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SEATTLE, WA-”Queen Anne (apartments), due to the rents beings asked in Belltown, now is a relative bargain, ” says Michael McQuaid, a broker and partner at Paragon Real Estate Advisors Inc. And, the historically-low vacancies aren’t likely to be influenced anytime soon with new product coming on the market.

In nearby Belltown, Seattle’s newest hot spot for urban living, cracker boxes cost $1,500 a month. According a study conducted by McQuaid, apartment rents in the Queen Anne neighborhood run a fairly wide, but relatively low, range in comparison. The spread in Queen Anne rents being the age of the buildings and their amenities.

McQuaid says most of the apartment properties in Queen Anne are pre-1991 construction, typically lacking washer/dryer amenities, resulting in lower rents around $1.30 per sf. Newer properties here with laundry facilities, however, fetch an average of $1.50 per sf.

Citing a Scott + Dupre report, McQuaid says, “the Queen Anne area has averaged a 2% vacancy factor over the past five years.” As of March 2000, McQuaid says the vacancy rate was 2.8%.

As for the likelihood of a flood of new product coming on line and tipping the market, as has been the case in Belltown, McQuaid says, “This year it appears as though 124 new units will be added to the (Queen Anne) market. The difficulty with relying on this statistic is that…most will end up being offered as individual condominiums for sale…due to the very high demand for condos in the area.”

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