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Friday, September 09, 2005

What's Special About Seattle?

One of the arguments that is frequently heard from people who don't think there is a real estate bubble in Seattle is that the Seattle area is somehow special, and has unique characteristics that will protect it against real estate price corrections. Although I agree that Seattle is a wonderful place to live (why else would I be here?), I also recognize that every place has a list of unique characteristics.

However, I am still an open-minded kind of person, and I know full well that there are lots of people around that look at other markets in the country and see a bubble, but think that Seattle is either not in a bubble or has special protection against a bubble bursting (i.e. - price decreases). So, I would like to hear from you. What is it about Seattle that makes it special and immune to a price correction in real estate?

Please keep your comments on the subject of why Seattle is special/unique, as opposed to arguing why it is not. Next Friday I'll post the opposite question.


TJ said...

Seattle used to be special - before all the californians moved there : )

TJ said...

Seriously though, Seattle has moderate temperature year round, a unique geography with the Puget sound and Lake Washington making it cozy.

The water views are spectacular.

And some(including me) like rainy overcast days vs hot sunny days. I guess it makes being in a house enjoyable without having the guilt of wasting a clear day.

I can't wait for next week.

blueskitten said...

I'm going for the "state the obvious" award. Seattle is within an hour of water, mountains, and all the attractions of a major city. So you can have all the benefits of a city with easy access to the outdoors. Very few places exist in this country where you have a 14,000 ft mountain on one side, a major body of water on the other, and still more mountains across the water. It's beautiful as well as great for the lifestyle.

Also, the climate. We don't get the extreme weather that much of the continent does, with subzero temperatures in winter and multiple hundred-degree days in summer. And it rains a lot (some of us like it that way).

blueskitten said...

The hell? tj beat me to the punch by four minutes. Grr.

In_The_Biz_98101 said...

Seattle is special, in the current real estate bubble context, for two reasons -- it is relatively affordable compared to other west coast markets (e.g. San Diego, Los Angeles, SF), and it has higher forecasted job and population growth than those areas as well. As the first poster noted, there continues to be an influx of California residents who will likely continue to support pricing here, to some extent. That doesn't mean Seattle is immune to a price correction, but whatever happens here on the downside should be muted, in comparison to other markets.