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News & Events


Residential Real Estate: Seattle Plays Active Role in Reinvention of an Industry

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Lane Powell Shareholder Barb Duffy was quoted in the September 14 issue of Puget Sound Business Journal in the article “Residential Real Estate: Seattle Plays Active Role in Reinvention of an Industry.” The article discusses the effect of the recession on the senior living industry. Due to the recent slump in the real estate market, many seniors are unable to trade their homes for retirement ease and are staying in their homes longer — until a medical scare or sudden disability forces them to move. Their postponement causes them to require more assistance and a greater urgency once they do decide to move into a senior home community. The independent-living sector of the industry has particularly suffered due to the economic downturn.

Feeling even more prolonged effects from the downturn are Continuing Care Retirement Communities (“CCRCs”), which charge an entrance fee in exchange for being able to accommodate changing levels of care.

Entrance fees at the 550-resident Horizon House, on Seattle’s First Hill, start at around $30,000, Anderson said, but managers there increasingly offer flexible terms to would-be residents who might be struggling to sell their old homes. For example, a newcomer might be given a year in which to pay the full fee.

“The CCRC market has really suffered through the economic downturn,” said Barbara Duffy, who heads the senior housing practice at Seattle law firm Lane Powell.

Read the article (PDF).