Real Estate

Home prices in the Seattle and Portland metro areas are rising faster than anywhere else in the country right now -- about twice as fast as the national average.

In the spring of 2008, when future Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley was in the process of closing down his real estate services business, he instructed his operations manager to falsify client spreadsheets and “get rid” of records. That was the testimony Thursday from Jason JeRue, a highly anticipated witness in Kelley’s money laundering and tax evasion trial.

Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley’s trial enters its fourth week Monday. As prosecutors continue to mount their case, a behind-the-scenes fight has emerged over Kelley’s payment of taxes to the state of Washington and whether that’s relevant to this federal case.

Washington Consolidated Technology Services

Efforts to lease Washington’s overbuilt data center have so far been unsuccessful.

Picture an unfinished space about the size of an indoor soccer arena with 20 foot ceilings and a concrete floor. The state built four of these data center halls but now it only needs two of them. Servers are getting smaller and attempts to lease this surplus space to the private sector for data center use have been ineffective. Now the state is casting a wider net.

Rob St. John oversees the state data center.

“We’re open to almost any sort of alternate use,” St. John said. 

mr_jeffreed / Flickr

New housing starts are a key economic indicator. But not all new houses are created the same. A new report issued Friday shows that Oregon and Washington are following a national shift away from single family homes towards more apartment complexes.

The state of Washington is expected to sign a 30-year lease Tuesday for Seattle’s iconic Pacific Tower on Beacon Hill.

Photo by Amy Radil / Northwest News Network

Initiative 502 allows the state to license marijuana stores. Many aspiring pot retailers are scouting for real estate. But they aren’t having much luck finding space. Legislators say they may need to open up more real estate for the stores if I-502 is going to succeed. KUOW’s Amy Radil reports.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The real estate crash triggered some big bankruptcies in the Northwest, but few are as spectacular and convoluted as the foreclosure of the unfinished Tamarack Resort in western Idaho. What was supposed to be the Northwest's newest destination resort remains in extended legal limbo, but plucky homeowners are keeping it alive until a new buyer arrives.

Spokane Sues Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac

Jan 11, 2013
Northwest News Network

The city of Spokane, Wash., is suing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The class-action suit claims the two mortgage giants should have to pay a real estate excise tax to Spokane and dozens of other cities across Washington.

Northwest News Network

Oregon has been the most aggressive state in distributing federal funds aimed at preventing foreclosures. The state has tapped into nearly half of the $220 million it received under the “Hardest Hit” program. That's a higher rate than any of the other 17 states and Washington, D.C., that were awarded the funds.

Jeffery Turner / Flickr

Oregonians facing foreclosure will soon have another tool to stay in their house. A law that takes effect Wednesday allows struggling homeowners the chance to look their lender in the eye.

Photo credit: Timothy Ellis/Flickr / Northwest News Network

Home prices continue to fall in the Northwest. New figures released show yet another drop in both Seattle and Portland.

The S&P/Case-Schiller Index measures housing prices in 20 large metropolitan areas around the country. The newest figures are through January and in them, both Seattle and Portland hit new lows for the current economic downturn. Average home prices in both cities are down about four percent from a year ago. Steve Thoele is an agent with Keller-Williams Realty in Portland. He blogs about housing trends in Oregon.

One of my favorite bands, Real Estate stopped by NPR to perform a three-song Tiny Desk Concert.  Real Estate’s latest album Days has been on repeat for me since its release from Domino Records last fall.  For being a surf-rock, lo-fi, breezy pop kind of band this album fits perfectly with a crisp autumn or winter day. 

Watch Real Estate’s Tiny Desk Concert here.