The communities of Richmond Beach-Shoreline and Lake Forest Park-Kenmore were on fire in Q1. Their Median Sale Prices were up 18.9% and 24.7%, respectively, over Q1 2016. Representing an affordable region north of Seattle with many local amenities and a reasonable commute, it’s no wonder this area has been favored by local home buyers. Accessible to downtown without tolls, these neighborhoods are also an attractive alternative to communities located further out on the Eastside. North Seattle, while still a very popular region, showed the smallest gain—but of note is that it falls on the heels of exponential growth in 2016 and some moderation in its gains are a good sign of a healthy real estate market.
The Seattle real estate market saw the median sale price of single-family homes increase by 12.7% in 2016. The average cost per square foot of Seattle homes increased 13.4% to $353. Five years into a strong seller’s market, with demand unabated, it appears we will see much of the same in 2017.
83,000 new jobs +/- in the tri-county region surrounding Seattle have certainly made their presence felt. Couple that with crazy-low interest rates and it’s no wonder that housing demand is so strong. The neighborhoods of North Seattle and Queen Anne-Magnolia stood apart from the crowd with record year-over-year increases in the average sale price for Q3—but other Seattle communities still fared quite nicely with Seattle posting an overall 12.4% Q3 gain.
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. Affordable North Seattle continues to be a hotbed of activity with price increases to show for it.
Affordability is the buzzword this quarter as inventory continues to be extremely tight and prices escalate faster than wages can keep up. Monthly housing costs increased 7% in Q1 over those in Q4 and 21% over Q1 of 2015. Wow! With wage growth in the 3-5% range it’s easy to see why affordability is a topic of discussion.