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On Reflection: Don’t Write Off Seattle’s Commercial Core Just Yet

The city makes big gains in real estate trends report

By Rob Smith January 31, 2024

Digital generated image of cartoon wooden houses standing on white surface.

This article originally appeared in the January/February 2024 issue of Seattle magazine.

Thanks to Seattle’s battered but still significant tech sector, the region ranked an impressive No. 10 among metros in all states in the Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2024 report.

“Ratings have been volatile in recent years, mostly due to the changing fortunes of the tech sector,” the annual report from the Urban Land Institute and PwC notes. “San Jose and especially Seattle both improved this year after tumbling in last year’s ranking.”

Seattle, for instance, is a national leader for its efforts to convert underperforming office buildings into housing. The report notes that the city has solicited proposals, drafted incentive programs, and is considering regulatory modifications.

Seattle also has a higher share of remote workers than the national average, but that’s not necessarily a negative thing. “Remote working is likely to have different impacts in different markets, and not all office troubles can be blamed on working from home,” the report says.

Seattle finished No. 17 last year. Nashville took the top spot for the third year in a row.

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