Bellevue’s Condo Market is Off to a Quick Start This Year

Today’s Seattle Times (link to the article below) provided a review of the region’s 2019 real estate market  comparing sales activity and property values to the prior year. While prices in the county were flat throughout the year, the last quarter of 2019 bucked that trend with inventory selling quickly and multiple offers more common.

There are currently only 26 condominiums listed for sale in all of Bellevue. Since January 1st, 11 new condos were listed for sale  –  all have sales pending and many received multiple offers. What’s driving the spring market?

Low mortgage interest rates. Fannie Mae conforming loan limits increased to $741,750 in King County. (Jumbo loans will have slightly higher interest rates.) Conventional and FHA loan programs offer low down payment programs (3%, 5%, 10%) for qualified buyers, making it easier to purchase a first or move-up home.

Amazon is scheduled to start moving employees into the former Expedia office tower in downtown Bellevue this summer. Amazon has also signed leases for several office towers currently under construction that will be completed in the next 9-24 months. Employees who know their jobs will move from Seattle to Bellevue are already searching for homes in Bellevue.

Buyers want shorter commutes, and they’re willing to make compromises for less car time and more personal/family time. There are dozens of condo communities within a 15 minute or less commute to Bellevue’s central business district as well as Kirkland and Redmond workplaces. Those communities are in high demand.

 

The “spring” market is off to an early and active start. The next few weeks should set the pace and reveal what buyers and sellers can expect in the coming months.

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/while-regions-median-home-prices-rose-last-year-king-countys-took-a-dip-but-it-wont-last/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=article_inset_1.1

 

 

Posted on January 17, 2020 at 11:45 AM
Robin Myers | Category: Bellevue, condominiums, Downtown Bellevue, real estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Snow Days

I grew up on the East coast, so was used to several snow storms every winter. School was rarely cancelled or delayed and you hardly ever got a day off work due to snow. The north and mid-Atlantic states on the East coast are prepared for snow every winter. There are more snow plows there than there are Starbucks and Teslas here in Bellevue. Still, when we occasionally get snow here it reminds me of when I was a kid and we couldn’t wait until the snow was deep enough to head to the perfect sledding streets.

The Puget Sound region doesn’t get as excited about snow – too many hills and not quite as many snow plows. I live downtown and whenever it snows I can’t wait to find my snow gear and head out for a walk. Everything seems quieter when its snowing and the skyline takes on a different look in the snow. The dogs love the snow too – they’re like little kids jumping, rolling and snow-plowing their noses through the snow. Its great fun to watch the kids build snow people and navigate their sleds down the hillside at Ashford Park. Living downtown, I have the luxury of being able to walk everywhere for anything I need – a definite advantage to urban living.

It’s Wednesday afternoon and here comes the snow again. Hope everyone makes it home safely and someone has a hot chocolate ready when you get home. Be patient . . . the days are getting longer and before you know it, it will be spring.

Posted on January 15, 2020 at 2:02 PM
Robin Myers | Category: Bellevue, condominiums, Downtown Bellevue, family, lifestyle | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Eastside Condos – What Can You Expect in 2020?

Today’s Seattle Times and Puget Sound Business Journal reported that the 2020 real estate marketplace was likely to open fast paced with low inventory levels and high buyer demand following a robust December of residential sales. Without a significant increase in available housing inventory it could be a “red hot market” this year with a return to multiple offers and rising prices.

While most of 2019 was relatively flat for home sales and property appreciation in King County, the last quarter of the year ended up being the most active in recent years. The same was true for Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap Counties.

 

Downtown Bellevue’s condo market was no different  –  flat throughout most of the year with a flurry of activity in the last quarter. There were 258 downtown condo sales in 2019 reflecting a median sales price of $729,500, less than a 1% increase over the prior year. More notable is that 46 of those 258 condos sold during the last quarter and the median sales price for the last 90 days of the year was $869,500. There are currently only 16 condos listed for sale in the Bellevue downtown/98004 zip code.

More jobs are coming to downtown Bellevue this year and continuing for the next few years as companies plan to move to or expand their footprint in Bellevue. Employees, anticipating a move to the Eastside, are already searching for homes close to workplaces and transit. Location, location, location is still true in real estate, but of growing importance are transit options and access to those workplaces, schools, amenities, services, etc. Communities in and near downtown will be in high demand as buyers more on available transit options (light rail, bus, ride services, bike, etc.) to reduce commute time and regain quality of life. Location will always favorably impact value, but the word for this decade may be “transit” when it comes to property values and market desirability.

 

 

 

Posted on January 7, 2020 at 4:35 PM
Robin Myers | Category: Bellevue, condominiums, Downtown Bellevue, home property values, real estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Welcome Winter

 

I love the change of seasons, despite winter’s shorter days. Embrace the grey! Though slowly, the days will begin getting longer.

Posted on December 21, 2019 at 9:19 AM
Robin Myers | Category: Bellevue, condominiums, events, lifestyle | Tagged , , , ,

Changes Planned for the Overlake/Sears Property in Redmond

Seritage concept rendering

http://www.redmond.gov/seritage

 

Design and use changes are proposed for the existing Sears site in the Redmond/Overlake area. The rendering above and link to the City of Redmond website provides more information about the Seritage mixed use project. Preliminary plans for the 13 acre site propose office, retail, hotel, restaurants and residential plus approximately 2 acres of parks and open space.

Anyone interested in learning more about the proposed project can attend a public meeting on Thursday, March 8th at 6:00 PM at the Redmond Community Center at Marymoor Village (6505 176th Avenue NE, Redmond, WA).

Posted on March 1, 2018 at 4:43 PM
Robin Myers | Category: neighborhoods, real estate, Redmond | Tagged , , , , ,

Bellevue’s New Waterfront Park

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.

Posted on January 29, 2018 at 1:48 PM
Robin Myers | Category: Bellevue, Downtown Bellevue, Downtown Park, recreation | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Thanksgiving Traditions

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

Posted on November 21, 2017 at 9:30 AM
Robin Myers | Category: family, holidays, Snowflake Lane, Thanksgiving | Tagged , , , , , ,

Bellevue Light Rail Tunnel Construction

https://www.soundtransit.org/blog/platform/going-underground-east-link-light-rail-moving-forward-under-downtown-bellevue?utm_source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=oct_digest

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.

Posted on November 2, 2017 at 11:03 AM
Robin Myers | Category: Downtown Bellevue, lifestyle, light rail | Tagged , , ,

Bellevue’s Newest Lake-to-Lake Video

There’s lots happening in the city. Watch the latest Lake-to-Lake video, produced monthly by the City of Bellevue.

  • Meet Bellevue’s Newest 4 Legged Police Force Member
  • Visit the Downtown Park Inspiration Playground
  • Watch the progress of the light rail tunnel being constructed downtown

With it’s thriving central business district, a vibrant arts and entertainment scene diverse variety of shopping and dining choices, dozens of parks, top rated schools and medical care  –  its a great place to call home. I’ve lived and worked in downtown Bellevue for over two decades – I love living in the city.  If you’re making a move to the city, or just need more information about what’s happening in and around Bellevue, let’s talk.

Enjoy the video.

Posted on October 5, 2017 at 4:43 PM
Robin Myers | Category: Bellevue, Downtown Park, lifestyle, light rail | Tagged , , , , ,

Does Commute Time Impact Home Value?

photo courtesy Flickr/Ming-yen Hsu

How does commute time impact local home values and buyer’s decisions on neighborhood selection?

According to the US Census, Americans rank having a short commute second only to low crime rates when it comes to determining where to buy or rent a home. One study found that New Yorkers will pay nearly $60 more a month in rent to trim just one minute off their commute. That trend is the same locally – buyers are willing to pay more for a home if it offers an easier commute. As a result, areas in King County with shorter commutes have higher home values.

Urban locations close to employment centers can be expensive, but efficient public transit will level the playing field, providing a more reasonable commute that reaches more affordable housing choices. In our area, the future expansion of light rail on the Eastside and north along the I-5 corridor will have a positive impact on many neighborhoods. Finally, developers are starting to take a closer look at demographics and buyer wants/needs, planning mixed use and multifamily housing near future light ail routes and transit centers. Continue reading

Posted on September 26, 2017 at 9:00 AM
Robin Myers | Category: Downtown Bellevue, home property values, lifestyle, real estate | Tagged , , , , ,