Seattle Commercial Real Estate Surges with Crexi

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Seattle, Washington’s commercial real estate market represents a fast-growing, thriving area ripe for property and tenant investment.

The Pacific Northwest metro is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, and dozens of leading businesses call Seattle home. Crexi provides a window into Seattle’s bustling commercial real estate market and equips property seekers with the tools they need to search, analyze, and exchange commercial assets.

Brokers in Seattle and those representing Seattle properties utilize Crexi’s powerful marketing platform and tools to boost their listings’ exposure and close more deals. To date, Crexi has helped brokers close over $300 billion in commercial contracts and market more than $1.2 trillion in assets.

Crexi proudly supports Seattle, Tacoma, Renton, Bellevue, Kirkland, and the surrounding communities as the region’s fastest-growing online CRE platform.

The State of Seattle Commercial Real Estate 

Located just 100 miles from the Canadian border, Seattle has been rated as the fastest-growing major city in the past decade, boasting a population growth rate of nearly 2% just last year. Seattle is the largest city in Washington and is also a major gateway for international trade with Northern Asia.

Mining and logging were the first major industries in Seattle; the city became a major commercial and shipbuilding center during the Klondike Gold Rush in the late 1800s. The Seattle metro area began developing into a technology center in the 1980s, with Microsoft and Amazon both founded in Seattle.

Seattle is nicknamed the Emerald City, the Rain City, and The Coffee Capital of the World. The city is home to numerous coffee roasting companies, including Starbucks, Tully’s Coffee, and Caffé Vita Coffee Roasting Company.

Metro Seattle has been a regional center for the performing arts for years on end, and is home to the century-old Seattle Symphony Orchestra, the Seattle Opera, the Pacific Northwest Ballet. It is also considered the home of grunge music, thanks to artists such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Professional sports teams in Seattle include the Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Mariners, and the NHL Seattle Kraken.

Seattle Regional Breakdown

Seattle was the fastest-growing big city last year, countering the trend of residents fleeing from urban areas to the suburbs. Between July 2019 and July 2020, the City of Seattle had a net gain of 16,400 residents, ahead of sunbelt cities such as Austin, Mesa, and Tampa:

  • Seattle is home to nearly 754,000 residents, with about 4 million people living in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metro area.
  • The population of Seattle has grown by 1.9% year-over-year.
  • The booming tech industry in Seattle has a reputation for attracting millennials, with the metro area seeing a surge of newcomers over the past decade.
  • Principal cities in the metropolitan area include Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue, Kent, Everett, and Renton.
  • The largest counties in the Seattle MSA are King, Snohomish, and Pierce.
  • The median age in Seattle is 37.1 years, with 57% of the population between 20 and 59.

Although most businesses in Seattle are returning to normal operations, job growth in the metro area still lags far behind other US cities. The job market in Seattle grew by about 3.2% last year, with the mining and logging, construction, trade and transportation, and professional and business services industry sectors showing the fastest signs of recovery:

  • GDP of the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue MSA is nearly $425 billion and has grown by nearly 83% over the past decade.
  • Employment growth in Seattle was almost 3.2%, while median household incomes grew by over 7% year-over-year.
  • The unemployment rate in metro Seattle is 6.6% (April 2021).
  • Target industry sectors in the greater Seattle metropolitan area include trade and business development, aerospace, agriculture and fisheries, forest products, military and defense, and the technology sector.
  • Amazon, Microsoft, University of Washington Seattle, and Joint Base Lewis-McChord are among the largest employers in Seattle.
  • Other large tech companies in Seattle include Tableau Software, Cray, Redfin, Getty Images, Avvo, PayScale, IMDb, and Zillow.
  • Best colleges and universities in and around Seattle include the University of Washington, City University of Seattle, Clover Park Technical College, DigiPen Institute of Technology, and Cornish College of the Arts.
  • Nearly 93% of Seattle residents are high school graduates or higher, while over 44% hold a bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree.
  • Transportation infrastructure in the Seattle region includes Interstate 5 and State Route 99, which run uninterrupted through the city, the King County Water Taxi, and the Central Link light rail system. 
  • BNSF and Union Pacific provide freight rail service in Seattle, while two neighboring seaports next to the international airport are home to a wide range of maritime activities.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) consistently ranks among the top 20 cargo airports in North America. It is served by carriers such as Alaska Air, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Emirates SkyCargo, FedEx, United, and Southwest.

Seattle Industrial Market

The Seattle industrial market continues to perform well, with nearly 33% of the 10 million SF of industrial space under construction already pre-leased. Over the past four quarters, 2.9 million SF have been absorbed, including 1.6 million SF the first quarter of this year alone. Over the past 12 months, industrial rents are up by nearly 5% throughout the Seattle region, while sales volume totaled $300 million in Q1 2021:

  • Total industrial inventory: 235,071,187 SF
  • Average asking rent: $11.32 per SF per year, net
  • Vacancy rate: 5.1%
  • Absorption: 246,000 SF Q1 2021
  • New construction: 351,166 SF delivered (Q1 2021) with 9,346,745 SF under construction
  • Recent sales transactions: Canyon Park Business Center $200M, Redmond East Business Campus $80M, and Portside Buildings A, B, & C $61.3M

Discover Seattle industrial space for rent.

Seattle Office Market

While the Seattle office market is currently experiencing rising vacancy rates and negative net absorption, tech sector activity is helping to minimize the impact of the pandemic. Nineteen major regional office projects under construction are all ongoing, with 76% of that office space pre-committed by demand for office space in Seattle from tech giants such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft:

  • Total office inventory: 66,916,572 SF
  • Average asking rents: $39.69 per SF per year, full-service gross
  • Overall vacancy rate: 17.2%
  • Absorption: -1,825,204 SF (Q1 2021)
  • Leasing activity: 380,378 SF (Q1 2021)
  • New construction: 856,897 SF delivered to market (Q1 2021) with 1,976,998 SF of office space under construction
  • Recent sales activity: Creekside Building $11.7M, Star Building $21M, Canyon Park East $75M, and Advanta Office Commons $169M.

Discover Seattle office space for lease. 

Seattle Retail Market

Retail businesses in Seattle are beginning to open to greater capacity, helping retail rents in Seattle grow by 1.6% year-over-year while the direct vacancy rate remains below 5%. Retail landlords in the Puget Sound area are offering concessions to help minimize tenant failures, while some retail properties have been sold for redevelopment:

  • Total retail inventory: 65,919,246 SF
  • Average asking rent: $27.07 per SF per year, NNN
  • Overall vacancy rate: 4.9%
  • Net absorption: -314,420 SF (Q1 2021)
  • New construction: 0 SF delivered (Q1 2021) with 136,555 SF under construction
  • Recent market activity: Bellevue Square mixed-use expansion, Factoria Village mixed-use redevelopment, and the former Sears as Alderwood Mall redevelopment into mixed-use

Discover Seattle retail property for lease.

Seattle Multifamily Market

As with many expensive coastal urban areas, multifamily rents in Seattle continue to decline, with metropolitan Seattle seeing the fourth-largest drop among major metro areas. Through the first quarter of this year, unemployment and vacancy rates were trending up, while apartment asking rents in Seattle held steady:

  • Total housing units: 1,644,721
  • Renter occupied: 40%
  • Average asking rent: $1,632 per month
  • Vacancy rate: 7.6%
  • Net Absorption: 2,404 units (Q1 2021)
  • Average cap rate: 5.1%
  • Average sales price per unit: $325,861
  • New construction: 3,411 units delivered in Q1 2021, with 23,652 units currently under construction
  • Top apartment transactions: Hyde Square $279M, Bell Jackson Street $72.3M, The Outlook $55M, and Mariposa Apartments $31M
  • Median household income: $90,027
  • Per capita income: $49,184

Discover Seattle multifamily property for sale.

How Crexi Connects Buyers and Tenants to Seattle Commercial Real Estate

Individuals looking for Seattle commercial property use Crexi to quickly browse hundreds of potential acquisitions for purchase or lease.

It takes a few simple clicks to navigate Seattle’s available commercial property inventory. Buyers and tenants can narrow their searches by dozens of variables, including square footage, price or rate per square foot, asset type or property subtype, vacancy, and even neighborhood.

Once they’ve found the perfect property, buyers and tenants can click directly on the page to connect with the listing’s broker and learn more. Seattle property buyers can easily download brochures and PDFs and even submit a letter of intent (LOI) on a listing directly through Crexi.

Intelligence Equips Investors with Data and Market Knowledge 

Crexi knows that research and data are essential pieces in any commercial real estate investor’s toolkit. Intelligence makes it easy to source and analyze complex property data and better make investment or leasing decisions.

Intelligence is a subscription-based tool that equips Seattle property seekers with millions of records and sales comparables, boosted by over 50 MSA market reports. The Insights tab on every property page offers viewers a real-time look into market data and current inventory, helping them make more informed decisions. With Insights, Seattle buyers and tenants can easily see the area’s average asking price, demographic data, square footage, and other relevant analytics.

Intelligence is available to buyers, sellers, and tenants on a subscription basis.

How Seattle Brokers Thrive with Crexi

Seattle brokers use Crexi to list more than 100 properties for sale and over 500 properties for lease within the city limits. Commercial agents in Seattle manage and represent plentiful viable commercial investment options and use Crexi to showcase their assets nationwide. Using Crexi’s powerful tools, Seattle commercial brokers enjoy real-time insights into every lead, letting them engage the minute a buyer or tenant shows interest.

Brokers can market their Seattle property across several asset classes and subtypes, including:

  • Offices units
  • Industrial buildings
  • Retail properties
  • Multifamily developments
  • Hospitality assets
  • Land 
  • Mixed-Use listings
  • Non-traditional properties such as self-storage, data centers, etc.

Crexi’s digital tools help Seattle brokers navigate listings from market to close. Brokers can manage each step of the due diligence process through Crexi, thanks to its straightforward and secure file management and storage.

And while Crexi’s free broker tools are robust, Crexi’s real advantages emerge with Sale PRO, Lease PRO, and All PRO

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Crexi’s All PRO Membership

Crexi PRO elevates Seattle brokers’ workflows and equips them with advanced digital tools to accelerate their pipeline and win more business. PRO brokers receive next-level access to lead insights and reporting tools, allowing them to prioritize networking and connect with the highest-value leads.

PRO listings also enjoy preferential placement at the top of Crexi’s search pages, most visible to actively-looking prospects. These listings are emailed weekly to Crexi’s sizable database, curated to users’ preferences by machine learning, earning a 10-15% higher click-through rate than industry standards.

PRO users can access Intelligence’s robust research and data capabilities at no added cost, further bolstering their market knowledge and adding additional value to their clients.

Thanks to Crexi PRO, brokers can efficiently connect with the over 74,000 leads who have searched for Seattle properties in the last two years and the more than 3 million leads nationwide who used Crexi to find property in 2020.

On average, Crexi PRO users engage up to 125% more leads and close six to eight more transactions than non-PRO brokers.

Contact support@crexi.com to learn more about All PRO.

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Shanti Ryle
Shanti Ryle

Content Marketing Manager

Shanti leads Crexi's content marketing strategies with 7+ years of content development experience, creating everything from blog posts to award-winning podcasts. Previously, she worked on content teams at Snapchat, Weedmaps, and HopSkipDrive as well as developed copy, articles, and media for freelance publications.

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