Seattle Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!


Nov. 2, 2018

Conditions are perfect for the real estate market in Seattle to cool some

Summer is over, but the real estate market is just catching up.

The heyday for the market is typically between May and October, when the sunshine makes for nice pictures and easy open houses. Which means that the final month is here to take advantage of the housing market before the fall drop-off.

"Over the winter, new monthly resale listings will lower by approximately 50 percent compared to summer months," J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate, said in the latest Northwest Multiple Listing Services report, noting that it's been quite a season for Seattle's market.

"The housing market close to the job centers has gone from a historic extreme-frenzy market in the spring down a few levels of hotness to a strong level of pending sales activity for new listings."

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Posted in News
Nov. 1, 2018

Seattle, the Housing Market That Can't Make Up Its Mind

The housing market in Seattle can't seem to make up its mind, just like Amazon and its search for a second headquarters.

For years, the story behind the real-estate market here was this: Californians looking for cheaper property would migrate north and push up prices indefinitely. But about a year ago, Seattle started seeing signs of outward migration, meaning more people were looking for homes elsewhere than there were people looking to move in. It signaled a tipping point for one of the nation's hottest housing markets, where homes would fetch competing bids within hours of being listed and sell for well above the asking price. Many Seattle-ites were giving up and looking elsewhere. Amazon's announcement last year that it was looking for a second headquarters only encouraged them.

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Posted in News
Oct. 24, 2018

Tacoma's median rent for a two-bedroom apartment matches D.C.'s

The latest apartment rent data are in, and they show the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Tacoma is the same as in Washington, D.C.

According to new data from website, Tacoma rents increased 1.6 percent compared with the same period last year. Median rents for a one-bedroom now are at $1,250, while median two-bedroom rents are at $1,560, according to the report.

For perspective, that’s the same median rent for a two-bedroom in the nation’s capital, according to the report.

 “This is the third straight month that (Tacoma) has seen rent increases after a decline in June,” according to the report, and the city’s year-over-year rent growth leads the state average of 1 percent, and the national average of 0.9 percent.

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Posted in News
Oct. 23, 2018

Ruston Way waterfront is a hot topic

Few places in Tacoma are more popular than the Ruston Way waterfront. The recreation magnet attracts runners, walkers, bicyclists, scuba divers, fishing enthusiasts, picnickers, restaurant diners and people who just want to enjoy the view.

The waterfront is so captivating that it’s easy to overlook signs indicating possible threats to its future as a welcome place for everyone.

Envision Our Waterfront, a joint effort of Metro Parks Tacoma and the City of Tacoma, seeks to bring attention to those indicators at two gatherings at Court House Square, 1102 A St., Tacoma. The first, from 5 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 29, is a visioning workshop to solicit ideas. The second, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 30, is a drop-in open house that will showcase the results of the initial gathering.

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Posted in Local News
Oct. 22, 2018

Tacoma continues to nip at Seattle’s heels with rising rent prices

Seattle may be famous for its rapidly increasing rent, but Tacoma is quickly closing in on its neighbor to the north.

A report from Apartment List has Tacoma rent sitting at a median price of $1,250 for a single bedroom residence, just $100 behind Seattle. We see a similar gap for two-bedrooms as well, with the two cities checking in at median prices of $1,560 and $1,680 respectively.

For some context, Bellevue currently sits atop the rankings, with the most expensive median rent for a two bedroom residence, checking in at $2,370. Renton comes in second at $2,050, and Kent in third at $1,810.

The report goes on to note that counter to common beliefs, Tacoma functions largely independent of Seattle. Rent for all apartments in Tacoma averages out somewhere between $900 and $1,200 a month — depending on who you’re asking — while “roughly half of all Tacoma workers both live and work within city limits.”

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Posted in News
Oct. 21, 2018

$419 fine for drivers who go around stopped Bellevue school buses

BELLEVUE, Wash. – Getting our kids to and from school safely is a top priority for the Bellevue School District. During the week of October 8th, the district plans to equip 27 school buses with new exterior cameras. It’s supposed to catch drivers who are speeding or go around the stopped buses. A pilot program last year found multiple violations a day.

When drivers see a school bus stopped, with a yellow arm extended, flashing lights, and the stop paddle extended, they’re supposed to stop.  But Bellevue mom Erin Moy says that doesn’t always happen.

“I’ve seen so many cars go around and they run through the middle lane. and there are so many kids on the crosswalks. I just can’t imagine if someone was hit and it would be horrible,” said Bellevue Parent Erin Moy.

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Posted in News
Oct. 20, 2018

Pearl Jam helps raise nearly $11 million to combat homelessness in King County

Organizations working to fight the homelessness issue throughout King County will get a share of nearly $11 million thanks to Pearl Jam and its partners.

Pearl Jam's Home Shows initiative raised approximately $10.8 million. The money was raised with the help of around 170 partners, which included corporations, philanthropies, and other businesses, and thousands of individuals.

Most partners have already designated the organizations that will receive about $7.8 million in funding.

More than $1.3 million is being distributed to nonprofits Pearl Jam has selected, with guidance from an advisory group. The funding will target two areas: reducing the length of time people experience homelessness in the county, and youth homelessness.

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Oct. 19, 2018

Seattle’s new Denny power substation has features and amenities specifically for public use

Substations—the electrical distribution networks that power our city—are typically utilitarian in design and hidden from view. But a new substation, the South Lake Union 13kV Distribution Network System known as the Denny Substation (South Lake Union, 1250 Denny Way; 206.684.3000), scheduled to open October 6, is radically different—and a first of its kind for the city—with features and amenities specifically for public use.

 Designed by the architects at NBBJ (which also created the Amazon spheres and worked on the new Hugo House), the substation—which fills an entire city block—is a community center that includes more than 55,000 square feet of public space, an elevated ADA-accessible pedestrian walkway, a pocket park with an off-leash area for pets, and temporary and permanent art exhibits (including work from Seattle’s renowned Lead Pencil Studio).

It’s “a symbol of pride for the neighborhood, City Light, City of Seattle and the natural region that powers the city,” says Scott Thomsen with Seattle City Light, who calls the nearly $300 million addition to the neighborhood part of a “fully developed urban environment.” We think it’s a project that might just illuminate the path toward future city growth.

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Posted in News
Oct. 18, 2018

How backyard cottages could open up Seattle’s housing market

Seattle City Council took a step closer toward legislation that would make “accessory dwelling units” easier to build, helping to offset mortgage costs for Seattle homeowners.

This comes hot on the heels of a study released by the City Council, evaluating “the potential environmental impacts of proposes changes to the City’s Land Use Code intended to remove barriers to the creation of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in single-family zones.”

In layman’s terms, the city is looking to simplify and streamline the process for homeowners to build ADUs on their properties, known colloquially as backyard cottages or in-law units.

Homeowners would then be able to rent these units out, providing an additional source of income that could then be put toward anything from day-to-day living to mortgage payments. Alternatively, it also opens up more housing options for renters.

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Posted in Local News
Oct. 17, 2018

Total up-front cost of buying a house in Seattle more than double the U.S. average

Buying a home will probably be one of the most expensive transactions you'll ever make (if you're so lucky), and it's not just the hidden costs of home ownership that make the upfront cost so daunting. It's the basic move in costs as well.

According to a new report by Zillow's and Thumbtack, the down payment, coupled with cleaning costs appraisal, transfer taxes, homeowners insurance, title insurance, origination fee -- well, you get the picture -- can form a hefty price tag.

Most of that will be going toward the down-payment, but it all adds up: According to the report, the U.S. total average for one-time costs of buying a home is $40,080 -- a paltry sum compared to Seattle's $80,091.

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Posted in Real Estate