In my last post, Seattle Job Growth is Meteoric… & its not just Amazon , I discussed the strength of job growth in Seattle and the Puget Sound region. A massively important aspect of the region’s job growth is the type of jobs added to the Seattle economy. Year-over-year tech-related job growth in the region is the highest in the nation (21%) – beating out impressive markets in SF/Silicon Valley and Boston.

The importance of tech job growth to Seattle’s commercial real estate economy – and specifically apartment investment and development – is highlighted by (1) tech workers are customarily paid high wages; and (2) high wages allow choice in renting. These factors, coupled with a decided interest in urbanization has led to phenomenal growth and opportunity in Seattle’s urban neighborhoods.

The fabric of these neighborhoods are changing. As apartment investors and developers it is important to understand, and if possible predict and maybe influence, such change (hopefully in positive ways). A starting point for such analysis lies within understanding the type of employment opportunities and thereby a glimpse into the likely renter-set in each neighborhood. I covered the connection between job sector and renter in my recent post “Know the Job Sectors, Know your Apartment Customer”.

One of the most explanatory ways to highlight companies by neighborhood is by mapping. The following maps provide an overview of key employers by neighborhood. Although not all of these employers fall into the category of “tech”, you’d be surprised by how many tech jobs are housed in traditionally non-tech companies like Nordstrom and Brooks.

Downtown Seattle

South Lake Union

South Downtown / Pioneer Square


West Bellevue

Although these neighborhoods cover a vast array of the region’s most exciting employers, other employers have moved deeper into more traditionally residential neighborhoods. For example Sonos’ move into Capitol Hill highlights the interesting phenomenon of the introduction of new office space in Capitol Hill. A similar trend is occurring in Ballard and the University District. It is important to pay attention to these trends as they should pay an integral part into any apartment investment thesis. As apartment brokers focused on key insights on both macro and granular trends, we lead our clients to the highest investment returns. Give us a call to understand how we can provide you with critical insights and the highest investment returns.