Multiple Offers for Seattle Eastside Homes in February 2012!

 
The Seattle-eastside real estate market was hot in February. Buyers were lining up and multiple offers were often the norm.  Multiple offers? Yes, multiple offers.

 

When I check listings each day, I notice there are many homes that sell within a matter of days. Most days when I check listings, I’ve noticed they’re fewer new listings than sales.  Just the other day there were 49 new listings on the eastside and 69 sales. More homes are selling than are coming on the market.

 

The supply of buyers outweighs the supply of homes right now, which results in multiple offers for a home. This was common before the market crash and is now becoming a common phenomenon again here in the eastside cities of Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond.
 

What happened to the supply of homes on the eastside?
In the eastside cities of Bellevue, Kirkland and Redmond, etc, sellers who are able to hang on to their homes and choose not to sell are waiting, particularly if they paid more for their homes.  The shadow inventory of foreclosures, is still a shadow at this point.  There are foreclosures, but the eastside real estate market is not glutted with them.
 
This February there were 734 fewer homes, about 31% less, for sale on the eastside than last year.  With almost 1/3 fewer homes on the market, it’s no big surprise that multiple offers are happening.  Not only are fewer homes on the market, but more are selling than last year.  Almost 100 more homes sold this February than last.
 

As I mentioned last month, it’s surprising to see fewer homes on the market than in January. Usually the number of homes for sale follows the same trend that we see in the chart for 2011.  As most years progress, there are more homes for sale each month, with the number peaking sometime in the summer. This year we’ve not seen this pattern.  It’s pretty unusual at this time of year to see the number of homes for sale actually be a lower number than the previous month.  This week the number of homes for sale in all of King County dipped below 7000.  We started the year with about 7500 homes for sale, so homes are selling at a pretty fast clip.

 

Does this mean that home prices are going up? Even with multiple offers, not all of the homes are selling for full price.  There are some homes, though, that are in demand, are truly special or are priced incredibly well which can and do sell for more than full price.  Prices on the eastside are actually down about 2% from last year.

 

The wrap up February, 2012 Seattle-eastside real estate:

  • 31% fewer homes were on the market in February this year than in 2011.
  • The average time a home took to sell was 118 days.
  • Sales prices on average were  8% below the seller’s original asking price.
  • 34%  percent of the homes for sale this January received offers and sold.

 
What’s happening in your neighborhood?  Is the real estate market off to a better start this year?

*The numbers are a result of the real estate sales activity that happened that particular month only.  In order to see a trend, it is important to look at a number of months together.  One month is only indicative of that particular month’s sales.

Stayed tuned to see if this hot real estate market continues.

 

Posted on March 20, 2012 at 6:34 pm
The Beaupain Team | Category: Bellevue, WA, Eastside Real Estate, For Homeowners, For Sellers, Kirkland, Market Statistics, Real Estate, Redmond, Seattle | Tagged , , , , , , ,

The Top Ten Remodeling Mistakes for Seattle Eastside Homes

 
There are a million stories in Seattle about great remodeling projects that increase the livability and value of a home.  I’ve written a few myself over the years.
 
Rarely does anyone write about what you should NOT do when remodeling a home. One caveat here, what plays in Peoria does not necessarily play in Seattle, Bellevue or Redmond.  Every area of the country has different styles, so remodeling trends will vary according to the region of the country.  So if you live in the eastern suburbs of Seattle, such as Bellevue, Redmond and Kirkland, this post is for you!
 
This post was inspired by an email  I received from George Rinehart of Rinehart Inspections. We’ve added to his list because of some remodeling mistakes we’ve seen in homes over the years.  Unfortunately, we’ve had to tell some sellers their homes may be worth less because of a remodeling mistake.
 
Here are the top ten remodeling mistakes:
 

  • Eliminating the garage.
  • Eliminating one bay or a 1/2 bay of a two car garage.
  • Adding a sunroom.
  • Taking out all the grass in your yard.
  • Taking down a fence that encloses the backyard.
  • Reducing the number of bedrooms by enlarging one or turning one into a closet.
  • Installing different color carpets throughout the house.
  • Eliminating windows.
  • Taking out a bathroom to increase another room’s size.
  • Eliminating a laundry room and moving it to the garage.

 

The elimination of a garage to increase living space is a perfect example of a remodeling mistake.  Not having a garage can easily be a $25,000-$30,000 reduction in the asking price for a home.   Even with the price reduction, many buyers won’t even look at a home without a garage.  Not having the garage keeps many buyers from walking through the front door. A laundry room is another thing most people want, so to eliminate one to increase space for something else is usually not a good idea.
 
Ultimately, every home is salable for a price, but some of the changes listed can be expensive, not only for the cost to do the remodel, but also in market time and the ultimate sales price for a home.  Many of the above changes may work for you as an individual or family, but not for the next home owner.
 
There are other costly remodeling mistakes.   Can you think of any others that could “cost” a home owner dollars when selling their home?

Posted on March 8, 2012 at 12:22 am
The Beaupain Team | Category: Bellevue, WA, For Buyers, For Homeowners, For Sellers, Kirkland, Make More Money Selling Your Home, Real Estate, Redmond, Remodeling and style trends | Tagged , , , , ,

How Was The Seattle Eastside Real Estate Market in January, 2012?

 


 

 

Real estate on Seattle’s eastside had a great start to 2012.   Pending sales were up by 38% and there were 26.5% fewer homes on the market this year than in January, 2011! This is a recipe for a positive real estate market here in the cities of Bellevue, Kirkland,  Redmond, Issaquah, Sammamish and Woodinville.    In January, 2011 there were over 2300 homes for sale, in July 2011 there were  2879 homes for sale, and this past January there were just 1757 available homes!  There were 1000 fewer homes for sale in January, 2012 than in July of 2011.  That’s a huge difference.  In the first 7 weeks of 2012, the number hasn’t change much, remaining fairly stable.  Usually by the this time of the year, we’ve seen a jump in the number of homes for sale.

 
We expect this year to be a fast paced market for the homes that are priced well and show well.  We can already see the increase in activity with one of our listings.  We recently listed a home and 20 different groups came to the open house.  This means there are lots of buyers out there actively looking for a home.

 
I also think most people feel like the worst is behind us and it is safe to go out again and buy a home.  NPR had a piece with positive economic news on several fronts. Housing starts are up and unemployment is down.

 
The wrap up for January, 2012 Seattle-eastside real estate:

  • 26% fewer homes were on the market in January this year than in 2011.
  • The average time a home took to sell was 105 days.
  • Sales prices on average were just 9% below the seller’s original asking price.
  • 26.5%  percent of the homes for sale this January received offers and sold.

 
As in December, the actual number of homes sold did not change  much.  Last year 420 homes sold.  This year 453 sold.  The difference?  There was much more competition last year because there were 634 more homes on the market!  The lack of supply definitely contributes to a faster market.

 
What’s happening in your neighborhood?  Is the real estate market off to a better start this year?

*The numbers are a result of the real estate sales activity that happened that particular month only.  In order to see a trend, it is important to look at a number of months together.  One month is only indicative of that particular month’s sales.

 

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 4:30 am
The Beaupain Team | Category: Eastside Real Estate, For Sellers, King County, WA, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , ,

And You Wonder Why We Live on Seattle’s Eastside?

 

Below are some gorgeous views of Seattle from Bellevue and Kirkland looking west.  Sunsets are gorgeous around here!

 

A peek at the Space Needle

Sunset view of the Space Needle

The Seattle Skyline across Lake Washington

Seattle skyline sunset

The Olympic Mountains

Mt Olympus and sunset

Posted on February 13, 2012 at 10:40 pm
The Beaupain Team | Category: Bellevue, WA, Exploring the Eastside, Kirkland | Tagged , , , , ,

My 2009 Predictions for 2012 Seattle Area Real Estate

 
Predictions for 2012 Seattle-Eastside Real Estate?
 
I’d just written a post with predictions for this year’s real estate market, when I happened to come across this post from 2 1/2 years ago with positive predictions about the 2012 Bellevue/Eastside real estate market. 
Looking at the reprinted post below, how much looks like it could be true for 2012?

 
Rebound in Seattle/Eastside real estate? Wait until 2012.
 
A rebound in Seattle real estate?  Yes, but not just yet, and it will probably be a small rebound, IMHO. Both Yahoo, via the Plugged in Finance blog and Businessweek had articles projecting a faster return to a more positive real estate market for Seattle than for many other parts of the country.  Seattle ended up on the top 10 real estate rebound lists on both Yahoo and Businessweek.
 
Why a rebound in Seattle? Seattle’s chances are among the best in the country and for the same reasons the Seattle/Eastside area was so strong for most of the last two decades.  It’s our economy and our geography.
 
First, the geography. (Bear with me for this brief geography lesson. This brings me back to my roots as a social studies teacher who loves geography.) There’s a lot of empty space east of Seattle, Bellevue and other parts of King County.  This is where the foothills of the Cascade Mountain range begins.  It looks like there’s lots of open space out there, and there is, but it gets pretty steep!  It’s certainly not conducive to building a home. Couple this with strict land use regulations, protecting salmon streams as an example, and even less land is available for development.  It’s double-edged sword.  We need to maintain a healthy balance between people and nature, to maintain our wildlife, our trees, and our quality of life. But the natural elements of the Seattle area, Puget Sound, Lake Washington, and the Cascade Mountains do provide a challenge to our growth. Less land to develop=higher prices, but it  won’t happen for a few years and increases should still be modest.
 
The economy in the Seattle area is hurting like the rest of the country.  But there’s a strong economic base that will re-emerge as things start to turn around.  The old stand-bys, Microsoft, Starbucks, and Boeing are struggling now, but should bounce back.
 
Another thing to watch is the number of homes for sale, the housing inventory.  We’re still at higher numbers, but things are starting to balance out. If you look at the maps, you’ll see the Seattle real estate market of 2009 is far more balanced than the Seattle real estate market of 2008. (A balance market is when the number of homes for sale in an area is less than a 6 months supply.  Yellow on the attached maps indicates a balanced market in the area.
 
Builders are NOT buying land right now. Over the years, builders would have huge amounts of land tied up for future building.  This is no longer the case.  It can take a couple of years to develop a site and to start building homes. With less land available for building and less land owned by builders and ready to be built out, existing homes will be more in demand in the future.
On yesterday’s “Morning Edition” on NPR Station, KPLU, John Maynard interviewed Richard Hagar about another issue, the influx of new people moving to Washington State, the majority of whom are moving to King County. Some of these people rent and some buy condos and homes.  The in-migration of people will only help our real estate and economy over time.
The year 2012 seems like a long way off, but we’re halfway through 2009.  It’s around a really long corner and it’s not going to be an easy “walk” to get there.
 
Now we’re at the end of the first month of 2012, what’s happening with Seattle-Eastside Real Estate? There are differences from what I wrote in 2009 that actually bode well for the Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Sammamish, etc areas:
 
Builders are buying land now. We have a client who was approached by no less than 4 builders last year when his property was not even listed for sale.  Within the same week, he received several builder solicitations.  He’s not the only homeowner with land who has been approached.  Builders are actually looking to beef up their inventory of land so they can build again.
 
The number of homes on the market has reached the lowest level since February, 2007. In all of King County there are approximately 7500 homes and condos for sale.
The geography hasn’t changed and I believe it will take millions of years before it does and the economy is still performing at a far better pace in the Seattle area than in other parts of the country.  Amazon, Microsoft, and other companies are hiring.
 
What does your crystal ball say?

Posted on January 31, 2012 at 10:15 pm
The Beaupain Team | Category: Bellevue, WA, Eastside Real Estate, For Buyers, For Sellers, King County, WA, Real Estate, Redmond, Sammamish, WA, Seattle | Tagged , , , , , , ,

2011 Ends With The Fewest Homes for Sale in 4 Years on Seattle’s Eastside

How Many Homes Sold on Seattle’s Eastside in December, 2011?

 
We have to go back before the bubble burst to February 2007 to find so few homes for sale on Seattle’s eastside!  There’s a healthy number of homes for sale on the eastside, 1897 at the close of December, so there are good choices for buyers.  With fewer homes on the market, it spurs the competition among buyers for the best homes and should help stabilize prices. In some neighborhoods, there aren’t any homes for sale right now.
 
Pricing is becoming more affordable for a new set of buyers who are coming to the market for the first time.  A mortgage payment that would have bought a home for $500,000 in 2008, would now cover the purchase of a home in the mid-$600,000s!
 
Here’s a snapshot of Seattle-Eastside real estate in December, 2011 compared to 2010:

  • 24% fewer homes were on the market.
  • The time it took to sell a home went from 129 days to 111 days this past December.
  • Sales prices were 8% below the seller’s original asking price, while in 2010 they averaged 10% below the asking price.
  • Eighteen percent of the homes for sale this December received offers and sold, while only 14% received offers in 2010.
  • 338 homes sold in 2011, while in December 2010, 351 homes received offers.

 
The actual number of homes sold did not change much, which, surprisingly, is almost always the case.   The difference was not in the number of sales, but in the number of homes for sale.  There were 597 fewer homes for sale at the end of 2011 than 2010.  When there are fewer homes for sale, there are fewer “for sale” signs out in neighborhoods.  The “sold” signs also pop up a lot faster.
 
When the supply increases, there’s increased competition and homes take longer to sell.   Most people think homes are not selling because there are more real estate signs and they stay posted in yards for a longer time. This is not the case.  Homes are selling, but there’s just more competition which makes it feel as if the market is slower.
 
The real difference then is the supply, the number of homes for sale.  If there’s a smaller supply the market will seem faster because these homes will sell faster.  If there is a larger supply, there is more competition and the market will seem slower because it takes longer to sell a home.  In both markets, though, the number of homes that sell does not vary all that much.  It is the Supply that varies and changes what we think is happening in the real estate market.  The above chart confirms this as you can see the supply changes far more dramatically than the number of sales, which are shown at the bottom of each month.
 
In my next piece, I’ll talk about how Seattle-eastside real estate should play out for the coming year.  Have a great 2012 and hope you are able to make it through this week’s snow.
 
Since real estate is neighborhood specific, if you’d like more information about your home, contact us, we’re here to help.
 
*The numbers are a result of the real estate sales activity that happened that particular month only.  In order to see a trend, it is important to look at a number of months together.  One month is only indicative of that particular month’s sales.

 

 

Posted on January 19, 2012 at 7:52 pm
The Beaupain Team | Category: Bellevue Real Estate, Bellevue, WA, Eastside Real Estate, For Buyers, For Sellers, King County Real Estate, Market Statistics, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Was There Any "Good" in November’s Real Estate News on Seattle’s Eastside?

 

How Many Homes Sold on Seattle's Eastside in November, 2011?

How Many Homes Sold on Seattle's Eastside in November, 2011?

 

If you read the news about Seattle real estate, it could make you crazy!  It’s hard to determine what’s true and what is hype.  There’s some tough news that dominates and then there is some news that is actually good.  You know how it is, bad news always travels faster than good news, no matter what the topic.  Our real estate news is a mixed bag, but it’s good to know it’s not all bad news.   So let’s deal with the “bad” news first, since that seems to be most people’s hot button. And, by the way, if you read beyond the headlines, it may not be as bad as it seems.

 

True, our prices are down.  That’s the elephant in the room.  The “king” of the bad news.  There is no getting around it.  But if you look at the pricing issue more closely, it’s not as dire as it seems Take out the distressed sales and prices for individual home sellers are down, but not as much.

 

• Bank-owned houses accounted for 20 percent of all King County sales in November, up from 14 percent a year earlier. Those houses sold for a median price of $177,000, down 18 percent from $216,000 in November 2010.

• The median price of short-sales houses dropped 17 percent, from $305,000 to $260,000.

• But other, “nondistressed” sales saw a much smaller price decline — 2.5 percent, from $399,000 to $389,000.*

 

Prices are down, but depending on the area, not as badly as one would think.  The eastside is one of the areas where it is not as bad because people are still moving here for jobs and buying homes.  If you look at the chart above, over 400 homes have sold on Seattle’s eastside each month this year.  This November saw higher sales than last November.

 

The good news for Seattle-eastside real estate:

  •  24% fewer homes were on the market in November this year than in 2010.
  • The time it takes to sell a home went from 106 days last November to 60 days this November.
  • Sales prices on average were just 4% below the seller’s original asking price this year, while last year they averaged 7% below the asking price.
  • Twenty-nine percent of the homes for sale this past November received offers and sold, while only 19% received offers in 2010
  • There’s no getting around that, but with less homes on the market, it spurs the competition among buyers for the best homes.
  • Pricing is becoming more affordable for a new set of buyers who are coming to the market for the first time.

 

Truthfully, the actual number of homes sold did not change all that much.  Last year 435 homes sold.  This year 458 sold.  The difference?  There was much more competition last year because there were 342 more homes on the market.

So remember,  look at all the facts, not just the headlines when talking about real estate.  Review the data that applies to your specific neighborhood to make a decision about the market.

 

What’s happening in your neighborhood?  Is there any good news mixed in with all the negativity about the real estate market?

 

*The numbers are a result of the real estate sales activity that happened that particular month only.  In order to see a trend, it is important to look at a number of months together.  One month is only indicative of that particular month’s sales.

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 9:22 pm
The Beaupain Team | Category: Eastside Real Estate, For Sellers, King County Real Estate, Market Statistics, Real Estate | Tagged , , , ,

Were there a lot of Distressed Real Estate Sales on the Eastside?

My last post focused on distressed sales in the counties around Seattle, a huge area.  This post focuses on the eastside cities across Lake Washington from Seattle.

The hardest hit area for distressed property sales on Seattle’s eastside is what we Realtors call area 600 (see bottom of the chart above) which encompasses north Kirkland, Juanita, Duvall, Woodinville, Bothell, and Kenmore.  Although all of these communities are fairly close to the eastside employment centers,  the commute can be longer for many people.  Parts of Woodinville and Duvall are still fairly rural in nature.  Rural areas around Seattle have been hit harder with the decline in the real estate market.  The higher number of distressed sales in these areas fits this model.  More people want to live closer to work these days.

The area with the fewest number of distressed home sales was Mercer Island (area 510).  Mercer Island is also one of the more expensive eastside cities.  Situated between the eastside communities and downtown Seattle, it’s a desirable place to live.  It’s a bedroom community located near the top economic centers with top notch schools and an easy commute to Seattle and the eastside.

Kirkland (area 560) is a very desirable location because it has good highway access, is close to jobs, and has a good school system.  But the city has the second highest rate of distressed sales, which is surprising.   The community encompasses a variety of housing styles and prices.from multi-million dollar waterfront homes to starter homes in the $200,000+ range.

The other eastside cities of Bellevue, Sammamish, Issaquah, and the closer in neighborhoods of Redmond, near Microsoft, had distressed sales ranging from 16-19% of the total real estate sales in the third quarter of 2011.

The theme here as in the last post is close-in locations near jobs is the better place to be.  The eastside cities that fit this bill had the least amount of distressed sales.

 

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 7:15 am
The Beaupain Team | Category: Eastside Real Estate, For Buyers, For Sellers, King County Real Estate, Market Statistics, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , ,

How Many Seattle Area Real Estate Sales Were Distressed Sales?

How much of the Seattle area real estate market is made up of distressed sales, sales in which the property is bank owned or a seller is required to obtain approval from the bank in order to sell?

Seattle Area Distressed Real Estate Sales

Total Number of Distressed Real Estate Sales in the Seattle Area

 

In the third quarter of 2011, Seattle and the eastside suburbs were holding their own in the distressed sale market, while Pierce and Snohomish Counties had the toughest time. There’s a huge difference in how each of the 4 counties surrounding Seattle were doing with respect to distressed home sales.  Almost 50%, 47% to be exact, of the real estate sales in Snohomish County were  distressed properties.  Snohomish County is directly north of King County, which is where you’ll find Seattle.  Snohomish County is home to a Boeing plant, shipping, biotech firms, and  a navy base.  Pierce County is home to Tacoma, with its huge waterfront devoted to shipping, and Fort Lewis, the army base. 

Although each of the counties has an economic center, King County with Seattle and the eastside cities of Bellevue and Redmond is the true economic hub of the region.  These areas are home to Boeing, Amazon, Microsoft, Costco, Starbucks and a host of other companies.   Consequently, the Eastside and Seattle have the smallest number of distressed sales.    More jobs and a good commute equal less distressed sales.

 

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 12:55 am
The Beaupain Team | Category: Eastside Real Estate, For Buyers, For Sellers, King County, WA, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Go Food Shopping on Seattle's Eastside on Saturday, the 24th

Food donations on Seattle's eastside

Emergency Feeding Program Collects for Eastside Month of Concern for the Hungry

There are hungry people on the eastside that need you!  There’s an easy way for you to help.  This weekend marks the start of the Eastside Month of Concern for the Hungry.    Many eastside supermarkets will have volunteers from the Emergency Feeding Program standing by to collect food from shoppers.  Please help donate all that you can so we can make this annual program successful and feed those who are in need.

If you can’t make it to the supermarket this weekend, there will be other collection days in different eastside areas on Saturdays in October.  You can also donate throughout the month at a number of collection sites all over the eastside.     There’s also a list of the most needed items.   Interested in volunteering your time to help out?  Here’s where you can sign up.

Thanks for your help!

Posted on September 22, 2011 at 2:56 pm
The Beaupain Team | Category: Not Real Estate | Tagged , , , ,