In March 2019, the Seattle City Council unanimously approved a measure called Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA), which upzones 27 neighborhoods in the region. Mayor Jenny Durkan quickly signed the measure into law and it is set to go into effect on April 19th. MHA’s main objective is to add affordable housing to the city through the allowance of taller single-family and multi-family residential projects. In all, city official estimates indicate that MHA will, at a minimum, provide 6,000 new affordable homes for low-income residents.
Washington state is among the strictest in the nation when it comes to new condominium development, which has largely deterred developers in recent years from building any new projects outside of apartments for rent. The reason? Developers don’t want to face costly lawsuits, which have become somewhat of a norm. As Sightline Institute reports, conventional wisdom states that “if you build condos, you’ll get sued.”
Our local real estate market took some interesting turns in 2018, as the frenetic conditions of the first half of the year gave way to a more balanced environment in the third quarter. Data for the fourth quarter of 2018 has arrived, so before we turn our attention to the new year and what lies ahead, let’s take a look at the market trends that closed out 2018.
According to an article published by Seattle Times, “The single-family zones that make up about 75 percent of Seattle’s residential land have accommodated just 5 percent of all new housing added in the city this decade,” this courtesy of a report recently released by the planning commission. The advisory report, which was eighteen months in the making, says mild changes could be made in areas that are predominantly single-family homes right now.
Now that we are nearing the end of 2018, market experts are calculating what trends they think will dominate the industry in the coming year. Realtor.com® recently released their annual report and according to Forbes, we can expect rising mortgage rates to impact affordability, a slowing market, and rising home prices—albeit at a lesser rate than we’ve seen in recent years.
The shifting Seattle real estate market has grabbed headline after headline in recent months, with the Seattle Times making proclamations earlier this week that suggest Seattle’s home prices are dropping faster than any other metro area in the nation. Contrary to headlines, however, trendlines point to a much different outcome, indicating slowing—not lowering—home price growth, amidst rising inventory and typical seasonal trends for the region. So, what does this mean for homebuyers in the Emerald City?
Until recently, the Seattle real estate market headlines didn’t seem to change much, each remarking upon the area’s unprecedented home price growth and highly competitive climate for buyers. The past few months, however, have given way to a slightly different narrative, as increasing inventory and a less frenetic environment have pushed the market closer to a neutral one (though still decidedly in favor of sellers). Below we’ve outlined how these new market trends are playing out in the local real estate market with a look at Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty’s recently released market report for the third quarter of 2018.
As stated recently in a Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) blog, “The main cause of Seattle’s urban evolution is, first and foremost, that people want to live here.” That fact is reflected in the constant stream of people moving into the city. Earlier this year, The Seattle Times reported that Seattle grew 18.7 percent in the last decade, gaining 114,000 people and ranking as the fastest growing city in the nation. That growth is expected to continue through the next several decades; and by 2035 the expected population of Seattle will gain another 120,000 residents (and another 115,000 jobs).
An international organization of high profile property professionals, The Counselors of Real Estate® (CRE), recently published a report detailing the most pressing trends and issues affecting real estate. The “Top Ten Issues Affecting Real Estate™ 2018-2019” highlights five short-term and five long-term national and global topics that are having a direct impact on the real estate market. In a quick summary, we wanted to share the issues they thought were most pressing.
While it's true that home prices have continued to rise throughout the Seattle-Metro area, there are also some new and interesting statistics to go along with rising median prices. Realogics Sotheby's International Realty recently released their second-quarter market trends report for 2018 and we wanted to share a few statistics that jumped out at us.
The record high housing prices in Seattle have been in the news for over a year and a half now. "Seattle's median home price of $830,000 is up 14 percent from a year ago and sets a record after holding steady at the previous high of $819,000 in March and April" states The Seattle Times. Despite new and increased inventory in May, single-family home prices continued to increase further, still - arriving at the current $830,000 median.
The home values in the Seattle area are at an all time high. The median price for a single-family home in Seattle is $777,000 and $950,000 on the Eastside. The Seattle Times recently reported that "Both Seattle and the Eastside have smashed home-price records as the region's market continues to be brutal for homebuyers even before the peak spring season kicks off."
They say a picture's worth a thousand words, and that couldn't be truer when it comes to photos of your home in its real estate listing. Getting your home prepared for the market is no small feat and with new listings popping up at the speed of the internet right into buyers fingertips you want to make sure the first photo they see of your home is as appealing as possible. We've compiled a few projects and tips to help you spruce up your home and get top dollar when you're ready to list!
While the S&P CoreLogics Case-Shiller Home Price Index showed San Francisco and San Diego starting to catch up to Seattle for single-family home prices in the months of September and October 2017, our Puget Sound region ended the 2017 calendar year at a 16th consecutive month leading the nation. "In December, Seattle led the way with a 12.7 percent year-over-year increase," states The S&P Dow Jones official report.
Winter in real estate is notorious for lower inventory, and often lower prices, but it may just be one of the better times of year to buy. Most real estate news during the winter is akin to lowering median prices, a slow in construction, and a dip in overall housing inventory. However, even with all of these things popping up in news headlines across the nation; Seattle's housing market continues to come out on top.
Though many people have probably heard of Bitcoin by now, there are now several types of cryptocurrency. New types you may start hearing more about include: bitcoin cash, ZCash, Monero, Ripple, and Ethereum. They essentially all function the same way; and act as digital funds that are produced in limited quantities and without involvement of a bank or governmental regulations.