Michael Luis

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.

AirBNB Down: NW Short Term Rental Market Stumbles

All markets show a big drop between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the fourth quarter of 2020. What is more surprising is that three of the five market areas actually peaked in 2018, and had lost units between 2018 and 2019.

Apartment Rents Continue to Fall Across Seattle

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.

Good News In the “Bad” Jobs Report

Nearly all of the job loss occurred in activities that were curtailed by government order in November and December.

Our Fastest-Growing State… Idaho?

No state has grown faster than Idaho in the past five years. The Mountain West, overall, has had strong growth since 2015, with Nevada, Utah and Arizona right behind Idaho in the growth rankings.

Why Those $600 COVID-Relief Checks Make Bad Economic Sense

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.

Twin Peaks? Seattle and San Francisco Take COVID Housing Dips

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.

Is Seattle Catching What Ails San Francisco?

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.

Diminished: The 40 Percent SeaTac

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.

How Prepared are Our Kids for Kindergarten?

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.

Seattle has Spent Millions on Bike Trails. Is Bike Ridership Up?

The network has been expanding, and the city has signaled its strong support for bike commuting, so we might expect to see growth over time as more origins and destinations get connected.