Call Maria Today: 206-650-3015
Equestrian Properties • Homes on Acreage • Country Estates • since 1990

maria’s blog

Here’s Why Prices Are So High In Seattle

By in maria's blog with 0 Comments

What exactly is making home prices in Seattle and the surrounding area? The problem is no one is selling their homes. The Seattle Times states only “0.4 percent of all homes in the Seattle region were on the market at any given time last year” which is a stark indication of how competitive the real estate market has been. Even though the Seattle area has the 15th-largest housing market in the country, there are 36 markets with more homes for sale – and they are smaller markets, too. This means our inventory is three times worse than the national market according to the same Seattle Times article. Furthermore, only one market in the U.S. has a tighter housing market right now: the San Francisco Bay Area. Last month, the number of homes for sale in King County hit an all-time low with only 1,600 houses on the market. With the market heavily favoring sellers, home values in the Seattle area “have soared about 60 percent” in the last five years. However, due to the tight housing market many homeowners are reluctant to take advantage of the increase in home values for fear of trying to purchase another pricey home in the area. When looking at prices, we see an additional worry for homeowners (and potential buyers). Because supply keeps shrinking, demand continues to rise along with new jobs and a growing population. Renters are facing steep apartment prices and the $1 million home has become normal. The Seattle Times states Seattle only has about 260 homes under $1 million. This is causing frustration and strong competition for first-time homebuyers. What does this mean for the Eastside? We are going to continue seeing high prices for the near future as explained by Windermere Real Estate’s Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. As buyers are pushed out of the competition in Seattle, they will begin looking to the Eastside and the surrounding areas. No matter how you look at it, this is an exciting time for real estate in our region. If you are thinking it is time for your to purchase your first home or sell your home to take advantage of the market, make sure you get in touch with me. I can walk you through the steps you need to take and educate you on the best moves to make in the housing market. For more information, read the full article from The […]

Read More

Local Market Update – January 2017

By in maria's blog with 0 Comments

A record low number of houses for sale in December indicates that 2017 will continue to be a very competitive market for buyers. The good news: those who decide to take the plunge and list their home can count on getting a premium price for their property. Brokers reported that about three-fourths of the homes sold in December involved bidding wars. Snohomish County While home prices in Snohomish County are well below those of King County, the gap is closing as prices here are increasing at a faster pace than neighboring counties. The median price of a single-family home in Snohomish County rose 12 percent as compared to a year ago to $400,000. Like King County, inventory is very slim, indicating a market heavily favoring sellers. Eastside Strong demand driven by a booming tech economy and great schools continue to strain the already low inventory on the Eastside. It’s not unusual for a well-priced new listing to receive dozens of offers and to sell for well over asking price. With supply failing to meet demand, the median price for homes sold in December soared 19 percent to a new record high of $803,500. King County King County had only about 1,600 single-family homes on the market in December, an all-time low. With the healthy regional economy, demand remains very strong. Prices, however, appear to be moderating somewhat. The median price for a single-family home sold in December was $550,000, up 8 percent over a year ago, but unchanged from October and November. A traditional uptick in inventory this spring may help keep price increases more modest this year compared to the double-digit increases seen in 2015. Seattle According to the Case-Shiller home price index, home prices are rising faster in the Seattle metro area than in any other major region in the country. One issue is space. The city’s existing density means that virtually no new single-family homes are being built in Seattle. As new residents flood in, more people are competing for the already tight inventory. As a result, home prices are up. The median cost of a single-family home rose 6 percent from a year ago to $635,000.

Read More

Perspectives: 2017 Forecast

By in maria's blog with 0 Comments

Windermere Real Estate’s leadership team has put together a forecast of what we can expect for the 2017 housing market. Take a look at their predictions below for more … Well, it’s December; the time of year when we look to our crystal ball and offer our housing market predictions for the coming year. And by crystal ball we mean Windermere’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, who has been travelling up and down the West Coast giving his annual forecast to a variety of real estate and financial organizations. Last month’s surprising election results have created some unknowns, but based on what we do know today, here are some thoughts on the current market and what you can expect to see in 2017. HOUSING SUPPLY: In 2016 the laws of supply and demand were turned upside down in a majority of markets along the West Coast. Home sales and prices rose while listings remained anemic. In the coming year, there should be a modest increase in the number of homes for sale in most major West Coast markets, which should relieve some of the pressure. FIRST-TIME BUYERS: We’re calling 2017 the year of the return of the first-time buyer. These buyers are crucial to achieving a more balanced housing market. While rising home prices and competition will act as a headwind to some first timers, the aforementioned modest uptick in housing inventory should help alleviate some of those challenges. INTEREST RATES: Although interest rates remain remarkably low, they will likely rise as we move through 2017. Matthew Gardner tells us that he expects the 30-year fixed rate to increase to about 4.5 percent by year’s end. Yes, this is well above where interest rates are currently, but it’s still very low. HOUSING AFFORDABILITY: This remains one of the biggest concerns for many West Coast cities. Some markets continue to see home prices escalating well above income growth. This is unsustainable over the long term, so we’re happy to report that the rate of home price appreciation will soften in some areas. This doesn’t mean prices will drop, but rather, the rate of growth will begin to slow. Last but not least, we continue to hear concerns about an impending housing bubble. We sincerely believe these fears to be unfounded. While we expect price growth to slow in certain areas, anyone waiting for the floor to fall on housing prices is in […]

Read More

Local Market Update – December 2016

By in maria's blog with 0 Comments

Buyers spooked by a spike in mortgage interest rates gave rise to the busiest November for homes sales in over a decade. Prices rose accordingly. Case-Shiller ranked the area as the housing market with the fastest rising prices in the country. Sellers can expect to get a premium for their homes as we move into 2017, but they need to consider how an expected further increase in interest rates may impact the market. Snohomish County Snohomish County experienced the same boost in buying and bust in inventory as the rest of the region. Prices climbed at an even faster rate than in King County. Compared to a year ago, the median price of a single-family home was up over 14 percent to $400,000. Eastside There hasn’t been a stronger seller’s market on the Eastside in recent memory. Record-setting home sales, combined with record-low inventory, has resulted in a significant imbalance of supply and demand. It’s no surprise that home prices surged upward. The median price of a single-family home sold on the Eastside was $759,400, an increase of 13 percent over last November. King County Home sales in King County soared nearly 30 percent over a year ago. With frenzied demand gobbling up inventory, most homes received multiple offers. Median home prices here were up 10 percent over the same time last year to $550,000. Brokers expect the market will continue to be extremely active through the winter. Seattle A severe inventory shortage continues to make multiple offers the norm in Seattle. Even the uptick in mortgage interest rates has done little to moderate demand. The median home price here increased to $615,000 in November. If it’s any consolation for buyers facing sticker shock, that was just a 3 percent increase over the same time last year.

Read More

Topping the Nation in Home-Price Growth

By in maria's blog with 0 Comments

For the first time in nine years, Seattle has topped the nation in home-price growth according to the latest S&P Case-Shiller home price index. Home prices rose 11 percent in September over a year ago, narrowly beating Portland whose prices grew by 10.9 percent. According to The Seattle Times, Seattle had been second in the country behind Portland for the last eight months. As we have seen for most of this year, Seattle area home prices have been growing twice as fast as the rest of the country. The Seattle Times reported Seattle had “already broken its old record earlier this year after seeing prices rise for more than four straight years.” We have seen home values rise by nearly 60 percent since early 2012. Most home prices usually peak in the spring and slow down around the end of the year. However, as The Seattle Times explains, “the Case-Shiller data showed that prices remained flat compared to a month ago, even as national home prices gained slightly from the prior month. But that’s mostly a function of how Seattle’s housing market typically works; when adjusted for normal seasonal changes, Seattle’s monthly home-price change looks about the same as the nationwide increase.” Additionally, this latest report shows that home-price gains are actually slowing slightly. Last month, the index for Seattle reported 11.4 percent – that is the biggest annual gain in more than two years. In September, we only saw 11 percent. While Portland and Seattle grew by double digits again (not uncommon over the last few months), the other cities in the top five list only grew by single digits. Following No. 1 Seattle and No. 2 Portland were Denver, Dallas, and Tampa with 8.7, 8, and 7.5 percent price growth, respectively. Read more from The Seattle Times.

Read More

2017 Housing Forecast: Local Market No. 4 in US

By in maria's blog with 0 Comments

According to Veros Real Estate Solutions, the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue market is projected to be the fourth hottest real estate market in the U.S. in 2017. The company projects home prices to appreciate 10.2 percent in our region next year, far outpacing the rest of the country. If you’re thinking about selling, the timing couldn’t be better. With inventory at historic lows, prices at or near record highs, and multiple offers the norm, it’s an exceptional time to get top dollar for your home. Are you ready to sell your home? Get in touch with me today! I’ll provide you with a valuation of your home based on current market conditions, walk you through the process, and answer any questions you may have.

Read More

We’ve Got You Covered Winter Drive Wrap Up

By in maria's blog with 0 Comments

As part of Windermere’s #tacklehomelessness campaign with the Seattle Seahawks, 38 Windermere offices* in King and Snohomish Counties collected new hats, scarves, gloves/mittens, and warm socks for Windermere’s “We’ve Got You Covered” winter drive. The recipient of these donations was YouthCare, a non-profit that provides support and services to homeless youth throughout the Puget Sound area. An estimated 3,500 items were collected during the four-week drive. We are thankful for the generosity and enthusiasm shown by the participating offices—there was even some competition among them to collect the most items. Taking that title for the most donations was the Windermere Shoreline office which alone collected 665 items! Some of the donations were even hand-made by members of the community, like the 10 sets of hats/scarves knitted and donated to Windermere’s Mercer Island office, and the homemade Seahawks scarves and hats that were donated to the Property Management – South office. These generous donations will go a long way towards helping to keep many homeless youth warmer this winter season. Jody Waits, Development and Communications Officer at YouthCare, was overwhelmed with excitement by all of the winter gear that was collected: “This is AMAZING! We received a truck – a literal truck – full of donations,” she said, adding, “Windermere’s amazing donations provide homeless youth with cold-weather items they would not be able to afford to purchase on their own. Helping a young person feel warm, dry, and safe, frees them up to focus on achieving other goals, and connecting to their future potential. We are very grateful for Windermere’s partnership with YouthCare.” We are also incredibly grateful to Gentle Giant Moving Company, who partnered with us for this drive, and generously donated their time and trucks to pick up all of the donated items from our offices and deliver them to YouthCare.   Thank you to our participating offices, and all those who donated, for making our winter drive a success!   *Participating Windermere offices Auburn-Lakeland Hills, Bellevue, Bellevue Commons, Bellevue South, Bellevue West, Burien, Enumclaw, Issaquah, Kirkland Central, Kirkland Yarrow Bay, Kirkland-Northeast, Lynnwood, Mercer Island, Mill Creek, Property Management – South, Redmond, Renton, Seattle-Ballard, Seattle-Capitol Hill, Seattle-Eastlake, Seattle-Green Lake, Seattle-Greenwood, Seattle-Lakeview, Seattle-Madison Park, Seattle-Magnolia, Seattle-Mount Baker, Seattle-Northlake, Seattle-Northgate, Seattle-Northwest, Seattle-Queen Anne, Seattle-Sand Point, Seattle-Wall Street, Seattle-Wedgwood, Seattle-West Seattle, Services-Marketing, Shoreline, Snohomish, Woodinville This blog post originally appeared on the Windermere.com blog.

Read More

Local Market Update – November 2016

By in maria's blog with 0 Comments

Home sales outgained new listings again in October, further squeezing already tight inventory and pushing prices higher. Since new listings traditionally decrease in the fall, that inventory shortage is expected to last until spring. Sellers willing to put their home on the market now can expect plenty of interested buyers, and a highly favorable chance of getting the best possible price for their home. Eastside Home prices on the Eastside took a big leap in October, fueled by record low inventory. The median price of a single-family home sold that month was $768,000, a jump of 15 percent over the same time last year, and the fastest price growth in several months. With the market so strongly favoring sellers, brokers are hopeful more consumers will opt to list their homes. King County The amount of inventory in King County fell to levels not seen since the 1990s with just one month of available inventory. With supply falling well behind demand, prices jumped significantly. The median price of a single-family home sold in October jumped 15 percent over a year ago to $550,000. Seattle There is no place where the supply of homes is tighter than Seattle, particularly in areas close to the city center. Just three weeks of inventory has kept this market in solid multiple-offer territory. Prices in October increased accordingly. The median price of a single-family home in Seattle rose 13 percent to $625,000. Snohomish County Inventory in Snohomish County dropped more than 20 percent from a year ago. With just over a month of available inventory, prices climbed. The median price of a single-family home was up 6 percent over last year to $386,599. Even with that increase, buyers continue to be drawn to the area by home prices that average 30 percent less than King County.

Read More

Seattle’s Red Hot Housing Market and Its First-Time Homebuyers

By in maria's blog with 0 Comments

The S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index was just released earlier this week ranking the major metropolitan areas across the U.S. by the fastest-rising home prices. While we have not muscled out Portland for the No. 1 spot on the list, we came in a close second having narrowed the gap significantly. According to an analysis by The Seattle Times, Seattle-area home prices are now rising at their swiftest pace in 2.5 years. While we missed out on taking over Portland for the top spot on the Case-Shiller index, Seattle did increase its lead over third-place Denver where prices only rose 8.8 percent over last year. Portland, having led the Case-Shiller index all year, had the fastest-rising home prices up 11.7 percent over a year ago. In Seattle, home prices were up 11.4 percent over 2015. Both Pacific Northwest cities saw home costs increase at more than twice the national rate of 5.3 percent. By this point, the “record-high home price” headlines are trite. So what makes this time so important? Well, for starters, this is the eighth straight month of double-digit growth. That in itself is something fairly noteworthy. Additionally, as The Seattle Times states, homes across all price levels are getting more expensive, but “the biggest increase was in the cheapest set of homes” which were up 12.4 percent. The smallest jump was for luxury homes, up 10.9 percent. Home prices have been soaring consistently for more than four years having jumped 59 percent since 2012. Starter homes have seen prices jump 75 percent in that time frame. Our local millennials are ready to take advantage of the low mortgage rates, but the starter home just is not what it used to be. What does this mean for the Eastside? We want to take a look at Windermere Real Estate’s latest housing market update where we reported the median home sale price at $750,000. That is a solid 10 percent increase over the home prices we saw last year. By comparison, the median sale price of a single-family home was $630,000 last month. First-time buyers are faced with these skyrocketing home prices, and even though other housing market factors are playing in their favor, it can be an intimidating time to jump into the real estate world. Make sure you team up with a Windermere broker who can help you navigate the real estate market and can turn your […]

Read More