Newsletter | January 10, 2023
Best city to keep your new year’s resolutions?

If you live in Seattle, you have fewer excuses not to keep your New Year’s resolutions. Why? Because a WalletHub study found that Seattle is the best city for keeping those year-end resolutions.

WalletHub analyzed 180 cities in the U.S. and evaluated them based on 50 criteria, organized into five categories: bad habits, health, relationships, school and work, and finances.

In addition to its primary objective, the article also suggests focusing on several smaller goals. These include prioritizing rest, financial budget, decluttering, and romanticizing your daily life.
Despite a likely drop in Seattle home prices, no relief for most buyers

While forecasts project a 4% – 5.5% drop in home prices nationally, Seattle might see an even steeper drop. The Seattle area housing market is already one of the fastest-cooling U.S. markets.

This decline in housing costs is likely to help only the wealthiest buyers. Given how high home prices are in the region, even a 5% - 10% drop in prices will not make housing affordable, especially with rising interest rates.

Plus, the drop in housing costs could leave some homeowners underwater. It’s estimated that a 4% drop in housing prices could move 6% of homeowners underwater, while a 12% price decline could drive 16% underwater.
Councilmember Pedersen becomes second not to seek reelection. More to follow?

With all 7 Seattle City Council district seats on the ballot this year, two incumbents have already announced their decision not to seek reelection. This week, Councilmember Alex Pedersen (District 4) made his decision public. In late 2022, Councilmember Lisa Herbold became the first to announce she was not seeking another term. If rumors of additional retirements prove true, the Seattle Council could have several new members in 2024.
Longtime business leader George Duff passes away at 91

After serving as President of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce from 1968 to 1995, George Duff remained an active civic leader, a supporter of the nonprofit community, and an adviser to later Chamber leaders. He passed away in his Mercer Island home on New Year’s Day.

Duff’s legacy includes providing leadership to build the third runway at Sea-Tac International Airport, the Seattle Convention Center, a bond measure to upgrade Harborview Hospital, and helping assemble the Nintendo ownership group to save the Seattle Mariners.

Current Chamber President and CEO Rachel Smith described his impact by saying, “George Duff was a leader who left his stamp on our region through decades of stewardship and advocacy on behalf of our community.”
Seattle Police Chief Diaz shares plan to fight crime and hire more police

Chief Adrian Diaz shared some positive crime news while discussing his plans to battle crime and recruit additional officers in 2023.

On a positive front, Seattle saw a drop in shootings in 2022. The police department also recovered 1,260 guns, including 136 in December alone.

Chief Diaz expressed frustration that people often do not report property crimes, making it harder to know the full extent of the problem. The Chief hopes that success in recruiting new officers – and retaining existing ones – will enable SPD to make meaningful progress against crime in 2023. The department was down about 375 officers as it entered the new year.
Three stats to watch in Seattle in 2023

Gene Balk, the FYI Guy at The Seattle Times, shared his views on three critically-important statistics to track in Seattle over the coming year.

We’ve been tracking two of these spotlighted issues in this newsletter. One is the return of workers to their offices downtown. While tourism is virtually back to pre-pandemic levels, the downtown office workforce in November 2022 was only 42% of 2019 levels. Will 2023 see a significant increase in workers’ return to downtown offices?

The second issue covered extensively in this newsletter is population growth in Seattle. In the 2010s, Seattle was the fastest-growing large city in the U.S., adding more than 100,000 people. However, the pandemic stalled the growth, losing almost 4,300 people from July 2020 to July 2021 (a drop of .6%). Will population growth return to Seattle in 2023?

The third issue is inflation and the cost of living in Seattle. The cost-of-living index cited by the reporter identifies Seattle as one of the ten most expensive cities in the country. How will inflation impact the affordability of life in Seattle in 2023?
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We value all people regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, identity, sexual orientation, nationality, or disability, and that is the foundation of our commitment to those we serve. 
Washington Retail Staff