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  •  A new report from the Washington State Department of Commerce found that the state needs to add 1.1 million homes over the next 20 years to keep up with expected population growth. That averages out to more than 50,000 new units a year and Commerce said half of those homes need to be affordable for low-income residents. The total 1.1 million units include more than 91,000 emergency housing beds for people who are in between housing or are having trouble finding housing within their financial means and more than 523,000 units for people making less than half of the area medium income. In 2020, 45,429 housing units were built in Washington, according to Commerce. Recent federal data found that approximately 30% of Washington residents are cost-burdened meaning more than 30% of the household income goes to housing. The Growth Management Act framework in 2021 was amended to require the fastest-growing counties and cities to include a certain number of housing units based on projected population growth and income levels. Updates to the state’s planning require that communities focus on affordable housing with the standard that housing and utilities should not cost more than 30% of a household’s income. The Puget Sound region, including Seattle, is where the most growth is expected and the need for additional housing is the most critical, a spokesperson with Commerce said. State lawmakers are hoping to address the state’s housing shortage during the current Legislative session. More than a dozen bills have been introduced that lawmakers say will help reduce barriers to housing of all types.
  • A young Seattle real-estate agent, Martin Johanson, and a group of friends begin serving meals to homeless people in 1921 in Pioneer Square, the start of the Millionair Club Charity. From its founding, the club has served millions of meals and found thousands of jobs for unemployed people. Johanson was executive director of the charity for 53 years, retiring when he was 86 years old. The club is renamed Uplift Northwest in 2020 and continues to operate in Belltown. (Compiled from
  • Rent in the Emerald City increased in February for the first time in five months, according to a new report from Zillow. The Seattle-based real estate company said the monthly asking price for “typical rent” in Seattle was $2,178 a month in February, an increase of .35% from January. That marks the first month-over-month increase in rent prices since September, Zillow said, though February’s average was still 4% higher than a year ago. Seattle has followed the national trend on rent prices. According to Zillow, asking rents climbed by $6 nationally from January to February, which also marked the first increase since September. The priciest rental market in the United States is in the Bay Area. San Jose ($3,189 a month), San Francisco ($3,084), New York ($3,084), San Diego ($2,959) and Boston ($2,958) round out the top five metros. The steepest declines in rent across the country came from Cleveland (-1%), Jacksonville (-.4%), Salt Lake City (-.4%), Richmond (-.3%) and Miami (-.3%).
  • Mount Rainier National Park will be fully cashless starting May 26, according to KOMO news. For those planning to visit the park, and can only pay with cash, prepaid passes will be available to purchase from various local vendors before coming to the park. Electronic card payments will be the only form accepted for entrance fees and campgrounds. According to the National Park Service, the Mount Rainier National Park Annual Pass, private vehicle passes, motorcycle passes, individual passes and backcountry permits can be purchased online. Advance campground reservations can also be made online. First-come, first served camp site payments will be cashless. Concession-run hotels, bookstores, and restaurants inside the park will still accept cash or card payments. Fees gathered from the cashless fee system are used for road and facility repairs and maintenance, trail improvements, accessibility improvements, visitor and resource protection services, and more, according to the National Park Service.
  • Washington state was ranked the second best state for camping in a list made by Lawn Love, a national lawn care service provider. The list compared all 50 states based on 25 different metrics including, but not limited to: campsite access, acreage, and trails. We also considered safety, supplies, camper satisfaction, and affordability. Amongst the different categories, here’s how Washington state ranked:#2 for Quality, #3 for Accessibility, #3 for Most Attractions, #5 for Supplies, #5 for Highest total acreage of national and state parks, #20 for Affordability, and #28 for Safety. To see the full list and rankings, click here.
  • Among the 634 U.S. cities with at least 65,000 residents, only six had 5% of its households with an average income of more than $1 million in 2021 and one of those six is on the Eastside: Kirkland, according to Gene Balk/ FYI Guy at the Seattle Times. According to newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the average income for the top 5% of households in Kirkland — that’s equal to roughly 1,900 households out of the city’s 38,000 — was $1.05 million. The five other places where the top five percenters had an average household income exceeding $1 million were Bethesda, Maryland; Palo Alto, California; Newport Beach, California; Newton, Massachusetts; and Redwood City, California. One other Eastside city just missed the cut for million-dollar incomes among the top 5%: Sammamish, at $980,000. Bellevue ($829,000) and Redmond ($787,000) also rank high among U.S. cities. In Seattle, the top 5% of households, which is equal to about 17,600 households, had an average income of $676,000. Among the 50 largest U.S. cities, that ranked fourth behind San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and San Jose, California. The Census Bureau only produced these 2021 income figures for places with at least 65,000 residents. There are, of course, many wealthy enclaves with smaller populations where the highest-earning households certainly average more than $1 million. King County has a number of such places. But those smaller communities tend to have more uniform populations composed mainly of homeowners and families. Those types of households have the highest incomes, on average. More densely populated places often have a wider variety of household types. They typically have more renters and single people who typically have lower incomes than homeowners and families. So it’s an impressive degree of affluence that the top 5% of households in those cities can have such high incomes. Among the 20 Washington cities with populations of 65,000 or greater, the top 5% had the lowest average income in Spokane Valley, at $212,000. Kirkland, Sammamish, Bellevue, Redmond and Seattle are the only cities in Washington where the top five percenters had an average income higher than the national figure of $458,000. The next highest after Seattle was Vancouver, where the top tier averaged $429,000.
  • According to a new report from Redfin, more than 45% of people trying to sell their homes over the last three months offered buyers some sort of concession. Seattle tops the list for major cities with more than 51% of sellers trying to sweeten the deal. Many are offering to pay for home repairs, cover closing costs or buy down the mortgage rate. Those alone are typically worth thousands of dollars. Sellers are competing with a smaller pool of buyers now after many backed out due to high prices and rising mortgage rates. That’s a turnaround from 2021, when competition was high and rates were historically low. The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is up nearly 3% from a year ago, increasing the average monthly payment by $600, according to Redfin.
  • According to RentCafe’s latest report, Redmond ranks among the top 50 best places to find new apartments in coveted locations, snatching the 9th spot. This past decade, the number of new rentals increased significantly, many of which are in desirable areas of the city. Redmond offers that urban-suburban vibe with a lot of restaurants, coffee shops and parks. It’s a great spot for families and young professionals, thanks to Microsoft. Highlights from the report: Between 2012 and 2021, the number of new apartments in Redmond increased by a whopping 85.1%. Around 6,000 new rentals hit the market back then, of which almost 98.2% are in coveted locations. New apartments in Redmond offer an average of 740 sq. ft. Occupancy rates reach 92.5%, leaving renters craving that new apartment vibe with around 7% vacant new rentals. While Seattle didn’t secure a spot in the top 50 nationwide, the number of new rentals built this past decade increased by 136.5%, with less than half located in popular areas across the city. More so, apartments in the Emerald City are less generous in space, averaging 660 sq. ft. In Bellevue and Tampa, new apartments increased by 38.1% and 23.8% this past decade, respectively. By comparison, these cities offer larger rentals — 797 sq. ft. and 812 sq. ft; Boca Raton, FL, was named the best city for finding new apartments in highly desirable locations.
  • newly released report finds that new Seattle apartments are the smallest out of the entire United States. Seattle apartments have continued to shrink in size throughout the last decade, according to RentCafe. The report finds that apartment sizes in the city have decreased 5%, or 30 square feet, when compared to 10 years ago. Seattle sits atop the list of smallest apartment sizes with the average size of new apartments being 659 square feet and the average size of all apartments being 689 square feet. After Seattle is Queens, New York in second place with Portland, Oregon in third. You can read the full report on national apartment sizes here.
  • Nearly three-fourths of Seattle rentals allow pets, making it one of the friendliest rental markets in the country for pet owners, according to Zillow. As of January, about 73% of Seattle rental units listed on Zillow allowed pets. That’s far higher than the figure nationwide, which was about 55%, the real estate website reported. Out of 100 U.S. cities analyzed, Seattle had the ninth-highest percentage of pet-friendly apartments. Austin was No. 1, followed by Dallas, Fort Worth, Charlotte, Denver, San Antonio, Indianapolis and Kansas City.

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