Interest rates remained historically low for the month of November and 53% of the homes available for sale on Seattle's Eastside received a mutually accepted offer. On average, the median home price was $652,366 (10% above last year's median price of $592,041!) and the average days a home was available on the market was 57 days — a slight change from this Spring's 35 days.
While the real estate market may feel slower, it's only seasonal. The demand for homes in our area stays strong. The month of November was the best November since 2005 for pending home and condominium sales! Not surpringly, many buyers have complained that there is still not enough home inventory to choose from; the numbers prove their frustrations: home inventory is down 12% year over year.
December slowdown is expected as many buyers and sellers focus on the holidays and year end. As we move forward into the new year, interest rates should stay low to keep the buyers motivated. I've been busily viewing new developments on the Eastiside, including Bothell, Redmond, Sammamish and Issaquah, and with the release of several new construction communities, these homes will help alleviate some of the demand. If you are waiting for the Spring market but have the ability to act now, I would recommend it! Take advantage of this healthy, neutral market while it's still quiet from the holidays.
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The Windermere Real Estate Company has been featured in many social media avenues over the past few weeks! Here are a few articles that I'd love to share with you. I'm proud to work for such a driven, creative, professional company that cares about our clients and community. Plus, our real estate market is healthy!
Probably one of the most beautiful, expansive condos on the Eastside. And available for sale for $6 Million.
One of Lake Washington's most unusual houses:
A new wave of Asian buyers are coming to the Eastside!
We are blessed to live in Seattle. Surrounded by big business like Amazon, Microsoft, Costco, REI and Google. As Kemper Freeman continues to develop in Downtown Bellevue, Canadian Developer Nat Bosa continues his two tower condo project "Insignia" in Belltown, and South Lake Union gets developed to accomate the new Amazon campus, it's important (and enlightening!) to keep tabs on our Seattle/Eastside Real Estate market — and the National market, too. The Seattle Times just released the following article:
Americans bought homes in October at the briskest pace this year, a sign that the sluggish housing market is turning around. Sales of existing homes rose 1.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.26 million last month, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. That's up from a revised pace of 5.18 million in September. October marked the first month in 2014 when sales increased compared to a year ago, registering a 2.5 percent gain.
Still, the Realtors project that 2014 sales will fall below 2013 levels. "Continued gains in existing home sales are going to be difficult," said Ted Wieseman, an analyst at Morgan Stanley.
Home sales slumped through much of 2014 after a three-year rally in the wake of the recession and the implosion of the housing market. Harsh winter weather crippled sales at the beginning of 2014, just as tight credit, rising home prices and essentially flat incomes increasingly limited the number of buyers who could afford a home.
At the same time, investors are backing off properties to either rent out or renovate and resell.
Over the past 12 months, the share of homes being bought by investors has slipped to 15 percent from 19 percent, according to the Realtors. As the real estate market has mended from the recession, the opportunity has eroded for investors to profit from buying homes at steep discounts.
Just 4 percent of the single-family houses sold in the third-quarter were flipped by investors, who frequently bought distressed properties on the cheap, fixed them up and put them back on the market, according to a report released Thursday by housing data firm RealtyTrac.
Flipping accounted for 5.6 percent of sales during the same period in 2013. Its share nearly reached 10 percent in 2012.
Not counting renovation costs and other expenses, investors made on average a 36 percent return $75,900 on each home they flipped. That profit margin fell from 37 percent last year. But unlike recent years when flippers bought at a discount and sold the homes at a discount compared with the broader market, sales are now at a 6 percent premium, suggesting that their repairs are more extensive than in the past.
"The flippers aren't just slapping on a fresh coat of paint and rolling out new carpets," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.
Median home prices rose 5.5 percent over the past 12 months to $208,300, according to the October sales report.
First-time buyers have yet to return to the market, representing just 29 percent of sales last month. This group historically accounts for 40 percent of sales.
The time on the market is also steadily increasing. It took 63 days on average to sell a home last month versus 44 days in June during the height of the summer buying season.
The Realtors estimate that 4.94 million existing homes will be sold this year, down 3 percent from 5.09 million in 2013. Analysts say sales of roughly 5.5 million existing homes are common in a healthy real estate market.
October sales improved in the Northeast, Midwest and South compared to the previous month, but purchases declined in the West.
The uptick in activity caused the inventory of homes on the market to slip to 5.1 months. When the supply of homes for sale falls beneath 5 months, it usually signals accelerating price growth.
Home prices have been increasing at a much faster clip than incomes, hurting affordability and causing sales to drag. Prices increased 5.6 percent in September compared with a year ago, real estate data provider CoreLogic reported. While the pace of appreciation has slowed this year, it still is almost three times greater than the approximately two percent increase in average wages tracked by the Labor Department.
Lower mortgage rates in recent weeks have improved affordability, though sales have yet to rise substantially. Average 30-year mortgage rates have been hovering around 4 percent, down nearly half a percentage point since January.
Still, other reports suggest that home sales could improve in 2015.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index rose to 58 this month, up from 54 in October, a sign that sales of newly-built homes should continue to improve over the next six months. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good rather than poor.
Separately, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday that applications for building permits rose 4.8 percent in October to 1.08 million, evidence that construction activity could increase next year.
Hello real estate market-watchers!
This is my first blog post offering a deeper glimpse into our current market. I'll look forward to talking about our statistics from this month forward…
Our May statistics have just been released, and it's not surprising that the approaching summer market will most likely continue it's momentum. The month of May provided Seller's with a huge advantage: even though inventory increased almost 20% from April, it was still historically low on Seattle's Eastside. So much so, that if a Seller's home was priced well and presented beautifully, chances are they received multiple offers. You've probably heard all about this in the news and have been following the hype through social media. Newspaper headlines like, "Bidding wars, cash, heat up Eastside's real estate market" are still hitting the newsstands. It's been a challenge for many buyers, especially for Washington transplants who are desperate to move from temporary housing to their own home. Thankfully, with the slight increase in home inventory last month, more Seller's should be taking the leap and selling their homes this summer. Buyers should be able to give a sigh of relief to that news!
To recap the month of May, the total units for sale were 1428. These sales were a 20.6% increase over last month; an 8.1% increase compared to last year. Median prices also stayed steady at $619,000 compared to last May's median price of $565,000. The Average Days of Market for a home going from "active" to "pending" status was just 33 days.
If you are interested in hearing about specific stats for your neighborhood, or would like a complimentary analysis of your home's value, feel free to contact me.