In brief: In brief: The election results are in, with the exception of a few still-too-close-to-call state legislative races; six weeks after Candace Faber publicly named state Senator Joe Fain as the man who raped her in 2007, a state Senate committee tentatively agreed to investigate the matter; and Seattle's median home price declined slightly from last month as new listings increased and number of new sales decreased vs. October of 2017.
Sunday, November 4th - Saturday, November 10th, 2018
Image from The Seattle Times / Ken Lambert
Election Results
  • Voter turnout in Washington state for Tuesday's midterm election is on track to beat the previous record of 72%, set in 1970.
  • For full election results, The Seattle Times has an excellent visual breakdown here--note that as of Saturday it hadn't been updated since Thursday night, though, so it doesn't reflect changes from Friday's ballot drop.
  • In the 8th Congressional District, Democrat Kim Schrier beat Republican Dino Rossi 53% to 47% to become the first Democrat ever to represent the 8th in Congress. 
  • In the 3rd and 5th districts, incumbent Republicans Jamie Herrera Beutler and Cathy McMorris Rodgers successfully fended off strong challenges from Democrats Carolyn Long and Lisa Brown. 
  • I-1631, which would have created a fee on carbon emissions, lost by a wide margin (43.5% - 56.5% as of Friday afternoon).
  • I-1634, the soda industry's measure to proactively ban soda taxes across the state, won by a similar margin (55.5% - 45.4% as of Friday).
  • I-1639's package of gun control measures passed overwhelmingly, by a 60-40 margin as of Friday afternoon.
  • I-940, which will make it easier to prosecute police officers who use deadly force on the job, passed by a similar margin, also 60-40 as of Friday.
  • And Seattle's Families, Education, Preschool and Promise levy won in a landslide, 68.5% - 31.5%. 
State legislature:
  • Several races are still too close to call, but as of Friday afternoon's ballot drop Democrats had gained at least two seats in the Senate and seven in the House, strengthening their hold on the state legislature. 
  • Following Friday's ballot drop, state Senator Joe Fain, whom Candace Faber named in late September as the man who raped her in 2007, conceded his race in the 47th legislative district to his Democratic challenger, Mona Das. 
  • Ballot drops will continue this week, but several races, including one in the 42nd LD where Republican incumbent Doug Ericksen is currently leading Democratic challenger Pinky Vargas by just 72 votes, are close enough to trigger mandatory recounts.
Real Estate Corner
How's the market?
The median home price in Seattle proper dipped to $760k in October from $775k in September (and a high of $830k in May), with new listings up 19% from 2017 and pending sales down 15%--for the full NWMLS stats, see here

At this point Seattle's median home price is slightly below where it was in January of this year, before a rapid rise due to historically scarce inventory that saw it shoot up 9.6% in four months at the beginning of the year (from $757k in January to $830k in May). It's likely that prices will continue to fluctuate slightly through the end of the year, but the real test of the market will come in the spring, when buyer demand and prices generally see a significant increase from the previous winter. 

Other real estate news:

The developer of the Koda condo tower in the International District announced plans to buy the McDonald's property near the Space Needle and build a condo tower in its place. 

10 homes from King County were featured on the popular McMansion Hell blog. 

Crosscut published a 90-second web video with a quick history of redlining in Seattle

An existing apartment building that announced earlier this year that it was converting to condos went back to apartments after having trouble selling its units. 

Sightline's Dan Bertolet looked at why the rent is so high for new construction apartments. 

And Curbed Seattle's Sarah Anne Lloyd looked at what $1400/month will rent you right now around Seattle. 
Thank you to everyone who's sent me a real estate referral or used me as an agent yourself! The city of Seattle is my geographic area of expertise, and while I'm also very good at helping sellers get top dollar for their homes, my true passion is helping first-time homebuyers get homes that they love quickly and easily.

f you need a residential real estate agent to help you buy or sell a home of any kind--or you know someone who does--I'd love to be of service. My website is here, or see here for client reviews. 
Quick Takes
According to an anonymous source, Amazon is close to finalizing plans to split HQ2 between New York City and a suburb of Washington, DC. [Wall Street Journal]

Six weeks after Candace Faber publicly named state Senator Joe Fain as the man who raped her in 2007, a state Senate committee tentatively agreed to investigate the matter--although now that he's conceded his race, it's unclear if the investigation will still proceed. [Seattle Times]

City Councilmember Rob Johnson announced that he won't be running for re-election next year. [KING 5]

With the City Council set to vote on Mayor Durkan's SPD contract on Tuesday, 24 community groups sent an open letter to the Council urging them to reject it. [Crosscut]

Four of the victims of the 2015 Ride the Ducks crash on the Aurora bridge settled their cases for a combined $8.25 million. [Seattle Times]

Uber and Lyft provided more than 91,000 rides per day in the second quarter of this year, more than five times more than the equivalent number from the first quarter of 2015 when they began reporting their numbers to the City. [Seattle Times]

"Black, Native American and Hispanic communities face 50 percent greater vulnerability during wildfires compared with other communities, researchers with University of Washington and the Nature Conservancy announced last week." [Seattle Globalist]

SeaTac Airport launched a pilot program to allow small numbers of visitors to go through security to meet or drop off loved ones at the gate. [Seattle Times]

San Francisco's tax on corporations to pay for affordable housing passed by a wide margin. [GeekWire]

A community group's plans to build a lid over I-5 through downtown came one step closer to fruition. [Curbed Seattle]

In the past year, the Seattle-King County Immigration Legal Defense Network has helped 700 people from 60 different countries. [Seattle Times]

City Arts announced that the November issue will be its final one, following an unsuccessful attempt to become self-sustaining after being spun out by its parent organization. [Crosscut]

A fast ferry between Kingston and downtown Seattle will launch the Monday after Thanksgiving. [Seattle Times]

And there are 75 shipwrecks on the bottom of Lake Union. [Curbed Seattle]
Events this week
11/13, 7:00 pm: Salon of Shame [sold out, but rush tickets generally available]

11/14, 8:30 am: Pack City Hall for critical budget votes! [Kshama Sawant]

11/14, 8 - 9:00 pm: Seattle Science Slam #14

11/18, 6:00 pm: Short Stories Live: The History of Seattle Literature

11/17 - 11/18: Julefest: A Nordic Christmas Celebration

Sol Villarreal
Broker, Windermere Real Estate
Sol's Civic Minute: What's happening in Seattle, in 60 seconds per week.
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Seattle, WA 98109
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