Ironically this January started out just like last January, when there were not enough homes for sale to meet the demand from buyers. Last year appreciation soared into the double digits for the first time in years because of this lack of inventory..
The difference between last year and this year? Because of the lack of inventory last year, prices jumped up. The median price for real estate sales on Seattle's eastside this past January was $600,000. In 2013? Median pricing was $513,000. Price per square foot for a home on the eastside went from $228 to $268.
Eastside sellers, this is your time. Buyers are lining up to buy the homes that show well and are priced well. Buyers, it's not going to get less expensive in the future, so it's in your best interest to get out there and start looking now, rather than later. This may sound like hype, but it is the reality of the Seattle Eastside real estate market. It's very simply the law of supply and demand that's at work here.
If you have questions about the value of your home in this market, don't hesitate to contact us. We'd be happy to let you know how real estate is performing in your neighborhood.
But while you are pondering real estate, enjoy Valentine's Day!
Looking for a terrific picture of the state of real estate on Seattle's Eastside? Here it is! Since we're at the beginning of a new year, it's good to see where we've been over the last 5 years. It gives a good indication of where we're headed for 2014.
The above chart highlights the most important trends in real estate over the last 5 years, from 2009-2013. You can find median pricing, the number of homes on the market and the number of home sales per month and by year, and how long the supply would last, based on the number of home sales per month.
Here's how each of the three sections of the chart are set up. Each portion is divided by the years 2009-2013, as you can see along the bottom of the chart. The blue bars show a different month in each of these years. The red line shows the average for the year.
The top portion of the chart has the information everyone seems to want to know first, the median pricing. The fabulous news is how much higher median pricing is now than just a few years ago. On the eastside, the average median price for a home sale was just under $600,000 at $596,848.
The second chart demonstrates why prices have increased so dramatically. It's the law of supply and demand. The supply dropped considerably in 2012 and and 2013, thus increasing demand for this drastically decreased inventory of homes for sale, causing prices to jump. With the amount of inventory at a low point at the start of 2014, we expect listings to move very quickly. Our first listing of the year sold in 24 hours. The home was not underpriced. It was well priced, staged beautifully, and in excellent condition. This type of home is very "hot" right now, as buyers are looking to find great homes.
Another interesting detail to notice on the middle portion of the chart besides the decline in supply, is the number of home sales each year stays more constant, even as the supply changes. The number of sales did increase in the last two years, but not nearly as dramatically as the decline in supply, The increase in sales is a reflection of more buyers feeling comfortable making home purchases.
The lower section shows how much of a supply of homes there is available each month. In 2009, when there were, on average 3400 homes for sale, it would have taken over 6 months to sell all the homes. In 2013, when the Seattle Eastside real estate had so few homes for sale, it would have taken 1 1/2 months to sell all the available homes.
The take away from all of this is how terrific we find the real estate market to be at the end of 2013, which is the start of 2014 market. We have low inventory plus many buyers equaling a high demand for homes, short market times, and increasing prices. If you plan to make a move in 2014, consider doing so early in the year, when the inventory is at a low point. Homes sell in every month on the eastside as you can see from this chart, the competition is far less when there are fewer homes for sale.
If you'd like more specific information regarding your home and/or you're thinking about making a move, feel free to contact us. All the best in 2014!
Are you questioning why your property taxes may have gone up? Many people do. Every year I get phone calls from neighbors and clients asking me why their taxes have increased. Most people hope to contest King County's tax assessment if they think the property tax increase is unfair. Before you decide to contest your taxes, it's a good to know how and why the taxes increase. As a citizen and tax payer, you'll have an opportunity to meet Lloyd Hara, the King County Tax Assessor, at a town hall meeting. Mr. Hara will discuss the ins and outs of property taxes and how one can make an appeal.
Below is a a copy of the press release regarding the Town Hall Meeting:
King County Assessor Lloyd Hara from the Department of Assessments will host a town hall meeting on Tuesday, November 12th from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM to discuss property valuations, taxes and the services the Department of Assessments provides to assist King County property owners. The King County Board of Equalization and Tax Advisor’s Office will also present information on property valuation appeals.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Kirkland City Hall – Peter Kirk Room
123 5th Ave, Kirkland, WA 98033
This town hall will be an opportunity for residents to learn more about their property assessments and values, senior and disabled exemptions, online services and the appeals process.
"We are beginning to see a recovery in the housing market in King County," said King County Assessor Lloyd Hara. "Though property values continue to decline in selected areas, there are also a number of areas where property values are increasing, including in the City of Seattle and the Eastside.”
Property taxes are mixed in King County for 2013, with property values and property taxes down for many. However, some property owners from will see their property values decline while their property taxes increase, and other property owners will see both their property values increase and property taxes increase.
If you would like more information, please visit the King County Assessor’s website at www.kingcounty.gov/assessor or contact Phillip Sit at 206/263-2261 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seattle Eastside real estate sales keep climbing! Home sales have increased by 35% since January of this year.
Buyers don't despair. We're starting to see a significant increase in the number of homes for sale, which is good for buyers. Sellers still have the advantage in the marketplace, though, because the supply is still low when compared to previous years when 3000-4000 homes were for sale each month on Seattle's Eastside.
Will the market ease up for buyers if more homes come up for sale? More than likely if the supply increases, the market will still perform well for sellers, but it may not be as frenetic. It still will be a matter of time before there are any big changes to the marketplace, but it will be interesting to see how the rest of the year plays out. We believe more homes will come up for sale as typically happens each summer as the school year comes to a close. Will this change the marketplace dynamics between buyers and sellers? Probably not much at this point, because we're still on the low side of supply.
Here are the specifics for April, 2013 as compared to April, 2012:
- 80% of the available homes sold this past April, 41% sold in April, 2012.
- Homes sold in 48 days, down from 101 days in April, 2012.
- In 2012 median pricing in April was $485,000. In 2013, April's median pricing was $565,000. Wow, that's a huge jump in median pricing. We're still expecting median pricing to continue to work its way back up to the higher $500+ range, but much will depend on how many homes come on the market.
If you'd like to know more about the value of your home, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Finally, there were a few more homes for sale on Seattle's eastside in March, the first month since August of last year!
Did this increase in inventory dampen the number of sales? So far, nothing has slowed down the rate of sales. In fact, the rate of home sales in Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, and other eastside cities was higher in March than February. Seventy-eight percent of the homes on the market sold! There is still more than one buyer for each home, so multiple offers remain the norm.
It's been hopping out there in the real estate market on the eastside. We're starting to see some Eastside buyers behave like Seattle buyers. This past weekend, a buyer pre-inspected one of our listings before making an offer. Rumor had it that there were going to be at least 4 offers on the table and this particular buyer wanted to come to that table with a very clean, straightforward offer. Buyers in Seattle have pre-inspected homes for years when the market has been hot. It's not something we've seen as much on the eastside, but we wouldn't be surprised if it continues.
Here are the specifics for March, 2013 as compared to March, 2012:
- 78% of the available homes sold this past March, 44% sold in March, 2012.
- Homes sold in 62 days, down from 109 days in March, 2012.
- In 2012 median pricing in March was $470,000. In 2013, March's median pricing was $560,000. We're expecting median pricing to continue to work its way back up to the higher $500+ range, particularly since inventory is still so low.
It was the biggest monthly percentage gain since April 2012, when King County’s median home price started rising after 19 months of decline.
If you'd like more information specific to your home, don't hesitate to contact us.
In January, buyers were lining up to buy the few available homes on Seattle's Eastside. Sixty-five percent of the homes on the market sold! There were so many buyers that most homes attracted multiple offers and sold for over full price.
For many months now, I've repeated myself. I've been reporting that the number of homes for sale during each of the last few months is the lowest number in 15 years, yet with each month the number has gotten smaller and smaller. The start of 2013 marks the first time the number of homes for sale has dropped below 1000 homes in such Eastside cities of Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, etc, I checked back to 1990, 23 years ago, and this is the lowest, and the lowest by far, number of homes for sale. Traditionally, there are several thousand homes for sale.
Sales, on the other hand, are high. Eastside real estate sales increased by 17% from January, 2012, while the number of homes for sale dropped by 44%. Redmond and East Bellevue continue with the top the absorption rate.* Over 95% of the homes near Microsoft sold last lmonth! There were only 44 homes on the market in those areas and 42 sold!
Fewer homes to buy + more sales = hot market.
Sellers, your ship has come in! But keep in mind, the homes that sell for the best prices are in show condition, not in need of repairs and are priced right.
Buyers, you have more of a challenge in this market. But it can be done. You can buy a home. Be prepared with a strong pre-qualification letter, learn your market, and have a Realtor representing you who is a savvy negotiator in multiple offer situations.
Here are the specifics for January, 2013 as compared to January, 2012:
- 65% of the available homes sold this past January, 24.5% sold in January, 2012.
- Homes continued to sell quickly, in 71 days, which is down from 106 days in January, 2012.
- In 2012 median pricing in January was $470,000. In 2013, median pricing was $514,000.
If you'd like more information specific to your home, don't hesitate to contact us.
*The absorption rate is the percentage calculated by dividing the number of sales by the number of homes for sale.
What a year we had in real estate on the Seattle eastside! December real estate was on fire, just like much of 2012! Just over 1000 homes were for sale, about 1/2 as many as were for sale just a year ago. It's been over 15 years since there have been so few homes for sale in Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond and other eastside cities. In a few eastside neighborhoods, every home for sale sold, but the bottom line is in every area most homes were selling, if they were priced right and showed well.
The area with the most sizzling sales activity was near Microsoft, in Redmond and East Bellevue. There was and is a dearth of listings, so every home that was for sale sold! Over 100% of the available homes sold in December! More than likely a few homes sold before they were on the market, causing the percentage of those sold to top 100 percent.
Our listings have been selling in a matter of days with multiple offers. Typically, homes sold for more than full price because of the intense competition and lack of inventory.
In 2012, 7300 homes sold on Seattle's eastside. Even with fewer homes for sale in 2012 than in 2011, more homes actually sold in 2012. In 2011, 5440 homes sold. In 2012, most of the homes sold were priced between $500-$750,000. The second most popular price range for homes in Eastside neighborhoods was $350-$500,000. Market time was really short by the end of 2012. It would have taken about 2 months to sell every home for sale, which was half the time it would have taken to sell off all of the available inventory in 2011.
Here are the specifics for December 2012 as compared to December, 2011:
- 46% of the available homes sold this past December, 17% sold in December, 2011.
- Homes continued to sell quickly, in 63 days, which is down from 106 days in December, 2011.
- In 2011 median pricing in December was $460,000. In 2012, median pricing was $506,000.
The median price of $506,000 listed above reflects the median price of the sales in December. The median price for homes sold in all of 2012 was $525,399, up from $502,784 in 2011. The chart below shows the median pricing for each of the last 5 years. As I've mentioned in previous posts, it makes more sense to look at the trendline (the red line) for the year then to just compare one month to another. It's clear that for the first time in the last 5 years, we are seeing a solid trend with price increases.
The fabulous activity in the 2012 eastside real estate market should continue into 2013. We've started the year with our listings selling just after the ink is dry on the listing and it's posted on the internet. With supply at an amazing low and demand still very high, there are multiple buyers for homes.
Seattle is on a strong path forward because of our strong economic footing, according to Jed Kolko, the chief economist at Trulia:
On the other hand, metros like Seattle, which came in second on the list of cities with the highest asking-price recovery, are on a smoother path to growth because of their strong economic fundamentals, he said.
If you'd like more information specific to your home, don't hesitate to contact us. Have a wonderful 2013.
Will there be any condos available to buy on Seattle's eastside in 2013? If we look at the chart, it sure looks like the number of available condos could disappear! Right now, if no more condos were to come on the market, it would take less than 2 months to sell those currently available. We really expect condos to be on the market next year, but it's clear we'll start out with little for sale.
The number of condos for sale in Bellevue, Kirkland, Issaquah, Redmond, Sammamish and other eastside cities has been cut in half since March of this year. That's a huge drop in a short amount of time.
Not as many condos sold this past month when compared to other months of this year. However, because the number of condos for sale is so small, 56% of the condos on the market sold last month.
Median pricing has increased from last year by $20,000 to $242,000.
We do expect the number of condos for sale to stay low in 2013 as many are still hoping to recover some of the value of their condos before making a move.
Stay tuned to the first of the year, which is just around the corner. We'll do a wrapup of this year's condo sales on Seattle's eastside.
Have a great New Year!