With prices rising 2013 has turned out to be a good year for real estate. According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, single-family homes in King County rose 7.5 percent compared to last year. November was the 20th consecutive month of a higher year-over-year median price. In November, the median price for a single-family home in King County was $414,000.
There is still a shortage of homes in the market. People are ready to buy but are not finding their dream homes due to a lack of inventory. 3,820 houses were listed for sale in the month of November which is 2.7 percent more than last year. This is considered a two-month supply. A four to six-month supply would be considered a balanced market. The market activity is mainly being driven by job growth and foreign buyers.
While other prospective buyers are taking a break from the home search grind, you’re steadily on the prowl for the perfect home during the holiday season, most likely because you have a greater need to buy sooner rather than later. You might be relocating to the area due to work or family, or maybe your current living arrangement has been compromised – whatever your situation may be, there are some perks to buying a home this time of year.
For one, the competition is much less aggressive. We’re less likely to see bidding wars with less competition between buyers, which might ultimately mean a lower overall price for you. Just as searching for a home during the holidays makes you a dedicated buyer, dedicated sellers are also searching for a buyer during the holidays. Trying to sell at the end of the year isn’t convenient, meaning sellers trying to sell this time of year usually aren’t choosing to, they need to sell in a timely manner. This might mean less negotiating for you, and possibly a quicker acceptance of your offer. Historically, lenders are also less busy this time of year, so its possible you might get a faster mortgage approval. It also pays to shop around – don’t go with the first lender you meet, get quotes from several before you make any decisions. Home prices in Seattle are remaining high, but December is typically a lower month even for our city sales. If you want to take advantage of these low season perks, contact your local real estate agent today.
Work to replace Seattle’s deteriorating seawall will begin this week. About 175 parking spaces under the viaduct between Madison Street and Pike Street will be displaced during construction of a temporary road. Traffic will be redirected to a new roadway in January as Alaskan Way will be closed during the construction of the new seawall which is said to finish in Spring 2016.
Access to all businesses along the waterfront will remain open. Arrangements have been made by the city with parking garages near the area to offer short-term parking rates at the price of city on-street parking. About 226 parking spaces have already been removed from King Street to Madison Street to make way for construction. Eventually all parking will be eliminated down to Virginia Street as work progresses. Construction will be done Monday through Saturday with the noisiest work done before 10:00pm.
Last week, the City of Seattle approved plans to build a 30 story residential tower on the corner of 8th & Columbia Street. The proposal includes a tower with 287 studio, 1 and 2 bedroom units, 234 parking stalls and a lobby. According to the Seattle Pi, Seattle architecture firm Weber Thompson designed the building for the developer Alecta. For more information on the building, find the building proposal submission to the City of Seattle here.
Despite the number of protesters sitting in on the meeting Thursday, UW Board of Regents approved a new 2-story animal research facility to be built near the shore of Portage Bay. Protesters holding signs “No New Animal Lab” were not only upset about the fact that it was approved but also that the decision was made so quickly without much discussion. The board says that everything regarding the issue had been discussed in a previously held meeting. Two UW students who were among the 30 protesters there were aloud to comment on the vote. They hoped that the University of Washington would become a leader in phasing out animal experimentation which is becoming a growing trend throughout the United States. Harvard has announced plans to shut down its primate research center.
The number of animals being used in experiments has decreased substantially. While these numbers are decreasing, UW is making plans to make room for an increase in numbers of animals it will house for experimentation. It currently houses 650 monkeys and other primates with plans of making room for an additional 280 as well as doubling the number of pigs and up to 20 percent the number of rodents. UW’s animals are currently spread out at different locations in facilities not meant for animals to be kept in. The new underground facility will be a proper environment for the number of animals UW plans to accommodate.
UW feels that in order to continue medical research, animal experimentation is needed. UW does use alternatives to animal testing whenever possible. Animal-rights activists urge UW to reconsider there plans.
There has been a surplus of rowhomes and townhomes planned and in development in the Capitol Hill neighborhood recently, and one of the larger projects planned happens to be taking residence in place of one of the oldest known single family homes in the neighborhood. The house (or what is left of one) located at 339 16th Ave E was purchased by gProjects, Capitol Hill developer Graham Black’s firm for $1.3 million. The firm has plans to develop a three story 8 unit rowhome project named Project 339 that will be a half block wide and designed by architecture firm Workshop AD. The project will include covered parking, a private roof top deck, and small yard space. For more information on new residential developments in the Seattle area, contact your local real estate agent today.
According to the Seattle Times, the median home price for a single family home has risen 15% in King County from this time last year, after a rise in home sales over the summer. The median price for a single family in King County in July rose to $434,000, the highest it has been over the last 5 years.
In October we experienced a more balanced market, with 2,187 homes sold which was 10% more than those closed in October 2012 according the the NWMLS. Over the last year we’ve seen competitive bidding wars due to low inventory, and last month we began to see more listings on the market. In King County there were 4,575 single family residences listed, 6% up from last year, and while inventory is still relatively tight, we’re beginning to see a healthier real estate market emerge. If you’re interested in buying or selling your home, contact your local real estate agent today.
A man wearing a Michael Myers mask robbed a business located in the Pioneer Building at 608 1st Avenue in Pioneer Square around 10:30pm Thursday night. The victim was going back inside the building after a smoke break when an unseen suspect pressed an unknown object against his back and forced him to take the suspect to the business office where the suspect forced him to open the office safe and put the money in a bag. While the victim was filling the bag the suspect ripped the office phone cords from the sockets. The suspect then attempted to zip-tie the victim’s hands behind his back but for some reason did not complete the task. The suspect told the victim to stay in the office for 20 minutes while he fled in an unknown direction, possibly in an unknown car. The victim called 9-1-1. The suspect was described as a male wearing a “Michael Myers” Halloween mask, possibly a t-shirt and blue jeans. The victim sustained no injuries other than bruises on his hands and arms from being pushed around.
The victim, a 25 year old man, was outside the Casa Blanca Hookah bar near 12th Ave S and S Main St early Sunday morning around 3:30am when the suspect car pulled up. An unknown black male suspect stepped out of the car. The victim and witnesses heard several gone shots. The victim then ran Westbound towards S Main St unaware that he had been shot in the lower leg. The victim’s friends transported him to Valley Medical Center where his non life threatening injury was treated and he was released. Both the victim and the suspect were not at the scene when police arrived. Renton police responded to VMC to investigate and notify Seattle Police. This case is still under investigation. Any information regarding the incident may be directed to the Seattle Police Department or call 911. Anonymous tips are welcome.
Seattle City Council will be holding a budget meeting Friday, October 25th, at 9:30am to discuss the proposed budget’s police elements and will meet again on Monday at 2:30pm to discuss the human services budget. The DSA has been working hard to raise awareness of the public safety concerns in Downtown Seattle. Mayor Mike McGinn has included expenditures directed at public safety such as additional police officers, park rangers, shelter beds and expanded human services in his proposed 2014 budget. The DSA is asking that you email the Seattle City Council or attend the meeting Friday to voice your support of the proposed 2014 budget and focus on improving public safety Downtown.