Ryan Bennett, Securities Analyst, Real Estate at Schroders
On the Global Cities blog we focus on centres that people want to live and work in. Although it has its challenges, we believe Seattle is one of these.
City: Seattle, Washington
Index ranking: 25
- Key tech hub
- Affordable cost of living
- Large and busy port
- Dependency on tech sector
- Poor transportation infrastructure
What makes Seattle a global city?
Few cities can offer both world class technology companies and an affordable cost of living. Seattle is one of them, even growing more rapidly than California’s iconic Silicon Valley.
A growing technology hub
For years, the city has been regarded as a two-trick pony: namely Amazon and Microsoft. But the presence of these tech giants has attracted its competitors. Google and Facebook now have a substantial presence while Apple has a smaller footprint in the city. The effect on real estate is clear.
The city’s success is heavily linked to Amazon. It occupies six million square feet of office space, but it has committed to raising this to 10 million square feet over the next few years, including the construction of three stunning “biosphere” buildings. The company currently has more than 8,000 Seattle-based jobs listed on its website.
Offering a lower cost of living
Silicon Valley remains America’s tech capital, but more workers are being put off by its rising cost of living. Seattle, on the other hand, is offering a better balance of both.
Source: Colliers International
We often talk about wanting to own companies that have buildings in cities where people want to continue to work and play.
As the tech giants continue to add jobs, Seattle should continue to gain on markets with housing affordability issues like San Francisco. As ever, we keep a close eye on local Real Estate Investment Trusts and invest in opportunities that are appropriately priced.