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November 2017

News in Brief

By NWREporter

  • As of 2016, there were nearly 21,000 occupied rental units in Seattle built since the start of the decade, according to new census data and reported by Gene Balk in the Seattle Times. That means recently constructed apartments make up 12 percent of the total rental stock, or one out of eight units. Among the 50 largest U.S. cities, that ranks Seattle as having the highest concentration of newer apartments. Only Austin, TX, the nation's other fastest-growing city is comparable to Seattle. In no other big city does newer construction make up even 10 percent of the total rental stock. The census data also show that 65 percent of apartment units constructed this decade have a resident under the age of 35. In comparison, 52 percent of Portland's newer units have a millennial resident. In San Francisco, it's just 39 percent. According to new data from real estate analytics firm Real Page, Inc., the Seattle metro area had a 4.3 percent rent growth for new residents in the third quarter of 2017. That ties as the seventh-highest in the nation.


  • Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson says nearly 3 million people in the state had their information compromised in data breaches in the past year. In a report released Wednesday, Ferguson said that the number - based on those impacted between July 2016 and this past July - is six times the number affected by breaches the previous year. The annual report comes following news of the data break at credit-monitoring company Equifax that affected more than 145 million people in the U.S. According to the report, 78 data breaches compromised the personal information of more than 2.7 million in the state. That is nearly double the amount of reported breaches the previous year, when 39 breaches affected more than 450,000 residents. Cyberattacks accounted for the largest share of the breaches, the report said, while the remainder were from third-party vendors or employees gaining access to information, or due to loss or theft of equipment or hardware.


  • Sound Transit has received a Popular Science 2017 "Best of What's New" award in the engineering category for its plan to run light-rail trains across the Interstate-90 floating bridge. The East Link project across Lake Washington is slated to open in 2023. Building light rail across a floating bridge is a world's-first achievement. Sound Transit says it's made possible by innovative engineering to create a track bridge that will compensate for six ranges of lake motion. The I-90 bridge project is one of 100 products and technologies across 11 categories selected for the Best of What's New issue that was published Tuesday. East Link will extend light rail 14 miles from downtown Seattle to downtown Bellevue and the Overlake area of Redmond via Interstate 90, with 10 stations.


  • According to an analysis by MagnifyMoney.com, a subsidiary of LendingTree, the city of Austin, TX, has been named the "most changed" in the country over the last decade, with the most dynamic transformations to its housing market, incomes, crime rates, and economy compared to any other large U.S. metro. MagnifyMoney analyzed data from 2006 to 2016 for the 50 largest cities, factoring in commute times, incomes, housing prices, crime rates, and building permits among other items. The following cities topped MagnifyMoney's list as seeing the most dramatic change over the past 10 years: 1) Austin, TX, 2) Dallas-Fort Worth, 3) Houston, 4) Nashville, 5) Portland, OR, 6) Denver, 7) Raleigh, 8) San Antonio, 9) Charlotte and 10) San Jose.


  • Seattle is the second-coolest city in the country, according to Forbes Magazine's list of "America's Coolest Cities 2017," released last month. The Emerald City's key cool strengths include its recreational opportunities (ranked No. 1 in the nation), coffee shops and beer breweries (also ranked No. 1). Its weaknesses include lack of diversity and small business growth. The No. 1 coolest city, according to Forbes, is San Francisco. San Diego is third-coolest, New Orleans is fourth - and Portland, Ore., comes in fifth.

    Rounding out the top 10 are San Jose, Calif. (6th); Los Angeles (7th); New York (8th); Boston (9th); and Denver (10th). Forbes partnered with Sperling's Best Places to compile the list, which looked at the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the United States.


  • With recently released U.S. Census Bureau data showing that suburban population growth outpaced city growth in 2016, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2017's Best Small Cities in America. To help Americans put down roots in places offering good quality of life and affordability, WalletHub's analysts compared more than 1,200 U.S. cities with populations between 25,000 and 100,000 across 33 key indicators of livability. They range from housing costs to school-system quality to restaurants per capita. In its "top 20 small cities in America report," Sammamish ranked 14th and Kirkland ranked 15th.