Real Estate Site Ranks Seattle No. 1 Housing Market

1150 17th Ave E-33. straightened smalljpgReal estate website has ranked the Seattle area the No. 1 housing market in the country for single-family homes, according to its analysis of home prices, sales data, demand, and economic factors. They point out the combination of strong price growth, at 10.9 percent over the year, and an equally strong increase in sales over the year, at 12.6 percent, as indicators of our market’s overall strength. The Seattle area’s solid job market keeps attracting new residents, and relative affordability compared to other tech hubs such as San Francisco, San Jose, and New York has seen demand continue unabated. Coupled with the fact that it is still 13 percent less expensive to buy rather than rent in Seattle means that everyone is trying to get their piece of the Seattle real estate pie.

Rounding out the top five behind Seattle are three areas in Florida – Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and Palm Beach County – followed by our little sister to the south, Portland, where prices grew by 9.4 percent over the year.

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

King County Home Prices Bounce Back in August

1After the median selling price for a single-family home in King County dropped to $485,000 in July, prices bounced back to just a hair under $500,000 in August, representing a 14.4 percent annual gain, and the biggest yearly gain of any month in 2015. Inventory in King County was also up slightly from July, and now stands at 1.36 months’ worth of supply, the most inventory we’ve seen since February, according to statistics from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. In contrast, median prices within the sub-market of Seattle stayed essentially flat last month, having dropped by just $500 from $575,500 in July to $575,000 in August. However, that is a 15 percent increase over August 2014.

Inventory in Seattle followed King County’s lead and increased by a small increment to .91 month’s supply, up from .74 months’ worth in July. Lack of inventory continues to put pressure on the market in the Puget Sound region, with total listings down 29.7 percent in King County and down 32.7 percent in Seattle since this time last year. “The biggest challenges our buyers face are lack of inventory and the quality of homes to choose from,” MLS director George Moorhead said in a statement. Some believe this continued double-digit price growth combined with lack of available properties is not sustainable and that we may see a slowdown in the market as we enter the fall season, when inventory historically drops by about half.

The area condo market has made great strides over the year, especially in Seattle, where the median price rose from $299,000 in August 2014 to $395,000 this year – a staggering 32 percent. Prices increased more modestly countywide, but still showed strong growth with a 19 percent rise.

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

Tips For a Smooth Buy on Your New Home

Are you opting to buy a new home as opposed to one someone has already lived in? There are several things buyers need to consider when looking into buying a home, especially those buying brand new vs. pre-owned.  The Seattle Times has compiled a good checklist for buyers to go over when buying in today’s real estate market. If there are a few things that you don’t like about the home, say wallpaper in the bathroom, or carpet in the living room, you might be able to work something out with the building before you move in.

If you’re moving into a new unfinished neighborhood, these sorts of things can sometimes be negotiated, whereas if you;’re moving into an existing home, changes are usually discussed with the seller, which can be a stressful situation. Buying a new home can also save you money in power bills, with new appliances and systems. For the full checklist, take a moment to visit the Seattle Times.

Bills, Bills, Bills

King County recently announced that property tax bills are in, and have been sent out for the first half of 2012. Payments are due April 30th and the 2nd half will be due in the fall no later than October 31st.

 The value of homes has dropped in almost every nook of the county, with the exception of the Wallingford & Phinney Ridge areas which actually increased in value. The biggest drops were present in Burien, Redondo, and Algona areas around King County, among others. For information on how the taxes are calculated, and ways to pay your taxes, visit the county website.