Seattle Home Values Rise - Sets New Record in Prices

According to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller, home values rose 10.8% year-over-year and 2.4% from February to March 2016, setting a new benchmark in home values and surpassing the previous peak in the summer of 2007. The significant growth has caught some by surprise but for those close to the industry, Seattle is simply catching up to other West Coast gateway cities such as San Francisco or Vancouver, BC. In fact, a recent Seattle Times article highlights that Seattle had the second highest metro area home price increase year-over-year, rising 10.8% in March (only Portland exceeded Seattle, which rose 12.3%). Seattle, however, was actually the fastest rising market month-over-month in March, increasing 2.4%.

So is this a bubble? Probably not, suggests Jon Talton of The Seattle Times. He takes into consideration that the Great Recession and the housing market decline that began in 2008 were caused by a glut of subprime mortgages and too many unqualified homebuyers speculating in the market. This along with eager mezzanine financing led to a misread of demand by many developers that oversupplied the market with inventory. Nowadays the opposite effect is playing out where there is anemic inventory, especially in downtown Seattle, according to Dean Jones, President & CEO ofRealogics Sotheby’s International Realty. He suggests the market may have “overcorrected.”

Jones made some predictions about the state of the in-city housing market a year ago when he participated in the article “Manhattanziation of Seattle” by Cynthia Flash of the Puget Sound Business Journal.

For the most part the upward pressure on pricing has occurred and the ongoing comparisons to Seattle becoming more and more like San Francisco was best summed up in a recent interview with Gregg Lynn, a top-producing condominium broker in California based in San Francisco at Sotheby’s International Realty. So, will Seattle end up like San Francisco over the next few years? Check out why Lynn says he “can’t see it not happening” and more, in the full video.

“It looks like at least two of the planned developments in the pipeline we’ve been monitoring will not be condominiums after all, but will arrive as more apartment inventory for rent,” said Jones. “This makes the arrival of NEXUS even more anticipated.”

Did you Know that May is the Best Time to List a Home?

In a recent Puget Sound Business Journal article, Emily Parkhurst declares that “This is the best time to list your house for sale in Seattle.” The dates she’s referring to? The first couple of weeks in May. As the feature describes, “houses listed between May 1 and May 15 sell 20 days faster than the yearly average.” What’s more? “They also sell for an average of $2,600 more.” These dates apply to most of the market in the United States, but are even weightier in a market as hot as Seattle’s.

May will thus mark an especially significant time to list in the already favorable market. As the Puget Sound Real Estate Trends & 2015 Year in Review, released by Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, explains, the year 2015 witnessed white-hot real estate conditions throughout the Puget Sound not seen since before the Great Recession. Prices of real estate throughout the Puget Sound catapulted higher in 2015 and a similar trajectory is expected in 2016: expanding demand, anemic supply and developers playing catch up to increasing homeownership levels.