Dramatic Growth In Seattle-Area Luxury Homes Market

Luxury home available on Mercer Island

Luxury Mercer Island home available for $10,998,000

It’s no secret that Seattle’s housing market is one of the strongest in the nation, but what is a little surprising is the growth in the luxury homes sector. According to a recent story by the Puget Sound Business Journal, 537 homes sold for more than $1 million in just four Bellevue ZIP codes alone over the past year, 108 more than 2014 and an increase of 25 percent. 60 homes sold for over $3 million in those areas, up 43 percent over last year.

In Seattle as a whole, 901 homes have sold for $1 million or more so far in 2015, compared to 689 in 2014, according to statistics from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Of those sales, more than a quarter (241) occurred in the Central Seattle area comprising the neighborhoods south of the ship canal, north of I-90, and east of downtown. Most were clustered on North Capitol Hill and in the neighborhoods bordering Lake Washington, such as Madison Park, Washington Park, and Leschi. The most expensive sale of the year (so far) was a 9,820-square-foot estate on McGilvra Boulevard in Washington Park that fetched $5.75 million, followed by a lakefront Cape Cod-style home in Washington Park, which sold for $5.195 million. The PSBJ article states that sales of homes priced $1 million or higher in Ballard and Green Lake are up a whopping 200 percent.

The Seattle area’s growing job market is cited as one of the main drivers of the luxury home sales market, as is strong interest from international buyers, especially from China. With tech companies flocking to Seattle and Eastside job centers, they bring with them highly paid executives who may seek out luxury homes. The PSBJ article states that “Luxury homes are bellwethers of a thriving economy and growing job market. They are the ultimate proof of a prosperous and strong residential real estate sector.”

If you’re interested in Seattle’s luxury homes market, please contact one of our residential agents today.

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.

Zillow Reports Rentals Continue to Outshine Housing Market

According to Zillow’s Real Estate Market Report in February, the median price in rent had risen 2% since February 2011, and home values had continued to fall, dropping 4.5% during the same time period. Zillow’s Rent Index illustrated that the year over year gains for an estimated 68% of metropolitan markets measured by the ZRI, and only 8% of metro areas covered by the Zillow Home Value Indexsaw home values rise.

Seattle Rental In Leschi Neighborhood

Today’s rental market is continuing to heat up, with an emphasis on areas where home values have consistently been declining. Foreclosures have been at the forefront in keeping home values down, with foreclosure re-sales making up an  estimated 20.3% of all sales in the month of February. Zillow experts have said that we’ve made it through the worst of the housing market recession, but with the enormous inventory of foreclosures and unemployment are all still factors to overcome on the rise to recovery. For more information on rental listings in the Seattle area, visit Ewing & Clark and Craigslist.

Up and Coming Neighborhood for Renters & Buyers: Atlantic

The Atlantic neighborhood in Seattle, nestled in between Beacon Hill and Mt Baker is gaining popularity with younger home buyers and renters in recent months due to it’s convenient location, and up and coming amenities.

Not even five years ago, we remember when this neighborhood was experiencing mass redevelopment and construction of the 2nd I-90 bridge, leaving the Atlantic area is rubble, covered in a film of dirt. Left in the midst was abandoned housing, sky high dirt mounds and 23rd Ave S was closed to traffic. Today the neighborhood is home to trendy bars and restaurants like Dallas BBQ Soul Food & Catering and Farestart Cafe, has a light rail stop, is in close proximity to downtown and the Eastside, and has several trails for bikers and runners; even has it’s own dog park! The neighborhood started looking promising to buyers and renters a decade ago and today affordable pricing plays a huge role in the deciding factor.  According to the Seattle Times, in February this year the median value of all single family homes was estimated at $284,200, down 2.2% from the previous year. The median cost of rent in the neighborhood for a single family home was estimated at $1,674/mo, while apartments were estimated at $1,521/mo; up from the previous year, but significantly less than other areas around the city. If you’d like more information on for sale listings around the area visit Ewing & Clark, and find rentals around the neighborhood here.

Jumbo Limits Are Changing (Most Likely)

Jumbo Loan LimitsUnless the government steps in, the jumbo limits will go down on October 1st for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration.  Three years ago Congress temporarily rose the maximum home loan amounts for high cost areas.  The limit is now $729,750 in certain areas (not in Washington State) but will go down to a maximum of $625,500.  There were two interesting and somewhat contrary articles in this weekends papers.  One article said local banks are ready to step in and thus changes are expected to be minimal.  The other articles spoke about Kitsap County being hit hard (map) (limits going down 35% compared to King County limits going down about 11%) and local banks not being able to absorb the loans in the counties.