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Seattle’s boom is about far more than Amazon

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

Strengths

- Key tech hub
- Affordable cost of living
- Large and busy port

Weaknesses

- 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.

seattle-skyline-at-dusk

 

 

 

 

Source: Colliers International

Our verdict

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.

Access the latest thinking around what’s driving real estate growth here>

Important information For professional advisers only. This material is not suitable for retail clients.  Past performance is not a guide to future performance and may not be repeated.  The value of investments and the income from them may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amount originally invested.  Schroders has expressed its own views and these may change.  The sectors, regions and companies mentioned in this article are for illustrative purposes and not a recommendation to buy or sell. The data contained in this document has been sourced by Schroders and should be independently verified before further publication or use. The forecasts included should not be relied upon, are not guaranteed and are provided only as at the date of issue.  Our forecasts are based on our own assumptions which may change.  We accept no responsibility for any errors of fact or opinion and assume no obligation to provide you with any changes to our assumptions or forecasts.  Forecasts and assumptions may be affected by external economic or other factors. Issued in February 2017 by Schroder Unit Trusts Limited, 31 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7QA. Registered No: 4191730 England. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
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