July 22nd Seattle Area Housing Report

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Weekly Stats by Neighborhood

Renton, South Bellevue, Mercer Island, Kirkland, Central Seattle, Ballard-Greenlake, and North Seattle all showed an strong uptick in sales activity benefiting sellers. East Bellevue $1-1.25 million entered the buyer-favored realm this week while Mercer Island, South and West Bellevue maintained their buyer’s market in the $2 million + price point.

 

Click here to to view the complete report for all 16 MLS areas

Individual Reports

SEATTLE
West Seattle
South Seattle
Central Seattle
Queen Anne
Ballard/Greenlake
North Seattle
EASTSIDE
South Bellevue
Mercer Island
West Bellevue
East Bellevue
East Lk Sammamish
Redmond
Kirkland
Woodinville
Renton Highlands

 

© Copyright 2016, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Statistics provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.

July 15th Seattle Area Housing Report

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Weekly Stats by Neighborhood

Sellers again took favor in nearly all markets across the region as buyers returned en mass from vacations or time away. The only segment of the market favoring buyers this week is the $2 million + price point in South and West Bellevue, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

Click here to to view the complete report for all 16 MLS areas

Individual Reports

SEATTLE
West Seattle
South Seattle
Central Seattle
Queen Anne
Ballard/Greenlake
North Seattle
EASTSIDE
South Bellevue
Mercer Island
West Bellevue
East Bellevue
East Lk Sammamish
Redmond
Kirkland
Woodinville
Renton Highlands

 

© Copyright 2016, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Statistics provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing service and deemed accurate

June 2016 Seattle Area Housing Report

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Monthly Reports

Market showing signs of adjusting, but buyers still see double-edged sword

NWMLS Reports (July 6, 2016) – Home sales around Western Washington continued at a torrid pace during June, but a 10 percent year-over-year increase in new listings has some brokers with Northwest Multiple Listing Service suggesting a little relief may be emerging.

In the meantime, “We have a long way to go to catch up with the demand,” stated Mike Grady, president and COO of Coldwell Banker Bain. Citing reports of projected job growth in the region (pegged at 70,000 new employees) but only 8,000 new residential units in the same forecast, he said this imbalance is rippling to outlying counties. Inventory is now shrinking at a greater rate in some of the outlying counties than in the tri-county area of King, Snohomish and Pierce counties. Pending sales in some of these areas sales are rising at a faster clip, noted Grady, a past chairman of the MLS board. “It’s as if the splash in the center of Seattle’s pond is finally making ripples to the outlying counties,” he concluded.

Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott, Inc., described the market as “frenzy hot” in June, but suggested there was a “short breath of fresh air for homebuyers.” He credits the combination of more inventory coming on the market and lower interest rates with bringing some “welcome relief to the backlog of buyers who have been waiting to purchase a home.”

There were fewer multiple offers for each new listing, according to Scott’s analysis of the latest data, but he said 80 percent of new listings are still selling within the first 30 days in price ranges where 90 percent of the sales activity is taking place. That, he said, contrasts with a “healthy” (more balanced) market with only around 30 percent of listings sell in the first 30 days.

Northwest MLS members reported 11,995 mutually accepted offers last month for a 4.73 percent increase over the year- ago volume of pending sales. For the four-county Puget Sound area, brokers reported 8,869 pending sales, the highest total for the month of June since 2005.

New listing activity improved compared to a year ago with 12,759 sellers putting their home or condo on the market. That’s a 10.2 percent improvement from twelve months ago and marks the largest number of new listings added in a single month since March 2010 when brokers replenished supply with 12,994 new listings. Last month’s additions brought the number of total active listings up to 16,838 properties. A year ago, across the 23 counties in the report, buyers could choose from 20,333 listings.

With only 1.7 months of supply system-wide (for single family homes and condos combined), inventory is well below the four-to-six-month level many industry analysts use as an indicator of a balanced market. Both King and Snohomish counties have barely more than one month of supply.

Inventory of condos is more meager, hovering near 1.1 months area-wide. In both King and Snohomish counties there is less than a month of supply (0.80). For single family homes only, there is 1.82 months of supply – and even less than that level in all four central Puget Sound counties.

Not surprisingly, prices continue to escalate. In fact, a recent report from CoreLogic, a property analytics company, indicated home prices are rising faster in Washington than in any other state in the nation.

Last month’s 9,805 pending sales across all counties in the MLS report had a median selling price of $350,000, which is nearly 8.9 percent higher than the year-ago figure of $321,500. Seventeen of the 23 counties experienced double-digit increases, led by Grant County (up 24.9 percent), Jefferson County (up 24.4 percent) and Skagit County (up nearly 23.8 percent).

In King County, which accounted for about 40 percent of the sales, the median price surged 13.3 percent from a year ago, rising from $450,000 to $510,000. For single family homes only (excluding condos), prices in King County rose 14.7 percent, from $500,000 to $573,522. Condo prices skyrocketed nearly 22 percent compared to a year ago. The median sales price last month was $350,000; twelve months ago the buyer of a median-priced condo in King County paid $287,000.

Buyers are seeing rapidly-rising prices as a double-edged sword, according to George Moorhead, the designated broker at Bentley Properties. “On one hand, the market is a fabulous investment and a way to secure monthly housing costs,” he explained, but added, “On the other side, prices and scarce inventory are getting out of hand. For the first time, we’re hearing a common theme,” he stated. Buyers are willing to make “huge sacrifices,” such as significant concessions on a home’s square footage, in order to be closer to jobs and good schools, he said, and they’re foregoing once-desired “core features” for their family’s home.

Moorhead, a board member at Northwest MLS, characterized the current market as a “vicious cycle” and “predatory” but different than what led to the 2007-2008 housing crash, in part because buyers are making large down payments instead of relying on zero down programs. The high down payments (achieved at times by borrowing from family) are sometimes made to help cover the difference between the sales price and appraised value. When coupled with concessions on the “needs” or “wish” lists, Moorhead said these sacrifices are creating a market that cannot be sustained.

In the short term, activity continues at a brisk pace, and now Brexit (Britain’s vote to exit the European Union) may contribute to an uptick in home sales, according to some brokers and industry-watchers.

“Demand for U.S. real estate could rise,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors®. He attributes uncertainty before the Brexit vote as the likely reason the Federal Reserve decided not to raise interest rates in June and said the U.S. could face an influx of foreign buyers looking to pull out of the U.K.

Windermere president O B Jacobi agreed the U.S. housing market could end up benefitting from Brexit. “Uncertain economic times almost always lead to a ‘flight to safety,’ which means global capital pouring into the United States bond market at an aggressive rate. This ultimately drives down mortgage rates and makes it cheaper for home buyers to borrow money,” he stated.

On the flip side, Jacobi acknowledged in markets like Seattle this could also cause housing affordability to take another hit. “Lower interest rates will likely draw more buyers into the market, compounding already competitive conditions, and driving up home prices even further,” he noted.

“While the world is watching Brexit, oil prices and political theatrics, the average American still needs to transfer, take a new job, receive orders to a new duty station, move to a smaller or one-level home, or purchase a bigger home to accommodate growing family needs,” Wilson remarked, adding, “We continue to see good traffic at open houses, multiple offers on correctly priced homes, and people excited about the next phase of life that a new home brings.”

Despite the challenges, Scott believes the market is encouraging for owners who have been considering a move. “It’s a cause and effect situation: they find a home to buy, then put their home on the market, thus adding to inventory.” He believes the best opportunity for buyers to purchase will be within the next four months because of expected improvements in inventory and lower interest rates.

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership of nearly 2,100 member offices includes more than 25,000 real estate professionals. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 23 counties in Washington state.

 

View the full June 2016 Report by neighborhood

Individual Reports

SEATTLE
West Seattle
South Seattle
Central Seattle
Queen Anne
Ballard/Greenlake
North Seattle
EASTSIDE
South Bellevue
Mercer Island
West Bellevue
East Bellevue
East Lk Sammamish
Redmond
Kirkland
Woodinville
Renton Highlands

MONTHLY SNAPSHOT

Click on each report below to view an overview of the regional data:
Seattle Metro
Eastside
King County
Mercer Island

© Copyright 2016, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Statistics provided by the North

Q2 2016 Real Estate Reviews for Seattle, Mercer Island and the Eastside

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Quarter / Year in Reviews

Seattle Report

With rent prices increasing at an even faster pace than home appreciation, it’s no wonder so many residents are opting to own rather than rent.

Monthly housing costs increased a modest 2% in Q2 over those in Q1 and 12% over Q2 of 2015.

Seattle experienced very strong price appreciation in Q2 as compared to the surrounding region.

Affordable North Seattle continues to be a hotbed of activity with price increases to show for it.

North Seattle (20.9%) saw the highest gain in year-over-year median sale price, followed by Madison Park-Capitol Hill (18.6%), Queen Anne-Magnolia (16.1%), Richmond Beach-Shoreline (14.4%), Lake Forest Park-Kenmore (14%), West Seattle (13.5%), Ballard-Greenlake (13%), and Mount Baker-Beacon Hill (11.6%).

Click here for the full report and to see how prices have changed in your neighborhood!

 

Eastside Report

The Eastside continues to be a hotbed of activity as more and more residents infiltrate the area—driven in large part by the expansion and migration of many prominent companies.

Monthly housing costs increased 6% in Q2 over those in Q1 and 16% over Q2 of 2015.

While most areas continue to be dominated by a seller-favored environment, balanced markets are beginning to emerge.

Time will tell whether enough new inventory will finally bring the much needed balance into our market.

Woodinville (18.7%), South Bellevue (14.6%), and East Bellevue (13.3%) showed the strongest year-over-year median sale price gains in Q2 while Mercer Island (8.7%) and Redmond (9.7%) were the most conservative. West Bellevue (12.1%), Kirkland (11.7%), and East Lake Sammamish (11.2%) held the middle ground.

Click here for the full report and to see how prices fared in your neighborhood!

 

Mercer Island Report

On the tails of a massive increase in values in Q1, Mercer Island saw a more moderate Q2.

The Island’s median sale price rose a mere .4% over Q2 of 2015.

An increase in the number of homes for sale was heavily weighted toward those priced above $2 million.

Tapered buyer demand, coupled with a surge of inventory in the high end, caused the two-million and above market to stagnate somewhat—resulting in one of the strongest buyer-favored market segments in the region.

This transition in the higher end of the market overshadowed solid price gains at more modest price points.

A shortage of turnkey homes priced below $1.5 million has driven prices on the hottest properties up to record levels.

Cash offers, pre-inspections, and release of buyer funds on offer acceptance became the norm in the sub $1.5M market segment.

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

 

 

© Copyright 2016, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Statistics provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.

Q2 2016 Seattle Area Condo Report

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Condo Reports

Condo buildings are like neighborhoods all unto their own. Each has its own unique characteristics that make up the flavor of the individual units that reside there. Be it modern and edgy or traditional and quaint, fresh-looking or dated, well-maintained or in need of a little TLC, the condominium association and its members together decide what their “neighborhood” will look and feel like. Couple that with reserve studies, savings for capital improvements, usage restrictions, and lending regulations which decide which condos will be approved for financing and which won’t, it’s easy to see why a broad overview of data and appreciation rates might miss the mark. Some condo neighborhoods with favorable conditions and amenities will be a hotbed of activity while other may sit stagnant for months.

Looking at prices from the thousand-foot level, Seattle area condos appreciated 16.1% from Q2 of 2015 to Q2 of 2016 while Eastside condos rose 9.7% during the same period. The Seattle communities of Beacon Hill, Leschi, Mount Baker, Seward Park and Lake Forest Park-Kenmore were hotbeds of activity and saw prices increase 30% or more overall (keeping in mind that some buildings faired far better than others). On the Eastside, the South Bellevue, Issaquah, Lakemont, Juanita and Woodinville areas all had sale prices that were 28-30% higher than those of Q2 2015.

Madison Park, Capitol Hill, Richland, and Shoreline had the smallest increase in average sale price in Seattle while Redmond-Carnation and Kirkland-Bridle Trails had the smallest increase on the Eastside for Q2.

Downtown Seattle-Belltown led the pack with 270 closed sales for the quarter, followed by Madison Park-Capitol Hill (203) and East Lake Sammamish (183). Overall, the newest condos can be found in Ballard-Greenlake and East Lake Sammamish while the largest ones can be found in West Bellevue and Downtown-Belltown. Looking for a small studio? You’re most likely to find one in Madison Park or Capitol Hill. Want to stretch out into a spacious 3-bedroom floor plan? East of Lake Sammamish is where the largest units can be found.

Check out all of these factoids and more in the full condo report.

 

© Copyright 2011-2016, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Statistics provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed. For questions or comments, email Julie Barrows at julie@windermere.com.

July 8th Seattle Area Housing Report

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Weekly Stats by Neighborhood

Buyers take note! There are several pockets of the market favoring buyers this week as a result of excess listings and/or less buyer demand. Many times these windows of opportunity are short lived and correct the following week. Buyer-friendly segments include: $400,000-499,999 in South Seattle; Above $2 million on Mercer Island and in South and West Bellevue; $700,000-799,99 in East Bellevue; and the $700,000-799,999, $900,000-999,999, and $1-2 million price points in East Lake Sammamish.

Click here to to view the complete report for all 16 MLS areas

Individual Reports

SEATTLE
West Seattle
South Seattle
Central Seattle
Queen Anne
Ballard/Greenlake
North Seattle
EASTSIDE
South Bellevue
Mercer Island
West Bellevue
East Bellevue
East Lk Sammamish
Redmond
Kirkland
Woodinville
Renton Highlands

 

© Copyright 2016, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Statistics provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing service and deemed accurate

July 1st Seattle Area Housing Report

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Weekly Stats by Neighborhood

Buyer opportunity abounds (for listings that have been on the market 14 days or longer) as we enter into this holiday weekend. I can’t believe I am writing this! Who would have thought 2 weeks would be considered stagnant at mainstream price points below $1 million. Buyers who have been waiting for this moment may possibly even enjoy such frivolities as financing, title and inspection contingencies, refundable earnest money deposits and perhaps an opportunity to actually negotiate on the price. No guarantees of course, but its nice to know the tables may be a little more balanced in the weeks to come.

Click here to to view the complete report for all 16 MLS areas

Individual Reports

SEATTLE
West Seattle
South Seattle
Central Seattle
Queen Anne
Ballard/Greenlake
North Seattle
EASTSIDE
South Bellevue
Mercer Island
West Bellevue
East Bellevue
East Lk Sammamish
Redmond
Kirkland
Woodinville
Renton Highlands

 

© Copyright 2016, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Statistics provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing service and deemed accurate

June 24th Seattle Area Housing Report

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Weekly Stats by Neighborhood

In spite of the current seller’s market, brokers note a definite cooling of buyer sentiment, particularly when listing prices are push above reason. Still, with a continued shortage of inventory, we expect a robust summer real estate market.

Click here to to view the complete report for all 16 MLS areas

Individual Reports

SEATTLE
West Seattle
South Seattle
Central Seattle
Queen Anne
Ballard/Greenlake
North Seattle
EASTSIDE
South Bellevue
Mercer Island
West Bellevue
East Bellevue
East Lk Sammamish
Redmond
Kirkland
Woodinville
Renton Highlands

 

© Copyright 2016, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Statistics provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.

June 17th Seattle Area Housing Report

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Weekly Stats by Neighborhood

Mixed buyer demand, due to what are perceived as excessive list prices, has shifted the market somewhat this week. Five locales have a documented buyer’s market and buyers are not hesitating to call the shots or walk away when sellers don’t come to the bargaining table. Those markets include price points above $2 million in South Bellevue, Mercer Island and West Bellevue; $1-1.25 million in East of Lake Sammamish; and $800,000-899,000 in the Juanita-Woodinville area.

Click here to to view the complete report for all 16 MLS areas

Individual Reports

SEATTLE
West Seattle
South Seattle
Central Seattle
Queen Anne
Ballard/Greenlake
North Seattle
EASTSIDE
South Bellevue
Mercer Island
West Bellevue
East Bellevue
East Lk Sammamish
Redmond
Kirkland
Woodinville
Renton Highlands

 

© Copyright 2016, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Statistics provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.

May 2016 Seattle Area Monthly Housing Report

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Monthly Reports

Housing inventory shortages persist despite increase in new listings

NWMLS Reports (June 6, 2016) – Just as expected, the month of May had an uptick in new listings (12,272), but just as many buyers (12,275) made offers on homes during the month to keep inventory depleted, according to the latest figures from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

 “Inventory is being squeezed from all directions,” reported Frank Wilson, branch managing broker at John L. Scott in Poulsbo. He said the pool of house-hunters includes young first-time buyers, renters whose rents are escalating, buyers who are returning to the market after recovering from a foreclosure or short sale, investors, and baby boomers who are purchasing for their retirement needs. Additionally, in Kitsap County where his office is located, there are military families who are transferring to a base there and want to buy.

 By month end, member brokers reported 15,198 active listings in the Northwest MLS database. That’s down more than 22 percent from a year ago when buyers could choose from an inventory of 19,515 listings across the 23 counties served by the listing service.

 “The May housing market was not just hot, it was frenzy hot,” commented J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate. “Brokers are working like bees in a hive as the housing market creates a buzz of sales activity in the Seattle-Central Puget Sound area.” By his analysis, 80 percent of the homes coming on the market in King and Snohomish counties are selling within the first 30 days. “Many sell within the first week,” Scott reported, adding, “A healthy/normal market would have 30 percent selling in the first 30 days.”

 MLS figures show there is only 1.76 months of supply system-wide. In both King and Snohomish counties, there is barely more than one month of supply – well below the 4-to-6 months that many experts use as an indicator of a balanced market.

 “With less than two months of inventory, every new listing seems to draw multiple offers,” Wilson remarked. He also said homeowners who want to move up in this same market know they face a conundrum: “If we sell today, will we be able to buy tomorrow?”

 Buyers are becoming more and more aggressive with offers and pricing, and that concerns some brokers, said Northwest MLS director George Moorhead. As the gap between pricing and value widens, some would-be buyers may overextend themselves. Also, appraisers are struggling with a lack of comparable sales versus multiple offers that escalate well beyond the listing price, said Moorhead, the designated broker at Bentley Properties. Since lenders base loans on appraised values, buyers will likely need to make up the shortfall.

 Even though brokers say paltry inventory is limiting sales, the year-over-year volume of pending sales rose more than 7.4 percent last month. Members reported 12,275 mutually accepted offers, up from the year-ago total of 11,425. MLS data going back to 2004 shows that one-month total is the highest on record.

 Prices also rose. The median price area-wide for last month’s 8,630 closed sales of single family homes and condominiums (combined) was $339,950. That’s up more than 7.2 percent from twelve months ago when purchasers paid $317,000 for the median-priced home. Ten counties reported double-digit price hikes.

 In King County, the median price jumped more than 11.7 percent, from $434,000 to $485,000. Prices on single family homes surged nearly 16.5 percent, rising from $480,942 to $560,000. Condo prices were up 9 percent, but finding one proved challenging as inventory dropped 29 percent in King County.

 

View the full May 2016 Report by neighborhood

Individual Reports

SEATTLE
West Seattle
South Seattle
Central Seattle
Queen Anne
Ballard/Greenlake
North Seattle
EASTSIDE
South Bellevue
Mercer Island
West Bellevue
East Bellevue
East Lk Sammamish
Redmond
Kirkland
Woodinville
Renton Highlands

MONTHLY SNAPSHOT

Click on each report below to view an overview of the regional data:
Seattle Metro
Eastside
King County
Mercer Island

© Copyright 2016, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Statistics provided by the North