It is no secret that in Seattle and the greater Puget Sound, real estate has been a major success story over the past 10 years. With near continuous appreciation throughout the last decade, it has felt as though Puget Sound real estate could do no wrong.
In fact, it seemed like the only thing that would destabilize the Seattle real estate market would be something that was catastrophic, like an earthquake. No one predicted that the event would be a pandemic. Not only will the pandemic have major global impacts, but the epicenter for Coronavirus in the United States is here in Seattle. We are all asking ourselves, “What will be the impact be to our local real estate market?” We, like everyone else, are not entirely sure yet, but here are a few observations thus far.
Hospitality and tourism are being hit the hardest. Target occupancy for Seattle hotels is typically 80% for this time of year. Currently, all restaurants have been closed in our state, sans take-out and curbside delivery.
Multifamily renters who are unable to work remotely, or those who work in the service sector or “gig” economy, are beginning to feel the financial strain due to declining income. The Seattle City Council has currently banned evictions for non-payment of rent, although the missed rent will be due at the end of the ban. This shifts financial exposure from the tenants to the property owners.
Buyers of commercial real estate from outside the area are wary of travelling to Seattle to tour and inspect properties. This reduces a buyer pool that contributed, in large part, to the appreciation the Seattle market has experienced as new capital flowed into the city.
It is likely that assisted living and senior care properties will be met with more regulatory scrutiny due to their susceptibility to viruses like COVID-19. This could dramatically increase operating costs moving forward.
Other asset classes, such as equities (stocks) have been very reactive to the pandemic and that tends to cause alarm. When suitable, we firmly believe that real estate is an asset class that warrants an allocation in most investor’s portfolio. So, what takeaways are there for investors looking to protect their investments during this period of uncertainty?
The information herein has been prepared for educational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to purchase or sell securitized real estate investments. Such offers are only made through the sponsors Private Placement Memorandum (PPM) which is solely available to accredited investors and accredited entities. DST 1031 properties are only available to accredited investors (generally described as having a net worth of over $1 million dollars exclusive of primary residence) and accredited entities only. If you are unsure if you are an accredited investor and/or an accredited entity please verify with your CPA and Attorney. There are risks associated with investing in real estate and Delaware Statutory Trust (DST) properties including, but not limited to, loss of entire investment principal, declining market values, tenant vacancies and illiquidity. Potential cash flows/returns/appreciation are not guaranteed and could be lower than anticipated. Diversification does not guarantee profits or guarantee protection against losses. Because investors situations and objectives vary this information is not intended to indicate suitability for any particular investor. This material is not to be interpreted as tax or legal advice. Please speak with your own tax and legal advisors for advice/guidance regarding your particular situation. Securities offered through Aurora Securities, Inc. (ASI), Member: FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Secure Asset Management, LLC (SAM), a Registered Investment Advisor. ASI and SAM are affiliated companies. Real Estate Transition Solutions (RETS) is independent of ASI and SAM.