SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY BRAND TO EXPAND LUXURY PRESENCE WITHIN THE MIDDLE EAST

Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC today announced plans for the brand’s expansion into five additional Gulf countries, complementing its existing presence in the United Arab Emirates. Within the next year, the brand’s affiliate brokerage in the region, Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty, is expected to enter the important new markets of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman, greatly increasing the brand’s presence in the Middle East.

“Increasing our brand presence in the Middle East is yet another example of our commitment to providing the Sotheby’s International Realty network’s exclusive real estate services in luxury property destinations around the world,” said Phillip White, president and chief executive officer of Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC.  “The Middle East continues to be one of the most important sources of cross-regional capital into the global real estate market and we are proud to support Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty as the company expands its footprint and continues to provide robust regional market intelligence to its clients.”

Currently operating in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty is led by Chairman George Azar.  The firm intends to open seven new offices around the region including Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam in Saudi Arabia and also in Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman.

“We are excited to be growing our company and widening our range of services to span the Middle Eastern region,” said Azar.  “Our goal is to achieve the highest sale price for our clients, but achieving this means equipping investors with sound intelligence about the property market and its potential. Our clients are sophisticated high net worth individuals and institutional investors who need to understand the underlying fundamentals of the markets in which they invest. This is why we have consistently surpassed our own sale price targets in 2015, despite the slowdown in the Dubai property market.”

The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has approximately 17,000 sales associates located in approximately 800 offices in 61 countries and territories worldwide.  Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty listings are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website.  In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, the firm’s brokers and their clients will benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs.  Each office is independently owned and operated.

What Do the Wealthy Want? Real Estate Of Course!

In a recent article on Think Advisor"Global Wealthy Want More Real Estate," Michael S. Fischer breaks down the latest Savills/Wealth Briefing survey, which reveals that "private bankers and wealth managers found that 91% of global high-net-worth [HNW] investors were looking to increase or maintain the real estate holdings they own directly, and 87% intended to increase or maintain indirect holdings."

Some key statistics, indicated by the chart below, show that 72% of wealth managers' clients plan to purchase residential properties in the next five years and that "North America was the choice investment destination of investors."

Harriet Davies, who wrote a statement for the survey, said "demand for property is not only being driven by low interest rates," which are bound to increase in the current climate, but "structural shifts mean that real estate is likely to grow in importance for HNW investors." Thus "it is crucial that advisors understand the evolving role of real estate in portfolios," and for the real estate industry to embrace these market trends.

New Listing in Bellevue | Mid-Century Modern Rambler

16035 SE 10th Street, Bellevue WA 98008
Offered at $445,000

Architecturally cool Mid-Century Modern Rambler. Defined by clean lines, high beamed ceiling, signature two sided fireplace & galley kitchen. Stunning hardwoods & numerous updates plus room to add a bath in the master bedroom. Backyard is fully fenced, featuring a charming potting shed & entertainment sized patio. Walk to prime Bellevue schools, parks, greenbelt trails, public library & quaint new Lake Hills Village shops. In the heart of where you want to be. Love & live in Bellevue!

Learn More

Think your neighborhood is crowded? See how it stacks up!

It's no secret that Seattle is experiencing record breaking growth. For anyone who has driven, taken the bus, or even tried walking anywhere during rush hour (or any time of the day, for that matter) can attest to the very noticeable density of people in any given area.

But just how does each neighborhood stack against one another? The Seattle Times has compiled a very detailed set of data that shows neighborhood census tracts throughout King County. Thinking that South Lake Union would be densifying the quickest?—the real answer may surprise you!

Read more>>

Puget Sound Business Journal Lists Realogics Sotheby's International Realty as Sixth Largest Residential Real Estate Firm in Puget Sound (Sales Volume 2014)

The much anticipated Book of Lists for 2015 will soon be published by the Puget Sound Business Journal but the results are already in for the Largest Residential Real Estate Firms in Puget Sound (ranked on residential sales volume for 2014). Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) improved its position from #10 in 2013 to #6 in 2014, according to the survey results. With $560 million in gross sales volume represented by just 111 active brokers and three branch offices in 2014, RSIR is now acknowledged among the most productive, fastest growing and largest brokerage firms in the region.

“We are proud to join our many peers amongst the largest brokerage firms in the region – congratulations to all of the companies that made the list,” said Stacy Jones, Owner of RSIR. “We are even more proud of our many fine brokers and we thank them for their tireless efforts every day. This is really their acknowledgement and we are the ones that are privileged to work alongside their success.”

Jones states she has no illusions about being the largest real estate organization in the region nor having the most brokers. Her goal is to make a meaningful difference in her broker’s business and to optimally represent the interest of their clients – one sale at a time.

“Our growth in the region has always been very organic,” says Jones. “We are always open to new business ventures and new brokers but we find the best opportunities are referred to us by our current brokers and even from brokers at other companies. We have distinguished ourselves from the pack in just five years of operation. We like being innovative and creating a new model within the industry.”

NOTE: RSIR is an independently owned and operated franchise with branch offices in downtown Seattle, Bainbridge Island, Kirkland and coming soon to Issaquah. Unlike other franchise networks surveyed, RSIR statistics do not incorporate the production from other Sotheby’s International Realty affiliates in Washington State.

Latest Housing Trend: Millennials Ditching Their Rents For Owning Property

While it may seem incomprehensible for the generation coming of age in the Great Recession to be purchasing homes, the rate at which rents are rising makes renting to be a less economical option for a growing number of millennials. 

While nationally the median age at which people are buying homes is rising, the situation is just the opposite here in Seattle. Despite the existence of student loan debt being the main hurdle for most millennials, many here in Seattle work in the tech industry, which allows them the ability to pay down debt quicker. Coupled with historically low interest rates on home loans and too high of rents, the ability for Seattle area millennials to purchase a home will only increase. 

Read more on Puget Sound Business Journal>>

Spring Remodeling: Trends in Kitchens and Baths

13122472_xl.jpg

Looking to remodel this spring to reinvigorate the interior design of your house? While the better weather is certainly a great time to take on such a project, it's also important to note how or if you will recoup the remodeling costs by the time resale comes around.

Recent findings from US News & World Report found that a "midrange bathroom remodel costing $16,724 would only add $11,707 to the resale value of a home in today's market." That being said, there are some great trends in decorating and appliance choices that can help to keep costs low while maximizing your interior potential!

Read more>>

Tailoring Your Business To Millennial Homebuyers

It's no secret that the Millennial generation is coming into the home-buying market in full force. And it is also no secret that this is the first generation to have grown up their entire lives with the computer and Internet at their fingertips. As such, the demand for innovation and ingenuity for the real estate sector has never been higher.

In a recent article from Inman, a real estate news source for realtors and brokers, Jason Turner breaks down what brokers should and shouldn't be doing amidst the growing rise of new media and marketing strategies. 

The more open and approachable a broker is, the more appealing to a Millennial buyer. Despite such innovations as being able to search for homes from the convenience of their smartphones, Millennials are really searching for a personal touch from a dedicated broker that is going to be able to mentor and be available to them with indispensable knowledge from firsthand experience. 

Read the full story on Inman>>

1,000 BASKETS TO BE FILLED | GIVING BACK THIS SPRING SEASON

The YWCA has 1,000+ children in the Seattle, Snohomish & King County area that would love to have Easter baskets this holiday and bring spring cheer.

Each basket will make a difference to a child in need.  The YWCA opens doors to opportunity and self-sufficiency for women and families facing poverty, violence and discrimination. Their homeless shelters are a safe haven to the families they serve for up to 6 months and we hope to remind them of the life they are working so hard on getting back on track.

Please help us fill those baskets! We will be filling the baskets on March 29th at noon. Please send your contributions prior or drop off at the office at 2715 1st Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98121.

Browse the Wish List

“Home of the Week” Winner | The Reserve at Redondo

 

Home of the Day is a feature presented by the Puget Sound Business Journal and Realogics Sotheby's International Realty. This is your invitation to view some of Puget Sound's most-luxurious properties. Come inside and take a look around. Click on the image above to view the "Home of the Week" winner, The Reserve at Redondo, listed by Aaron GazesShannon Vallentyne & Yvonne Lindbom!

Welcome home to the best kept secret in the South Puget Sound. This recently remodeled home offers endless views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains from nearly every room. The interior boosts elegance and warmth throughout. Enjoy a peaceful morning breakfast on the deck watching eagles soar and cozy nights in the fully finished basement with family. 10.44 acres of lush growth, landscape perfect for exploring or future development. Gated entry for ultimate privacy. Tranquility at its finest!

One of the very last large scale residential luxury view parcels between Seattle and Tacoma. Perched directly above the iconic enclave of Redondo Beach and famous boardwalk. The topography is stadium seating for unobstructed million dollar view homes.

Learn more about our exclusive partnership with the PSBJ here:


SUCCESS! Passport to Luxury Event Kicked Off Chinese New Year Celebrations

On February 21 more than three hundred guests joined two dozen brands representing the best of the Pacific Northwest during the Passport to Luxury at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel. Upon arrival, the VIP attendees enjoyed valet parking alongside a collection of luxury cars on display.

The elevator doors opened onto the penthouse level of the hotel where Benjamin Lee, President Emeritus of the Hong Kong and Greater China Association of Washington welcomed guests to the lifestyle showcase like no other.

 

ABOVE: Benjamin Lee, President Emeritus of the Hong Kong and Greater China Association of Washington made a point to greet each guest and wish a happy Chinese New Year.

ABOVE: Benjamin Lee, President Emeritus of the Hong Kong and Greater China Association of Washington made a point to greet each guest and wish a happy Chinese New Year.

In addition to exploring the two dozen exhibits on display, guests were offered champagne and specialty cocktails byGlass Distillerycomplete with diamond-shaped ice cubes prepare by Creative Ice, which also provided the individual brand jewel boxes and other ice carvings.

PICTURED ABOVE: Andy Yip, the former President of the Hong Kong and Greater China Association of Washington, proudly represents his organization and was recently appointed as a member of the Asia Desk for Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty.

PICTURED ABOVE: Andy Yip, the former President of the Hong Kong and Greater China Association of Washington, proudly represents his organization and was recently appointed as a member of the Asia Desk for Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty.

PICTURED ABOVE: The RSIR exhibit featured a collection of residential offerings including a world of opportunity through one of the only table top tablets designed for touring global real estate.

PICTURED ABOVE: The RSIR exhibit featured a collection of residential offerings including a world of opportunity through one of the only table top tablets designed for touring global real estate.

PICTURED ABOVE: Ladies in red, RSIR owner Stacy Jones (left) and couture fashion designer Luly Yang (right) flank RSIR broker Candace Taylor and her guest.

PICTURED ABOVE: Ladies in red, RSIR owner Stacy Jones (left) and couture fashion designer Luly Yang (right) flank RSIR broker Candace Taylor and her guest.

PICTURED ABOVE: Many guests enjoyed two well-appointed comfort lounges provided by Masins, which provided a relaxing place to digest all the information collected from exhibitors.

PICTURED ABOVE: Many guests enjoyed two well-appointed comfort lounges provided by Masins, which provided a relaxing place to digest all the information collected from exhibitors.

PICTURED ABOVE: The Passport to Luxury was positioned to be an experience for consumers to interact with various lifestyle brands and meet the principals.

PICTURED ABOVE: The Passport to Luxury was positioned to be an experience for consumers to interact with various lifestyle brands and meet the principals.

PICTURED ABOVE: Working the crowd, RSIR owner Dean Jones addresses King 5 TV along with Olive Goh (CITI) and Marc Berger (Nyhus) while RSIR owner Stacy Jones (bottom left) and RSIR Marketing Manager Andrea Savage attend the booth.

PICTURED ABOVE: Working the crowd, RSIR owner Dean Jones addresses King 5 TV along with Olive Goh (CITI) and Marc Berger (Nyhus) while RSIR owner Stacy Jones (bottom left) and RSIR Marketing Manager Andrea Savage attend the booth.

“These types of events and promotions are what set us apart from our peers in real estate,” says Andrea Savage, the Marketing Director for RSIR. “We are a retail brand and we like to bring other brands together for added-value programs like The Passport to Luxury. It was a lot like producing a living magazine and from the accolades received from many guests, it was well worth the effort.”

PICTURED ABOVE: Dean Jones and Olive Goh addressed the crowd with wishes of a Happy Chinese New Year and Marc Berger provided a well-deserved recognition of Benjamin Lee’s years of contributions to the Chinese community in the Seattle metro area.

PICTURED ABOVE: Dean Jones and Olive Goh addressed the crowd with wishes of a Happy Chinese New Year and Marc Berger provided a well-deserved recognition of Benjamin Lee’s years of contributions to the Chinese community in the Seattle metro area.

“Congratulations to the RSIR team for pulling an amazing showcase together in short order and a special shout-out to Andrea Savage who managed to keep smiling all throughout,” said Olive Goh, Director of Citi Private Bank. “A very big thank you as well to Benjamin Lee and Andy Yip for their support and coordination from the Hong Kong (Greater China) Association of Washington – we were very proud to have Citi Private Bank partner with the top luxury brands in the Pacific Northwest and look forward to more to come.”

PICTURED ABOVE: Heading to the gala, Scott Swerland and girlfriend Brooke Catano enjoy a stop by the Passport to Luxury.

PICTURED ABOVE: Heading to the gala, Scott Swerland and girlfriend Brooke Catano enjoy a stop by the Passport to Luxury.

Guests were delighted to be welcomed with fine foods prepared by Loulay’s “Chef in a Hat” Thierry Rautureau while a collection of fresh seafood was artfully displayed on trays of ice and wines were poured by DeLille Cellars.

PICTURED ABOVE: As befitting a VIP event, attendees were invited to sip, sample and savor the best food and wines available in the Pacific Northwest including a dramatic display of fresh seafood by Jerry Chang of Chang International.

PICTURED ABOVE: As befitting a VIP event, attendees were invited to sip, sample and savor the best food and wines available in the Pacific Northwest including a dramatic display of fresh seafood by Jerry Chang of Chang International.

PICTURED ABOVE AND BELOW: The HKAW events coordinators and the Sheraton Seattle Hotel staff worked tirelessly to decorate the hotel for the Passport to Luxury and the Chinese New Year Gala.

PICTURED ABOVE AND BELOW: The HKAW events coordinators and the Sheraton Seattle Hotel staff worked tirelessly to decorate the hotel for the Passport to Luxury and the Chinese New Year Gala.

As the sun set over a perfect afternoon in Seattle, guests were reminded why the Pacific Northwest is such an extraordinary place to live and why global citizens are increasingly discovering its bounty of lifestyle offerings. Following the event, more than 800 guests gathered for the auction and Chinese New Year Gala, which was extended well into the night with dancing and celebration.

PICTURED ABOVE: RSIR owner’s Dean and Stacy Jones were proud to accept recognition as a Proud Lion Sponsor for contributions made on behalf of the entire RSIR team during the events.

PICTURED ABOVE: RSIR owner’s Dean and Stacy Jones were proud to accept recognition as a Proud Lion Sponsor for contributions made on behalf of the entire RSIR team during the events.

“While this was the first year we participated to this extend, we know it’s the beginning of a long relationships with all the participants,” said Dean Jones. “We are grateful to Benjamin Lee, to his entire team at Hong Kong and Greater China Association of Washington and to the many Passport to Luxury Partners for their efforts.”

Sotheby’s International Realty Achieved $70 Billion in US Home Sales in 2014; Posts 17-Percent Increase from Prior Year

Upon year-end 2014, Sotheby’s International Realty reported expansive growth throughout the world, which now encompasses 60 countries and territories worldwide. The networked totaled 760 branch offices globally, a gain of 8.5-percent and more than 16,570 sales associates, up 14-percent. In the US, affiliated brokers and sales professionals sold more than $70 billion in home sales transactions – the highest sales performance in the brand’s franchise system and a 17-percent increase from the prior year.

“The Sotheby’s International Realty network grew substantially in 2014,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “The luxury sector continues to outperform the overall market, which reflects the value consumers see in high-end real estate to grow their wealth, as well as the increasing level of international buyers in key luxury markets.”

Locally, Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty experienced similar results joining the top ten largest real estate brands in the region while leading growth at 63-percent year over year with $580 million in sales.

“While our growth and sales stats are impressive, I’m most excited about our broker production,” says Stacy Jones, Vice President of RSIR. “Ultimately brokers are joining our firm to grow their business and to position themselves for new opportunities. It’s rewarding to see that occurring.”

Jones says the per agent growth rate in total sales volume on average was more than twice that of the next closest competitor.  She credits this to investing in each broker’s unique brand and resourcing the marketing, team formation or referral opportunities that come with being a member of this boutique approach to big business.

“As we’ve always said, we don’t need a large volume of brokers to service a large volume of business,” adds Jones. “We partner with our brokers to grow their opportunities.”

From a marketing perspective, the brand’s 2014 campaign delivered more than 800 million impressions. At the core of the Sotheby’s International Realty 2014 strategy was its relationships with pre-eminent media powerhouses in both the print and online arenas including: The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalThe Telegraph Media Group, Google, Architectural DigestBloomberg, the Hong Kong Tatler and the Financial Times, developed to showcase unique properties from the brand’s worldwide network. All that investment is paying off as SIR.com visitation has exploded online. Likewise, RSIR.com traffic has doubled every year with thousands of consumers routinely digesting the properties, market reports and informative blog posts.

“We’ve become more than a real estate brokerage,” says Andrea Savage, Marketing Manager for RSIR. “We’re also an events coordinator, a publisher and even a producer. To us sales are the successful conclusion of doing other things well. I think that shows in our marketing and ultimately in the sales results.”

To be sure, RSIR recently celebrated the success of their brokers with a full page ad in The Puget Sound Business Journal recognizing their differentiation and accomplishments.

“Status – yes. Quo – never,” adds Jones. “We want to be different and we are.”

PICTURED ABOVE: RSIR showcased more than 100 brokers and members of the broker care and marketing team in a full page ad within The Puget Sound Business Journal.

PICTURED ABOVE: RSIR showcased more than 100 brokers and members of the broker care and marketing team in a full page ad within The Puget Sound Business Journal.

Speaking of keeping good company, in 2015 and for the eighth year in a row, the Sotheby’s International Realty brand won Franchise Business Review’s Best in Category for Real Estate Franchisee Satisfaction award. In addition to its real estate ranking, the brand in 2015 moved to first in the overall top 50 from fourth in 2014, and first among the Top 50 “Systems with 250 or more units,” up from third in 2014.

Global Ultra Wealthy Population Hold Nearly US $3 Trillion in Owner-Occupied Residential Real Estate Assets; Seattle: “Emerging as a Global City” say Local Expert

The US is the most popular country for foreign ultra- wealthy individuals looking to buy secondary residences.

Nearly US$3 trillion of the world’s private wealth is held in owner-occupied residential properties, a value greater than the GDP of India, a new report byWealth-X and the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand released yesterday showed. Meanwhile, Seattle-based affiliate Realogics Sotheby’s International Realtysays a wave of foreign-direct investment and immigration has arrived to the Pacific Northwest as an alternative to traditional West Coast gateway markets.

There are 211,275 ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals – defined as those with US$30 million and above in net assets – in the world and 79% of them own two or more residences.

Some of the main hubs for luxury residential real estate are New York City, London and Hong Kong, but niche locations – such as Lugano, the Hamptons outside New York City, and rural areas around the world – are gaining in popularity.

“We know that some secondary markets have become a primary focus for many savvy overseas investors – they target and help to create the next global cities,” says Dean Jones, President and CEO of Seattle-based Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. “The Seattle/Bellevue metro area has gained favor as a destination for UHNW, especially those from Mainland China. They prefer the close proximity to Asia, relative affordability compared with other top-tier cities and a high quality of life without a state income tax.”

The Wealth-X and Sotheby’s International Realty Global Luxury Residential Real Estate Report forecasts that the ongoing shift in the wealth creation cycle from the West to the East, and the growing significance of inter-generational wealth transfers will have significant consequences on the luxury residential real estate market – with a noted emphasis on new developments and a change in investment grade cities.

Below are other key findings from the inaugural report:

  • The value of UHNW-owned residential real estate assets increased by 8% globally in 2014.
  • On average, UHNW individuals own 2.7 owner-occupied residences.
  • As of 2014, over 7% of the world’s UHNW population made their wealth through real estate, up from 5% in 2013.
  • Ultra affluent women value real estate assets more than their male counterparts, holding 16% of the net worth in such assets, on average, compared to less than 10% for men.
  • Luxury residential real estate is an asset class typically favored by UHNW individuals with inherited wealth: these individuals hold 17% of their net worth in such assets, compared to just under 9% for self-made UHNW individuals.
  • UHNW individuals with net worth between US$30 million and US$50 million typically keep their primary residences for over 15 years and their secondary residences for over 10 years.
  • Billionaires change one of their four properties, on average, once every three years.
  • Secondary residences are typically 45% more valuable than primary residences; twice the square footage and have 10 acres of land.
  • At 83%, Monaco has the highest density of foreign-owned UHNW residences.
  • Over 6% of the world’s UHNW population have relocated their primary residence to a different country from which they were born – these individuals often keep a secondary residence in their home countries, and India is the leading country in this respect.

The Wealth-X and Sotheby’s International Realty Global Luxury Residential Real Estate Report 2015, which looks at trends in the UHNW population’s appetite for luxury residential real estate across the world, identifies specific attitudes, behaviors and locations that matter to this industry and this wealth segment.

Wealth-X President David Friedman commented: “Wealth-X is pleased to partner with the Sotheby’s International Realty brand for this inaugural report, which underscores Wealth-X’s commitment to conducting groundbreaking research on the world’s ultra-high net worth (UHNW) population. Expert commentary from theSotheby’s International Realty team complements Wealth-X’s global intelligence on the world’s UHNW population, producing a report that demonstrates a true collaboration between the world’s leading UHNW intelligence provider and the global leader in luxury residential real estate. Luxury residential property is a core component to the anatomy of the ultra-affluent at the intersection of their lifestyle and investment.”

“We are proud to partner with Wealth-X to provide valuable insights into today’s luxury real estate market and the buying behaviors of the ultra-high net worth consumer,” says Philip White, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “We believe that a solid investment in real estate is one of the single best factors for building long-term wealth, and that many of today’s ultra-high net worth consumers would agree.”

Download the above-referenced report here.

A previous Luxury Lifestyle Report published by Sotheby’s International Realty with reference by Dean Jones on the portrait of an affluent Chinese consumer can be found here.

About Wealth-XWealth-X is the world’s leading ultra-high net worth (UHNW) intelligence and prospecting firm with the largest collection of curated research on UHNW individuals, defined as those with net assets of US$30 million and above. Headquartered in Singapore, it has 13 offices on five continents.

SPOTTED: Alaska Airlines Flies “12th Man” Non-Stop to Super Bowl XLIX Victory

There’s only one thing that moves faster than Marshawn Lynch, flies further than a Russell Wilson pass or roars louder than Century Link Field. That’s Alaska Airlines‘ ultimate 12th Man tribute – a Boeing 737. She’s all dressed up and ready to go to the Super Bowl with scores of Seahawks fans, no doubt.

And how’s this for fate at 38,000 feet?

AS Flight 12 (as in the “12th Man”) is actually the regularly scheduled non-stop route from Seattle to Boston. That’s right, home of the New England Patriots. It seems making touchdowns in Boston territory won’t be anything new for Seattleites – we’ve been doing it for years. And don’t worry fans – we can deal with sudden drops of air pressure – you can’t deflate our Wilson. So buckle up Boston and return your seats back and tray tables to their upright and locked position. There’s going to be some turbulence on your journey through Arizona. The forecast? A strong front is coming down from the Pacific Northwest with a 100-percent Chancellor of victory. Over and out.

Embrace the Waterfront Lifestyle at the Seattle Boat Show, Docked January 23 to February 1

That time of year is upon us again as the arrival of the Seattle Boat Show draws nearer! The largest boat show on the West Coast, with landlocked exhibits at CenturyLink Field and waterfront attractions at South Lake Union, features over 1,000 watercraft, enlightening seminars, and the latest in all things boating.

This year, the event includes some exceptional prizes, including a pair of 2015 Seahawks season tickets, a one year membership with Seattle Boat share, and a 7-night Mexican Cruise. In addition, there are a number of special events not to be missed as opening night goes “uncorked” with award-winning Washington wines from 5-9p, January 26th is “Women’s Day” with free admission, special seminars, and a reception for women, and January 30th brings craft beer night with “Sails and Ales” from 5-9p.

The coming of this fabulous event has us thinking about how much we truly cherish the waterfront lifestyle and the unique opportunities it provides. According to the Sotheby’s International Realty Luxury Lifestyle Report, we are not alone in our love of the shores, as most affluent consumers say a waterfront property sits at the top of their list for future purchases.

If you’re following the trend and thinking of nestling on the water’s edge, look no further than our exclusive collection of waterfront homes, sure to satisfy any seafarer, from Ordinary Seaman to Captain.

RSIR 2014 By the Numbers

The year 2014 was one of tremendous growth for RSIR and for many of our top producing brokers. In total our real estate professionals generated 794 transaction sides totaling in excess of $580 million in gross sales volume, as compared to 494 transactions grossing $330 million in 2013. That’s an increase of about 60-percent. Roughly half of our sales were as the listing broker and the balance were representing buyers on other listings. Interestingly, RSIR brokers were on both sides of 13-percent of these transactions. The average selling price in 2014 was $730,000, which is on average twice the value of the remaining top ten top producing real estate brands in the region. The firm also increased referral revenues by 70-percent demonstrating traction with other Sotheby’s International Realty affiliates in other interstate and international markets.

In comparison to our peers, RSIR is consistently growing faster, has a higher number of producing brokers and the highest average listing and selling prices.

While RSIR is perhaps best known for representing extraordinary properties and lifestyles, our price point distribution reveals that 46-percent of these sales were actually below $500,000 while 34-percent of our sales were between $500,000 and $1 million and 20-percent were valued over $1 million.

Our broker count has increased from 69 licensed real estate professionals at the end of 2013 to 120 by year end 2014.  That’s an increase of 58-percent.  In addition to opening our flagship Eastside office in downtown Kirkland, we also opened a second Gallery Branch Office on Bainbridge Island in 2014.  In early 2015, RSIR will also open in Issaquah.

Give Back this Holiday Season with the RSIR “Giving Tree”

Beginning November 28th, Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty is hosting a “Giving Tree” for several families in the Kirkland area. The RSIR staff and brokers are working to ensure that the holidays are a time of joy for those in need in our community. Stop by our Connoisseurs of Life Showroom in Kirkland if you’d like to make a donation or grab a tag off of the “Giving Tree”and make a holiday wish come true yourself. We ask that you return all unwrapped gifts to our Kirkland Showroom by Wednesday, December 17th.

Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty’s Connoisseurs of Life Showroom is located at 15 Lake Street, #200 in Kirkland.

Net “In-Migration” Increases Across Puget Sound

A look at monthly in-migration trends courtesy of Dupre + Scott reveals a 16% year-to-date increase in population flow to the Puget Sound Area.  The data set considers the total number of new drivers license applications and reduces by the number of residents that are returning their license seeking a principal residence in another state.  This means a high number of people continue to move to the Evergreen state, which leaves just one question: why?

Well, for one, the Seattle metro area is seeing growth, particularly in the form of high-tech jobs that are drawing millennials to the area.  According to a recent report by commercial broker Jones Lang LaSalle, six of the 10 largest office tenants in the region are in the high-tech industry.  They cite Seattle’s talented workforce, collaborative startup environment (with ample venture capital) and no doubt, the lack of a state income tax as being contributing factors.   Meanwhile Bloomberg named Washington the “most innovative state in the nation” for similar reasons.   Then The Seattle Times recently reported, tech-giant Microsoft eclipsed Exxon and became the second most valuable company in the U.S., despite its sometimes rocky past. The article says, “the Redmond, Washington company has earned greater cachet on Wall Street over the last 18 months. Its stock has risen nearly 70 percent since April 2013 . . . and hit $50.14 on Friday, its highest point since early 2000.” High in-migration levels may also coincide with the growth of Amazon, as the giant recently filed plans to build up to three more buildings just north of downtown Seattle, in addition to the campus it is currently constructing.

Given the success of technology-centric jobs in the area along with Seattle’s quickly heightening status as one of the coolest cities in the U.S., we can definitely see just why the Puget Sound Region is experiencing this heightened population influx.

DeLille Cellars Releases Fall Wines this Weekend; Complimentary Tastings

This weekend, November 22nd & 23rd, stop by and sample the highly anticipated 2012 reds from our neighbors at DeLille Cellars! Enjoy complimentary wine tastings from 2pm-5pm and live music by Robbie Christmas. The perfect combination of great wine and great music. Later, stay and enjoy a bottle of award-winning wine.

DOYENNE 2012 AIX
Aromas of cracked black pepper and blackberries jump out of the glass. Blackberries are reinforced on the palate with toasty coffee nuances.
4oz $9.00  |  6oz $13.00  | Bottle $39.00

DOYENNE 2012 SIGNATURE SYRAH
This vintage is complex and multi-dimensional with blackberries, blueberries, black pepper and lavender notes.
4oz $11.00  |  6oz $15.00  | Bottle $42.00

DELILLE CELLARS 2012 D2
With perfume-scented blueberries, cherries and dried lavender, the nose is enticing. There is also wonderful oak and fruit displaying notes of cassis.
4oz $12.00  |  6oz $16.00  | Bottle $44.00

DELILLE CELLARS 2012 FOUR FLAGS
The vintage has an expansive mouth feel with blueberries and meaty, pure Cabernet flavors that include black currants, plums and oak.
4oz $18.00  |  6oz $23.00  | Bottle $67.00

*Wine Club Members receive 10% off on all purchases. 

Maison DeLille is located at 15 Lake Street in Kirkland.

Obama’s “Booster Shot” of Trade, Tourism & Investment from China

Ni Hao, Seattle! Economic trade winds for Seattle are looking better for Asian markets as Chinese investors and visitors prepare to take advantage of Obama’s new visa extension announced today in Beijing at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum.  China and the United States agreed to significantly extend short-term visas between the countries, which are respectively the first and second largest economies in the world.  The agreement commences on November 12 allowing multiple entry short-term tourist and business visas to extend from just one year to 10 years.  Likewise, student visas would be extended from one year to five years.  The impact of these polices adds more fuel to the fire that when it comes to Chinese interest in the region, “we haven’t seen anything yet”, as quoted by the Puget Sound Business Journal.

“Obama’s proclamation is yet another harbinger for Chinese nationals to target the Pacific Northwest for education, immigration and investment,” said Dean Jones, President & CEO of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. “We are downstream from what I believe will be a steady flow of housing demand stemming from China akin to what we’ve all seen before in Vancouver, BC, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Now the current is flowing into Seattle given our proximity, prosperity and propensity for capital appreciation – we’re the next market on the rise.”

Eastern investors have discovered the attractive Pacific Northwest lifestyle: renowned schools, cultural sites, pristine environment, and relative affordability compared to other West Coast cities. Obama made the transition process for business and personal travel easier by saying, “the US welcomes the rise of a prosperous, peaceful and stable China.” This initiative is meant to strengthen relations between the two countries, and the projected outcome is a US economic boost of billions in tourism and investment funds by 2021.

Seattle, Washington is actually closer to Asia than it is to Mexico. The market has been booming for years, and RSIR is blazing the trail between the two countries announcing recently the global network has opened its first affiliate in mainland China with Beijing Sotheby’s International Realty. Two years of business connections already exist between these networks, and RSIR expects a rise of home purchases in the region due to this substantial change in international protocol. Delta Air Lines applauded President Obama‘s efforts, expecting the move to bring in billions for the airline business. As mentioned in Reuters, these changes already mark a spike in jobs expected to grow by over 400,000. Chinese tourists are predicted to be the largest foreign overseas visitors. Restaurants in Seattle are printing Mandarin menus to accommodate the expected influx, as stated in the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Events showcasing the increasing East/West connections made by Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty include: