Another year has passed, as have many pivotal milestones for Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR), our brand, and the local housing market that we serve. RSIR has analyzed the data and presented a report with a 2018 retrospective and look at Seattle’s performance on the S&P CoreLogic / Case-Shiller Home Price Index, a review of market activity in 8 key counties and 31 communities around Western Washington, and a Look Ahead at trends for 2019. Below I’ve compiled key insights for King and Snohomish counties, in addition to some of the most coveted Eastside enclaves, and what to watch as we continue through 2019. I offer these thoughts, as a conversation starter with you.Read More
Following a recent report by Forbes and Bert Sperling which ranked the “coolness” of the 100 largest metro cities in the country, Seattle Magazine says that having taken the second spot, “you might even say we’re the municipal equivalent of Beyoncé, expensive denim jackets and cigarettes in the ‘70s.” As the article outlines, after looking at a number of factors including “entertainment and recreation options, the food and drink scene, transit choices, population growth and where young people are living,” Forbes crowned the Emerald City the second coolest city in the nation, behind only San Francisco.
Among the factors helping Seattle’s cool factor are “recreation and the jointly weighted coffee shops and breweries.” And as Sperling observes, “a city’s desirability (or coolness, if you will) drives the housing demand up.” “It would be an anomaly if you found a place that was really really cool but was really really cheap,” he says.
To be sure, Seattle’s housing market is on fire, as the latest CoreLogic Case Shiller index reveals that over the past 12 months, home prices in Seattle have increased 13.2 percent, far outpacing those in major U.S. cities across the country. Recent analysis by William Hillis, Research Editor with Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, reveals that despite the run-up in Seattle home prices, the city is still more affordable relative to local incomes than any of its peer metro markets. Real estate analyst Mark Hanson observed that in Seattle, the difference between household income and income needed to buy a median-priced house is about 18 percent, where a city such as San Francisco is currently at 52 percent.
As Patti Payne of the Puget Sound Business Journal announced on March 28th, “Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty is expanding into Seattle’s Madison Park” with its fifth branch office location. The latest addition to the growing global real estate brand “will consist of two sites across from each other: The Park House, a boutique real estate store front at 4031 Madison St.; and administrative offices in the building across the street.”
“Jones sees growing and sustained demand in the Madison Park area because of local job growth and traffic congestions. ‘I believe this is a point of inflection,’ he said, ‘and the Park House and our new brokers will be timely additions to our regional network as these trends play out.” Jones also alluded to future office locations in Seattle and the Eastside in areas “to be determined.”
For more information on “The Park House” branch office, Read the Press Release >>
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.
For those of us from the Seattle area, it’s easy say we think our city is the best. Now, however, we have scientific, data-driven proof, as Forbes published its list of the Top 20 Coolest Cities in the U.S., and our gorgeous Emerald City ranked #2!
The Seattle PI, who reported on this achievement, explained that Forbes considered “entertainment, number of restaurants and bars, recreation, diversity and population growth, especially in the 20-34 age group,” which speaks to the growing millennial population in the city, often correlated with the high number of technology companies that dwell here. Other factors that elevated Seattle to the near-top? Forbes notes its “abundant outdoor attractions” and its “foodie culture” as the “city has a relatively high preponderance of farmer’s markets, breweries, & CSAs per capita, compared to other metro areas, and 81.6% of its restaurants are local rather than chains.”
CNN Money reports that Seattle is among one of the best cities for millennials to settle in saying the city’s “high-paying tech jobs attract lots of young workers — and its vast coffee culture keeps them firing on all cylinders.” In fact, many millennials have already recognized the benefits of Seattle, as the article describes that “between 2010 and 1012, 28% of all people moving into the city were Millennials, five percentage points higher than the average major city, according to the National Association of Realtors.” They also say that high home prices aren’t deterring a number of “young, well-paid buyers,” an interesting factor considering the recent surge found in the median sale price of Seattle homes.
In fact, prices have reached heights beyond those of the 2007 peak, this according toCurbed Seattle, who reported that, “the median price of single-family homes sold in Seattle rose last month to $543,400, blowing away the last peak of $501,000 set in August 2007 – before the housing bubble burst and the country went into the Great Recession. The reason for the surge? Curbed says “in spite of the fact that there are 1,550 more residences on the market compared to July 2013, availability still isn’t meeting demand,” adding that “low employment numbers and the ongoing influx of tech workers [which speaks to the Millennial appeal] has to be factored in as well.”
So how are consumers responding to these higher prices and market growth? They’re feeling pretty confident according to Seattle Bubble, who says that as of July, “the overall Consumer Confidence Index” was “at 90.9, up 5 percent in a month, 12 percent from a year ago, and at its highest point since October 2007.” A sure sign that consumers are trusting higher home prices and feel assured by the Seattle market.
Ashley Breunich from Realogics Sotheby's International Realty reports that, "At the conclusion of a five-day Trade Mission to China, the International Real Estate Federation – U.S. Chapter (FIABCI-USA) and the China Institute of Real Estate Appraisers & Agents (CIREA) agreed to form a Permanent Select Committee on doing business between the United States and China. A group of nine real estate professionals from across the US completed a Trade Mission to China on July 6, 2014. The mission included attending CIREA’s annual real estate agents conference, visits to some of the largest real estate brokerages in Beijing and attending an elective course for FIABCI’s International Real Estate Consultant (FIREC) designation.
Capital flows from China to the US continue to grow. The FIABCI-USA delegation was headed by President Edward Alford from South Hadley, MA. “I am extremely honored to have led this group of high-caliber real estate professionals to Beijing and was overwhelmed by the gracious hospitality of our CIREA hosts. I felt it necessary to assure our hosts that we were interested in mutual cooperation over the long term and welcomed the opportunity to formalize our intent through the formation of a select committee.” The residential market in China is currently undergoing a 30% contraction in sales and there is great concern about how this will affect the overall economy.
In addition to President Alford, the FIABCI-USA delegation included President Elect Ruth Kruger from Aspen, CO; Treasurer Maire Rosol from Park City, UT; Vice-PresidentElizabeth Davidson from Kirkland, WA; Nancy & Peter Suvarnamani from Chicago; Dano Sayles from Hawaii, John Krolick from Incline Village, NV; and Secretary General Bill Endsley from Chicago. The delegation enjoyed sightseeing trips around Beijing and numerous sumptuous Chinese meals with potential new partners and the staff of Beijing Orient US-China Consulting Co., Ltd. which facilitated the Trade Mission.
FIABCI has welcomed over 150 real estate professionals from China as members over the last year and expects to grow significantly as additional groups of Chinese professionals complete FIREC training courses in doing business abroad, ethics, negotiation, financing and valuation. FIABCI provides access and opportunity for real estate professionals in more than 60 countries interested in completing cross border transactions.
The International Real Estate Federation – US Chapter (FIABCI-USA) is a multi-discipline, networking organization for all professionals associated with real estate transactions. The group provides information, connections and concierge services to help individuals, companies and associations expand their global networks. With members in more than 50 countries and World, Regional and National Congresses throughout the year, FIABCI is global, local and connected and can provide access to the highest caliber real estate professional anywhere in the world. FIABCI also enjoys Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
For more information about FIABCI-USA, click here."
The RSIR Blog writes, "when looking at the Seattle real estate market these days, growth continues to emerge as a key factor. Chris Daniels and Jake Whittenberg from King 5 newsreport that Seattle grew 2.8% in the last year alone, citing Leonard Garfield, the Executive Director of the Museum of History and Industry, who told King 5 he attributes growth to Amazon and other tech companies that are looking for “cheaper property outside the Silicon Valley and Bay Areas.” In addition, many neighborhoods have already exceeded their 2024 growth targets. One notable neighborhood is Ballard, which has already soared to 317% of its target.
Growth means home prices have surged, a trend Sanjay Bhatt from The Seattle Times describes. He says that in March, Seattle posted “the biggest gain among all metro areas except San Francisco” and adds that home prices have risen 11.6% in the last year and are expected to rise continue to rise by another 6% in the coming year."
"So what does all this mean? For one thing, growth and higher home prices make for a competitive real estate market in Seattle. Sam DeBord from the Seattle Pi describes the difficulty many first-time homebuyers are experiencing in a climate where homes sell for an average of 102% of their list price. DeBord’s solution? He says home buyers must find ways to stand out from the crowd, which may mean having an approval letter from a reputable lender, maintaining availability and flexibility, or including a personalized home buyer’s offer. Extra touches that really do make all the difference and speak to our method here at RSIR as well."
Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty was featured in the March edition of the Alaska Airlines Magazine, thanks to the professional insight offered by Owner and President Dean Jones. He said, “Millenials are time sensitive and really prefer to walk to work,” and describes that we’re seeing condo-high rises in the city because they accommodate employees who’d prefer to live near their workplace but aren’t ready for a single-family home yet. A home the article says will likely be desired in the future and means the move may be, “just four blocks” away.
In an article outlining the recent increase in residential construction just north of Downtown Seattle in communities such as northern Belltown and the Seattle Center, Lindsay Cohen from KOMO TV turned to Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty’s Owner and President Dean Jones for insight.
“I think we’re seeing this neighborhood being targeted by developers because the CBD has become so expensive to develop and arriving later in this current development cycle suggests building within smaller building envelopes,” said Jones. “The zoning in this neighborhood surrounding Seattle Center is much lower so we’re talking about more boutique communities where the developer can get into the city, get vertical quickly and be out to market in some cases before other high-rise projects are completed, even if they are under construction today.”