Median Home Price In King Co. Hits $500,000

1215 McGilvra NewThe median price of single-family home sold in King County has reached new heights this year. According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, the median price in King County has risen to $500,000, a 10.3 percent increase over the last peak of $481,000 in July 2007. In Seattle, the median is significantly higher than that, having risen 15 percent over the year to $575,000. It’s been rumored that we are in a bubble, but Alan Pope, a real estate appraiser in Redmond, says he believes we aren’t in a bubble, but that “… the balloon is growing, and I can’t tell when it’s going to stop.” In fact, the housing market is just gaining traction from taking a hit during the past recession and isn’t too far above the prices they normally would be had we missed it.

The Seattle area’s healthy job market has caught the eye of the nation and beyond. As more people settle in to Seattle and surrounding cities, the housing market has become quite competitive. With a surge of buyers and very little increase in single-family residential development, there is a shortage of houses on the market. Between March and May of this year, Seattle only had a month’s supply of single-family homes and condominiums on the market, according to a Seattle Times analysis of NWMLS data. Inventory in June of this year was well below the average three months’ supply, and the number of residential listings in King County was 23 percent lower than last year.

Other counties are seeing similar patterns. In Snohomish County, the median price of single-family homes sold was $360,125, that’s 6 percent higher than last year. Pierce County prices are up an impressive 9.5 percent, sitting at $257,000.

In Seattle, homes for sale sit on the market for an average of just eight days, compared to the national average of 28 days. When a home goes on the market, Seattle house hunters are ready to play ball, even if that means paying well above the listing price. The only true fix to relive the pressure on the current housing market is to build new houses. The National Association of Home Builders reports that there were 3,481 permits issued for new single-family homes between January and May, down 4 percent over the year. That might be due to the lack of adequate plats to build on. Allison Butcher of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties told the Times that land is becoming increasingly hard to find in Seattle.

As for condominiums, we’re seeing a bit of a trickle-down effect, as the median price in King County was $287,000, up 7 percent over last year, and up 12 percent in Snohomish County, now sitting at $239,950. However, Pierce County is down about 7 percent, at $162,500. Listings for condos aren’t climbing as quickly as single-family homes, but they are taking some of the heat as buyers look for other more available options.

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

Seattle Homes Selling In Average of 8 Days

3804 E Blaine St.Across the U.S., houses are selling at breakneck speed, with homes only surviving on the market for an average of 28 days before being snatched up by eager buyers. Many homes sold even faster than that in May, with approximately 35 percent going into contract within two weeks of hitting the market. But you think that’s fast? The national market has nothing on Seattle, where last month homes sold after a mere 8 days on the market, and almost half sold above list price, according to Redfin. This no doubt is due to extremely low inventory, especially within the Seattle city limits, where there is less than a month’s supply of homes available, not nearly enough to satisfy the high demand for homes in the city.

Despite this increased buying activity, national home prices actually grew at a slower rate this May – up just 1.6 percent over April – compared to the 3 percent rise in prices we saw last May. On a yearly basis, prices across the country are up 6 percent from a year ago. List prices in the Seattle market increased just slightly from April to May (1.4 percent), and the median was $426,000. Year over year, Seattle prices were up 6.5 percent.

As these statistics illustrate, now is a great time to sell your home! If you’re on the fence, contact your local real estate agent to learn more about the selling process.

Seattle Market Earns ‘D’ Grade For Affordability

roanokeA recent study conducted by Interest.com has found that Seattle is home to the 7th least affordable housing market in the country, based on criteria including median home price, median income, average property taxes and insurance costs, consumer debt, and local mortgage rates. The study assigned a ‘C’ grade to cities where households who make the median income can afford the median-priced home, and Seattle fell short of that, earning a ‘D’ grade with our median income of $67,479 and median home price of $357,400.

In their analysis of the study, mynorthwest.com reports that although housing price growth has slowed recently, the median price for a home in the top 25 largest metro areas grew by 6 percent over the last year, whereas incomes only grew by 2 percent. This is compounded by the fact that in 2013 the recovering housing market grew by leaps and bounds in many cities, and grew by 12 percent nationally, giving wages no chance of keeping up. In the interest.com article summarizing the study, Adam DeSanctis, a media manager for the National Association of Realtors says, “Affordability would improve at a faster pace if wage growth would pick up. We’ve seen an improvement in job growth, but wages have remained somewhat static.”

Not surprisingly, topping the list of unaffordable markets is San Francisco, which earned an ‘F’ for affordability, as did New York City, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Miami. Boston came in at number six with a D-. No cities earned an ‘A’ grade for affordability. Looking for an affordable place to relocate? Head to Minneapolis, where the median housing price is more than $100,000 less than Seattle’s at $212,900, but the median wage is nearly identical at $67,194.

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

First Drop In Median Home Price In Six Months Came In August

housingAfter a blockbuster July when we saw the median price for a single-family home in Seattle rise to $543,500, topping the market’s 2007 peak, the median price in August came a little closer to earth, showing its first monthly decline in six months. The median price dropped 8 percent from July to August, and now stands at $499,950, according to The Seattle Times.

But despite slowing monthly growth, yearly appreciation for median home prices in Seattle still stands at a healthy 9.4 percent, the highest rate among the sub-markets in King County. The Northwest Multiple Listing Service says the biggest challenge currently facing buyers throughout Western Washington is inventory, as has been the case for the past several months. They report that although inventory has risen slightly since this time last year, the number of listings added in August was the lowest since April, and King County has the tightest inventory with only two months’ supply available.

The NWMLS uses the word “stability” to describe the market in Western Washington as a whole, and says we should continue to see “moderated growth” 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!

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.

 

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.

King County Home Prices Rising More Slowly, Inventory Still Low

housing market

While home prices have continued to rise in King County over the past year, they are rising at a slower rate than they were a year ago. According to The Seattle Times the median home price in January was 17 percent higher than it was over the previous 12 months, but in February it was only 11 percent higher. In March, the median home price in King County was $414,950, up just 6 percent from $392,000 a year ago. In the Seattle market, the median home price actually fell by almost 3% over the last 12 months to $450,000.

It appears that buyers are also using more discretion with their money, as the number of active listings has increased, but the number of pending deals has decreased in the tri-county area comprising King, Snohomish and Pierce counties.

In some good news for local buyers, investors bought far fewer homes in February (40) than they did in January (126), which could mean more entry-level housing inventory available to first-time home buyers. Investors have been purchasing homes in lower price ranges and turning them into rentals, especially in South King County and Pierce County. Real estate agents are hoping for a jump in inventory as we progress further into spring, but believe the market will continue to see low inventory through the rest of the year and into 2015.

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