Seattle Just Keeps Growing

In spite of the building boom in downtown Seattle, there have been very limited options for buying a home, versus renting. Resembling giant glass Rubik’s cubes stacked 41 floors high, the Nexus Seattle condominiums will be taking ground at 1200 Howell Street in the Denny Triangle. The building will feature 382 units, varying in size and price, ranging from $300,000 to $3.5 million. Sections of the building are twisted to face different directions, views will vary depending which floor the home is located on.

According to the Nexus website, 80% of the units have already been reserved as of this past November (2016). Underscoring the market’s desire for permanent housing and the influx of people for high-paying tech jobs downtown, hundreds of buyers lined up to pay a $5,000 refundable deposit to be guaranteed a spot at a priority presales event on June 4th last year. Some people even camped out overnight to be first in line.

Burrand Group, the Canadian company that owns the site, plans to break ground this month to begin construction. The Nexus building will be within walking distance of at least two large-tech work campuses in the South Lake Union area. An article with Puget Sound Business Journal states a fitness center, common co-working space, the option of renting a guest room, and a rooftop terrace will be some of the amenities available.

As of October 2016, the median price for a downtown Seattle condo was $650,000. The median price for a 1-bedroom rental is currently $1,820 per month, reflecting the 40% hike in rent over the past 5 years. Seattle is now in the top ten of most expensive apartment markets in the United States, as of April 2016.

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.

Real Estate Site Ranks Seattle No. 1 Housing Market

1150 17th Ave E-33. straightened smalljpgReal estate website auction.com 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!

Prime Madrona Real Estate For Sale

Madrona HomeA gorgeous 1920’s Dutch Colonial on prime Madrona real estate with fantastic views of Lake Washington, Bellevue skyline, Mt Rainier & Cascades recently came on the market.  The completely remodeled Madrona home presents a modern, open floor plan, with pretty entry gardens and front porch open to the oak floors and crisp lines of the interior. Fir windows and doors, with two sets of French doors opening to spacious deck. Kitchen with impressive limestone island and high end appliances. Huge master bedroom suite fills the entire 2nd floor with two additional bedrooms in lower level.

Click the link to see more pictures, details and location of this fabulous Madrona home.

Status: For Sale
Bed/Bath: 3/2.25
List Price: $1,365,000

Underwater Homeowners Promised Relief

There is now hope for homeowners who  have been left with a bigger mortgage than their home is valued; they might get the chance to refinance at a lower rate this year. The help aid the foreclosure surge, and complaints of foreclosure abuse, 4 of the top Banks in America – Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo have have reached an agreement of over $3 billion dollars worth of refis for customers with underwater mortgages still held by the banks. Qualifications for relief are still unclear, but two of the banks have released a list of criteria they’ll use in consideration.

If your mortgage is at least 5.25% and the balance is more than 100% of your home’s value, or the principal is less that $730,000 and closed before January 1, 2009, you might be eligible for a refi. For more information on the $25 billion dollar mortgage agreement, visit CNN Money.

US Goverment Proposes New Mortgage Rules

The US government has proposed some new mortgage lending rules that could help many homeowners avoid foreclosure. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau‘s proposed the rules this morning that would require mortgage companies to to offer all borrowers standard monthly statements, and inform customers of any interest rate or insurance changes. Companies would also be responsible for certain “good faith efforts” to inform borrowers at risk of foreclosure, and find options for them to salvage their homes.

An estimated 8 million Americans have faced foreclosure since the housing  market began to sank in 2006. Many homeowners have pledged that mortgage companies failed to inform them of foreclosure threats, or verify information on important foreclosure documents. For more information on the foreclosure proposal, visit the Seattle Times.

Underwater Home Values in 2012

Next week, Zillow, the Progressive Policy Institute and the Columbia Business School will host a housing debrief exploring how public and private sectors have responded to the national housing crisis. While unemployment is notably a hot topic in the national political debates, the central focus should not ignore the issue concerning the housing crisis. According to Zillow “the percentage of Americans who have lost their job is actually exceeded by the number of Americans who have either lost significant wealth on their home, or are currently “underwater” owing more on their mortgage than their homes are worth.” Over the past 6 years, Americans have lost an estimated 7 trillion in housing wealth, a number that isn’t going unnoticed under the public eye. In the report that will be released early next week, Zillow and the team will analyze home values in the 16 battleground states; and in 15 of these states, home values have fallen by an average of 16% since 2008. The report will also go over suggestions and tips for how to tackle this issue. For an extended report, and further information on this debrief, click here.

AOL Lusts Over Mercer Island Mansion

There is an array of wonderful things going for the Seattle area that makes folks from far and wide relocate to the beautiful Pacific Northwest. We have lush greenery, beaches, city life, and quaint neighborhoods; and a ton of gorgeous homes that can be yours for the taking. 

This week, AOL lusted over one particularly jaw dropping Mansion located in the Mercer Island neighborhood, that is 13,636 sf and an architect’s dream come true. Beautiful Noe-Classical Italian designed columns, stone exteriors, cherrywood doors and a crystal clear view of the lovely Lake Washington. A three level home with elevator access, surround sound theater, aroma therapy hot tub, and a long list of like-minded luxury amenities, this home is at the top of the must-see list for those looking to buy this Spring. Find the detailed listing here.

Improved Real Estate Prospects Instills Confidence in Builders

The numbers are in and crunch time is over; an advisor from the financial services company Credit Suisse has upgraded 5 stocks, crediting improvement in the real estate market from Real Estate Agents and home buyers. In a note to their clients, Daniel Oppenheim, an analyst from Credit Suisse upgraded 3 stocks today from “under perform”  to “neutral,” those being Dr Horton Inc, Lennar Corp, and Ryland Group Inc. Buyer traffic is up, and he expects orders from home buyers stocks to rise 18% this year and 19% is 2013.

After a down 2011, builders are hoping for a prospective market in 2012.  While home builders will continue to face risks, the housing market could continue to get a boost from the program Obama instilled earlier this week. For an extended review, visit the Seattle Times.

King County Median Home Price Falls

King County homes sales have been on the rise for the past few months, but the median price has dropped considerably, making this the third month in a row to hit the post-market boom low, according to the NWMLS. Since February 2011, home sales are up 23%, and it’s been the best month of February for sales since 2007; and it’s generally a slower month for sales.

Last month, the King County median for homes were closed at around $308, 125 according to the NWMLS, falling nearly 8% since February 2011. The median has dropped almost 36% from the record high in 2007, and we haven’t seen anything lower than the current standing since 2004. For an extensive article, please visit the Seattle Times.