By Jennifer Lee
Published Friday, October 9, 2020
Eviction moratorium extended statewideQ13's Jennifer Lee reports on the statewide eviction moratorium that will be extended through December 31.
SEATTLE - During the Governor’s press briefing on Thursday, he announced the eviction moratorium will be extended until December 31. The latest moratorium was set to expire on October 15.
Sean Case lives in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood and has been advocating for housing support throughout the pandemic.
He works as a cook at Glo's on Capitol Hill and was out of a job during the early months of Covid-19 that shut down the economy.
“I’m making less money, therefore my rent is a little harder to pay than it used to be. It’s good that (the eviction moratorium) is there. I don’t think it should be lifted by any means.”
Case said he is not at risk of being evicted but wishes more help was available for housing during the pandemic.
“Rent and mortgage payments should be canceled on the local, state and federal level,” said Case.
While tenants may be protected from getting evicted, unpaid rent will continue to accumulate into debt.
The governor’s moratorium advises landlords and tenants to come up with a payment plan that is reasonable. Tenants who are unable to pay residential or commercial rent must also prove their financial hardship.
“What’s needed most desperately from a lot of households in the State of Washington is income relief so that they can make rent payments,” said housing advocate Roger Valdez. “It’s a truly bizarre situation that you have a Governor who continues to extend an eviction, ban but he has done nothing, or very little, to solve the problem of unpaid rent.”
Valdez is the Director of Seattle for Growth, and ordered a report that collected and analyzed rent roll and survey data. Based on that information, he believes the state could’ve invested millions of dollars in housing payments to help families facing financial hardship.
The president of the Washington Landlord Association said landlords are being devastated by this proclamation.
The Governor will sign the proclamation to extend the eviction moratorium on Monday.
As for Case, his workplace is giving back through a community meal program by providing meals to neighbors who don’t have homes. You can check it out on Glo’s website.
By Marc Stiles – Staff Writer, Puget Sound Business Journal
Oct 2, 1:44pm EDT
With Amazon and other tech companies expected to add tens of thousands of jobs on the Eastside in the coming years, developers of multifamily housing are swarming the area.
They may be a little early, however.
“I think there’s a lot of excitement in Bellevue, but I think people might be getting a little overly enthusiastic,” said appraiser Brian O’Connor of O’Connor Consulting Group, a Seattle company that advises multifamily developers.
Across the Puget Sound region, demand for multifamily housing has dropped significantly due to Covid-19 while supply increases, he said. The Eastside is not immune.
The Eastside apartment vacancy rate is 4.6% now, and O’Connor forecasts it could climb to 5.8% by the end of 2021. He thinks it will end up slightly higher in downtown Bellevue.
Still, this has not deterred developers.
“Demand will probably grow, but the development community — they don’t wait for it to grow, they just charge right in,” O’Connor said. “There’s already an oversupply, especially in the Totem Lake/Redmond area.”
The eagerness of developers is not misplaced. O’Connor said if they’re scouting for property now, they probably won’t be able to start building for at least 18 months to two years, with construction taking another 24 months.
“That gives time for the market to heal and the tech industry to ramp up,” he said.
In Bellevue, clients are looking for development sites in downtown and the Spring District.
“Everybody loves the Spring District,”
O’Connor said of the 36-acre development where Facebook will have enough space for an estimated 7,000 employees.
Nearly 800 apartment units already have been built in the district and there’s capacity for 400 more, according to developer Wright Runstad & Co.
It’s not just the Eastside that multifamily developers are circling. Interest is also mounting in Shoreline, where Sound Transit is building two light rail stations that are scheduled to open in 2024.
“We’re doing Shoreline job after Shoreline job. The action now tends to be there or on the Eastside and Tacoma,” O’Connor said.
On the Eastside, it’s “the Amazon effect,” said O’Connor, who has seen this play before.
About 10 years ago, when it became evident how much the company would grow in the city, multifamily developer money was pouring into the region.
“All they wanted to hear was the Amazon story. I would tell them, ‘Hey, you should look at Bellevue,’ and they were like ‘meh.’... The money (still) wants to follow the energy that Amazon creates, so I’m pretty bullish on it,” O’Connor said.
Apartment development in Bellevue
Under construction: 598 units in 4 buildings
Proposed: 5,748 units in 23 buildings
Bellevue – downtown 6.4%
Bellevue – suburban 5.4%
Properties offering concessions
Downtown Bellevue: 45%
Suburban Bellevue: 61%
By Marc Stiles – Staff Writer, Puget Sound Business Journal
Sep 4, 2020, 6:25pm EDT
It's estimated that in May alone, apartment owners in the four-county Seattle metro region likely didn't collect more than $22.6 million in unpaid rent due to coronavirus-caused unemployment.
In King County, Seattle was most affected, with over $14.5 million in lost revenue, according to modeling by Commercial Analytics of Seattle. Estimated impacts on the Eastside and South King County were nearly $4 million and $3.5 million, respectively.
Seattle For Growth, a nonprofit that promotes policies to increase the stock of housing, commissioned the study. The group has been advocating for cash relief for households suffering from job losses caused by government shutdowns.
Seattle For Growth Director Roger Valdez said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has banned any rental assistance, and that state and county governments are making help hard to get, and will cover only 80% of unpaid rent.
“What this survey shows is that the vast majority of people are paying rent, but many people need help,” Valdez said in a press release. “State and local government should be acting fast to get resources to the people that need it most."
Commercial Analytics surveyed about 750 housing providers in King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties, representing just over 22,300 units of rental housing.
Of the surveyed units, only 3.9% had not paid full rent as of May 15.
Separate from the study, 86% of households in Seattle Housing Authority properties paid rent in April and 89% in May, according to SHA spokeswoman Kerry Coughlin. By the third week in June, the numbers were back up to "very normal high numbers – 96.5%," she said.
Another housing provider, Bellevue-based HNN Communities, which has about 6,500 apartment units in Western Washington, has been "consistently surprised at how amazing our residents are doing paying their rent," Heidi Anderson, HNN resident relations manager, told the Business Journal.
Ninety percent of HNN households paid rent by the end of April, though that number declined in subsequent months, falling to 82% in August, she said.
The September delinquency numbers will be telling with federally enhanced unemployment benefits having expired at the end of July.
To determine non- or partial payment from rent rolls, Commercial Analytics analyzed each property’s documents for units with unpaid rent and the delinquent rent amount. Commercial Analytics then followed up with property managers by email surveys or phone interviews to determine the reason of non- or partial payment.
The Seattle submarket showed the most delinquency, at 6.1%, followed by South King at 4.5%, Kitsap, 4.2%, and Pierce and the Eastside, both at 3.2%. Snohomish County's delinquency rate was 2.5%.
To determine the possible impact of rent delinquency, Commercial Analytics used two of its datasets: rents and apartment inventory. The company calculated an average rent per unit for each submarket, weighted by the frequency – or appearance – of rents in survey sample.
Commercial Analytics multiplied the delinquency factor to inventory of multifamily properties to estimate the units possibly delinquent in each submarket.
Of the 876 households that did not pay full rent as of May 15, 70% paid no rent, with the rest paying partial rent.
The most common reason (77.6%) for nonpayment was verified income loss due to unemployment because of the Covid crisis. Just over 15% gave no reason for not paying. The rest did not pay rent for reasons unrelated to the pandemic.
Apartment rents in the Seattle region could drop by 10 percent, but even so, not many people will be able to move with COVID-19-putting the economy at a standstill.
There have been mass layoffs and unemployment benefits and other government aid still to come, leaving a lot of people unable pay the rent.
Seventy-six percent of tenants are seeking some form of relief, according to a survey of property managers who oversee about 34,000 units at 216 properties across the four-county metro. Seattle-based Commercial Analytics conducted the survey March 23 to April 3.
As this unprecedented situation continues to evolve, one thing is certain: There will be a big impact on the rental market where a statewide ban on evictions is in place.
It's hard to predict what will happen, said Commercial Analytics co-founder Brian O'Connor, because of the magnitude and uncertainty of the crisis.
"This is craziness," he said. "It's a major disruption to the whole system."
O'Connor said the survey data indicate most renters are "hunkering down." He still thinks vacancies will rise, though not to 15 to 20 percent.
He sees less rent being paid. He expects this will work itself through the system as unemployment and other benefits reach tenants and benevolent landlords hang on until their renters get their jobs back.
O'Connor thinks people who are just opening new apartment buildings are most exposed. They'll be forced to lower rents and cause managers of existing buildings to follow suit.
"(Properties) are going to cannibalize each other for a little while," he said.
O'Connor anticipates rents will drop by at least 10 percent in the short term as what happened after 9/11. He said landlords will act to staunch the rise in vacancies before they get too out of hand.
"Managers usually don't let the vacancy rate rise too high. They'll let it go to 5 to 7 percent and then drop rents to keep it in that realm," said O'Connor, an appraiser who advises developers and investors.
He told one client to write this year off because there will be less demand. The question is what happens next year.
"The thinking right now for me and other folks I'm talking to is we're going to get back to somewhat of a normal (market) probably by next spring, next March. That's the thinking right now but to be perfectly honest, nobody really knows," O'Connor said.
For the second time in four months North Carolina-based Bell Partners Inc., bought a large apartment property in Redmond, and the deal looks similar to the company's first Seattle-area acquisition.
Bell paid Trammell Crow Residential $91.6 million for the new 222-unit property at 6335 180th Place NE. That's four miles northeast of another new property that Bell bought for $96 million in September. The most recent acquisition has been renamed Bell Marymoor Park, and it's 94 percent leased, according to Bell. The company said market-rate units are renting for about $2.75 per square foot.
Bell is among investors banking heavily on the Seattle-area apartment market. Rise Properties Trust spent about $588 million last year buying nine apartment properties in the region, where rents are rising thanks to continued growth of tech companies. Amazon is entering Redmond, joining Facebook, Google, and Microsoft.
While still going up, Redmond's rent growth has weakened due to a significant boost in new inventory.
After increasing 3.9 percent between and third quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019, Redmond's rent growth slowed to about 0.7 percent from March to September 2019, according to Commercial Analytics, a Seattle company that tracks the multifamily market. During those six months, rents increased nearly 1.5 percent across the Eastside and about 1.2 percent in Seattle.
Commercial Analytics reported that Redmond added 1,281 new apartment units over the last two years, with another 2,120 under construction. King County has added more than 14,000 units since 2018, and 13,380 new units are being built this year.
Bell Executive Vice President of Investments Nickolay Bochilo said the Eastside, with its high-quality schools, rapidly expanding tech companies, high cost of buying versus renting and "differentiated lifestyle amenities" support attractive fundamentals for rental housing.
The rate of apartment rent growth across the four-county metro Puget Sound region area is neither super high or super low, and the vacancy rate is similarly on an even keel.
That's according to Seattle company Commercial Analytics' report, which found that the vacancy rate in March was 2.75 percent while rents grew by 2.28 percent over the preceding six months. During the height of the boom rents were much lower and rent growth was off the charts.
"The market is fundamentally in equilibrium. I haven't seen that since the crash," said appraiser Brian O'Connor of O'Connor Consulting Group, a Commercial Analytics co-founder. "It's like we are in this Goldilocks moment."
The results varied by county, with rent growth ranging from 1.6 percent in Snohomish, for all sizes of apartments. One bedrooms there rented for an average of $1,379. Overall rents rose 8 percent in Kitsap, where the average rent for one bedrooms was $1,336.
King County rents increased 2.2 percent for all sized apartments, with the average one-bedroom rent at $1,873. There was a 2.3 percent rent increase in Pierce County, where the average one-bedroom rent was $1,190.
The Eastside showed a much stronger pattern of rent growth than any other King County submarket, with an increase of 4.1 percent versus 1.35 percent in Seattle. "The Seattle market is clearly beginning to show signs of the significant new supply of units," O'Connor wrote in the report.
Rent growth in downtown, South Lake Union and Belltown was 1.35 percent. Most everywhere in Seattle, rent growth was under 2 percent, with the University District and Northeast Seattle seeing a gain of nearly 1.1 percent. The lone exception was 4.4 percent in West Seattle.
Developers continue to build. Region-wide, 15,500 apartment units are under construction, up 10.3 percent, according to Commercial Analytics. Four-fifths of the units are going up in King and Snohomish counties, and two Vancouver, Canada companies, Onni Group and Westbank, lead the way with a total of 2,300 units.
Developers are homing in on sites around transit stops, and they're becoming more and more loath to building in Seattle with the city's higher "mandatory affordable housing," or MHA fees compared to other cities.
O'Connor, who advises developers, said builders have taken a shine to Shoreline. Ask why, and "the first words out of their mouths are no MHA fees," he said.
By Marc Stiles – Staff Writer, Puget Sound Business Journal
Feb 20, 2019, 5:46pm EST
A report by a new Seattle company contains a big surprise: Seattle apartment landlords have not suffered from the new-supply glut as had been anticipated.
Commercial Analytics' inaugural report fills the void of locally sourced market data left after the unexpected closure of Dupre + Scott Apartment Advisors in December 2017. The Seattle company closed after 38 years of publishing the gold standard of market intel used by industry players from developers to public policy makers.
In downtown Seattle and South Lake Union, where some observers have been anxious over the addition of thousands of new units in recent years, the year-over-year vacancy rate ticked up about a point to 5.1 percent in September. The average rent increased 5.4 percent to $2,140. The 2017 data was from Dupre + Scott while Commercial Analytics gathered the 2018 numbers.
"The apartment market has remained pretty healthy," said appraiser Brian O'Connor of O'Connor Consulting Group. He and brokers Candice Chevaillier of SVN Whitecap and Jim Bowles of Lee & Associates co-founded Commercial Analytics in partnership with Seattle tech company NavigatorCRE.
What sets Commercial Analytics apart from national apartment market data companies is that the new firm, like Dupre + Scott, drills down by neighborhood, unit type and year built. The company's coverage area includes all four metro counties. It is a cloud-based service that crowdsources market information to provide fine-grain detail. In-house staff verifies data with landlords.
Commercial Analytics will release data about landlord concessions in its forthcoming development report, but the firm's January survey found that 28 percent of properties across the region offered free rent and other concessions, while in Seattle the number was 30 percent.
Among Commercial Analytics' upcoming offerings will be reports on apartment buildings' expenses, sales and investment activity and the condominium market.
The report costs $695 a year for the spring and fall rent-and-vacancy report, plus a $95 membership fee. It comes with a copy of a supplemental report called Data Junkie that analyzes market fluctuations and offers forecasts, which is penned by O'Connor.
O'Connor wrote that King County's slowdown in 2017 was, in part, due to slower regional job growth, which subsequently rebounded. Given that employment growth is expected to slow this year to perhaps 40,000 jobs, down from 53,000 last year, it seems reasonable to expect lower demand and rising vacancies, he said.
September 28, 2018 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time
SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In December of 2017, Dupre + Scott closed its doors and left a void in the greater Seattle market for apartment research. They were a trusted resource for the last 38 years to a diverse group of stakeholders that relied on that information: Institutional Lenders, City and County Housing Authorities and governmental entities, the University of Washington, major Developers, and the entire Commercial Real Estate brokerage community.
Commercial Analytics has been formed by several key industry professionals including: Brian O’Connor, MAI, CRE, of O’Connor Consulting Group, Candice Chevaillier of SVN Whitecap and Jim Bowles of Lee & Associates to replace and evolve this critical source of commercial real estate research.
Commercial Analytics has partnered with NavigatorCRE to provide research analytics for commercial real estate industry in the state of Washington. Initial offerings will include Multifamily research reports and analytics related to: Rent, Vacancy, Expense, Investment Sales and Development, serving the Tri-County Area (King, Pierce, Snohomish) as well as Kitsap and Thurston counties.
The CA platform is built on NavigatorCRE, which is a Software as a Service (SaaS) product, custom built for the Commercial Real Estate (CRE) industry with proprietary technology that efficiently uploads, stores, filters and reports on data. NavigatorCRE is built and hosted on Microsoft’s Azure infrastructure, which allows data to be private, secure, and encrypted. The system streamlines the ability for owners, brokers and property managers to contribute data without sacrificing privacy. Further, it allows users to dynamically view a full spectrum of aggregated market analytics to enhance decision-making.
The Commercial Analytics team believes that when accurate commercial property data is widely available, it benefits all of those involved. With better information, owners, property management companies, developers and policymakers alike can make better decisions, drive operational efficiencies and investment value, create well-conceived public policy, and better serve our community of residents.
For Press Inquiries:
Sep 27, 2018, 10:43am PDT
Dupre + Scott Apartment Advisors roiled the Puget Sound real estate industry when it said it was closing permanently at the end of last year.
The company had been the gold standard of market intel for apartment developers, landlords, brokers and public policymakers for 38 years. Who would replace the resource with Patty Dupre and Mike Scott retiring?
The answer emerged this week.
Veteran Seattle real estate executives Jim Bowles, Candice Chevaillier and Brian O'Connor unveiled their new research service, Commercial Analytics, which is partnering with NavigatorCRE, a Seattle tech company that aggregates, analyzes and animates data.
“Everyone I knew used and valued Mike and Patty and their information,” said Chevaillier. “So many people need and want the information.”
Unlike out-of-town data companies that merely harvest online data, Dupre + Scott surveyed apartment owners and managers. The pair turned the data into reports, but didn’t disclose the health of individual apartment companies and buildings and decided not to sell their company to protect the information they had collected from landlords.
Time was of the essence. Dupre + Scott’s closure was going to leave a hole in decades of rent, vacancy and operating expense data as well as the development pipeline and sale comps.
“Candice really rallied us and said, ‘OK, what do we do about this gap?’” said Bowles.
The question was who had the skills and heft to close it.
Bowles had worked with NavigatorCRE Chairman and Chief Innovation Officer Taylor Odegard at CBRE when Bowles was CBRE's Seattle-area market leader, so he knew NavigatorCRE was creating the platform that would work.
“It’s about trust,” said NavigatorCRE CEO Russ Johnson, who co-founded his company with Odegard and financial backing from Goodman Real Estate of Seattle. “This is a neutral, high-trust single repository with the understanding that out of that will come business analytics that don’t sacrifice privacy.”
NavigatorCRE’s tech savvy, Chevaillier’s passion for the project and O’Connor’s decades of experience were among “a whole bunch of stars that lined up,” Bowles said.
CA allows apartment owners and managers to contribute data. Contributors and subscribers will receive reports in print and digital formats. Subscriptions will be similar to what Dupre + Scott charged, Chevaillier said, though rates will be commensurate with what CA offers.
“(The market) has never seen what we are about to deliver – daily, instantaneous, live data access,” Johnson said. “People that know Navigator look at this as the old Dupre + Scott on steroids.”
Puget Sound Business Journal