在西雅图，风景房和新建筑都特别热门特别抢手。房地产经纪人Anna Riley指出，"尤其是对国际买家而言，现代住宅和新建筑非常吃香，" Anna是Windermere的豪华房产部W Collection的东区（位于华盛顿湖东岸的城镇）专家。实际上，据Coldwell Banker Bain的豪华房产部的主管经纪人Thadine Bak所说，"去年的数据就已经令人感到震惊了。[在东区]我们看到，200万美元以上的新建住房的售卖数量比上年增长了80%。同年，东区的豪华风景房销售总额达到了令人难以置信的11亿美元。"
贝尔维尤（特别是Somerset萨默塞特和贝尔维尤东城区）、Medina (麦迪纳) 和Mercer Island（默瑟岛）都是有许多独立产权风景公寓和湖滨风景房的热门地带，这和房地产的大趋势一致：人们——特别是千禧一代——往郊区搬迁，寻找更大、更新的住宅，以满足不断增长的家庭需求。对于家庭而言，贝尔维尤和Mercer Island的优质学校资源有很大的吸引力。贝尔维尤的景美小学和Tillicum中学都提供普通话双语课程。
Image Credit：Benjamin Benschneider
在西雅图，独栋住宅的存量空前地稀少 ，豪华住宅的买家转向购买产权公寓。Riley指出："西雅图的产权公寓非常受新搬来此定居的人群的青睐。" Madison Park、Laurelhurst和Washington Park等城区都炙手可热。
在西雅图最受期待的产权公寓之一是Weber Thompson设计的、独一无二的41层建筑Nexus，预计将于2019年开放，截至发稿时，其出售比例已达92%。One88是位于贝尔维尤市中心的一座华丽的21层玻璃建筑，由总部位于温哥华的Amanat Architect设计。在这栋大楼 里，人们可以俯瞰Cascades山脉和华盛顿湖。截至发稿时，该栋大楼已售出70%，价格从80万美元到500万美元不等，200万美元以下的公寓已经全部售光。
Image Credit：Paul Gjording/I SHOOT HOUSES
"豪宅市场对家庭和朋友的体验非常重视，"W Collection的经纪人Michael Doyle说道，"首先是地理位置，位于市中心和靠近城市中心的产权公寓和独栋住宅，因为可以方便地进行娱乐、购物和就餐活动而受追捧。"滨水区和度假区则为富有的买主们提供了丰富的自然体验。拥有较大的地皮和临近好学校的房屋，对于有孩子的人家、以及着眼于转售的投资者而言，都是很受欢迎的。这些房屋的室内空间很宽敞、天花板较高，方便邀约亲朋聚会。"
许多房屋现在还设计有Riley所说的"X代套房" (Gen X Suite)，也就是一个附属的或独立的单元或区域，让大家庭可以住在一起，无论是想要回家住的成年子女，或是想要住得近一点的远方亲戚，这种房屋都可以满足需求。
在Market Place Tower豪华顶层公寓的300平方英尺的阳台上将城市天际线和普吉特湾、Elliot湾及奥林匹克山脉的碧水青山白雪尽收眼底。
可持续性不再是迷你精简的城市农舍的专利，Coldwell Banker Bain首席经纪人兼豪宅部门专家John Deely表示，豪宅市场正在转向可持续采购，使用环保材料和节能配备，包括空气和水净化系统。"不久前，人们还很少考虑豪宅的可持续性和节能性，但现在的豪宅消费者则很关注系统、建材、装饰和家具是否创造了健康的生活环境、是否考虑了室内环境和建筑对人类健康的影响。"
Buying Tips from the Luxury Home Experts
> 提前计划。"中国买家可以在产权公寓预售时段，支付5%的定金，而交割通常发生在几年以后，这样就有足够的时间将资金从中国转移到美国。"——Dean Jones，苏富比国际地产总裁兼CEO。
> 因为房源不足，在西雅图买房可能不是一件易事。W Collection经纪人Michael Doyle指出："由于库存少，大多数买家不仅在自己最心仪的地点找房，而且也考虑了他们第二、第三和第四可接受地带。。。如果他们的经纪人很优秀、人脉很广的话，那么他们就会得到一些还没有上市发售房产的内幕消息；不管是二手房还是新建房 。"
> 找一个专门服务您希望购买的城区或地区的房地产经纪人。"他们可以成为您的中介和向导：他们知道建筑商的历史、 非常了解这个区域、专长房屋重售，即那些需要从长远角度考虑的重要的事情。"——Lisa Whittaker， Coldwell Banker Bain全球豪华地产总监。
小贴士：苏富比提供在线中英双语"最佳实践守则"("Best Practices") 指南：如需该指南和其它资源，请访问rsir.com并搜索 "international buying"。 在线链接：rsir.com/blog/2018/02/as-international-buying-surges-best-broker-practices-are-more-important-than-ever
Luxe Seattle Homes By the Numbers
Queen Anne/Magnolia (安妮皇后区/玉兰区)： $946,000，增长5%；西雅图房价中值最高的地方。
Southeast Seattle (西雅图东南)：$613,875美元，增长20%，西雅图房价增长最快的地方。
Sammamish (瑟马米什): $955,000，增长11%。
最贵的产权公寓：位于西雅图市中心的Millennium Tower (千禧塔)，2017年卖出的一套顶层阁楼售价为$7,500,000美元。
Where the Lux Homes Are
Best Places to Buy Luxury Homes in Seattle and the Eastside
Whether you’re looking for a view home on Lake Washington or a high-rise condo in the heart of the city, the Seattle area is home to plentiful locations for luxurious homes with great views. In the city, prices reflect the fast-moving real estate market, with condos that can start at $1 million and single-family homes $3 million and up—that reflects the fast-moving real estate market across the region. It’s common to hear price and inventory comparisons to that other city by the bay, San Francisco, thanks to lower prices in an increasingly similar tech setting, comprised of home-grown core companies, such as Microsoft and Amazon, and myriad satellites of Silicon Valley companies, including Google and Facebook. Dean Jones, principal and owner of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, says that Seattle is the latest city going through an urbanization trend that has already swept other West Coast cities, including Vancouver, B.C. and San Francisco. As the newest city on the densifying block, Seattle is “a relative bargain,” says Jones, and comes without a foreign buyer home tax or a state income tax.
In Seattle, views and new construction are hot commodities. “There’s been a large renaissance in contemporary housing and new construction, especially for the international buyer,” says broker Anna Riley, an Eastside (cities and towns located on the east side of Lake Washington) expert with Windermere’s luxe W Collection. Indeed, according to Coldwell Banker Bain luxury division principal managing broker Thadine Bak, “The numbers from last year are staggering. [On the Eastside] we saw an 80 percent increase over the previous year in the number of new construction homes purchased above $2 million. The Eastside had an incredible $1.1 billion in total sales of luxury view homes last year.”
Bellevue (particularly neighborhoods such as Somerset and east Bellevue), Medina and Mercer Island are all popular places to find view condos and waterfront residences, which follows an overall real estate trend that has people—and millennials in particular—moving to the suburbs in search of bigger and newer housing that meets their growing family needs. Bellevue and Mercer Island’s highly-rated schools are a big draw for families as well. Bellevue’s Jing Mei Elementary and Tillicum Middle School feature Mandarin dual language programs.
In Seattle, where the number of available single-family homes is slimmer than ever, luxury buyers are looking to condos. In Seattle, “The condo market in Seattle is super popular with people coming in,” says Riley, with Madison Park, Laurelhurst, and Washington Park all sought-after neighborhoods.
Condos have a lot of additional benefits for international buyers as well, says Realogics’ Jones, such as better prices than single-family homes and the benefit of presales. “Condos offer lower price points and the opportunity to purchase during presales with just 5 percent down payment and without multiple offers like houses that are higher priced and oftentimes more competitive.” The extended two-year closing process, says Jones, is also a perk of presale condo buying. In addition, they’re a great investment, says Jones, easy and profitable to rent out, and unlike in the past, they have been holding their worth, thanks to increasing median home values, up 19 percent between 2016 and 2017.
One of the most hotly anticipated condominiums in Seattle is the unique Weber Thompson-designed, 41-story Nexus, slated to open in 2019 and as of press time, 92 percent sold. In Bellevue, One88 is a gorgeous 21-story glass structure in the heart of downtown, designed by Vancouver-based Amanat Architect, that has sweeping views of the Cascades and Lake Washington. As of press time, it was 70 percent sold. Prices range from $800,000 to $5 million, with nothing available below $2 million.
Whether a condo or a single-family home, there are a few common amenity trends that are in high demand. Sprawling common areas that blend into one another and to the outdoors are de rigeur in most single-family homes. Generous great rooms are connected to heated outdoor spaces via large sliding or folding doors, blurring the lines between indoors and out, according to Riley.
“The luxury market is placing a high value on experiences with family and friends,” says W Collection broker Michael Doyle. “Starting with location, condominiums and single-family homes both in and close to urban centers are prized for easy access to entertainment, shopping, and restaurants. Waterfront and resort locations bring luxury buyers optimizing for in-nature experiences. Homes with large lots and near good schools are popular for those with children and for those luxury investors with an eye toward resale. Spaces inside homes are wide open with tall ceilings; inviting family and friends to share in the bounty.”
That concept extends throughout these homes, including in the kitchen, according to Riley, which often feature large hoods centered over a kitchen island, where people can gather. Steam ovens, which cook food faster, are also in demand, as are spice kitchens—a smaller kitchen adjacent to the main open kitchen for cooking intensely fragrant dishes. They often have their own ventilation system, so all those open gathering spaces avoid smelling like yesterday’s meals.
Many homes now also include what Riley calls the “Gen X suite,” an attached or detached unit or area where extended family can live—whether those are adult children that come back to live at home or relatives who live far away and want to move closer.
Livable Outdoor areas are as elaborate in many of these homes as the interiors—their heat is built in, rather than via heat lamp, and covered, extending naturally from the home and making it usable year-round in the Puget Sound’s temperate climate. Decks and back yard spaces are outfitted like your living room with fireplaces, mini-kitchens, inside-style furniture and hookups for electronics like a flat screen TV.
Sustainability is no longer the sole domain of minimal urban farmhouses. The luxury market is moving towards sustainable sourcing, eco-friendly materials and energy efficient features, including air and water purification systems, says Coldwell Banker Bain principal managing broker and luxury division expert John Deely in Seattle. “In the not too distant past, little thought was given to sustainability and energy efficiency in the luxury market; but today’s luxury consumer is interested in systems, materials, finishes and furnishings that create a healthy living environment and consider the biological impacts the interior environment and buildings have on humans.”
Automated everything and the Internet of Things is integrated into most luxury homes. In addition to advanced security and circadian lighting designs, operated remotely from smart phones or by a single device, says Deely, “artificial intelligence, voice command and robotic applications are popping up in all areas of the luxury home. Wine inventory technology for your cellar will notify you when a wine has matured, and one can quickly pair that wine with the perfect recipe for the evening’s meal. Entertainment systems are mostly wireless with bigger and better visual and sound quality and are ubiquitous.” Deely notes one of the more impressive details that turned up in one home’s laundry room: an electronic cat litter box, which could be operated and cleaned via an app. “Condo buildings with the right amenities continue to be a key factor in luxury real estate sales,” he says, “including simulated golf, children’s gaming rooms and pet recreation and spa areas.”
Buying Tips from the Luxury Home Experts
—Plan ahead. Chinese buyers can make a modest 5-percent deposit on a future presale condominium but not worry about closing for several years, allowing plenty of time to move money from China into the US. —Dean Jones, owner and CEO of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty
—The Seattle area can be a tough housing market to shop in—there just aren’t that many homes out there available to buy. “With so little inventory, most buyers are looking not just in their preferred location but in their second, third, and fourth choices,” says W Collection broker Michael Doyle. “If their agents are good and well-networked, they are getting the inside scoop on not-yet-listed inventory; both re-sale and new construction.”
—Find an agent that specializes in the neighborhood or area you are hoping to buy in. “They can be your advocate and your guide; they know the history of the builder, they specialize in the area, in resale—things that are important over the long-term.” —Lisa Whittaker, Global Luxury Director at Coldwell Banker Bain
For additional tips: Realogics offers a “Best Practices” guide online (in Mandarin and English): To find this, and other resources, visit rsir.com and search for “international buying”.
Luxe Seattle Homes By the Numbers
Seattle-area real estate experts also recommend you look at home values and appreciation trends in area and the particular neighborhoods in which you’re interested.
According to Zillow, median appreciation across the cities of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland and Redmond for single-family homes between 2015 and 2017 was 33.46 percent; for condominiums, 40.44 percent. Good numbers by any measure, but here’s a closer look at some additional real estate data.
Median Home Prices
In Seattle (2016–2017):
Queen Anne/Magnolia: $946,000, an increase of 5 percent; the highest median home price in the city
Southeast Seattle: $613, 875, an increase of 20 percent, the fastest growth rate in the city
Outside of Seattle*, in neighborhoods with significant growth (2016–2017)
Sammamish: $955,000, an increase of 11 percent
Woodinville: $778,000, an increase of 11 percent
Priciest Neighborhood: Medina
The highest priced home sold for $23,375,000 in 2017 and for $26, 750,000 in 2018.
The highest-priced condo: downtown Seattle’s Millennium Tower, a penthouse sold for $7.5 million in 2017
* These are the places that had more sales than previous years. bigger eastside cities are not here because they didn’t have the growth these smaller ones listed do.