Monthly Housing Price Growth Continues To Slow, Still Rising Annually

Though housing prices in the Seattle area continue to rise on a yearly basis (up 8.6 percent over this time last year), the market saw a continued slowdown in monthly price gains for single-family homes in June, similar to the trend in May. Prices in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties rose by just 1.1 percent in June, a slightly lower rate than the 1.4 percent price growth in May, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index released Tuesday. The Seattle market is still outperforming the 20-city Index by a small margin, with those prices having grown by 1 percent in June, and 8 percent over the year.

Case-Shiller is calling the numbers part of a “widespread slowdown” in home-price growth nationwide that began last fall. They say that despite the slowdown in growth, other positive factors such as builders’ sentiment and existing home sales point to a normalizing housing market. If you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Seattle area, contact your local real estate agent today.

Apartment Developer Takes Over Central District Park Space

Yet another Seattle apartment building is in development, and this time it is taking over what could have been a small neighborhood park in the Central District. According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, Spectrum Development Solutions bought the property located at 1023 E Alder Street for just over $2.2 million, and plans to build an 84 unit apartment building on the land. The City Parks department had attempted to absolve the property for a pocket park, in a neighborhood which currently only has one small open space, Horiuchi Park. central district park

Spectrum has since received the nod of approval from Ed Murray to move forward with the building development, squashing further disputes between Spectrum and the City Parks Department. In an area that could use more open spaces, the Central District currently has 3 apartment projects planned by Spectrum in various phases of development, but this is certainly becoming commonplace around other urban areas of the city. More people are moving in, and new housing options are needed to accommodate population growth. One of the goals presented by the City is to have two acres of parks in this area by 2024, stay tuned for further updates. For more information on Seattle real estate, contact your local real estate agent today.

Number Of Single-Family Homes Declining In Many Neighborhoods

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The single-family house is still at the top of many home buyers’ lists when searching for a property to buy, but the influx of condominiums and townhouses in many of Seattle’s most popular neighborhoods is further decreasing the supply of stand-alone homes in a market where inventory is already tight.

According to a Seattle Times analysis of census data from 2000-2012, the number of single-family homes has decreased most significantly in North Seattle neighborhoods such as Wallingford, Green Lake, Maple Leaf, and Northgate, as well as in the area surrounding Dexter Avenue North on the east side of Queen Anne above South Lake Union. However, South End neighborhoods such as Jefferson Park on Beacon Hill, Mount Baker, and South Park all saw increases in single-family homes in the same time span.

In a market that has seen prices soaring and bidding wars erupting over the small supply of single-family homes that are available, this is not encouraging news for buyers looking to live in neighborhoods where many multifamily developments are in the works. The city has added 5,000 net single-family homes since 2000, but with 80,000 new residents having moved to Seattle since then, that barely makes a dent in terms of demand. To see the Times’ detailed map of single-family home inventory, click here.

If you would like more information about buying a home in the Seattle area, contact your local real estate agent today.

Monthly Condo Market Recap: Activity is Strong

The first half of 2014 has proven to be very active in the condo market.  The stats for the first 6 months reflect a very active time with successful closings. The number of active listings in the Downtown and Belltown neighborhoods rose each month.  There were 91 active listings in these neighborhoods in January.  It rose to 107 in February, 113 in March, 116 for the months of April & May and has increased to 130 active listings in June.  This shows that Spring is definitely the most popular time to put a home on the market. The number of sales per month also steadily rose over the past 6 months.  Downtown condo

There were 23 closed sales in January, 38 in February, 43 in March, 54 in April, 59 in May and then dropped slightly back down to 49 in June. The median sales price in these neighborhoods ranged from $405,000 to $549,500 per month.  The highest median sales prices were in February at $549,500. Some would say it is definitely a seller’s market right now.  Homes in good condition and priced to sell are going fast!  Many units are seeing bidding wars and selling within days of being listed.  The comparison of the list price to the sell price was 98.3% in January and was 99% from February thru April. It is important for condo sales to be successful that their HOA is managed well and they are properly funded. For more information on condo sales or condo management please contact your local condo management team today.

Median Home Price In Seattle Surpasses 2007 Peak

housing marketIt has finally happened – Seattle’s median home price has officially topped its 2007 peak, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service is reporting. The median price now stands at $543,500, significantly more than the $501,000 peak of 2007, and nearly $80,000 higher than the median in July 2013 of $465,000.

Seattle’s market appears to be recovering by leaps and bounds compared to the national market, where the median price for homes in the top 20 markets is still 18 percent below the the peak set in 2006. J. Lennox Scott, the CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate told The Seattle Times that the major factors boosting our housing market are jobs – Seattle’s unemployment rate is down to 5.8 percent – and interest rates, which are historically low.

Another factor likely playing a part is that inventory remains very limited, and prices are responding in classic supply-and-demand fashion. Bidding wars are erupting for the few homes that are available, pushing prices upward. According to The Seattle Times article, some neighborhoods in Seattle such as Ballard and Green Lake only have a one-month supply of homes listed for sale, in a market where a 4-6-month supply is considered “balanced.” According to data from Redfin, 39 percent of homes in the Seattle Metro area sold for more than the listing price in the second quarter of 2014.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Seattle area, contact your local real estate agent today.