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!

 

May 21, 2019

Homebuilder business looking up thanks to lower mortgage rates

After a year of decline, home-building companies are getting a boost.

Shares of home-building companies are on track for their best quarter in seven years, the Wall Street Journal reported. The SPDR S&P Homebuilders exchange-traded fund — which includes building-products and home-furnishing companies — has soared 17 percent this quarter and is on pace for its best three-month period since 2012.

Shares of Beazer Homes USA, BZH, Lennar, KB Home and D.R. Horton have all bounced back — each climbing about 20 percent. Meanwhile, NVR and Toll Brothers have risen 15 percent and 9 percent, respectively.

Click here for more information: https://therealdeal.com/2019/03/26/home-builder-shares-are-bouncing-back-thanks-to-lower-mortgage-rates/

May 20, 2019

Housing sentiment surges in March

Lower mortgage rates are likely behind a surge in housing sentiment, which could help rev up what started as a sluggish spring season.

A monthly survey from Fannie Mae showed that, in March, positive sentiment jumped to the highest level since June, which was just below the record high.

More consumers think now is a good time to buy and sell a home, and more expect interest rates to fall in the next year. The net share of those who say it is a good time to buy increased 7 percentage points to 22%, although this is 10 points lower than a year ago. The share of those who say now is a good time to sell a home increased 13 percentage points to 43%, up 4 points from a year ago.

Click here for more information: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/08/housing-sentiment-surges-in-march-and-sellers-are-the-most-optimistic.html

Posted in Real Estate
May 19, 2019

U.S. median home price hits a record and the high end remains hot

If you’re shopping for a cheap home this spring, good luck. The median value of homes listed for sale in March hit a record $300,000, according to realtor.com.

Home values overheated from 2016 to mid-2018, as demand outstripped supply, especially at the lower end of the market. Those gains began to shrink last summer, as mortgage rates rose. The difference this spring is that there continues to be a shortage of entry-level homes for sale, but the supply of higher-end homes is rising.

“Despite a slowing growth rate, home prices will likely continue to set new records later this year,” said Danielle Hale, realtor.com’s chief economist. “Heading into spring, U.S. prices are expected to continue to rise and inventory is expected to continue to increase, but at a slower pace than we’ve seen the last few months as fewer sellers want to contend with this year’s more challenging conditions.”

Click here for more information: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/04/home-prices-hit-a-new-record.html

May 18, 2019

US Charges Facebook With High-Tech Housing Discrimination

NEW YORK (AP) — The federal government charged Facebook with high-tech housing discrimination Thursday for allegedly allowing landlords and real estate brokers to systematically exclude groups such as non-Christians, immigrants and minorities from seeing ads for houses and apartments.

The civil charges filed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development could cost the social network millions of dollars in penalties. But more than that, they strike at the heart of Facebook's business model — its vaunted ability to deliver ads with surgical precision to certain groups of people and not others.

"Facebook is discriminating against people based upon who they are and where they live," HUD Secretary Ben Carson said. "Using a computer to limit a person's housing choices can be just as discriminatory as slamming a door in someone's face."

Click here for more information: https://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2019-03-28/facebook-facing-housing-discrimination-charges-from-hud

Posted in News
May 17, 2019

Growth Path Boosts South Snohomish Investor Appeal

Affluent cities in South Snohomish have become an attractive alternative to Bellevue, pushing multifamily rental rates and pricing for newer construction such as the $58 million sale of Altia.

LYNNWOOD, WA—A recent sale is one of the largest multifamily transactions in Snohomish County within the last several years. And, brokers associated with the disposition of Altia, a 230-unit garden-style multifamily property, point to its diverse unit mix and relatively recent construction as positives for the buyer. The asset sold for $58 million to California-based FSC Realty LLC.

Click here for more information: https://www.globest.com/2019/04/09/growth-path-boosts-south-snohomish-investor-appeal/?slreturn=20190417135246

Posted in Local News
May 16, 2019

Bay Area startup looks to help Snohomish County teachers buy homes

A San Francisco-based startup wants to help teachers in both Everett and Mukilteo buy their own homes.

The Everett Herald reports the program called Learned would chip in up to $120,000 for half the down payment for teachers and employees in the two districts. In return, participants would then share in any future profit or losses.

“We are a true co-partner, we share on both sides — gains or loss,” said Ian Magruder, head of partnerships at Landed, told the Herald.

The program is also being viewed as a way to recruit and retain staff as housing costs drastically increase across the country. Landed started offering similar assistance to Bellevue School District employees last October (where Landed co-founder Alex Lofton attended school as a child).

Click here for more information: https://mynorthwest.com/1346996/everett-mukilteo-landed-down-payment-homes/

Posted in Local News
May 15, 2019

Amazon’s original birthplace sells for $1.5M

Amazon’s first home has a new owner.

The house at 10704 N.E. 28th St. in Bellevue, Wash., formerly rented by Jeff Bezos as he was just getting the company off the ground, sold recently for $1.52 million, above the list price of $1.49 million. Records filed with King County list the buyer as Peng Chen, with scant additional details other than Chen’s status as a “married individual” with “his/her separate estate.”

Even with the sale complete, the fate of the oversized mailbox that sat on the curb for decades and become part of technology lore remains unknown. The mailbox is believed to have been used by Bezos and the company’s early employees to accommodate the book catalogs they were receiving for the online bookstore back when the company was known as Cadabra, Inc.

Click here for more information: https://www.geekwire.com/2019/amazons-original-birthplace-sells-1-5m-fate-legendary-mailbox-remains-unclear/

Posted in Local News
May 14, 2019

Bellevue Ranks as Most Expensive Rent in Greater Seattle

According to a recent report from Zumper Seattle Metro, Bellevue ranked as the most expensive city for rent in the Seattle metro area this month.

The report analyzed active listings in March 2019 across 20 metro cities to show the most and least expensive cities, and cities with the fastest growing rents. The median price for a one bedroom in Washington state was $1,279 last month. For Bellevue, the median price of a one-bedroom unit was $1,990, which fell 1.5%, and a two-bedroom unit was $2,350, which remained flat.

Click here for more information: https://downtownbellevue.com/2019/04/15/bellevue-ranks-most-expensive-rent-greater-seattle/

May 13, 2019

Affordable housing could benefit from lawmakers expansion of real estate excise tax

Legislation to give cities and counties the option to spend real estate excise taxes on affordable housing projects is close to final approval.

“It is one in many tools that we can use to address housing affordability and homelessness,” said the bill’s lead sponsor, Rep. Amy Walen, a Kirkland Democrat whose city has used the expanded authority to help develop a homeless shelter for women and families.

Since 2011, cities and counties have been able to charge a 0.25 percent real estate excise tax that property sellers pay. If cities and counties are required to use the state Growth Management Act — designed to regulate sprawl and protect environmentally-sensitive lands — they can levy an additional 0.25 percent, referred to as REET 2. The local taxes are on top of the state’s real estate excise tax, which has a 1.28 percent rate.

Click here for more information: https://www.thenewstribune.com/latest-news/article229117949.html

Posted in Local News
May 12, 2019

Kitsap’s real estate remained strong over the winter

Following a frigid February, March made for an "eventful month for real estate," according to brokers cited in the latest Northwest Multiple Listing Service report. Buyers hopped back into the market and kicked off peak real estate season in earnest around Seattle, with more choices and less competition.

But there are some areas that reported strong activity no matter what happened. Kitsap and the South Sound, for instance, reported heavy traffic at open houses and pending sales out-gaining new listings.

"In Kitsap County, the buyers have arrived to the market faster than sellers," Frank Wilson, Kitsap regional manager and branch managing broker at John L. Scott's Poulsbo office, said in the latest NWMLS report.

Click here for more information: https://www.seattlepi.com/realestate/article/Seattle-Kitsap-real-estate-home-market-spring-13759934.php

Posted in Local News