If you want to know where a company is headed, look at who they’re hiring and the kinds of jobs they’re recruiting for. This same logic can also be applied to our Puget Sound Housing Market: Want know where the Puget Sound Housing Market is headed? Look at where the local economy and job market is headed.
35 years ago we would have been talking about Boeing and Microsoft. Then it was Nordstrom’s and Starbucks, then Amazon, and now we have a whole slew of players rising to the top. But two of the most interesting storylines are Space and Web3. Why are these so interesting? Because they have the potential to be anchor industries for an entire economy. Not just F5, Zillow, Redfin, Weyerhaeuser, TMobile type companies that are incredible building blocks to add between the anchor stores, but entirely new, eventually multi-Trillion dollar industries – both rooting themselves here in the Puget Sound. Welcome to Part One of a Two Part WMU Series – The future of the NW.
Space Force Seattle
We’ve all heard of SpaceX and Virgin Galactic. But are you as familiar with Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin? SpaceX is the leader right now, but don’t count out the third richest person in the world’s sidehustle, Blue Origin. Without a doubt, the next physical frontier for humans to conquer is Space. From satellite internet for everyone everywhere, to warfare, travel, and mining – Mastering Space can open multiple doors to multiple Trillion Dollar industries. To read more about the future of the Commercial Space Age, check out the article from the Harvard Business Review.
So what’s happening in the local Space scene? A lot. Not only does Blue Origin have about 880 job postings to add to their current 3,300 person headcount, but that 27% growth rate puts them 5 percentage points above the notoriously ambitious Amazon growth rate, and 20 percentage points ahead of Microsoft. The only other faster growing big companies in Puget Sound are Salesforce (60.7% growth rate), and Apple (67.5% growth rate). But it’s worth noting, however, that growth rates in Tech are a bit diluted compared to manufacturing due to the higher share of remote jobs. So not only is Blue Origin growing quickly, they’ve already sold over $100m in future Space flights to consumers, and just landed a $1B contract from NASA to produce initial designs for a human landing system for the Artemis 3 mission. With Blue Origin’s growth in the region accelerating, Unico Properties is betting $100m in one of the worst commercial office submarkets in the PNW that Blue Origin will need their newly owned Longacres campus sooner than later.
Economies snowball. Luckily for the Puget Sound housing market that snowball has been rolling in the right direction since the early 80s. Microsoft helped Amazon become what it became because they singlehandedly grew the tech talent pool from which Amazon was avle to draw upon. Now that we have both Microsoft and Amazon (combined headcount of over 135,000 in the region), we find Meta (formerly Facebook), Google, Salesforce, Apple, and other tech titans moving in to enjoy the fruits of our incredible and strong tech workforce.
As more and more big tech moves in, more and more new companies are created. Zillow, Glassdoor, Expedia, Valve, Zulily, Convoy, AuthO, Offer Up, Smartsheet, and Zappos were all founded by former Microsoft Employees. Amazon being a bit younger doesn’t quite have the tree Microsoft does, but Jet.com and Twilio found their founders at the local giant. Why do I bring this up? Because it’s quite possible that Boeing equals Microsoft in this analogy, and Blue Origin equals Amazon (now worth about $1.48 trillion dollars). The sky is the limit…or dare I say the sky is not the limit for Blue Origin and what it could achieve.
And as a rising tide lifts all boats, Blue Origin’s HQ in Southeast King County could be fuel on the fire for an already scorching hot Renton, Kent, Auburn housing market – up 20.6% in the last 12 months alone. As always, time will ultimately tell how this plays out, but the prospect of having one of the biggest players (and maybe two if Boeing ramps their Space efforts up) in what could eventually be one of the biggest industries on Earth, will bode well for the Puget Sound housing market future-forward.
Current Real Estate Trends
Week endong January 23, 2022
Per Bankrate’s survey of large lenders, the 30 year mortgage interest rate rose this past week to 3.75%, with .34 in discount and origination points.
Quick Take – Mortgage Market Week in Review
Inflation is high (which is bad news for fixed-income assets like mortgage bonds – because the ROI, or return on investment is the same every year); AND artificial demand for mortgage backed securities is waning as the Fed reduces their purchases. The Fed purchased about $47.8B in mortgage bonds last month. In January they’re targeting $35.5B in purchases. The only tailwinds mortgage backed securities are enjoying right now is the selloff in the equity markets. The S&P is down about 6.8% since the beginning of the year. Some of that money has been finding itself in the safety of mortgage backed securities…but as you can see in the chart below, it’s not enough to offset the waning Fed purchasing schedule and inflationary fears.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR WHERE RATES WILL GO:
- Good Economic News or Inflation = Bad for Mortgage Interest Rates.
- Bad Economic News or Deflation = Good for Mortgage Interest Rates.
Puget Sound Housing Market: Charts and Data
A picture is worth a thousand words…
Absorption Rates per NWMLS Real Time Data
Absorption Rate is calculated as: (Pending Sales) / (Active + Pending Sales)
Residential in Seattle: 66.58%
Condos in Seattle: 49.08%
Residential in Bellevue/Redmond/Kirkland: 69.14%
Condos in Bellevue/Redmond/Kirkland: 67.83%
Residential in Everett/Marysville/Lake Stevens: 82.07%
Condos in Everett/Marysville/Lake Stevens: 85.19%
Residential in Tacoma/Lakewood/Federal Way: 68.71%
Condos in Tacoma/Lakewood/Federal Way: 62.11%
Scott Sheridan is a Loan Officer with Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc. Scott brings a fresh millennial flair to the industry, shown through his innovative ideas and future-thinking solutions throughout his years in the mortgage industry. He is well-versed in the most modern, efficient, and convenient ways to get things done. Scott combines these skills with a genuine love of his work and recent experience in what is it like to be a first and second-time home buyer. You can follow Scott’s weekly market updates on his PRMI