Whats the Min Wage Needed to Afford Seattle Rents?

Minimum wage needed to afford Seattle rent? Zillow says it’s $44 per hour

Dec 12, 2014, 6:07am PST

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What’s the minimum wage needed in Seattle to rent a median-priced rental home here? Zillow says it’s $44 an hour.

miller-ben.jpgBen MillerContributing Editor-Puget Sound Business JournalEmail

What’s the minimum wage needed in Seattle to rent a median-priced rental home here? Zillow says it’s $44 an hour.

In the city of Seattle a single-earner would need to make $44 per hour to rent the median-priced rental, said Zillow (NASDAQ: Z), which is the same hourly wage it would take to earn to rent in New York City.

"In the Seattle metro area, the minimum wage required for a single-earner to rent the median rental is as little as $26 per hour in Parkland (Pierce County) to as much as $101 in Yarrow Point (King County)," Zillow said.

Of major U.S. cities, San Francisco has the highest minimum wage needed to rent, at $79 per hour, followed by Boston ($50) and Los Angeles ($49).

To obtain its data, Zillow said it was "using the median monthly rent in each metro area, (it) calculated the annual income necessary to afford the median rental assuming 30 percent of income is dedicated to housing expenses (median rent divided by 0.3 and multiplied by 12). To convert this annual income to an hourly wage, (Zillow) assume(s) further that the typical worker works 40 hours per week and 50 weeks per year for a total of 2,000 hours."

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Amazon to start ‘Local Services’ to help you install that ceiling fan

Amazon to start ‘Local Services’ to help you install that ceiling fan

Nov 25, 2014, 6:48am PST

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Amazon.com will soon roll out "Amazon Local Services" in seven U.S. cities, including Seattle.

miller-ben.jpgBen MillerContributing Editor-Puget Sound Business JournalEmail

If you buy a ceiling fan or other product onAmazon.com that needs to be installed, Amazon will soon be able to refer you to a local installer as well.

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) will soon roll out "Amazon Local Services" in seven U.S. cities, including Seattle. (The site currently says it’s "coming to your neighborhood soon.")

"Amazon Local Services" will find installation professionals in home and repair services, automotive services, lawn and garden (find someone to install your Christmas lights), and computer and electronics.

The Wall Street Journal reports Amazon will try to differentiate itself from similar services offered by Angie’s List by offering a money-back guarantee on its installers, and will conduct background checks on its businesses to see if they have liability insurance.

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PSE customers to receive a one-time $40 credit

PSE customers getting $40 one-time credit

Nov 18, 2014, 6:58am PST

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​If you’re a Puget Sound Energy customer, you’re going to get a $40 credit on an upcoming bill.

miller-ben.jpg Ben MillerContributing Editor- Puget Sound Business Journal Email

If you’re a Puget Sound Energy customer, you’re going to get a $40 credit on an upcoming bill.

That’s because the credit is related to PSE’s sale of assets in Jefferson County in 2010.

The credits will total $59.2 million and both residential and commercial customers will receive the one-time credit on their December or January bills.

PSE said in a statement that it wanted to distribute the payout in winter, when "it will be a benefit to customers when electric bills are typically higher due to colder weather and shorter daylight hours."

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13 November, 2014 16:05

Attacking a ‘quasi-cartel:’ Seattle real estate firm aims to cut agents’ commissions

Nov 13, 2014, 6:31am PST

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A new Seattle online real estate company said it aims to cut commissions paid to real estate agents, calling the industry a "quasi-cartel."

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miller-ben.jpgBen MillerContributing Editor-Puget Sound Business JournalEmail

In a move that will obviously inspire passionate debate in the Seattle real estate community, a new Seattle online real estate company said it aims to use technology to cut commissions paid to real estate agents, calling the industry a "quasi-cartel."

Surefield, an online residential brokerage, said it will undercut the traditional 6 percent fee paid by seller (3 percent for the buyer’s real estate agent and 3 percent for the seller’s real estate agent) to 1.5 percent.

The company said it will rely upon 3-D images of homes for sale by "giving buyers the most realistic, remote tour of a home, enabling a new level of commission savings with no trade-offs."

"The U.S. real estate industry has been operating as a quasi-cartel for far too many years, just look at the high commission rates as proof of tacit collusion," said David Eraker, Surefield CEO, in a statement that will draw the ire of many a Seattle real estate agent.

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Happy Birthday to Doug!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DOUG!

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Redfin buys Walkscore.com

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 8:42am PDT

Redfin buys Seattle walkability startup Walk Score as competition heats up

Rachel Lerman

Puget Sound Business Journal

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Seattle real estate company Redfin, led by CEO Glenn Kelman, announced its first… more

Seattle online real estate company Redfin has acquired Walk Score, a Seattle company that calculates neighborhood walkability.

It’s the first acquisition for the decade-old company. The companies did not disclose terms of the deal.

"The acquisition is Redfin’s first and the reason for it is simple: We want to give folks a complete portrait of what it would be like to live somewhere new, within the house and in the surrounding neighborhood," Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman said in a blog post Wednesday.

The news comes just months after another acquisition in the Seattle online real estate market. Zillowannounced this summer it would acquire San Francisco-based Trulia for $3.5 billion.

Zillow is a tough and growing competitor for Redfin, but the smaller company does have a different business model that gives it a distinct advantage. Redfin employs real estate agents and has access to MLS data. Zillow has been criticized by real estate agents and homeowners for having out-of-date information.

This region is emerging as a leader in real estate technology as both Zillow and Redfin grow. There have been rumors that Redfin will join Zillow as a publicly traded company at some point in the near future, but for the time being, those are just rumors. CEO Kelman told Bloomberg in 2012 that he expected the company to be public in 2014. It’s not looking like that is likely to come to pass.

Kelman said in his blog that Walk Score, a company with 10 employees, is a good fit because it will provide Redfin more information about neighborhoods and provide Walk Score access to real estate agents.

Walk Score shows more than 20 million scores every day on 30,000 websites. It will operate as a separate entity "for the foreseeable future," according to the Redfin press release.

The acquisition will allow websites that use Walk Score to display 5,000 ratings each day for free, eliminating a fee that used to be required for more than 100 ratings.

Walk Score, which was founded in 2007, raised $2 million in 2012 from angel investors including Rudy Gadre and Geoff Entress. The majority of the team will join Redfin, and Walk Score CTO Matt Lerner will become Redfin’s vice president of local engineering.

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2nd Q Market Update – The Gardner Report

Western Washington I 2014 Second Quarter Market Update

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Posted in Market News by Matthew Gardner

The average home price in Western Washington in the first half of 2014 was $355,335—up by 4.6 percent over the first half of 2013. As is seen in the chart to the right, all but four counties saw average sales prices rise compared to a year ago. Price growth has been tapering over the past year, but remains generally positive.
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