editor, translators, proofers, and art director and now you have this fine result.

I have to give a shout out to someone who did a giant favor for me. Luly Yang. Though we all know how admired and successful she is, I had a bit of a hard time getting her to write the letter of introduction. I thought of Luly because I have known her for years. I thought who better to have a voice welcoming the Chinese who are moving here? Her sense of style, place, business acumen and the fact she has lived on three continents and three countries and still calls Seattle her favorite place – thank you Luly.

I was challenged to be certain, but being in publishing for the last 30 years, it was fun to create content, have input on art and be a part of the amazing sea of change happening in our cities of Seattle and Bellevue. The Chinese are putting down roots, having families, attending our universities, wining, dining and buying real estate and contributing to our tax base. Seattle is a world class city! The New York Times mentions us almost every week. The President of China, Xi Jinping was here and shut down traffic as well as president Obama. The other West Coast cities were envious.

This year is the 50th anniversary of Seattle magazine. I am proud that we took a giant leap in moving forward. If you think the last 50 years have brought a lot of change to Seattle, you haven’t seen anything yet. Here is to the next 50! I would like to introduce Lou Maxon he is the art director and I loved his vision and collaborative style. Teresa Kenny was my editor and she could not be here tonight, but I love how the magazine came together as a lifestyle, cultural, and business piece. I can’t mention everyone by name, but if you are here tonight, you are part of the success and thank you for that! Please enjoy the evening.”

And enjoy the evening guests did, as they perused the final publication and connected with others who committed their efforts to the magazine. The event was a crescendo to a symphony of news releases, events and promotions highlighting the rising influence of Asian investment in the region as follows:

  • RSIR Premieres East Meets West Film Documentary (with Mandarin Subtitles):

A summary of RSIR’s initiatives was highlighted in a full page ad in today’s Puget Sound Business Journal, which also featured editorial on the trends for foreign nationals in the region and the substantial international trade enterprise that is expanding exponentially. View RSIR’s Feature Below:

RSIR TAPPED BY SEATTLE TIMES ON CHINESE NATIONALS SEEKING FINANCIAL SAFE HAVEN IN SEATTLE AREA

On the heels of Tiger Oak Publications and Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (“RSIR”) releasing Seattle Luxury Living, the first all-Mandarin magazine, the Seattle Times opines on the impact of turbulent equities markets in China. With the Shanghai Composite Index correcting more than 40-percent since peaking in June 2015 coupled with the devaluation of the Yuan against the Dollar, one would imagine the number of Chinese nationals investing in the region would be on a decline, spelling bad timing for the new publication. Yet the scenario is actually quite the contrary.

The common view of RSIR experts and market pundits including John Spear, publisher of Seattle Luxury Living Magazine; Kristi Heim, Director of the Washington State China Relations CouncilHolly Yang a leading commercial real estate broker with Kidder Matthews; among others believe the lifestyle, environment, market stability, relative affordability and prospects for capital appreciation of real estate in the Pacific Northwest will only attract more investment from Chinese nationals.

“These investment trends have been a reality for two decades in other West Coast cities but for the past two years they have been increasingly targeted to the Seattle/Bellevue metro area,” said Dean Jones, CEO of RSIR. “The recent downturn in China’s stock market is concerning and for many it will affect the velocity of outbound investment but not the overall trajectory. The economic turmoil in China and the global stock market is just another reminder that real estate remains a stable investment and one that can be enjoyed.”

A recent article published by Luxury Daily also highlighted the magazine and RSIR’s WeChat App. In the feature Forrest Cardamenis notes that while Vancouver, B.C. “has long been thought of as the premier location for Chinese immigrants heading west,” Seattle is gaining increasing favor. Why the Emerald City? The article says it’s “a growing local economy, a credit to the tech boom, and the transformation and development of the Bellevue area” in addition to top-rated universities and schools, the absence of state income tax, and the relative affordability compared to other West Coast cities.

As Cardamenis also points out, “speaking to consumers in their own language is a necessary step in forming strong relationships and converting sales,” an increasingly important endeavor in the Pacific Northwest as “Washington is second only to California in real estate sales to Chinese homeowners.”

On the release of Seattle Luxury Living Magazine, the WeChat App, and the firm’s Asia Services Group, Dean Jones told Luxury Daily, “demand knows no borders in a global city. We observed international home buying trends for 20 years in my home town of Vancouver, British Columbia and now it’s happening here.” The reality is Seattle and its surrounding areas have become a global market and despite the increasing median home prices, the region is still considerably less expensive than other West Coast gateways.

RSIR recently released a video documentary entitled East Meets West to help outline some of the fundamental reasons this trend is compounding year over year.

“It’s become part of our market and our industry is responding,” adds Jones.

As a means to help explain the trends and provide a forum to translate the content in Seattle Luxury Living Magazine, RSIR has partnered with Luxury Home Magazine to host an event on January 25th from 6-8pm at Maison DeLille Wine Bar in Kirkland. The event is open to both real estate brokers and members of the general public, but attendees must RSVP by either calling 206.448.5752 or email Events@LHMSeattle.com

425 BUSINESS MAGAZINE TAPS REALOGICS SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY ON FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENTS; EASTSIDE REAL ESTATE IS “GROWING UP”

Asia Services Group is Uniquely Positioned as Eastside Transforms into an International Hub

On February 1st, 425 Business Magazine (“425″) highlighted Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (“RSIR”) in a print article and homepage feature entitled “Eastside Real Estate is Growing Up.” In the piece, Adam Worcester digs into the inevitable growth of the Puget Sound area, which RSIR’s President and CEO Dean Jones says is moving vertically.

In an article revolving around growth, Dean Jones compares this global awakening to his personal experience watching Vancouver, BC over the past twenty years. Jones says he believes density paired with the region’s mountains and water will result in more skyscrapers and a changing landscape with “pockets of density on the Eastside developing around rail stops: mixed-use high rises with residences, restaurants, and retail stores.” The cause? As the article describes, “Jones thinks the driving force behind new growth in our area will be a continued stream of Chinese real estate investment, both residential and commercial.”

In a comparative analysis, 425 outlined the market in Vancouver B.C with the help of Dean Jones’s father Trevor, who was a real estate agent when Chinese investment and immigration first came to that region. As he told 425, “Our real estate is what it is because of the Chinese. Nothing else.” And while the Puget Sound is similar to many other “gateway cities,” there are a few key differences: the availability of waterfront properties, top-rated schools, and relative affordability. Citing data provided by RSIR, 425 says that the affordability ratio in West Coast cities peaks in Vancouver at 10.36 and is at its lowest in Seattle at 7.83. That, along with EB-5 investment opportunities, is contributing to an influx of Chinese homebuyers.

The article also quoted Robert Pong, Broker and Member of RSIR’s Asia Services Group, which caters to the unique needs of foreign investors and incoming families. As he explained, “[Our area] has so much upside in property value due to the region’s economic advancements that it just makes sense for investors to come here.” He added that, “the recent devaluation of the Yuan and announcement that the U.S. Federal Reserve would hike baseline interest rates a quarter-point are barely a deterrent.”

RSIR has been a leader in connecting Chinese homebuyers to the Puget Sound for years. Most recently, the firm worked alongside Tiger Oak Publications to produce Seattle Luxury Living, a 92-page all-Mandarin magazine and built a custom WeChat App platform with adSage. Jones is also a community leader, serving on the Washington State China Relations Council and working closely alongside the firm’s affiliate in Beijing. Their efforts recently shone through in the Juwai.com Chinese-American Real Estate Report and in Palace Magazine’s addition of Seattle to its list of Top Markets Sought by Asian Homebuyers. The firm also produced a feature documentary entitled East Meets West, which outlines China’s influence on the real estate market in the Seattle area:

“The world economy has become a global transfer of wealth, Jones said, and Seattle is becoming a hub for wealth distribution. [President] Xi’s visit was a tipping point for Chinese investment. ‘It’s no longer a question of if it’s going to happen; it’s when,’ said Jones. ‘Wealth is moving here long term.'”

Read the Full Article >>

Read a Mandarin Translation of the Article >>

ROBERT PONG, RSIR BROKER & ASIA SERVICES GROUP MEMBER, FLIES TO CHINA FOR GLOBAL NETWORKING

Robert PongRealogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) broker and Asia Services Group member, recently flew to China to visit his clients and network in a visit to Hong Kong Sotheby’s International Realty and Beijing Sotheby’s International Realty. During this trip Pong covered six cities in ten days as he connected with his VIP clientele and various strategic Asia partners.

“I am a strong believer in good, global networking,” said Robert Pong. “Since I missed the Sotheby’s International Realty GNE this year and the visit of Dr. Paul Boldy, Sotheby’s Managing Director Asia Pacific, I wanted to make up for missed opportunities.”

While in Beijing, Pong met with Ruth Yang, as the two have been working with potential investors to Seattle. He also had the pleasure of conversing with Shepherd Sun, who provided an update on investment trends for Chinese and discussed issues related to funds transfer challenges and government restrictions that are making it more difficult for investors to move their money out of China.

During his stop in Hong Kong, Pong connected with Alan Man, Director of Sales Division, who gave him the most up-to-date information regarding Hong Kong’s real estate market, how it works as the window to the world for Chinese investors, and offered his services for Pong’s clients who are looking to purchase property there. Pong also spoke with Kay Lee, Asian Marketing Director, about a range of subjects related to cutting edge marketing and international networking. Lee shared her memorable moments from the GNE and her experiences visiting Sotheby’s International Realty offices from around the world.

“Sotheby’s is a strong brand in the global market and I see the way that Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty has worked to differentiate our brand every time I travel outside the U.S.,” said Pong. “Our affiliates were excited to hear about the formation of the Asia Services Group and Asia Service Center – the actualization of Dean Jones’s vision. Everyone was thrilled about the idea.”

Robert’s trip overseas was just months after RSIR’s executive team and brokers celebrated the grand opening of the Asia Service Center, a new “one-stop shop” where foreign nationals have access to expert real estate, legal, accounting, and insurance advice, in addition to strategic partnerships with mortgage companies and banks, wealth management firms, property management companies, and travel services, among others. All of the center’s professionals are bi-lingual and bi-cultural with experience living, studying, and working in both China and the U.S.

Learn More >>

MY CITY. YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD.

Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) offers local market insights while introducing top brokers and their extraordinary properties in the September edition of Seattle Magazine.

The latest edition of Seattle Magazine includes an extensive insert offering a timely look at year-over-year market performance in 16 key markets throughout the Puget Sound region. Boasting with enviable economic fundamentals, the Seattle metro area is among the nation’s fastest-growing residential markets, with most neighborhoods reaching or exceeding their prior peaks for median home prices. We are proud to keep the good company of leading resident experts who live and work in the neighborhoods they serve, while at the same time, benefiting from a global network like no other. So whether your next home is around the corner or around the world, we’re here to help.

THE SEATTLE TIMES LISTS THE 10 MOST EXPENSIVE HOMES IN WASHINGTON STATE; INCLUDES 4 HOMES REPRESENTED BY RSIR

The Seattle Times  recently put together a list of “The 10 most expensive real-estate listings in Washington state,” which includes four properties listed by Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR). As Matt Grady suggests, take your mind off the hot Seattle real estate market marked by “bidding wars, $1,000 rent hikes, and ongoing discussions about equitable housing practices,” and “distract yourself by checking out the 10 most expensive real-estate listings in Washington state. With the entry-level price point being about $11 million, the data about rising statewide real estate doesn’t begin to touch these luxury home listings. It’s interesting to consider the locations: Seattle and Bellevue claim one apiece, with two each for Vashon and Mercer islands. The remaining homes are sprinkled across the shorelines of Puget Sound.” Read an exploration of RSIR’s 4 highlighted listings below.

#9 – Madroneagle | 512 Catspaw Lane, Eastsound | Offered at $11,998,000

A majestic estate situated on an astounding 42 acres, Madroneagle “borrows accents from a rustic lodge – wood floors, exposed wooden beams, barn-like bathroom doors” yet “is anything but unrefined.” A highlight? “The property’s shoreline gradually tapers from steep banks to a beach.”

Property details >>

#6 – Friday Harbor Estate | 67 Roulac Lane, Friday Harbor | Offered at $16,800,000

Friday Harbor Estate, the retreat of musician Steve Miller, truly has it all. As Grady says, “Overheard in the newsroom: ‘You’re paying for restraint with this one.’ No quibbles here, but the potential buyer can let loose a little bit in the sheltered bay that adjoins the property: there’s a 360-foot-long dock for a large yacht.”

Property details >>

#5 – Lighthouse on Vashon | 8415 SW Soper Rd, Vashon Is. | Offered at $18,000,000

Taking the #5 spot is Lighthouse on Vashon, listed by RSIR Broker Denise Seavitt. Grady doesn’t say much about this property, simply writing that “this 10,000-square-foot Vashon home has its own lighthouse” and asking readers, “what else is there to say?”

Property details >>

#1 – Misty Isle Farms | 8415 SW Soper Rd, Vashon Is. | Offered at $18,000,000

The most expensive listing in the state is Misty Isle Farms, represented by RSIR broker Brad Vancour. Grady points out that while the residence is similar to those earlier in the list, the home is made spectacular because it “happens to sit on 525 acres, which encompass seven other houses for ‘guests or employees,’ an arboretum, a driving range, cattle pastures, 8 miles of trails for hiking and horse-riding and a 12,000 square foot show room to display a vintage car collection.” Given the recent lowering of the listing price to $33 million, Grady says “it’s a big savings,” joking that “you could almost snatch up that home in Laurelhurst with the difference.”

Property details >>