Local Market Update – March 2017

Home prices are growing faster in our region than anywhere else in the country. After a brief slowdown last month, home prices in February jumped to new record highs. The reason? The lowest number of homes for sale on record. The surge in prices came well ahead of the normal seasonal spring uptick, adding even greater urgency among buyers competing for already severely limited inventory. It remains to be seen if the predicted hike in interest rates will help moderate the market. For now, sellers are calling the shots.

Eastside

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The Eastside, always the most expensive area in King County, set a new price record in February. The median price for homes sold in February soared 12 percent to $832,000. That’s nearly $100,000 more than the same time last year. With less than one month of available inventory, this seller’s market is expected to continue for quite some time.

King County

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A recent trend of slowing price growth reversed itself in February. The number of homes for sale in King County was at its lowest point since 2000, when records first started being tracked. That is down 25 percent from a year ago. The deep shortage of inventory resulted in a sharp increase in prices. The median price of a single-family home was up 9 percent over last year to $560,000.

Seattle

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The median price of a single-family home in the city increased 5 percent over a year ago to $675,000, another all-time high. Prices here have nearly doubled over the last five years. While areas of King County outside of Seattle are more affordable, prices there are growing even faster. The median price of homes in North, Southwest and Southeast King County all increased by double-digits in February.

Snohomish County

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After a softening of price increases over the past few months, Snohomish County saw record high prices in February. The median price of a single-family home jumped 15 percent as compared to a year ago to $412,500. With less than one month of supply in the county, brokers expect prices to remain strong.

Local Market Update – January 2017

A record low number of houses for sale in December indicates that 2017 will continue to be a very competitive market for buyers. The good news: those who decide to take the plunge and list their home can count on getting a premium price for their property. Brokers reported that about three-fourths of the homes sold in December involved bidding wars.

Eastside

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Click image to view full report.

Strong demand driven by a booming tech economy and great schools continue to strain the already low inventory on the Eastside. It’s not unusual for a well-priced new listing to receive dozens of offers and to sell for well over asking price. With supply failing to meet demand, the median price for homes sold in December soared 19 percent to a new record high of $803,500.

King County

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Click image to view full report.

King County had only about 1,600 single-family homes on the market in December, an all-time low. With the healthy regional economy, demand remains very strong. Prices, however, appear to be moderating somewhat. The median price for a single-family home sold in December was $550,000, up 8 percent over a year ago, but unchanged from October and November. A traditional uptick in inventory this spring may help keep price increases more modest this year compared to the double-digit increases seen in 2015.

Seattle

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According to the Case-Shiller home price index, home prices are rising faster in the Seattle metro area than in any other major region in the country. One issue is space. The city’s existing density means that virtually no new single-family homes are being built in Seattle. As new residents flood in, more people are competing for the already tight inventory. As a result, home prices are up. The median cost of a single-family home rose 6 percent from a year ago to $635,000.

Snohomish County

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While home prices in Snohomish County are well below those of King County, the gap is closing as prices here are increasing at a faster pace than neighboring counties. The median price of a single-family home in Snohomish County rose 12 percent as compared to a year ago to $400,000. Like King County, inventory is very slim, indicating a market heavily favoring sellers.

Local Market Update – December 2016

Buyers spooked by a spike in mortgage interest rates gave rise to the busiest November for homes sales in over a decade. Prices rose accordingly. Case-Shiller ranked the area as the housing market with the fastest rising prices in the country. Sellers can expect to get a premium for their homes as we move into 2017, but they need to consider how an expected further increase in interest rates may impact the market.

Eastside

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There hasn’t been a stronger seller’s market on the Eastside in recent memory. Record-setting home sales, combined with record-low inventory, has resulted in a significant imbalance of supply and demand. It’s no surprise that home prices surged upward. The median price of a single-family home sold on the Eastside was $759,400, an increase of 13 percent over last November.

King County

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Click image to view full report.

Home sales in King County soared nearly 30 percent over a year ago. With frenzied demand gobbling up inventory, most homes received multiple offers. Median home prices here were up 10 percent over the same time last year to $550,000. Brokers expect the market will continue to be extremely active through the winter.

Seattle

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Click image to view full report.

A severe inventory shortage continues to make multiple offers the norm in Seattle. Even the uptick in mortgage interest rates has done little to moderate demand. The median home price here increased to $615,000 in November. If it’s any consolation for buyers facing sticker shock, that was just a 3 percent increase over the same time last year.

Snohomish County

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Click image to view full report.

Snohomish County experienced the same boost in buying and bust in inventory as the rest of the region. Prices climbed at an even faster rate than in King County. Compared to a year ago, the median price of a single-family home was up over 14 percent to $400,000.

What Amazon in Bellevue Means for Our Housing Market

In case you missed it, Amazon is officially expanding to the Eastside! Back in August there were rumors that Apple and Amazon were looking to add offices across Lake Washington. A recent article from The Seattle Times confirmed Amazon will be returning to its Bellevue roots to lease a space much larger than the garage where it started 22 years ago. The online retail mogul will be the new (and only) tenants of Centre 425, a 16-story building in downtown Bellevue that is due to be completed this fall.

Amazon has already invested billions of dollars in its Seattle campus that occupies 8.5 million square feet in and around South Lake Union. This desirable location has attracted many young creatives in the area, as evidenced by the fact that the company currently employs more than 25,000 people in Seattle. The Bellevue office is expected to accommodate over 2,200 people. Considering the success of other Eastside-based companies such as Microsoft and Valve, Amazon will not have a problem recruiting that amount of local tech talent for Centre 425.

Right now it is unclear why Amazon is deviating from its original plan to develop in more urban areas like Seattle. GeekWire speculates it could be a way to cater to employees who already live on the Eastside or an attempt to lure in talent from Expedia once it relocates from Bellevue to Seattle in 2019.

What does this mean for our local housing market?

Whatever the reason for Amazon’s expansion, it will certainly make the Eastside even more attractive for tech employees and have an impact on our housing market. Although the median home price is lower in Seattle, inventory remains higher on the Eastside. Amazon’s location in Bellevue will allow prospective employees to focus their search on the Eastside and give employees currently living here an incentive to stay.

Read the full article from The Seattle Times.

First Day of Autumn

fall

Even though it happens year after year, the arrival of autumn is always a little surprising. Almost as if on a switch, one day late in the summer you feel it – a subtle crispness in the air. And before you know it, it’s pumpkin-spice-everything everywhere. We are suddenly swathed in sweaters, wearing boots, and bombarded by shades of orange, often even before the thermometer warrants it. After slogging through a long hot August, it can feel exciting.
Making the transition to autumn is also a great way to reorganize after a hectic summer and be better prepared going into the winter months. To make the transition a little smoother, we have created a to-do-list of ideas to help.

bedroom

Start with your bedroom
Gauzy cotton feels decidedly summer, while soft cashmere has a distinctly autumnal vibe. This time of year, feel free to use both luxe textures at once, but incorporate them in colors that are appropriate for the changing seasons: cream for cashmere, gray or stone for linen.

car

Winterize your car
Due for an inspection? Been meaning to get those tires changed? It’s tedious, but dealing with maintenance issues now instead of three months from now (when you’re stuck in a freak snowstorm) is definitely a smart move.

herbs

Perform a pantry audit
First, remove all the cans and boxes from the shelves and vacuum any lingering dust or crumbs. Then inspect each item before putting it back in its place, tossing anything that is expired or past its prime. If you are overloaded with canned goods, make a bag for the local food bank.

fireplace

Don’t neglect the Fireplace
You may not be ready to think about it yet, but on the first chilly night you’ll be glad you did. Hire a professional to inspect the fireplace and chimney to make sure it’s clear and ready for use.

Windermere Launches Ultra-Luxury Brand

Today Windermere Real Estate unveiled its ultra-luxury brand W Collection. W’ is a high-touch concierge service that not only markets luxury listings, but connects Windermere brokers and their clients to every aspect of the luxury industry.

W Collection’s goal is to develop a sophisticated brand that evokes the understated expression of wealth of the clients it represents. The new luxury division will focus on homes priced at $2.5 million and above in Seattle, and $3 million and above on the Eastside.

The market has dictated this elevated luxury tier, because the amount of homes in the $2.5 million and up range has exploded. Windermere is uniquely poised as the preeminent real estate company to cater to this clientele.

The W Collection will formally launch in late September.

W Collection will include a boutique office in Seattle where brokers can host events and connect privately with clientele.

Windermere has 7,000 agents in 300 offices in 11 states throughout the Western United States. It is the largest real estate company in the Pacific Northwest and largest regional real estate company in the Western United States.

w brand

Free Tour of Green Homes!

House in the trees

House in the trees

Record-breaking crowds are expected at the 2016 Northwest Green Home Tour on April 30 and May 1.

The free educational event, produced annually by Northwest EcoBuilding Guild, showcases local, sustainable, and green new homes, remodels, and energy retrofits in the Greater Seattle area. Last year’s tour drew 3,000 visitors.

The Green Home Tour features builders, contractors, suppliers, and green homeowners and facilitates interactions between building professionals and consumers.

Greenhome Solutions, Seattle’s only locally owned green building supply retailer, is the presenting sponsor for the NW Green Home Tour. The family-owned business offers a showroom near the Ballard Bridge, an online store, and certified installers for all its products.

The Northwest EcoBuilding Guild is a nonprofit community of builders, designers, suppliers, homeowners, and partners concerned with ecological building in the Pacific Northwest.

Trick or Treat Time!!

Believe it or not, it’s almost the end of October! Haunted houses, hay rides, pumpkin patches, and even a special harvest market from the Bellevue Farmers Market are waiting for you in the days ahead.
If you’re looking for something to do on Halloween Day, make sure you check out the Halloween Market with the Bellevue Farmers Market. They’re transforming their typical Saturday Market into something fun and full of treats. There will be pumpkin painting, face painting, live music, a family photo booth, costume contest, fresh cider, and a scavenger hunt for kids at the vendor booths.
If you still need to visit the pumpkin patch this weekend, here are a few great farms for you:
Dr. Maze’s Farm
Fall City Farms
Fox Hollow Family Farms
Remlinger Farms
Looking for something spookier than pumpkin patches and hay rides? Here are some haunted houses and events:
Spookfest Zip Tour
Nightmare at Beaver Lake
Fright Fest
Haunted Farm at Fox Hollow Family Farms

Be safe and have fun!!

Attain Housing’s Wish Upon A Star Event

We’re less than one month away from this amazing event! Seats have been filling up fast, but there’s still some available if any of you awesome people would like to come and enjoy a great evening benefiting a cause that should be near and dear to us all! We still have a couple seats left at our (Lynn and Michael’s) tables too, so at least you know you’ll be in good company. 😉  We have some great sponsors and some amazing auction items!  Contact us for more details or visit the website here.

Football is Back!

Summer is unfortunately starting to wind down, and that can only mean one thing…  Seahawks Football is back!  We fans have had to wait all off-season with that bitter taste in our mouth from last year’s crushing Super Bowl loss, and the time has finally come to create new memories in a new season!  We know we are not alone in our excitement to see our boys back out on the field.  For a link to their season schedule, which kicks off this Friday, August 14th against the Denver Broncos, click here.
Go Hawks!!