Yes, we're almost definitely in a recession. Yes, our banking system is scratching its way out of a crisis. And yes, there are a ton of condos sitting on the market while some buyers await the apocalypse.

But there is some encouraging news to be had. Check some of these new stories coming out in the last 7 days calling out Seattle as one of the most promising parts of the country.

Seattle real estate rated No. 1

Among major metropolitan areas, Seattle's real estate is the best in the nation as a prospective investment, a national report released Tuesday says.

On an eight-point scale reflecting investment value, Seattle was ranked 6.2, according to the 30th annual study of emerging trends in real estate from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Urban Land Institute.

That ranking reflects averaged ratings by more than 600 surveyed real estate professionals, who assigned a number of 0 to 8 to each the nation's top 10 regions. The better the location for investment purposes, the higher the rating.  Full article

Seattle one of the "best looking markets" in the country

The Emerald City is that rare major metro area near the coast that is not on a nausea-inducing roller-coaster ride. While home prices in Florida and Southern California are in a free fall, homeowners here are experiencing a gentler landing. Of course, that’s partly because the ride up was not as euphoric—home prices here peaked at 65 percent above January 2003 levels, compared with more than 95 percent in Los Angeles. Thanks to well-paying mega-employers like Microsoft, and Boeing, unemployment remains under 4 percent. That, in turn, has kept median sales prices from falling far. Just as encouraging: Only 11.5 percent of local homeowners who bought within the past five years have negative equity on their property, well below the national average of 29 percent, according to the real estate services firm Zillow. That indicates there won’t be a flood of foreclosures and short sales around the corner. Full article