DOING THE MATH. Nearly all of our clients work in tech. Most also use their stock options or RSU’s as a downpayment on their first home. Amazon’s stock price is hovering around $1750 for the last few months at this point. Down from over $2000 not long ago. Amazon’s stock is still valued at $2300 by most analysts. Nearly all tech workers in Seattle are grappling with this right now and are not limited to Amazon. Tech workers make up more than half of all Seattle home buyers.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO? So put yourself in an Amazon employee’s shoes. They’ve got this stock vested. But it is $500 lower than the assessed value. You want to buy a house, but that additional $500 per share would go A LONG WAY toward a better downpayment. Plus, once the stock price improves, your going to be upset that you sold it. So what do you do? Wait?
WE HEAR THIS ON THE STREET! We see this playing out with our clients, and not just Amazon peeps either. Uber and Lift employees, to name a few others. All have shared these trepidations. So then it dawns on me that Seattle’s tech stocks, much the way it is in SanFrancisco, might be our housing markets bellwether. The share of tech workers at this point in the housing market is significant and makes complete sense that this would govern the housing cycles as it does in San Fran. MIght be new to Seattle to some extent, or we just have not been in a position to take notice until now.
NEW TO SEATTLE, BUT NOT SAN FRANCISCO. I will be testing this out. Don’t get me wrong; our market is not bad even now, and one could argue this might be a great time to buy based on this information. It’s just much more relaxed than it was, which is a good thing. But if we can calculate when the surges come we can help clients figure out when not to buy or when to sell etc.
An exciting proposition if you ask me. The way to succeed in real estate is to do things when others don’t. Noodle on that!