No Slowdown Predicted For Market During Holiday Season

As we head into the holidays, real estate experts in the area predict that the Puget Sound market will not see the typical slowdowns associated with the season. Listings often drop off during this time of year, as potential sellers are more focused on holiday events, but with sustained demand for homes in our region, the next few months are going to be a great time to sell a home. The area comprising King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish counties saw the highest number of pending sales in a decade in October, and those high sales volumes are predicted to continue.

Though median sales prices for single-family homes are down in King County on a monthly basis, from $490,250 in September to $480,000 in October, prices are up by 7 percent over the year, according to statistics from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Similarly, Seattle’s market saw prices dip slightly from $571,000 in September to $555,000 in October, but rose by almost 8 percent over October 2014. However, some neighborhoods within Seattle saw significant monthly gains, such as Queen Anne and Magnolia, where the median price rose from $699,950 in September to nearly $800,000 in October.

Inventory continues to slide, as there were 10 percent fewer homes on the market in King County in October than in September, and 32 percent fewer than this time last year. Since inventory historically drops anyway at this time of year, the supply of homes could become especially tight, likely prompting an increase in prices. Though well-priced homes are selling quickly, overpriced homes are seeing longer stints on the market, emphasizing the need for an experienced real estate agent who can establish a listing price that will garner your home the most attention possible.

These statistics were gathered from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, but were not compiled or published by that organization.

Prices Down In King Co., But Sales Are Strong

1Home prices in the Puget Sound housing market showed signs of cooling in July, but sales volumes were on par with the blazing temperatures we saw for much of the month. While the number of closed sales of single-family homes in King County held relatively steady from June to July, there were 266 more closed sales this July than during the same month in 2014, despite there being 1,311 fewer active listings than a year ago, according to statistics from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. The median sold price for a home in King County actually fell from $500,000 in June to $485,000 in July, but prices were still up 3.63 percent on a yearly basis. The median sales price for single-family homes in Seattle showed no change from June to July, holding steady at $575,000.

Though that may seem like a modest yearly increase compared to the 10 percent year-over-year price increase in June, median prices in many sub-markets in King County are growing at much higher rates. Prices in west Auburn in southwest King County grew by nearly 25 percent over the year, and Kirkland saw a yearly increase of almost 18 percent. The city of Seattle saw median prices rise by 5.9 percent to $575,000. Even the West Bellevue area made up of communities including Medina, Hunt’s Point, and Clyde Hill, which is home to the county’s highest median price of $1,537, 500, saw prices rise 14.4 percent over last July.

King County’s supply of homes actually increased slightly over the month, from 1.18 months’ worth in June to 1.22 months’ worth in July, but that is still far below the ‘balanced’ range of 4-6 months’ of inventory. Some areas, especially neighborhoods within Seattle, are scraping by with under a month’s worth of homes. The northwest Seattle neighborhoods of Ballard, Green Lake, Fremont, and surrounding areas have just half a month’s supply; and northeast Seattle is doing just slightly better with 0.6 months’ worth of homes available.

Despite the slight drop in home prices over the month, the continued lack of inventory means it is still a great time to sell. If you’re interested in buying or selling a home in the Seattle area, contact your local real estate agent today!

King Co. Home Prices Approaching 2007 Peak

Madrona home for sale - 3609 E Union St. - $1,395,000

Madrona home for sale – 3609 E Union St. – $1,395,000

In the booming, yet ominous year of 2007, the median price for a single-family home in King County soared to $481,000. We all know what happened next – the bubble burst, home values plunged, and homeowners were left to pick up the pieces, wondering if values would ever recover. Seven years later, the Northwest Multiple Listings Service (NWMLS) reports that the median price has clawed its way back to just a hair below the 2007 peak, and now stands at $480,000, up 11.5 percent from a year ago and up 9 percent over March.

Every submarket in King County saw prices increase on a yearly basis in April – several by double digits. Prices on the Eastside rose 6 percent to $654,650; prices in North King County also rose by 6 percent to $416,000; and both Southwest and Southeast King County saw double-digit increases of 14 and 15 percent, to $285,000 and $329,950 respectively. Home prices in Seattle are up 15 percent over the past year to a median of $552,500.

So with the words “bubble” and “peak” in the same sentence, buyers and sellers are wondering if we’re headed for deja vu. According to the NWMLS, area brokers are confident we’re not in the midst of the next bubble, saying that today’s buyers are qualified and the overbuilding that contributed to the previous bust is not an issue today. J. Lennox Scott, CEO of John L. Scott told The Seattle Times that he believes the continued price increases are the result of a strong job market, extremely low inventory (less than a month’s worth), and interest from foreign buyers.

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

Seattle Home Prices Up 18.9% Over Year

MadronaThe Seattle-area housing market is running full speed ahead and shows no sign of slowing down as the spring buying season progresses. With a steady stream of buyers attracted to the area’s strong job market, King County’s 1.3-month supply of homes is being far outpaced by demand, resulting in double-digit price increases over the year. According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, the median price for a single-family home in the city of Seattle has increased by 18.9 percent from March 2014, and now stands at $535,000. Prices for King County as a whole rose by 8.8 percent, and the median price for homes sold in March was $440,250. Condo prices in King County are also up, having risen nearly 8 percent over the year to a median of $269,600.

Potentially further complicating Seattle’s challenging home-buying market is the announcement that travel website Expedia will be moving its headquarters from Bellevue to Seattle’s Interbay neighborhood, bringing with it 3,000 employees who may choose to relocate in order to eliminate a commute from the Eastside. The current environment of low interest rates, low inventory, and strong demand, as well as rental rates that are higher than they’ve ever been, point toward a market that will be dominated by multiple-offer situations and continually rising prices in the coming months.

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

Low Inventory In King Co. Continues To Push Home Prices Up

housing marketA short supply of housing inventory in King County is continuing to push the median home price upward, and it now stands at $453,500, six percent higher than the median price for June 2013. In Seattle alone, the median price has risen 8.9 percent from June 2013 to $499,000. Though the number of home sales has risen 2 percent from a year ago, there is still less than two months’ supply of homes on the market, far lower than the six months’ supply that constitutes a healthy market. This shortage is sparking bidding wars, especially in highly desirable neighborhoods in Seattle such as Ballard, Queen Anne, and Capitol Hill.

According to an article in The Seattle Times, the homes that are available are selling like hotcakes, often within the first 30 days of being on the market. An impressive 68 percent of homes on the market in Seattle sold in the first 30 days, and 57 percent of homes on the Eastside sold within the first month. Northwest Multiple Listing Service Director John Deely told the Puget Sound Business Journal that even homes in the $1 million+ price range are selling at a higher volume than they have since 2007. So, if you’re looking to sell, it looks like this could be the ideal time. If you’re interested in buying or selling a home in the Seattle area, contact your local real estate agent today.