Why So Quiet?

Notice that among all the big real estate sales news the State is awfully quiet?  I remember 2007 when the State brought in so much money from excise tax on the sales of real estate that they then began finding all kinds of places to spend it as if that money would flow in at the same rate forever.  It didn’t yet I imagine that we were stuck with the spending.  I sure hope this isn’t happening again.  It would be nice if, for a change, the State came out and said that with all this new revenue from real estate sales they decided to lower the excise tax rate. 

Posted by Michael McQuaid

Driving around…

Has anyone else noticed that in the past two weeks there are a bunch of new “for rent” sings on the sidewalks?  I have observed that in the last two weeks of August and the first few days now of September I am coming across for rent signs in front of buildings that have rarely ever had signs out as they were previously always full.  Maybe this is a coincidence but usually if a for rent sign is still out in the last week of the month it indicates a lack of rental activity.



Posted by Michael McQuaid

Hard At Work

I had a meeting at 9:30 this morning with a guy who bought a building about 7 years ago through another company while I was representing the seller.  He says he decided to hire McQuaid RE this time since he thinks they did an excellent job representing the other side of the deal back then.  He is right, we did.  He did however mention he had some hesitancy due to one of our competitors telling him that I am semi-retired and have really slowed down!  I was stunned by this comment but appreciate the effort to mislead someone in order to land their business.  Really?  That is my competitors best effort, a lie?

If you want to talk with me you will find me either at my desk at 120 Belmont Ave East or on my cell at 206.948.1846 between 6AM and 10PM every single day.

Posted by Michael McQuaid

New York (again)

I seem to end up in NYC at least once each year, for probably the past 20 years, and each time I am amazed. That city never fails to impress me. Not that I want to live there, mind you, but pretty much any figure you look at is staggering.

The rents are mind boggling. Commercial retail rents are quoted in monthly figures, not annual, and are still higher than ours are. The rents for apartments are stunning. I talked with a young couple who told me that they were "only" paying $4,500 for their studio on W Broadway in Soho and that while it was really small they loved the location! Of course they do not have any car expense so I suppose that helps but still…

Regardless of the costs that city still draws newcomers in droves, and seemingly at all income levels. It keeps reaching higher and higher. The new One World Center (at the site of the old Twin Towers) topped off while I was there and is stunning in both height and appearance. The most recently finished condo tower is near Soho and is 74 stories tall while another is nearing completion just South of Central Park and is 90 stories tall. Everything is bigger, everywhere is busier, and everything is more crowded and yet it just keeps getting more so.

I was thinking about all of this as I was leaving a 3 hour lunch at about 4:30 and the wait staff was turning the table for another group wanting it. Truly impressive and yet I am glad to be back in Seattle.

Posted by Michael McQuaid


Absolutely no one is talking about the announced Boeing layoffs. What a difference a decade makes. As a life-long Seattle resident, one who endured the giant layoff impact Boeing had on Seattle in the 70’s, I am truly impressed with the lack of impact the layoff notice has had in the media.

I just cant tell if this is good or bad.

Posted by Michael McQuaid

Size Matters?

Really, the government is now the expert on how big an apartment should be? This seems absurd and certainly in conflict with free enterprise theory. If apodments were not in demand then no one would build them. It isn’t like the City doesn’t oversee the construction quality related to life safety issues through the permit and construction inspection process.

I may not want to personally live in a 200 square foot apartment but I certainly don’t want to tell others that they cannot, especially if it allows that renter to live closer to their work site and keep yet another car off the already full streets. I am confused by a City government that on one hands opposes traffic growth while on the other hand is encouraging density, which now seems to be on a campaign against one idea that helps address both issues at once.

If there is tenant demand for the product and it is safely constructed then why is the City even talking about it? 

Posted by Michael McQuaid

Don’t forget: Property taxes due April 30

Yet another wonderful week where you wonder why if the assessor thinks your building is worth so much your tenants don’t agree.  Of course we now look forward to the coming 10% hike in utility rates…  Last week an owner told me how the City made him install a new sub-meter for water that complied with the new City requirements.  This is for irrigation water only but cost the guy about $2,500 by the time he was done.  This was just to replace a fully functioning meter he had installed only 10 years earlier, again in accordance with the City requirements.  He joked that the Assessor would certainly increase his tax value now that he has the newer meter.
Posted by Michael McQuaid