Seattle Market Update – February 2014

Jan 2014 home prices rise

The 2014 real estate market got off to a strong start. Positive job growth and still-low interest rates added up to solid sales and sizable appreciation.

Inventory in King County was up slightly, but still remains tight with about 2.4 months of supply. A 4-6 month supply is considered balanced; a supply below four months tips the scale to a seller’s market. We are seeing lots of buyers looking, but not enough of the right inventory to meet demand.  This is particularly true for move-up buyers looking for move-in ready homes in neighborhoods close to downtown Seattle.

With inventory low, it’s not surprising that prices are up.  Single-family home sales in King County reached a median price of $410,000 in January, up 17 percent over the prior year.

The luxury market had a stellar year. The number of $1 million+ properties sold in 2013 was up nearly 40 percent over 2012.

The Seattle area’s strong job and population growth should keep the market strong through 2014. Zillow ranks the Seattle area as the nation’s second hottest housing market in 2014, just behind Salt Lake City. They forecast home prices in the Seattle area to rise 5.9 percent in the coming year.

Want to know what’s happening in your neighborhood? Check out our monthly Neighborhood Report for:

Laurelhurst

Windermere

View Ridge

Sand Point Country Club

Bryant

Wedgwood

Capitol Hill

Madison Park

Montlake

Portage Bay

The market in Seattle today is a head scratcher. Certain homes are selling quickly while others are requiring sellers to be patient.

Entry-level priced homes are particularly hot. New construction and turn-key homes are moving well, however there is scant inventory in those categories. Waterfront inventory is down, which has increased demand. However, buyers making a seven figure purchase are choosy about amenities and savvy with negotiations.

Compared to a year ago, the number of transactions are up, and home values are significantly higher. The median price of homes sold in Seattle in October was up 13% over last year. Inventory spiked mid-year but it has come back down again – not to the levels of the first quarter of 2013, but well below 2011-2012 inventory.

The gusty weather has blanketed the area with fallen leaves and branches. Make sure and check that your gutters and downspouts are clear. Have a happy and safe holiday season!

<!–[if !mso]> <! st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } –>