Trendy Clothes and Sushi Give Love to Renton, Maybe?

H&M hspace=The Swedish-based clothing store, H&M, celebrated its entrance to the Seattle market last week with the grand opening of its Southcenter mall location. This is a big hoopla for fashion enthusiasts who enjoy purchasing items on the cheap. H&M’s addition to Southcenter was a part of the shopping center’s $240 million expansion and redesign. I have yet to make a trip to Southcenter (I don’t handle traffic well) but local press have been raving about the improvements. Can’t. Stop. Reading. About. It.

The positive press and improvements are good for Renton homeowners. Southcenter tends to be the mall of choice for people in south Renton—and Eastsiders in general. It’s just a quick hop on 405 and provides more discount stores than Bellevue Square. Google Maps estimates the drive from Renton to Southcenter at 3.4 miles, nearly 10 minutes without traffic (does this ever happen… no traffic?).

Southcenter has its loyal customers, but I never saw home listings advertising proximity to the retail monstrosity. Perhaps, with its updated, more modern and clean physique, we’ll see more Renton listings referencing Southcenter?

According to Redfin, 198 homes in Renton sold in the past three months. The most expensive home sold for $1,080,000 and least expensive was a flock of land for $83,312. With the exception of the Newcastle/Renton waterfront homes, the majority of Renton homes fall under $1 million.

I think buyers looking at a $300,000, $500,000 or even $1 million home in Renton would like to know that the new and improved Southcenter mall is less than 4 miles away. Don’t you? H&M, Forever 21 and Blue C Sushi all a short bike ride away… sounds like the making for new advertising campaign. 

Photo provided by H&M via Alison Brownrigg at NWSource.com. Photo by Peter Gehrke.

  • ak123

    I disagree with your assessment. A derailment of the “recovery” would lead to lower house prices. Those of us who are responsible and work a lot and save a lot have been hurt by the speculative spree set off by artificially low interest rates. This has been a long-unsaid truth of the current US economy.

    While merely through unintended consequences, a near-default would put interest rates closer to where they should be were it not for the Federal Reserve’s incessant money printing.

    Sorry if the current events hurt realtors, but they don’t hurt everyone despite your assumptions.

    • http://www.aaronfyke.com Aaron Fyke

      If you want to buy a home, surely you want prices to fall by a means *other* than interest rates climbing, no? If interest rates climb, causing house prices to fall, the total cost of ownership remains constant. That is, of course, unless you don’t need to finance a purchase, but can do this all-cash.

      • ak123

        Not necessarily true. If you are a high earner, you have a large down payment and benefit greatly from the mortgage interest deduction.

        Also, I would much rather buy at a low price with a high interest rate for the following reasons:
        1) property tax is lower.
        2) when I try to sell the place, its value will be diminished if the new buyer has to pay a higher interest rate and thus has less buying power. this will pretty much certainly be the case in today’s market.
        3) if you buy with a reasonably high interest rate, e.g. 6.5%, there is always the chance that you can refinance later at a lower price. that’s not a possibility with today’s low rates.

        Of course, all of the above is predicated on the assumption that higher interest rates mean lower house pricing. The data on this is murky. Robert Shiller, who just won the nobel prize two days ago on his study of bubbles, states that there’s only a weak correlation. However, if you plot the mortgage interest rates versus the case-shiller index over the last 35 years you do find a reasonable inverse correlation. The data is out there for you to interpret.