Q1 prices in the Seattle-Eastside region have escalated yet again with no sign of slowing in the immediate future. An unprecedented lack of inventory for sale coupled with rising interest rates has prompted buyers to compete with reckless abandon to win the prize of their very own home, albeit with a steep price tag.
Overall median prices in Seattle rose 16.1% to $770,000, while the Eastside rose 13.0% to $944,000. Those regional numbers certainly don’t tell the whole story, especially when you consider the highest change in median sale price was nearly 46% and the lowest was a -4%. New construction sales, or lack thereof, made the biggest impact on home sale prices. Existing homes, offering good walkability or commute options, and those that were on the more affordable end of the pricing spectrum saw the strongest appreciation overall.
Rising mortgage interest rates, now up a full percentage point from their lows, are adding fuel to the fire. While not dampening buyer demand yet, further increases will likely begin to price home buyers out of the core Seattle-Eastside region. Homebuyer fear of being priced out of the market is at least partly to blame for the crazed demand at more modest price points.
As predicted, many who don’t have a need to be close in to the metro region are choosing to sell at a high and buy more affordably outside of the Seattle-Eastside area. The rate of tear-down new construction infill has escalated at staggering numbers as builders capitalize on the market’s appetite for fresh and new.
Buyers today should consider their purchase thoughtfully as buying at or near the peak of the market can limit their resale options when the market corrects. Planning to stay put for five to seven years is a good strategy at this time.
West Seattle leads the pack in median home price growth on the Seattle side of the lake. With its vibrant, hip vibe and convenient access to the city, West Seattle has benefited from Seattle’s commute gridlock—maintaining status quo while other Seattle neighborhoods have come to a halt (literally).
Queen Anne saw a nice rebound in Q1 after lagging the Seattle averages for some time. South Seattle, with its light rail access, affordable prices, and new vitality, continues to see its real estate market thrive.
Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.
Significant new home development at higher price points has led the market in West Bellevue and Kirkland and brought up everything else along with it.
With land values alone higher than average home sale prices in surrounding communities, this growth will have long-lasting impacts that will forever change the flavor of these communities–for better (fresh new housing stock) and worse (the lack of affordable options). Kirkland led this charge with a median sale price 45.9% higher than Q1 last year, followed by West Bellevue at 23.1%.
Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!
Overall, a much higher percentage of mid-range homes sold in the first quarter than in quarters past, giving the appearance of falling prices. In reality, however, it was actually a downward shift of the segment of the market that is selling.
Don’t let the negative number for Q1 fool you. The market below the two-million-dollar mark is vastly different than the market above it. With the most severe shortage of available homes in mid-range price points Mercer Island has seen, especially early in Q1 this year, the sub $2 million market has been brisk and competitive with strong price escalation. The $2 million and above market has been a different story altogether. While highly desirable homes in that bracket have transacted quickly, many other less notable homes have languished on the market.
Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.
CONDOS – SEATTLE & EASTSIDE
Still the only affordable option for many home buyers today, condos have continued to escalate in value with appreciation rates above those of residential homes in many areas.
On the Eastside, new condo and townhome developments in Crossroads and Rose Hill drove prices up to new highs in those communities. Richmond Beach and Shoreline benefited from an infusion of new construction standalone condominium ‘homes’ on very small lots.
Check out all of these factoids and more in the full condo report.
Several significant sales accented an otherwise unremarkable quarter. A $26.8 million iconic Medina estate on 2.5 acres with 150 feet of waterfront set a new benchmark on the Eastside. Two $8+ million homes on the north end of Mercer Island–both newer construction with over 7,000 square feet–set the tone for the Island in 2018. Lake Sammamish, with a $4.2 million sale in Q1, is still in hot demand, while Seattle saw only three modest waterfront sales.
Check out the full Waterfront Report for a complete list of waterfront home sales by address and community.
ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND
We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.
© Copyright 2018, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.v
This is your canvas to create a masterpiece on one of the best streets in Seattle.
A location and property often coveted, but rarely available, this 1901 classic foursquare offers yesteryear grandeur with the space and opportunity for adding your modern take.
Capitol Hill Classic
The large covered front porch gracefully welcomes you into the light-filled foyer with exquisite period staircase. The circular floorplan makes easy use of the main floor, featuring airy entertaining spaces flowing intuitively to a sunny kitchen and breakfast nook. Upstairs, light streams through the large master suite with a walkout balcony and territorial views. Three more bedrooms—plus an oversized, finished top-floor garret—provide plenty of flex-space for your lifestyle.
Are you ready to call Capitol Hill home?
Stroll to shops, coffee houses, restaurants, and Volunteer Park from this fantastic Capitol Hill locale!
MLS # 1177808List Price: $375,0002 bedrooms • 1.75 baths • 1,285 SQFTFor more details, click here to access the listing on my website.
Source: Windermere Real Estate Blog.
Here is a staggering economic stat for you, “75 million Baby Boomers control nearly 80% of all U.S. wealth.” As this generation ages, retires, and eventually downsizes to their homes, the U.S. housing market will feel the impact. Windermere Real Estate’s chief economist, Matthew Gardner, shares his thoughts on when we can expect to see Boomers start to sell, opening much-needed inventory and making home ownership available to younger generations, in his latest Economics 101 video.
What is the one thing about your home that caught your eye, and captured your heart, when you What is the one thing about your home that caught your eye, and captured your heart, when you purchased your home? Contemplating what made you fall in love with your home can assist you, and your real estate agent, find a starting point to finding your property’s “Wow factor” when you decide to sell.
“Finding the wow” is especially important when selling a luxury home, so you can communicate those special features clearly to potential buyers. This topic was discussed at Luxury Portfolio’s SUMMIT conference by a panel of top luxury real estate brokers from around the globe because it is such an important part of the luxury real estate market.
Over and over the panelists mentioned that “finding the wow” is all about the details. What details – from the high-end finishes, to special waterfront access that would not be permitted in new construction, to rooms that evoke resort style living – set your home apart? Further, the sought-after details are specific to the region you live in, as luxury buyers from around the world have different expectations for their homes depending on where they live.
As your real estate broker, it is my job to assist you to rediscover what made you fall in love with your home and tell that story in a way to catch a home buyer’s attention. I assist with staging to develop a warm and inviting presence throughout that is neutral enough to appeal to a wide audience, and also highlights the best features of your property. I create captivating marketing pieces, for online and in print, to tell your home’s story. This helps a buyer feel what it would like to live in your home. I use social media to reach a wider audience, as more people are incorporating social media networks in their home searches.
If you are contemplating a move and would like to talk about your home’s value, let’s set up a time to meet. We can go over the current market value of your house, and discuss the first steps in preparing to sell your home, like “finding the wow.” Send me an email at email@example.com so we can schedule a meeting.
“THE LOCAL HOUSING MARKET isn’t so much hot as it is blazing at temperatures only measurable by NASA.” – Darren Davis, Seattle Met
I love this quote from the article from Davis’ Seattle Met magazine article presenting a list of the 10 hottest Seattle neighborhoods in 2017. It’s so true!! The neighborhoods that made the list have experienced rises in home value, drops in inventory, new attention from developers, or all of those things. What I really enjoy about this article is it’s not sharing only statistics – stories from local business owners, transplants and longtime residents are told alongside neighborhood histories are featured. Enjoy!
There are a number of things that can trigger the decision to remodel or move to a new home. Perhaps you have outgrown your current space, you might be tired of struggling with ancient plumbing or wiring systems, or maybe your home just feels out of date. The question is: Should you stay or should you go? Choosing whether to remodel or move involves looking at a number of factors. Here are some things to consider when making your decision.
Five reasons to move:
1. Your current location just isn’t working.
Unruly neighbors, a miserable commute, or a less-than-desirable school district—these are factors you cannot change. If your current location is detracting from your overall quality of life, it’s time to consider moving. If you’re just ready for a change, that’s a good reason, too. Some people are simply tired of their old homes and want to move on.
2. Your home is already one of the nicest in the neighborhood.
Regardless of the improvements you might make, location largely limits the amount of money you can get for your home when you sell. A general rule of thumb for remodeling is to make sure that you don’t over-improve your home for the neighborhood. If your property is already the most valuable house on the block, additional upgrades usually won’t pay off in return on investment at selling time.
3. There is a good chance you will move soon anyway.
If your likelihood of moving in the next two years is high, remodeling probably isn’t your best choice. There’s no reason to go through the hassle and expense of remodeling and not be able to enjoy it. It may be better to move now to get the house you want.
4. You need to make too many improvements to meet your needs.
This is particularly an issue with growing families. What was cozy for a young couple may be totally inadequate when you add small children. Increasing the space to make your home workable may cost more than moving to another house. In addition, lot size, building codes, and neighborhood covenants may restrict what you can do. Once you’ve outlined the remodeling upgrades that you’d like, a real estate agent can help you determine what kind of home you could buy for the same investment.
5. You don’t like remodeling.
Remodeling is disruptive. It may be the inconvenience of loosing the use of a bathroom for a week, or it can mean moving out altogether for a couple of months. Remodeling also requires making a lot of decisions. You have to be able to visualize new walls and floor plans, decide how large you want windows to be, and where to situate doors. Then there is choosing from hundreds of flooring, countertop, and fixture options. Some people love this. If you’re not one of them, it is probably easier to buy a house that has the features you want already in place.
Five reasons to remodel:
1. You love your neighborhood.
You can walk to the park, you have lots of close friends nearby, and the guy at the espresso stand knows you by name. There are features of a neighborhood, whether it’s tree-lined streets or annual community celebrations, that you just can’t re-create somewhere else. If you love where you live, that’s a good reason to stay.
2. You like your current home’s floor plan.
The general layout of your home either works for you or it doesn’t. If you enjoy the configuration and overall feeling of your current home, there’s a good chance it can be turned into a dream home. The combination of special features you really value, such as morning sun or a special view, may be hard to replicate in a new home.
3. You’ve got a great yard.
Yards in older neighborhoods often have features you cannot find in newer developments, including large lots, mature trees, and established landscaping. Even if you find a new home with a large lot, it takes considerable time and expense to create a fully landscaped yard.
4. You can get exactly the home you want.
Remodeling allows you to create a home tailored exactly to your lifestyle. You have control over the look and feel of everything, from the color of the walls to the finish on the cabinets. Consider also that most people who buy a new home spend up to 30 percent of the value of their new house fixing it up the way they want.
5. It may make better financial sense.
In some cases, remodeling might be cheaper than selling. A contractor can give you an estimate of what it would cost to make the improvements you’re considering. A real estate agent can give you prices of comparable homes with those same features. But remember that while remodeling projects add to the value of your home, most don’t fully recover their costs when you sell.
Remodel or move checklist:
Here are some questions to ask when deciding whether to move or remodel.
1. How much money can you afford to spend?
2. How long do you plan to live in your current home?
3. How do you feel about your current location?
4. Do you like the general floor plan of your current house?
5. Will the remodeling you’re considering offer a good return on investment?
6. Can you get more house for the money in another location that you like?
7. Are you willing to live in your house during a remodeling project?
8. If not, do you have the resources to live elsewhere while you’re remodeling?
If you have questions about whether remodeling or selling is a wise investment, please contact me to discuss your questions.