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October 2013

News In Brief

October 2013

NWREporter

  • Seattle was ranked 2nd in the Martin Prosperity Institute's Global Cities Index according to arcgis.com, citing its high amount of amenities and strong scores in both education and technology. The list was compiled by scoring cities based upon four categories: Talent pool, technology, tolerance, and quality of place. Seattle was beat out by Ottawa, Canada.
  • Seattle is No. 6 in the U.S. for single, educated women, according to a new survey. Redfin conducted the research, which examined the percentage of women with four-year college degrees, the percentage of women with a salary greater than $65,000, and the percentage of women who are single and between 25 and 39 years old.
  • Joblessness in July was lower than a year ago in 31 of Washington state's 39 counties, according to Employment Security Department data. King County's unemployment rate was 5.1 percent, down from 5.2 percent in June and 7.5 percent in July 2012. Pierce County's rate declined to 8.3 percent from 8.4 percent and 9.0 percent in a year ago. In Snohomish County, joblessness fell a tenth of a percentage point over the month to 5.6 percent. That represents a decline of almost three full percentage points from a year ago, when the measure stood at 8.4 percent.
  • Nearly 4,300 of the city of SeaTac's residents live in poverty and 17 percent of households are on food stamps - the third highest percentage in King County, according to the Census Bureau estimates. SeaTac voters will decide on the fate of a $15 minimum wage for airport workers this November.
  • For an extra 35 cents, downtown Seattle parkers can rid themselves of searching for loose change and scraping sticky residue off their windows. The city launched a new initiative that allows drivers to use their phones to pay for on-street parking. PayByPhone can be used within the boundaries of Seneca Street, Olive Way, First Avenue and Ninth Avenue. The option, through a city vendor partner, will be expanded to other areas of the city by the end of the year.
  • According to the Seattle Times, consumer prices in the Seattle area climbed just 1.4 percent over the past year, less than the national inflation rate of 1.8 percent. Driven by higher gasoline prices, inflation here rose 0.8 percent during June and July.
  • The Seattle Times reported that the housing market in Seattle and other major U.S cities has been racing ahead on full throttle in recent months, but some experts say the price growth should slow to a more normal pace. The greater Seattle market in May posted a 3.1 percent monthly gain, its largest since April 1990. The region's 12-month increase was 11.9 percent - the biggest annual gain since December 2006.
  • A bump in interest rates in July didn't derail the shortest home-buying stretch in the Seattle area since 2007, as the median price climbed year-over-year for the 16th consecutive month. The median price of single-family homes sold in King County in July jumped to $434,000, up 15 percent from a year ago, according to figures from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.
  • A recent study of real estate agents in Ontario, Canada, found that homes where owners smoked for an extended period can reduce the home's resale value by 20 percent. The study was commissioned by Pfizer Canada, a pharmaceutical manufacturer. Selling the home can pose quite the challenge too. Eighty-eight percent of the agents surveyed say that it's more difficult to sell a home where the residents were smokers.