2018 Seattle Real Estate Market in Review

Here are the highlights for last year’s Washington State real estate market produced by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service:

CLOSED SALES $47.2 billion including single family homes & condos

MEDIAN CLOSED SALES $402,000 with the highest range for King County $620,000 & $154,000 for Ferry County.

INVENTORY BELOW “BALANCED MARKET” Overall supply under 1.8 months which is well under buyer’s demand.

HIGHEST PRICE Among the 23 counties, King County had the highest median price for Single Family Home at $680,000, a gain nearly 8.5% from the previous year.

NEW CONSTRUCTION Newly-built homes accounted for 12% of sales in 2018.

PEAK ACTIVITY TIME New listings and pending sales peaked in May and June had the highest volumes of closed sales.

PRICE & SCHOOL DISTRICTS In 2 school districts, median single home prices topped $1M led by Mercer Island at $1.7M and Bellevue at $1.2M.

LUXURY SALES MLS members sold 6,101 family homes priced over $1M or higher including 61 that sold over $5M. The most expensive home was in Medina and closed for $26,750M. More than 400 condos sold over $1M with the 3 most expensive in Kirkland.

NWMLS MEMBERS This report reflects the work of 31,700 brokers in 2300 member offices.

5 Reasons Rising Interest Rates Won’t Undermine the Housing Market

Interest rates have been trending higher since the fall of 2017, and I fully expect they will continue in that direction – albeit relatively slowly – as we move through the balance of the year and into 2019. So what does this mean for the US housing market?
It might come as a surprise to learn that I really don’t think rising interest rates will have a major impact on the housing market. Here is my reasoning:

1. First Time Home Buyers
As interest rates rise, I expect more buyers to get off the fence and into the market; specifically, first time buyers who, according to Freddie Mac, made up nearly half of new mortgages in the first quarter of this year. First-time buyers are critical to the overall health of the housing market because of the subsequent chain reaction of sales that result so this is actually a positive outcome of rising rates.

2. Easing Credit Standards
Rising interest rates may actually push some lenders to modestly ease credit standards. I know this statement will cause some people to think that easing credit will immediately send us back to the days of sub-prime lending and housing bubbles, but I don’t see this happening. Even a very modest easing of credit will allow for more than one million new home buyers to qualify for a mortgage.

3. Low Unemployment
We stand today in a country with very low unemployment (currently 4.0% and likely to get close to 3.5% by year’s end). Low unemployment rates encourage employers to raise wages to keep existing talent, as well as to recruit new talent. Wage growth can, to a degree, offset increasing interest rates because, as wages rise, buyers can afford higher mortgage payments.

4. Supply
There is a clear relationship between housing supply, home prices, and interest rates. We’re already seeing a shift in inventory levels with more homes coming on the market, and I fully expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future. This increase in supply is, in part, a result of homeowners looking to cash in on their home’s appreciation before interest rates rise too far. This, on its own, will help ease the growth of home prices and offset rising interest rates. Furthermore, if we start to see more new construction activity at the lower end of the market, this too will help.

5. National versus Local
Up until this point, I’ve looked at how rising interest rates might impact the housing market on a national level, but as we all know, real estate is local, and different markets react to shifts in different ways. For example, rising interest rates will be felt more in expensive housing markets, such as San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and Orange County, but I expect to see less impact in areas like Cleveland, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, and Detroit, where buyers spend a lower percentage of their incomes on housing. The exception to this would be if interest rates continue to rise for a prolonged period; in that case, we might see demand start to taper off, especially in the less expensive housing markets where buyers are more price sensitive.
For more than seven years, home buyers and real estate professionals alike have grown very accustomed to historically low interest rates. We always knew the time would come when they would begin to rise again, but that doesn’t mean the outlook for housing is doom and gloom. On the contrary, I believe rising interest rates will help bring us closer to a more balanced real estate market, something that is sorely needed in many markets across the country.

Washington Waterfront Home Tour June 23-24 1-4pm

Is waterfront right for you?

The dream of owning a beachfront property runs deep in the Evergreen state. Back in the early 1900s, city dwellers escaped their Seattle homes on the weekends and Summers to enjoy the many pleasures of waterfront living. Today this tradition is still very much alive among Seattleites. Whether purchasing beach retreats to recharge their batteries or moving permanently on the water’s edge, waterfront properties are popular as they mean a vacation-like lifestyle all year round.

This weekend, June 23-24, from 1-4pm, Windermere Real Estate and Komo 4 are sponsoring their fourth annual Washington Waterfront Home Tour. It is the Puget Sound’s biggest waterfront tour spread over two days. It is the perfect opportunity for anyone thinking of beachfront. You will be able to explore neighborhoods, types of beach, and prices. https://www.waterfronthomeswa.com/

We have four properties on tour this weekend, all exceptional and different in their own respect.

#1. 2681 SW 151st place, Burien    Open Sunday 1-4pm  http://pugetsoundhomes.withwre.com/listing/71507717

#2. 2155 SW 173rd Place, Three Three Point    Open Sunday 1-4pm http://pugetsoundhomes.withwre.com/listing/79697110

#3. 26916 9th Avenue S, Woodmont    Open Saturday & Sunday 1-4pm http://pugetsoundhomes.withwre.com/listing/80445154

#4. 27014 10th Avenue S, Woodmont   Open Saturday 1-4pm  http://pugetsoundhomes.withwre.com/listing/79742963

We are looking to see you all. Call us to schedule a private showing if these days and times don’t work for you. Veronique@windermere.com or text/call 206-214-8499

 

 

Looking for acreage & views within a short commute to Seattle?

Over 16 acres of glorious forest, streams and views. Along the shores of Puget Sound, within a 30 to 40 minute drive to Downtown Seattle, lies this beautiful property which includes two tax parcels: #3222049115 & #3222049019. A rare opportunity to build one’s spectacular retreat steps away from the quaint community of Redondo: its boardwalk, restaurants and beach.

Hard to believe, while hiking through the lush vegetation that, close by, lies a thriving and bubbling metropolis well-known for its fast pace and cutting-edge technology.
Land bank, secluded retreat, private home with cool modern architecture, serene spa, trails and cabins? So many potential options for this superb property which reflects so well the true spirit of the Great Pacific Northwest.

The land is abutting another 10+ acre property destined for a 36-high-end home development. Click here to get the detailed listing. Purchasing both pieces, would mean a total of 27 acres. The upper parcels could be turned into a luxury contemporary development while the lower ones (listed here) be used as serene retreat with trails and community house. Many options!

 

Fairy Tale French Estate Perched Above Puget Sound

 

If you have ever wandered through France and its Loire Valley countryside with its deep forests, laughing streams, charming historic villages and spectacular castles, this estate will remind you of these cherished peregrinations or simply make you dream.

Built above Puget Sound with endless views of the shimmering water, the Olympics snowy summits and the wild islands across the channel, this 1937 fairy tale estate will transport you in a different time and place.

Open the wrought-iron lion gate, follow the tree lined-driveway along lush gardens, espalier apple trees and discover this delightful manor surrounded by stone patios, fountains, courtyards & arbors.

Inside a feeling of warmth and refinement allied to modern comforts: venetian chandeliers, stately marble & stone fireplaces, curved railing & Provencal kitchen. The sunken living room soothes of elegance with its historic flavor. Four priceless oil murals speak of shepherds and pastures transporting you into the 18th Century Europe.

From every room, doorway and window, catch a glimpse of the incredible outside world and its natural beauty. Come visit this spectacular estate that will take your breath away only a short distance from Downtown Seattle, WA. $2,650,000.

Take a peak with this video.    Visit the detailed listing & photo gallery.

Timeless Waterfront Beauty for sale

Within a mere 35-minute-drive to Downtown Seattle, rests this incredible 1.2 acre gated estate perched above Puget Sound: a graceful 6300 square foot home with endless views where time seems to stand still. As the wrought-iron gate opens and the property reveals itself, one cannot help but fall under the spell. Built in 1929, the main house offers generously-sized rooms including an expansive living room; perfect Vintage details such as luxurious mahogany millwork, crystal chandeliers, original glass door knobs, period tile work, coved ceilings; beautiful hardwood floors (well-protected under the plush carpeting) and walls of picture windows/doors to capture incandescent sunsets & wild storms.

Each of the four master en-suites has its very own flavor and scheme giving a dramatic yet fun dimension to the home “the blue velvet master”, “the vibrant pink room”, “the soothing white guest bedroom” and “the hip orange-golden room”. The lower level represents THE quintessence of entertaining between the built-in bar & its kitchenette, the game room, the workshop and the gigantic rec room open to the brick patio, heated pool & cabana.

An easy walk down to the private 180′ beach. Explore the grounds, pick apples, plums and berries from the orchard, take tea under the gazebo, breath in the salty air from Puget Sound, watch bald eagles fish right before your eyes… in a word experience the best of the Great Northwest in this bit of hidden paradise!

Watch the video.  Click here to see the photo gallery and detailed listing.