Last week, our new Bainbridge Island branch office on Winslow Way opened. Occupying approximately one half of the Old Hardware Store – a nostalgic icon of Bainbridge Island heritage built in 1948 – our global real estate brand is now poised for growth. I feel incredibly fortunate to work in a space as beautiful as this one.
In the spirit of Easter, RSIR recently teamed up with the YWCA to bring a little springtime cheer to the more than 1,000+ children in the Seattle, Snohomish & King County area that would love to have Easter baskets this holiday. Thanks to the generous support of our brokers and friends, RSIR was able to surpass its goal of filling 20 baskets, to being able to make 28 in total! Additionally, the YWCA was able to accept other donated goodies from RSIR to help with filling even more baskets within its organization.
Each basket will make a difference to a child in need. The YWCA opens doors to opportunity and self-sufﬁciency for women and families facing poverty, violence and discrimination. Their homeless shelters are a safe haven to the families they serve for up to 6 months and we hope to remind them of the life they are working so hard on getting back on track.
A special thank you to Storyville Coffee Company for providing treats for our volunteers putting together baskets.
In a print article entitled “How Foreign Investment is Changing our Neighborhoods,” Seattle Magazine’s Jenny Cunningham prominently featured Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, an expert on the latest in this massive trend. After “quizzing” her readers about the most expensive housing market in North America (Vancouver, British Columbia) Cunningham describes that “in recent years, mainland Chinese have been buying Coal Harbour condos and Shaughnessy megamansions, and the general consensus is that these rich immigrants are the main reason for Vancouver’s skyrocketing housing values.” She then asks, “could Seattle be next?” Elucidating the tendency for Chinese investors to come to the Seattle area in search of homes, Cunningham says “statistics from the University of Washington confirm that trend” as “there are more students from China at the UW than ever before.” She even adds that “believe it or not, Seattle is trending as a sexy city among China’s college-age kids.”
Another point of influence in the article? The EB-5 Investment Program. When Canada ended their popular direct foreign investment program back in 2014, Dean Jones predicted in an interview with Jake Whittenberg from King 5 News, that many investors would likely “prefer the Seattle and Eastside areas,” supported by census data at the time which revealed that Asians were “the fastest growing demographic in Washington State, with many Eastside communities comprising between 25% to 50% of the population.” This trend has come into fruition with the recent rise of developments, highlighted when RSIR attended two high-profile ground breaking ceremonies: the Portola Tower by Dargey in Belltown and the Southport Hotel by SECO Development on Lake Washington in Renton. Cunningham likewise describes the significance of the EB-5 Program, as she writes that “Chinese investors are also building market-rate housing and creating jobs for locals under [it],” and citing Kevin Stamper who told her that “85 percent of applicants are from China.”
So, Cunningham finally asks, “Who’s betting on China?” RSIR is listed as one of three companies behind this trend, as the article reads: “‘China is a top focus for us right now,’ says Dean Jones, CEO of the Seattle-area offices of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. Jones has traveled to China several times recently to raise awareness of the value Seattle offers, compared to other West Coast cities. Realogics launched an ‘Asia Desk’ in its Kirkland office in January, complete with tearoom and staffed with Mandarin, Cantonese and Korean speakers who can help foreign clients with everything from travel arrangements to finding a school for their children. Jones predicts this is just the beginning of an influx of buyers from China. ‘What is really surprising is that China hadn’t discovered Seattle earlier.’”