Michael Luis is a public policy consultant who has been wrestling with housing, growth and economic development issues around Washington State for over 30 years. He is author of several books on local history and served as mayor of Medina.
Apartment rents have continued their freefall across most of the Seattle area. Seattle and the suburbs to the east and north have continued to see median rents drop, while suburbs to the south have more mixed results.
Retail sales of goods are higher than they were a year ago, thanks in part to online retail, but services remain stubbornly down and won’t recover until customers feel comfortable patronizing high-touch businesses. No amount of stimulus money can change that reality.
Among the larger metro area markets in the country, San Francisco has had the largest area-wide one-year rent drop and Seattle has had the second largest drop. The December one-bedroom median rent was $2,700 for San Francisco and $1,540 for Seattle.
With increasing technology business ties between Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area, the longstanding sisterhood is getting closer. So, we might ask how much of what seems to be ailing San Francisco these days has migrated up the coast.
Not only are people reluctant to spend hours in an enclosed space with strangers, they are not too keen on doing the things that happen on the other end of the trip: business meetings, conventions, theme parks, tourism. So even if air travel itself has been shown to be a relatively low risk activity, it is not likely to recover until these other activities recover.
Is the entering kindergartener operating at the level of a 2-year old, a 3-year old, a 4-year old or at the level of a typical kindergartener or above? Not surprisingly, preparedness varies by school district.
Since passage of the Growth Management Act (GMA) in 1990 the state and region have been in the forefront of what came to be know as the Smart Growth movement that sought to shift growth patterns away from the dominant post-World War II model. If we have been leaders, do we have any followers?