Housing Prices

King County among top places to sell your home for a big profit: report - Puget Sound Business Journal

Somehow this is not a surprise.  Home values continue to rise as demand outpaces supply.  Curious what your home is worth?  Call, text or email me for a free detailed market report. 
“The Seattle housing market remains remarkably tight and very competitive. Buyers are still fighting over any new listing which is well priced and this has led to rapid price escalation,” said Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate, covering the Seattle market.

via www.bizjournals.com

Looks like a market shift is underway

With inventory low and buyer interest high I am seeing a surprising increase in the number of showings and offers on my listings.  Last Friday I listed a beautiful home in Lake Ridge in Klahanie and was stunned to see buyers literally lined up to the street.

People lined up at Klahanie listing

This is an indication of the pent up demand for quality housing in our market place.  With interest rates at record lows and prices remaining low demand is extremely high.  In 30+ years as a real estate broker I have never seen this kind of market frenzy.

Right now it is time to watch for a market shift with prices finally starting to rise.  As indicated in the Market Action index, we are moving into a sellers market.

The Market Action Index answers the question "How's the Market?" by measuring the current rate of sale versus the amount of the inventory. Index above 30 implies Seller's Market conditions. Below 30, conditions favor the buyer.

Buyers will be up against a long list of competitors to buy a home in today's market.  As evidenced by my new Klahanie listing where we had 12 offers in the very first weekend and sold substantially over the list price.

Next I will take a look at what to expect as a buyer and how to get your offer accepted.

By Brian Leavitt, Designated Broker, Northstone Real Estate Inc. 

Brian has been a Real Estate Broker for over 30 years and has
helped hundreds of buyers achieve their dream of how ownership.

September housing stats on the rise

Pending sales, closed sales and prices all increased in August compared to last year. Northwest Multiple Listing Service data shows that there continues to be a shortage of inventory. Last month pending transactions almost equaled July's 8416 sales and is the fifth consecutive month of at least 8000 pending sales. Closed sales, which reflect several months of pending sales, reached the highest volume thus far in 2012.  Brokers reported 6612 closings last month continuing a four-month streak of 6000+ closed sales.

For single-family homes not including condominiums, prices jumped nearly 6.7% from $247,000 to $263,500. In King County prices jumped to $378,000 for an August sales increase of 8% from a year ago median selling price of $350,000. 

Although these numbers are encouraging and appear to be indicative of rising consumer confidence I'm deeply concerned about the rising volume of shadow inventory.  As discussed in previous articles, these are homes that are either in the foreclosure process or already foreclosed upon and owned by banks but not yet available for sale.  Right now low inventory and record low interest rates  are driving much of the real estate activity.  If the banks start unloading the shadow inventory at too quick a pace it is possible the rise we are seeing in values will quickly be offset by excess inventory.

 On the positive side, we are seeing a steady increase in new construction and new development.  In the Sammamish Plateau area alone three new developments have begun in the last month. Issaquah inventory has been decreasing and the market action index has been moving upward.  Days on the market are increasing with current average days on market of 120.  Issaquah remains a buyer's market but we are trending towards more neutral market conditions.  The median list price in Issaquah is $494,990 for an average asking price of $220 per square foot. 

Sammamish inventory has also been decreasing and remains in a buyer's market.  Last week the median list price was $559,500 with an asking price of $211 per square foot and average days on market 128.

Now is still an excellent time to buy because interest rates remain under 4% on the 30 year fixed and under 3% on the 15 . Low rates and low home prices make this a very affordable time to buy. 



Monthly Home Sales Report for the Eastside

March 2012 Homes Sales Report for King County & Cities of Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Issaquah and Sammamish. March of 2012 King County closed sales were up 10.5% from March 2011 (2082 vs 1885) . The Eastside showed some very strong numbers as well with closed sales. Closed sales were up 14.8% (715 vs 623) The median home price in King County in March continues its downward trend to $295,000 down 7.80%. The Eastside Median Sales price was down 6.67% to $406,000.

An indication of increased market activity are pending. Pending sales across King County moved up 26.86%, and pending sales on the Eastside were up 31.19%. We are still seeing inventory numbers decline. In March total active listings were down 36.19% in King County and down 35.59% on the Eastside from March of 2011. Declining inventory means sellers may have a easier time selling good homes.

See the raw numbers from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service: Real Estate Market Data for King County March 2012 Data . Also take a look at the housing numbers for Sammamish and Redmond. In Kirkland the Market Action Index(a gauge of market activity) remains strong. While it's still a buyers market, it is much more balanced. With interest rates in the LOW 4's buyers affordability is at an all time high. Also see the national real estate trends at Realtor.com

Here is a breakdown of real estate homes sales in Seattle Eastside Communities of Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Issaquah and Sammamish, Washington for the week broken down by neighborhood. Just click on the link to your neighborhood for the complete breakdown of the homes that are on The chart below breaks down Seattle Washington's Greater Eastside Real Estate homes sales by City, for the week of 04/18/2012.

City # of Active Listings
Homes For Sale in Bellevue, Washington
Homes For Sale in Issaquah, Washington
Homes For Sale in Kirkland, Washington
Homes For Sale in Redmond, Washington
Homes For Sale in Sammamish, Washington

To find out what your home is worth or If you are interested in selling your home for top dollar in the quickest amount of time, please contact me anytime at 425-837-4700 or Click here to send me an e-mail requesting further information.

U.S. Cities Where Homes Sell the Fastest - Seattle #2

In a recent article where CNBC uses Zillow's data to rank cities across the US, Seattle Ranks number 2 behind two Bay Area Powerhouses, San Francisco and San Jose(tied for first) Below is the complete article.

Although the U.S. housing market continues to struggle, many local markets are doing significantly better than the country as a whole, with some places virtually missing the housing bust altogether.

While shifts in home values are important in any market, it's important for sellers to determine the length of time a property can expect to be on the market before it will be sold. The faster that homes sell, the faster an inventory backlog can be cleared, suggesting heightened demand and an upward trajectory in prices. Additionally, if a home is on the market for an extended period of time, it may may turn off prospective buyers and force sellers to accept less-favorable offers.

To find the cities where this trend is the most extreme, real estate website Zillow.com analyzed the numbers to identify the cities where homes sell the fastest, according to the median number of days on the market. The numbers presented here are representative of home sales between mid-April and mid-July 2011.

During this time, the national median for time spent on the market stood at 117 days, while New York (168 days), West Palm Beach (175 days), and Indianapolis (180 days) were the cities where homes sold the slowest.

Also included in the analysis is the Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI), which represents the median measure of home valuations covered by Zillow. The information presented here also includes the proportion of listings with price cuts, the average amount those listings were reduced, and the “final discount from list price,” which is the average amount that was negotiated off the original list price before the sale.

So, where do homes sell the fastest? Read ahead to find out!

5. (Tied) Oakland, California

Median time to sell: 81 days
Zillow Home Value Index: $316,400

Listings with price cuts: 26.17%
Average price cut amount: 8.70%
Final discount from list price: 1%

5. (Tied) Woodbridge, Virginia

Median time to sell: 81 days
Zillow Home Value Index: $230,500

Listings with price cuts: 20.54%
Average price cut amount: 5.66%
Final discount from list price: N/A

4. Alexandria, Virginia

Median time to sell: 74 days
Zillow Home Value Index: $402,500

Listings with price cuts: 33.30%
Average price cut amount: 4.47%
Final discount from list price: 2%

2. (Tied) Seattle, Washington

Median time to sell: 73
Zillow Home Value Index: $347,700

Listings with price cuts: 33.55%
Average price cut amount: 6.88%
Final discount from list price: 2%

2. (Tied) San Jose, California

Median time to sell: 73
Zillow Home Value Index: $494,500

Listings with price cuts: 26.16%
Average price cut amount: 5.58%
Final discount from list price: 1%

1. San Francisco, California

Median time to sell: 59
Zillow Home Value Index: $655,400

Listings with price cuts: 22.55%
Average price cut amount: 6.05%
Final discount from list price: 1%

Houses are on Sale

Buyers throughout the U.S. are finding attractive home prices, and some are able to take advantage of significant markdowns on distressed properties. The extent of the discount varies widely by region, but according to the most recent data, foreclosures sold for 26% less than similar homes in the second quarter of 2010. Properties in default, many of which became short sales, had their prices reduced by an average of 13%.

Promising Signs

Even in the midst of crushing job losses and a severe recession, both new and existing home sales managed to stage comebacks in the middle of 2009. Although home sales lost some ground late in 2009 and early 2010, housing markets may have turned a corner.

The rebound in demand was aided by falling home prices, the federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers and Federal Reserve purchases of mortgage-backed securities to keep interest rates low. Depending on the measure used, the peak-to-trough drop in monthly home prices was anywhere from 13 percent to 32 percent. In many markets, prices fell by half or more—erasing the record run-ups earlier in the decade. Meanwhile, the federal tax credit for first-time buyers, initially set to expire in fall 2009, was renewed, expanded to include repeat homebuyers, and extended to contracts signed by the end of April 2010. Finally, interest rates on 30-year fixed mortgages averaged only 5.04 percent in 2009 and 5.00 percent in the first quarter of 2010.


As a result, the first-time homebuyer share of sales soared to 45 percent in 2009 as households previously boxed out of the market jumped at the dramatically lower prices. Bargain hunters buying up troubled properties largely drove the gains in existing home sales last year. The National Association of Realtors® estimated that the share of existing home sales that were distressed in 2009 averaged 36 percent per month, topping out at fully 49 percent in March.


For a complete review of the State of the Nation's Housing see the full report online