Real (Estate) Tech: Low Vacancies, Sixties Decor, and Schmoozer of the Year

1. Apartment vacancies are the lowest they’ve been in a decade.

Reis Inc., a real estate research firm, has the latest news–and it’s so very good. The nationwide vacancy average currently stood at 4.9% for the first quarter, which is the lowest it’s been since 2001. Thanks to the low vacancy, rents across the country have jumped 0.5% this quarter, to an average of $1,070 per month. Reis expects rent growth to continue rising this year; check out the Reuters article for all the juicy details.

2. The Seattle 2.0 Startup Awards: there’s a Schmoozer of the Year? 

This very-Seattle awards show took place at the EMP yesterday. Winners included Investor of the Year (Chris Cooley of Founder’s Co-op), Schmoozer of the Year (Shauna Causey, VP of Marketing at, Deal of the Year (Popcap Games), and–of course–Geek of the Year (Jim Demonakos of Emerald City Comicon). Check out Geekwire’s article for a full list of winners (and links to the companies we mentioned above). Maybe you’ll see Reachwerks on that stage someday!

3. Buildings with their very own libraries? New York does set the trends…

While gyms and rooftop gardens have long been standard offerings for many urban apartment buildings, a new trend has been quietly taking root as a way to stand out in the myriad of apartment towers in New York City. We know what you’re thinking: Libraries? Really? But put down your Kindle for a moment and check out the slideshow–these spaces are gorgeous and peaceful and a great way to foster a sense of community among tenants. Click here for the full article from the New York Times.

4. When it comes to interior decorating, it’s a Mad, Mad world.

Mad Men–perhaps you’ve heard of it? The Emmy-winning show from AMC is set in the 1960’s, and the show’s impeccable wardrobe sparked a recurring interest in pencil skirts and charcoal suits a couple of years ago. Now the sparkling set design has ignited a passion for split levels and vintage Danish Modern. As Mad Men’s fifth season continues, expect to see plenty of Barcelona Chairs and optical illusion pieces cropping up in the next few months. Want to decorate your home or a model apartment with a sixties theme? Check out the Seattle Times article for tips.

5. There are now more single-family rental units than units in apartment towers.

This tidbit comes from the Wall Street Journal’s Developments blog. According to data from CoreLogic, there are approximately 20.7 million 1-4 unit rentals out there; compare that with 17.1 million rentals in multifamily buildings (with five or more units). “The main hurdle facing Wall Street, however, is how to make single-family rentals behave like stocks, bonds and other tradable securities,” writes Robbie Whelan. Check out the full article here. 

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