The Latest on Downtown Bellevue Real Estate

Dec. 8, 2017

Annual Holiday Food Drive Sat. Dec 9th!

Our Annual Holiday Food Drive is here once again!
Join us this weekend as we host our Holiday Food Drive!
Saturday, December 9th at Bellevue Nursery 9:30am - 12pm
Coffee, cookies, holiday vibes and a special appearance by our celebrity guest....
SANTA!
All are welcome! 
Donations are benefitting the Boys and Girls Club of Bellevue.
Dec. 1, 2017

Bosa's One88 Takes New Shape

Bosa Development's new condo tower in downtown Bellevue, One88, broke ground in September. Earlier this week, Bosa released new renderings to give viewers a peek at the entire building's exterior. The project's architect, Hossein Amanat of Vancouver, British Columbia, says the building's shape is "inspired by the aesthetic of quartz crystals."

The terrace features outdoor spaces that are truly unparalleled. As Seattle Curbed reports, some residents will have private outdoor spaces with unique, partially closed balconies that vary depending on where they are in the tower. This building is sure to be one of the most extraordinary buildings in downtown Bellevue when it is complete.

According to Seattle Curbed, One88 will consist of 143 units ranging form one to three bedrooms, and will have an indoor pool, a children's playroom, and a fitness center in addition to retail spaces on the ground floor.

If you are interested in One88 and would like to register to receive exclusive announcements and/or early preview opportunities, contact us today!

See Bosa's new renderings and find out more in the full article by clicking here.

PC: One88 by Bosa

PC: One88 by Bosa

Nov. 17, 2017

Eastside Market Update - November 2017

Eastside Market Update – November 2017

Prices in our area have now been rising faster than anywhere in the country for twelve months. Sellers seem to be getting the message that now is a good time to put their home on the market. There was an increase in new inventory in October, but with homes selling rapidly, there still aren’t enough properties to meet demand. As a result, counties throughout the Puget Sound area saw year-over-year price increases in the double digits.

Eastside


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The median price for a single-family home on the Eastside rose 10 percent from a year ago to $845,000. Homes in West Bellevue hit a new record median price of $2.6 million. Despite soaring prices, demand has remained strong in this desirable area. And the continued robust economy makes it unlikely that home prices here will cool any time soon.

King County


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The number of new listings in King County increased at the highest rate in more than a year. But, they were grabbed up quickly, with most homes selling in well under 30 days. The shortage of homes for sale propelled prices up, with the median home price in King County jumping 15 percent over the same time last year to $630,000.

Seattle


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Seattle remains the hottest real estate market in the country, with prices rising here at more than double the national rate. Rents in Seattle are also rising faster than almost anywhere else in the country, pushing more people into the home buying market. High demand and slim supply helped boost the median price of a single-family home nearly 18 percent to $735,000.

Snohomish County


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The median price of a single-family home in Snohomish County in October was $440,000, an increase of 14 percent over the prior year. The market here may be moderating slightly. Brokers note that while multiple offers are continuing, listings are experiencing longer market times and fewer above-list price offers.

Nov. 10, 2017

The Gardner Report - Q3 2017

Economic Overview

The Washington State economy added 79,600 new jobs over the past 12 months—an impressive growth rate of 2.4%, and well above the national growth rate of 1.2%. However, as we anticipated in last quarter’s report, we continue to see a modest slowdown in the growth rate as the state grows closer to full employment. Growth has been broad-based, with expansion in all major job sectors other than Aerospace (a function of a slowdown at Boeing). Given the current rate of expansion, I am raising my employment forecast and now predict that Washington will add 81,000 new jobs in 2017. Given the robust job market, it is unsurprising that the state unemployment rate continues to fall. The current unemployment rate in Washington State is 4.6% and we are essentially at full employment. Additionally, all counties contained within this report reported either a drop or stability in their unemployment rate from a year ago. I maintain my belief that the Washington State economy will continue to outperform the U.S. as a whole. Given such a strong expansion, we should also expect solid income growth across Western Washington.

Home Sales Activity

  • There were 25,312 home sales during the third quarter of 2017. This is an increase of 3.6% over the same period in 2016.
  • Clallam County maintains its number one position for sales growth over the past 12 months. Only four other counties saw double-digit gains in sales. This demonstrates continuing issues with the low supply of listings. There were modest declines in sales activity in six counties.
  • The market remains remarkably tight with listing inventory down by 14.2% when compared to the third quarter of 2016. But inventory is up a significant 32% compared to the second quarter of this year. Pending sales rose by 5.2% over the same quarter a year ago, which suggests that closings in Q4 will still be robust.
  • The key takeaway from this data is that inventory is still very low, and the situation is unlikely to improve through the balance of the year.

Home Prices

  • Given tight supply levels, it is unsurprising to see very solid price growth across the Western Washington counties. Year-over-year, average prices rose 12.3% to $474,184. This is 0.9% higher than seen in the second quarter of this year.
  • With demand far exceeding supply, price growth in Western Washington continues to trend well above the longterm average. As I do not expect to see the new home market expand at any significant pace, there will be continued pressure on the resale market, which will cause home prices to continue to rise at above-average rates.
  • When compared to the same period a year ago, price growth was most pronounced in Grays Harbor County where sale prices were 20.1% higher than the third quarter of 2016. Nine additional counties experienced double-digit price growth.
  • Mortgage rates in the quarter continue to test the lows of 2017, and this is unlikely to change in the near-term. This will allow home prices to escalate further but I expect we will see rates start to rise fairly modestly in 2018, which could slow price growth.

Days on Market

  • The average number of days it took to sell a home in the quarter dropped by eight days when compared to the same quarter of 2016.
  • King County continues to be the tightest market, with homes taking an average of 17 days to sell. Every county except San Juan saw the days on market drop from the same period a year ago.
  • This quarter, it took an average of 43 days to sell a home. This is down from the 51 days it took in the second quarter of 2016 and down by 8 days from the second quarter of this year.
  • At some point, inventory will start to grow and this will lead to an increase in the average time it takes to sell a house. However, I do not expect that to happen at any time soon. So we remain in a seller’s market.

Conclusions

This speedometer reflects the state of the region’s housing market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors. For the third quarter of 2017, I have left the needle at the same point as the second quarter. Though price growth remains robust, sales activity has slowed very slightly and listings jumped relative to the second quarter. That said, the market is very strong and buyers will continue to find significant competition for accurately priced and well-located homes.  

Matthew Gardner is the Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, specializing in residential market analysis, commercial/industrial market analysis, financial analysis, and land use and regional economics. He is the former Principal of Gardner Economics, and has more than 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K. This article originally appeared on the Windermere.com blog.

Nov. 3, 2017

Tax Plan Would Hit Eastside Homebuyers Hard

The proposed Republican tax plan would reduce itemized mortgage-tax benefits for new owners of expensive homes. Unfortunately, that would apply to the typical house selling today in our area.

The proposal, according to The Seattle Times, "would cap the federal mortgage-interest deduction at $500,000 for new-home purchases, down from the limit of $1 million." New homeowners would only be able to deduct the first $500,000 of their mortgage. Across the U.S., this wouldn't affect most Americans. But in pricier areas like greater Seattle, this would affect the majority of new homeowners.

Windermere Real Estate's chief economist Matthew Gardner foresees two impacts from this plan: First, homeowners may be less likely to sell since they have their grandfathered tax plan. This would affect the consistently low inventory issue our region has been facing for quite some time. Second, buyers would rush to purchase homes before the tax plan would be passed, which would increase demand.

All of this being said, Gardner doesn't expect this plan to be passed before the end of the year.

Read more of the proposed plan's details and insight from Matthew Gardner in the original article.

Oct. 27, 2017

New Home Sales Reach Highest Level

 

According to the Commerce Department, new home sales rose "18.9 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 667,000, the most in a decade." Sales rose in every region across the country. There was speculation that damage from the hurricanes may have also inflated the data slightly. According to the Seattle Times, the measure of new home sales is based on contract signings, so this number could have been lifted by those looking to replace homes destroyed by the hurricanes.

 

However, sales also jumped outside of hurricane-affected areas. In the West, sales increased 3 percent. Additionally, lack of supply across the country has discouraged many would-be buyers. The numbers in this latest report "suggest that Americans are increasingly looking to new homes instead" of existing homes, which could further increase construction. This makes developers and builders optimistic.

 

Click here to read the full article.

Oct. 20, 2017

Housing Market Crunch as Many Plan to Stay

In one of their latest reports, Zillow says they don't anticipate an end to our housing market crunch as many in Seattle plan to stay put. In fact, contrary to the popular headlines that people aren't planning to buy right now, many are actually in favor of buying homes, especially millennials.

As we commonly share, purchasing a home is one of the best financial decisions you can make, and a large majority of millennials surveyed agreed with this statement.

However, year over year median sales prices in the Puget Sound region have grown 14 percent. This means many first time homebuyers (including millennials) are having trouble purchasing homes. The report continues to say that 29 percent of buyers are going over budget in this market. This is most prevalent among millennial buyers.

Zillow's economist Svenja Gudell presented these findings earlier this week and said, "Immediate relief, I'm not really seeing it for Seattle, especially given how many people we are still adding to our population base on a daily basis."

If you're ready to purchase a home, let's get in touch! We can help you find the best resources for purchasing your home and walk with you through the home buying process.

Click here to read the full report.

Oct. 13, 2017

Eastside Market Update - October 2017

The typical seasonal slowdown of new listings in September added to frustration for buyers who are competing for a very limited number of homes. Strong job growth continues to fuel demand. The state added 83,000 new jobs in the month of August, and September looked to be just as robust. The result? King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties all reported double-digit price increases from a year earlier.

The median price of a single-family home on the Eastside jumped 14 percent from the same time last year to a $855,000. As the median on the Eastside approaches the $1 million mark, the price tag for a luxury home is increasing. Of all the single-family homes that sold on the Eastside in September, nearly 40 percent sold for more than $1 million. In the city of Bellevue, two-thirds of the homes sold for more than $1 million.

The median price of a single-family home sold in King County in September increased 16 percent from a year ago to $625,000. While down from the record high of $658,000 in July, it represents the highest value for any September since records began in 2000. Among the largest metro areas in the U.S., our region has now led the nation in price increases for the last 11 months.

Seattle's inventory remains as tight as ever, with homes being snapped up in days. A big hiring push by local employers just keeps adding to the pressure. With supply dwindling and demand soaring, prices had only one place to go - up. In September, the median single-family home price in Seattle soared 15 percent over a year ago to $725,000.

The median price of a single-family home in Snohomish County sold in September was $450,000, a 14 percent increase over the same time last year. With just slightly over one month's inventory of homes available, it's unlikely price growth here will slow any time soon.

Eastside Statistics 

To read the original Windermere article, click here

Oct. 6, 2017

Seattle Tops Nation in New Apartments

According to the Seattle Times, "In 2016, there were nearly 21,000 occupied rental units in the city built since the start of the decade. That means recently constructed apartments make up 12 percent of the total rental stock." Seattle ranks #1 out of the 50 largest U.S. cities for having the highest concentration of newly constructed apartments.

Majority of the renters are millennials due to the constant influx of young employees that are coming into the city for Seattle's booming tech industry. Recent census reports show that "65 percent of apartment units constructed this decade have a resident under the age of 35." Portland ranks #2 with 52 percent followed by San Francisco as #3 with 39 percent.

Although the number of new apartments have reached record high numbers, it is still not enough to keep up with Seattle's housing demand. In addition, older and more affordable units are becoming harder to find. As a result, potential buyers are stuck renting at an alarming cost. With the lack of affordable housing and high rental values, young buyers are having a tough time navigating through this crazy market.

Read the full article from the Seattle Times here.

Sept. 29, 2017

Seattle Home Price Growth Leads Nation For 11 Straight Months

For the 11th month in a row, Seattle is leading the country in home price growth. In fact, our home price growth is nearly double that of any other U.S. city according to the latest Case-Shiller home-price index. Single-family home prices increased 13.5 percent in July from the year before.

The next city in the list at No. 2 was Portland with a 7.6 percent growth rate from July 2016 to July 2017. Portland's home price growth had begun to drop slightly over the last couple months while Seattle's only continued to increase.

While this story has been nearly the same for 11 months, this is the first time that our local increases are almost double that of any other metro area in the country. 

What's driving these huge gains? Continued shortage of homes for sale, population growth, and a booming economy thanks to our technology industry. More people are moving here and even less want to leave.

However, we are heading into fall which is seasonally when we can expect prices to begin cooling down a little, as we talked about just a couple weeks ago. The Seattle Times reports, "when adjusting for normal seasonal changes, Case-Shiller says, Seattle's month-over-month home cost bump is actually the third highest in the country, behind only San Francisco and Los Angeles."

Click here to read the full article from the Seattle Times.