Seattle's Luxury Rentals Offer A Room With A View
If you want to return home to a Space Needle-like view of the Puget Sound, ferries, islands and mountains, it is going to cost you — a lot. Those who live high up in Seattle’s skyline pay for the view: The city's most expensive rents run in the $10K to $20K a month range.
For example, the 314-unit Continental Properties’ Tower 12 at Second and Virginia has a dozen penthouses that cost between $10K and $17K a month. By comparison, Seattle's typical high-rise rents run about $3,500 for a 700 SF apartment, Continental Properties President Claudio Guincher said. Bellevue's 33-story, 455-unit Bravern, at 688 110th Ave. NE, has a penthouse that rents for $20K to $25K.
Guincher will discuss Seattle’s multifamily market at Bisnow Multifamily Annual Conference Pacific Northwest on Sept. 12. TruAmerica Chief Operating Officer Lynn Owen, Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner and Williams & Dame Chairman Homer Williams will also be among the panelists.
Luxury rentals are only a very small percentage of Seattle’s total rental market, but there is plenty of demand. Tower 12 rented all of its luxury units during its initial lease-up phase. The units are often rented to athletes and other millionaires who spare no expense.
Those willing to pay top dollar for their digs are looking for a great location, Guincher said. High-end interiors, expansive views, resident lounges and quality gyms are sought after. Some buildings offer more unusual amenities like ride-sharing cars. The penthouse units at Tower 12 include luxury decks that range from 500 to 1K SF. Concierge services are offered at Tower 12, as well as the Bravern.
"The location is the big draw," Guincher said. "People want to be close to where they work or have a very short commute. They want good proximity to bars and restaurants. They don't want to be in a car driving."
Interest in luxury units is often affected by economic downturns, said Guincher, who has 30 years in the business. However, he is confident in the current economy’s strength. When the inevitable downturn does occur, most landlords will drop rents by about 10% to 15% to keep units full.
“The demand right now is excellent,” he said. “The future demand will depend on job growth locally, and the national economy. There doesn’t seem to be any economic bubbles. The banks are demanding a lot of money down, so it’s all on solid ground and the economy should do well for a few years."
Hear more from Guincher and other multifamily experts at Bisnow Multifamily Annual Conference Pacific Northwest on Sept. 12 at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel.