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Report: Bellevue in for ‘real estate frenzy’ as Amazon moves in

The Bellevue skyline. (Kanattie, Flickr Creative Commons)

A recent report from Redfin predicts that Bellevue could be due for a “real estate frenzy” as Amazon begins to establish a presence on the Eastside.

RELATED: One reason why Amazon is crossing Lake Washington

“We’ve always seen a lot of Amazon and Microsoft employees buying homes on the Eastside because of its suburban atmosphere and highly rated schools,” said Redfin agent Kathi Kelly-Billings. “But as Amazon builds out its presence in Bellevue over the next few years, I expect demand from young homebuyers to put pressure on the real estate market.”

Amazon already has office space leased in Bellevue to accommodate 7,000 employees, with Redfin’s report citing “speculation” that the company is looking for a location to put over 25,000 additional workers.

Much in the same way that Amazon’s burgeoning presence in South Lake Union sent real estate and rent prices sky high in Seattle, a mass influx in the tens of thousands could very well trigger a similar scenario in already-expensive Bellevue market.

“As employees from Amazon and other large tech companies move over to the Eastside, whether their job is moving to Bellevue or they’re planning to commute across the lake to work in South Lake Union, they’re creating a whole new cohort of buyers who are looking for something different in a home,” noted Kelly-Billings.

The average home price in Bellevue, according to Redfin, is $835,000, representing a 2.1 percent bump over last year at this time. Comparatively, Seattle’s average is $675,000, having dipped 1.8 percent since 2018.

RELATED: Bellevue ‘absolutely a competitor to Seattle’ in 2019

“I think [Bellevue] really is on par now — I would say it absolutely is a competitor to Seattle,” Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner told KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross in early-February.

This all follows reports that Amazon has allegedly put down non-refundable money on the 10-story Bellevue Corporate Plaza property on 108th Avenue North.

The company already has 2,000 workers in Bellevue, and recently leased Expedia’s former headquarters in the city, where it plans to move roughly 4,500 total employees by 2020.

Meanwhile, Amazon recently pulled out of a prominent downtown Seattle office project — about 10 months after the company threatened to do so if Seattle imposed a controversial new business tax.

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