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Market Update for Spring 2015

In the broader context of the past decade, the current data suggests the state of the market in the Seattle area including the Greater Eastside is hot. The neighborhoods closer to the job centers in Bellevue and Seattle, Redmond and Kirkland are seeing multiple offer situations at almost all price points. Even some of the more outlying areas like Duvall are experiencing multiple offers if the home is priced right, in a good community and in good condition. The number of active listings of single family homes and condominiums fell 11 percent year over year in King County this month. When measured by months of supply (the ratio of sales to listings), Northwest MLS figures show it has dipped below four months. In King County, there is only about two months of supply. In general, four to six months is considered to be healthy balance between supply and demand. This is leading to the competitive nature of the market for buyers and upward pressure on prices. For the single family home sales that closed last month, the median price was 8.7 percent higher than a year ago; a 4 percent increase is the historical norm.

With technology giants such as Amazon, Expedia, Zillow, and Microsoft thriving, people are flocking to the Pacific Northwest for jobs. According to the Seattle Times, economists project that Washington will see about 500,000 more jobs by 2022. The unemployment rate in Seattle is now at 4.6% a stunning contrast to the national average of 5.9% (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 2014). This surge in population is a catalyst to major development and the housing market as a whole. When comparing the performance of 2013 to 2014, data suggests that while the number of units sold is similar and in some cases less than, total dollar volume, average sale price, and sold price per square foot are up. There was substantial appreciation in most markets, especially among waterfront homes (up almost 36 percent). The number of days on market remain low as demand consistently exceeds inventory. Overall, today’s market is seller friendly and buyer competitive. That being said, real estate is local and some homes still ‘sit’ on the market; there is a formula to be a successful seller (and buyer) in today’s market, as your local area expert, we’d be happy to consult and strategize with you personally.

2015 is slated to be the best year we’ve had in 10 years. As mortgage guidelines loosen, the first time homebuyer is making a comeback. There are new first time buyer loan programs, revised loan programs with as little as 3% down, and a general easing of guidelines for buyers making home buying more attainable. This surge in first time home buyers will provide a domino effect and increase activity in the upper tiers of the market. With inventory remaining a constant issue, new construction will be huge. The construction industry is projected to see a 5.3% growth through 2015 (BLS Employment Security Department). After having one of the busiest Decembers since 2005, one cannot help but be optimistic for 2015. Holding onto the gains of last year while building a firm foundation to move into the spring market of 2015 is the most positive performance goal we can have.

Please contact us if you would like a more in-depth analysis of your own home.

Patti & Brad Chalker
Mobile: 206 919-9135

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