The holiday season is not distracting determined buyers from finding their new homes. Pending sales of homes hit an all-time high for the month of November, according to the latest statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.
From startups to behemoths, from Silicon Valley refugees to foreign investors, companies and individuals are migrating to our area in droves. What makes this corner of the country so appealing? There are a few key factors driving our area’s transformation.
Somewhat overlooked by past generations of immigrants in comparison with Vancouver BC and San Francisco, the Pacific Northwest has so far avoided the trap of high growth fueled by non-resident real estate investment. Yet, industry experts believe that’s coming and likely part of the draw. To the trained eye, Seattle, and especially Bellevue, is looking more and more like Vancouver, albeit about twenty years its junior.
Ask anyone shopping for a home in the greater Seattle area—it’s brutal out there. Lack of inventory, bidding wars, and rising prices have sidelined many well-qualified buyers and dissuaded others from even entering the race.
Foreign buyers in Vancouver will be paying more for investment properties this month (beginning August 2). The Canadian provincial government of British Columbia has enacted a 15 percent real property transfer tax on foreigner-purchased properties in Metropolitan Vancouver, adding $300,000 to the cost of a two-million-dollar home. The tax is the response of Premier Christy Clark’s government to data indicating that foreign absentee buyers have been driving up home prices past the point of their affordability to native B.C. residents.