The info-graphic above provides a quick look at 2017 King County real estate market statistics.
- nearly 3% more homes (condos and houses) sold in 2017 vs. 2016
- the median sales price was up nearly 15% county-wide
- at the end of 2017 there was less than a one month supply of available homes
- a 4 – 6 month supply is considered normal – we haven’t sen a “normal” level of supply for 2+ years
Six weeks into 2018 the stats haven’t changed much. Homes are coming on the market slowly and are selling quickly. Inventory still can’t meet buyer demand. The “spring” market generally opens up in mid-to-late February. Hopefully there will be more condos and houses available as the weather begins to warm.
The take away . . .
- Planning to sell? Buyer demand is high but condition and location are still important selling factors.
- Ready to buy? Position yourself to be a strong buyer. Meet with your lender and obtain a current loan pre-approval . Work with your Realtor® to educate yourself on neighborhoods, schools, recent sales prices and list vs. sold statistics, commute times, etc.
- Expand your options – maybe the home that fits your lifestyle isn’t a house. Don’t rule out a condo or townhouse which can offer a single family lifestyle with lower maintenance responsibility, a great alternative if you don’t want a lot of yard or exterior home maintenance.
2018 is expected to be another challenging real estate market for buyers and sellers. Be patient. Be flexible. Be ready to move quickly.
Robin is a Realtor® with Windermere Real Estate/East. She lives and works in Bellevue and specializes in the Eastside’s condo and townhome communities.
Interest in rentals remains strong, but there’s been a noticeable slight decline in area rents this year. Even in high demand urban areas, rents have dipped slightly. With thousands of new apartments recently completed or nearing completion, and hundreds more under construction, rental supply may have begun to outpace demand.
If you own a rental property there will be more competition the next time you negotiate a lease renewal. Hundreds of new apartments are available offering modern finishes, new appliances, high tech features and a long list of community amenities and services. Tenants may not be as quick to accept a rent increase or lease renewal when, for the same money, or attractive lease-signing incentives, they can move into newer digs.
If you’ve owned your investment property for a while, this may be the time to sell and maximize your return on investment. Available inventory for sale is at historic lows and buyer demand is at an all time high – the perfect storm if you’re a seller. Properties sell quickly, often with multiple offers. Renting or selling, your property needs to be in good condition, but any minor cosmetic investment will translate to a major return when you sell.
Need market information? I’ve lived and worked in downtown Bellevue for over 30 years – there isn’t much I don’t know and love about the city. A Realtor® and condo specialist for over two decades, I combine my knowledge of the city with years of condo experience to advise and guide clients through the process of buying or selling a home.
Scheduled for completion the last quarter of 2018, the new Meydenbauer Bay waterfront park promises to be bigger and better than ever. The park expansion has been in the planning stages for years while the city acquired properties and obtained funding to create the new waterfront park. The public will have access to 700′ of lakefront, a much larger swimming beach, bath house with rest rooms, changing rooms and locker rooms, a public marina and a unique pedestrian pier that will allow you to walk out over the water. Terraced grounds will provide plenty of space for picnics, relaxing and taking in the lake view. Rentals of non-motorized boats and paddle boards will also be available.
Bellevue’s waterfront is only 1 1/2 blocks from the Downtown Park. The lakefront park expansion will better connect the city’s waterfront to the Downtown Park and eventually to the Grand Connection.
Robin Myers is a Realtor® with Windermere Real Estate specializing in downtown Bellevue’s condominium residences.
There are dozens of holiday activities this month, but several should top your “to do” list this month.
Nightly at 7:00 PM Bellevue Way is closed between NE 4th and NE 8th Streets for Snowflake Lane featuring drummers, dancers, holiday characters and a parade complete with snow every night. Arrive early, sidewalks on both sides of the street fill up quickly, but it’s definitely worth the time and effort for this holiday tradition. Kids of all ages will love the event. (www.snowflakelane.com) Free parking is available at Bellevue Square and Lincoln Square. Continue reading
This time of year buying or selling a home goes on the back burner while people focus on the holidays, family and friends. Locally real estate tends to take a break until our “spring” market ramps up in late January.
When preparing a home for sale there’s a typical “to do” list that includes organizing closets, power cleaning, paint touch-up, repairs, de-cluttering inside the home and sprucing up the landscaping outside the home. There are two important items, required by the State of Washington that can’t be ignored.
The State of Washington (along with many other states) requires carbon monoxide detectors be properly installed throughout the home (https://www.doh.wa.gov) and water heaters be strapped to prevent damage or injury in the event of an earthquake. It is important for many reasons to pay close attention to these items: Continue reading
Most of us agree Bellevue is a great place to live. Residents consistently giving high marks to the city’s government, services, safety, parks and recreation services and overall amenities. One of the city’s biggest perks is its many parks – urban parks, waterfront parks and small pocket parks offering playgrounds, indoor and outdoor recreation options, walking and hiking trails, boat launches, swimming beaches and more. If you’re a park user and appreciate the city’s efforts in maintaining and improving the parks, maybe now is the time to get involved – the City Council is seeking candidates for a vacancy on the Parks and Community Services Board. Continue reading
As we approach Thanksgiving holiday, we each have our own reasons to be thankful. For some this will be a short week with the anticipation of holiday traditions and spending time with family and friends. For others this may be the beginning of a long working weekend. And for some, there’s the tradition of being the first one in line for the big holiday sale at Best Buy.
I am lucky to have several days off to spend with family and friends. We have some simple but meaningful Thanksgiving traditions in our house. First and most important, there are hot cinnamon rolls and fresh coffee while we watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. This always stirs fond memories for me – for years my grandfather and I would watch the parade together. I honestly think he had more fun than me watching the giant balloons float down the streets of New York. A more recent tradition is watching The National Dog Show – we’re big dog people in my house and its great fun to watch just how perfect everyday dogs can look when they’re strutting their stuff in front of the judges. We especially love it when they don’t behave so perfectly. I think many of the dogs in the show have more product in their hair (and better hair) than I do! Continue reading
An article in the Puget Sound Business Journal this week compared the available local condominium inventory to New York City. Granted, NYC is a much larger and more expensive market, but currently NYC has 388 condos for sale priced less than $500,00. At the time the article was written there were only five condos available for sale in Seattle priced under $500,000. Here on the greater Eastside there are less than 100 condos available for sale – not nearly enough to satisfy demand.
We are fortunate to live in a region where the economy is thriving, employers are hiring, housing is relatively affordable (compared to some other major metropolitan areas) and its a beautiful place to live with a temperate climate and year-round recreation options. Recent U.S. Census Bureau reports show that nearly 250 people move to the Seattle/Bellevue metropolitan area every week (for all the reasons just mentioned). Its also a great place to retire because of the mild climate, vibrant arts, entertainment and social scene and world class health care services, so people aren’t leaving in great numbers either. Because retirees stay in the area and because job opportunities bring hundreds of people a day to the area, it doesn’t appear there will be much change or relief to the tight inventory or escalating housing prices in the near future. Continue reading
Windermere Real Estate has partnered with the Seahawks this season to tackle homelessness. So far this year the #tacklehomelessness campaign has raised $14,600. For every defensive home game tackle, Windermere is donating $100 to YouthCare which provides services and housing to homeless youth.
No doubt the road closures throughout the city have been frustrating – be patient and flexible as those detours will continue for the next several years as the light rail construction progresses toward the 2023 opening. Those tall green walls at the corner of Main Street and 112th Avenue NE shelter the construction activity and progress being made on the light rail tunnel under downtown Bellevue that will eventually come to the surface and connect to the light rail station which will be located just east of the Bellevue Transit Center.
Click the link above for a fascinating look at the light rail tunnel construction currently in progress under downtown Bellevue’s streets. Given the scope of activity and progress, I’ve got to applaud Sound Transit for how well the the road closures have been announced and marked on the streets throughout downtown.
No doubt there will be more closures, traffic issues and inconveniences in the coming years, but keep your eye on the prize at the end. Light rail is going to be an amazing addition to the Seattle/Bellevue metropolitan area, providing traffic relief and a huge benefit to commuters. If you’ve ever visited other parts of the US where light rail already exists (Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Portland) you know it will be well worth the wait.