Tagged: Aaron Peterson Seattle

Aaron Peterson of Seattle Discusses What May Become of Office Vacancies

Aaron Peterson in Seattle

As a real estate expert, Aaron Peterson of Seattle has observed the twists and turns that the industry has contended with since the beginning of the health crisis. In the realm of residential real estate, the market has largely remained healthy. After all, people will always need to buy, sell, or otherwise move to a new living space regardless of what other factors are at work. Aaron Peterson recognizes that commercial real estate in the greater-Seattle area has different realities. Companies ultimately can decide what types of office spaces, if any, are appropriate both in terms of efficiency and safety throughout the health crisis. This shift has caused inevitably led to office vacancies throughout the city, but Aaron Peterson and other Seattle real estate experts are keeping a close eye on adaptions that can be made to make these spaces more attractive to tenants moving forward.

Estimates suggest that 85%-90% of Seattle’s 47 million square feet of office space is currently empty due to the health crisis. Because this space is already leased, tenants are paying for this unused space. With the growing popularity and capabilities of remote work, experts on all sides of the equation remain somewhat uncertain of what companies will return to said space and which will look at more flexible options into the foreseeable future. Some even surmise that, for many, the pandemic’s end will not spark the end of the remote work trend.

Aaron Peterson of Seattle notes that some experts have made claims that converting these building into residential seems unlikely at this stage in development, largely because the costs of adding extra plumbing and features indicative of residential space can become quite costly quickly. This, of course, has not stopped some advocates from pitching the idea that these office spaces could become converted into affordable housing communities if the resources are allocated to such projects. Aaron Peterson acknowledges the merit in the idea, as it could serve to provide an infrastructure to support individuals caught in the middle between the housing boom and economic crisis spurred by COVID-19. Still, it has yet to be revealed if this idea will permeate the zeitgeist of Seattle’s commercial real estate sector, even if  a few developers have become open to the idea of exploring the option if it buildings remain unfilled.

Aaron Peterson and others consider that one of the most likely scenarios for Seattle’s office vacancies is that they will keep their identity as office spaces. This would not necessarily come without a catch, however, as developers and owners will need to adapt to the ever-changing needs of tenants. Buildings that can best fit the needs of consumers in a post-COVID-19 landscape will be the most attractive, whether that means offices that contain more space to accommodate distancing, less space in a flexible capacity, or implemented structural components that promote behaviors less conducive to spreading sickness. One of the benefits of revamping office spaces rather than completely changing their function is that the barrier for entry would potentially be much less steep. Aaron Peterson of Seattle recognizes that this would mean buildings that end up having a harder time securing tenants would have the opportunity to make their property a better fit for both this current landscape and that of the future.

Aaron Peterson Examines Shift in Real Estate Behaviors in Seattle

Aaron Peterson Seattle

It is no secret that COVID-19 has changed the way that a lot of us operate over the past few months. In some cases, these changes in behaviors have had drastic impacts on entire industries, such as how earlier shutdowns and preference changes continue to impact the restaurant sector. In real estate, these shifts have not been quite as devastating. Aaron Peterson of Seattle notes that markets such as those in the greater-Seattle area have largely remained strong in the face of the crisis. This is not to say that there have not been a few observable changes having an impact current, however. As a real estate expert with a vested interest in understanding the ebb and flow of the demand and consumer behavior, Aaron Peterson examines the meaning of some of these changes.

One change, noted by experts, is a shift in the desires of individuals searching for homes. Aaron Peterson recognizes that there has been an uptick in searches for homes under 1,000 square feet. Some surmise that this is because apartment dwellers are beginning to make the switch to stand alone homes because of feeling crowded in their current space. Homes that seem to be winning out are ones that have more isolated living areas. This serves as a contrast to searches prior to the pandemic, as the open floorplan concept in homes was in high demand amongst individuals in the market for purchasing a house. Real estate researchers at Point2 acknowledge that this shift has most likely occurred because people are beginning to see the value in more isolated layouts with more of the family at home for work, school, and entertainment purposes. With how the Seattle housing market is doing currently, Aaron Peterson believes it is unlikely that this will lead to open concept houses not being sold quickly. It does, however, certainly expand the idea of what housing features are considered preferable.

The price points of those searching for housing in Seattle is also increasing, Aaron Peterson notes that 29% of searches are in the range of between $500,000 and $750,000 as opposed to 15% prior to the health crisis. There are several possible reasons for the shifts. For example, some are simply increasing the scope of price in terms of a potential home to meet the rise in housing prices. The range of what can be considered a suburb of major cities is increasing, driving prices up in areas that are further out from where prospective buyers may have preferred before the pandemic. Many companies note that remote work may be here to stay for some employed within the Seattle area, and even those that may eventually work one or two days in the office are realizing a commute may increase what they can get out of a house. As a result of these shifts in consumer behaviors, real estate is getting competitive in several counties across Washington.