Seattle apartment owners offer freebies to fill apartments

Some experts say Seattle is approaching a peak for apartment units available. That means renters could see savings, but it could also mean incentives as well. Some apartment owners and developers are offering things from gym memberships to free rent, just to get you to sign a lease.

Lawsuit seeks Sound Transit to pay back car-tab fees

SEATTLE -- A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the Seattle-area public transit agency, claiming its collection of car-tab taxes is not allowed because the 2015 law that put a public transit expansion on the ballot is unconstitutional.The lawsuit filed Tuesday by seven Seattle-area residents is seeking for Sound Transit to pay back $240 million in car-tab revenue.The lawsuit centers on how car-tab taxes are collected by the agency, which uses a system that estimates a car's value by inflating the value of newer cars, resulting in higher taxes.The lawsuit claims that the 2015 law references an outdated formula for calculating car-tab fees.Sound Transit spokesman Geoff Patrick says the agency is reviewing the suit and it's confident in the validity of the law.

Seattle mayor proposes tolls for downtown streets

SEATTLE --  Seattle is looking at road tolls for downtown streets as part of a broader initiative to reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Wednesday.Durkan provided few specifics on the tolling proposal at a news conference, but she said the city's transportation department is currently studying possible congestion pricing strategies to ease traffic through the downtown core."We know it's a heavy lift that we'll have to engage people deeply before doing that," Durkan said. "And we have to make sure that it is paired with meaningful transit because we can't ask people to get out of their single-occupancy vehicles unless there are meaningful options they have, whether that is buses, walking, bikes, or other public transit."Once the tolling study is done, the city would "develop a strategy over the next few years to address congestion and transportation emissions through pricing," her office said in a new release.A proposal would likely have to go to the city council and to voters as an initiative.Similar toll systems are in place in big cities such as London, Stockholm and Singapore, where it can cost more than $15 to drive into the city center during peak periods.New York has explored the idea for years, but prospects have dimmed in recent weeks for the latest proposal.

Despite record home prices in Puget Sound area, economist says there's no bubble

SEATTLE -- Seattle’s home prices hit a another record high recently, and even if you are not in the market to buy, economists say the market is having a ripple effect across Western Washington.If you are wondering what a median price looks like in Seattle, take for example a home in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.It’s a three-bedroom, 1,800-square-foot home listed with an asking price of $750,000.It sold under seven days -- and there is no word yet on how much it actually sold for.

Million-dollar homes becoming the norm in Seattle, on Eastside

SEATTLE -- Million-dollar homes are no longer just in the luxury housing market.If you want to buy a nice house in Seattle, get ready to shell out up to seven figures.More than 30% of all homes sold in July in Seattle went for more than $1,000,000.“Some of the homes that are selling for a million dollars, they were listed right around 800 to $850,000; they are getting bid up to a million to a $1.2 million,” said broker Kirk Russell, with the realty firm John L.

Want to protect your scenic view? You can buy the 'air rights' above homes

SEATTLE -- Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, and now a popular trend in some of the country’s largest metropolitan areas is becoming more common here in Seattle.People are buying air above homes to protect views, usually from new construction or neighbors wanting to remodel and build larger homes that will block views.

Another park-and-ride closure making way for light rail extension

BELLEVUE, Wash. -- Commuters who use park-and-ride on the east side are starting to feel squeezed out as Sound Transit closes two popular park-and-ride facilities to make room for light rail.The change was approved by voters eight years ago, but some of them are just starting to feel the real effects of the light rail expansion.RELATED: Drivers feeling car tab sticker shock after passing Sound Transit 3That means more than 500 parking spaces are going away.