The other urban neighborhood in Seattle has seen jobs nearly quadruple in the past three years. That spike has translated into a boom in the housing, restaurant and service industries.
Microsoft fueled some of the growth when it moved some of its offices to the area in 2008, and created an interest among other companies to take advantage of developing office sector. Today, Bellevue office space has vacancy rates below 8%, compared to Seattle rates which sit in the mid-teens.
Another contributing factor to Bellevue’s increased demand for housing is the national trend towards single living. Nearly half of America’s homeowners are singles, and in downtown Bellevue, nearly 60% of homes belong to singles. The growing urban area has provided this expanding demographic with an area to work, play and flourish.
Many of Bellevue’s condo projects were converted to apartments after 2008, when the owners couldn’t find buyers in the stalled housing market. These transient domains afford singles a convenient and temporary residence while they focus on building their careers. The subsequent demand for apartments in Bellevue has caused the market vacancy to slip to 3%, and experts predict it will move below 2% over the year and rents will climb more than 5%.