Recent census data shows that Redmond has the highest daytime population rise in the United States. Redmond has a population count of approximately 52,000 people, however during weekday business hours the population rises to a robust 110,000 people. That is a staggering population rise of 58,000 people and a population hike of 111.4% during weekday work hours. Redmond is the 19th largest city in Washington State by night time population, however during weekday business hours it becomes the state’s 7th largest city, due mostly to the huge influx of commuters to Microsoft’s sprawling 125 building campus that seems to grow by the day. Developers have noticed this trend, as evidenced by the 5 new apartment and condo complexes being built this year in the downtown Redmond area. Most of the new complexes are geared for more high end renters as the most demand is for housing for very affluent workers and their families.
Developers look at the census data and realize that if they provide suitable living quarters for the employees of Microsoft as well as Redmonds other businesses that they will have no problem filling their vacancies with tenants that can both afford high end housing, as well as be responsible tenants with stable jobs and incomes. Traffic is not a huge concern for developers as they believe most of their tenants will be working in Redmond and thus skip the huge traffic buildups that occur on a daily basis on incoming freeways and byways during the weekdays. Redmond is also undergoing many transportation construction to better utilize their byways and routes of traffic. Providing housing options for many of the commuting vehicles should actually alleviate some of the traffic snarls that occur from commuting workers. There are also plans to have the East Link light rail connect to Redmond in the next decade which will also alleviate some traffic concerns for developers building new complexes in the Redmond area as well as Redmonds current population who may be concerned about any new population growth and construction costs and inconveniences.
There will be 5 new apartment complexes being built this year in Redmond by various high end developers, and Gary Lee, the cities Senior Planner said approximately 815 new units will be added in total. The city expects these units to house approximately 2500 new tenants. Most of the workers for Redmonds tech companies as well as Microsoft workers are younger, well-compensated individuals who would prefer to live close to their work, however have a hard time finding suitable living quarters for themselves and their families as most of Redmonds existing housing options are older buildings dating to the 1980’s and 1990’s. These existing buildings cater to the less affluent populations and have no real financial motivation to spend a lot of money on converting their existing units into a more desirable choice for those looking for something more high end. Commercial Real Estate broker Ross Candoo says, “For years many Microsoft and Google employees have made the commute from Seattle to Redmond and Kirkland because they couldn’t find the quality apartment properties or hip neighborhoods that Seattle offered. Older stock apartments are not of great appeal to this well-paid young renter.” These new apartment buildings should certainly solve that problem and if vacancies are filled up quickly you can be sure many other developers will take notice and start looking at developing new high end apartments of their own. Even as most of the attention has been geared at the daytime population hikes occuring in Redmond, the nighttime population is growing at a high rate as well, rising a whopping 25% since 2000.
Downtown Redmond is undergoing a massive overhaul, trying to convert the downtown core into a more hip, lively, mobile area for families and businesses alike. There are massive street conversions as well as new open spaces and parks to accommodate the new influx of residents as well as cater to the already existing population base. These developments are huge positives for Redmond housing and rental values as the city is evolving into a better planned out city that helps the public health and mobility of its residences, while the newer buildings will only increase the values of even the older, more outdated contemporaries. The median house value in Redmond is $416,731. This is a quite impressive number considering the median Redmond house in 2000 was $255,200 and the current median home in Washington is $256,300. This shows how well real estate is doing in Redmond and suggests that property value growth will continue and make Redmond a great place to either reside or buy investment property. Other than some construction and noise issues, most Redmond property owners should be very excited about what this new construction, as well as the cities desire to update its look will do to their bottom line when it comes to their property investments.