NWMLS July 2013 Report – Home Sales & Prices Rising

Rising interest rates, rising prices and rising consumer confidence are creating a “positive cyclone of home sales activity,” according to members of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. A robust job market around the Greater Seattle area is also spurring sales.

Member-brokers reported 9,565 pending sales during July for an increase of more than 13.6 percent from a year ago – the highest year-over-year gain since January. Last month’s mutually accepted offers across 21 counties also marked a slight improvement on June’s total of 9,484 pending sales.

Northwest MLS director John Deely, the principal managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain in Seattle, said multiple offers are being reported in all price ranges “with properly priced new listings, and we’re still seeing a surprising number of all cash buyers.” He also noted many transactions are conditioned on the closing of a pending sale as move-up sellers enter the market to buy a new property.

Continue reading the full NWMLS report


NWMLS June 2013 Report – Market Remains Competitive

Current market conditions  ̶  including rising mortgage rates, tight inventory and declining unemployment  ̶  are driving even more buyers into what is already an “extremely competitive housing market,” reported OB Jacobi, a member of the board of directors for Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

New figures from the MLS show pending sales during June jumped 10.6 percent from twelve months ago as buyers scrambled to lock in loan rates and bid on a limited supply of homes. Members in the 21 counties served by Northwest MLS reported 9,484 mutually accepted offers last month, outgaining the year-ago number of pending sales by 907 transactions.

>>    Continue reading the full NWMLS market report release (pdf)


Feature Listing: 2-bedroom Capitol Hill Condo

This property is no longer available for sale

The Vertigo: 705 E Republican St, Seattle, WA

Take advantage of the best of urban living in this tranquil two-bedroom NW corner condo accentuated by large windows offering a bright and airy open living space and a modern kitchen for the home chef.

This well appointed home features:

  • bamboo floors
  • slab granite counters in kitchen and bath
  • stainless steel appliances
  • a fireplace
  • private balcony perfect for a BBQ
  • in-unit washer/dryer
  • parking
  • extra storage
  • private balcony perfect for a BBQ
  • WalkScore of 98

The fabulous roof top deck and garden offers a sunny and quiet respite from city life that offers stunning views of downtown, the Space Needle, Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains beyond.

Located in the heart of Capitol Hill, just off Broadway, you’re close to everything – markets, restaurants and cafes, coffee and wine, nightlife and the arts, the new light rail station, not to mention an easy commute to downtown & SLU.

This home is offered at $330,000.

View additional photos and details.

Questions about this property? Feel free to drop us a note or inquire for a private showing.

May 2013 Market Report – NWMLS

Well-priced homes continue to draw multiple offers and sell at a brisk pace around Western Washington as buyers react to increases in interest rates and asking prices.

Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported double-digit gains in several key indicators it tracks for the 21 counties in its service area. Compared to a year ago, the number of new listings climbed 16 percent, pending sales increased about 10 percent, closed sales jumped nearly 22 percent, and prices rose more than 13 percent. Despite gains in listing activity, inventory remains tight.

Commenting on the latest report, brokers said the fast pace is frustrating some buyers — and surprising sellers with unrealistic expectations. One broker cautioned against an overheated market. “We do not want a market that escalates too fast and topples again,” commented Frank Wilson, Kitsap district manager at John L. Scott Real Estate and branch managing broker for its Poulsbo/Kingston office.

Continue reading the full report (PDF)

Northwest 2012 Real Estate Market Review

Northwest MLS brokers report nearly $20 billion in sales for 2012 outgaining prior year by $3.2 billion

Kirkland, WA, January 17, 2013 – Members of Northwest Multiple Listing Service tallied 64,624 closed sales of single family homes and condominiums during 2012, improving on 2011’s volume by 8,332 transaction for a gain of nearly 15 percent.

Last year’s completed sales included 55,699 single family homes and 8,925 condominiums. Together, these sales were valued at more than $19.9 billion, which compares to the previous year’s total of around $16.7 billion (up nearly 19.6 percent).

Median prices area-wide increased by $10,000 (about 4.3 percent), rising from $235,000 to $245,000, although not all areas reported gains. Mason, Snohomish and King counties reported the healthiest jumps.

  • Closed sales: Northwest MLS broker-members reported 64,622 closed sales valued at nearly $20 billion.
  • Median Price: $245,000 for single-family homes and condos that sold last year, up nearly 4.3 percent from 2011.
  • MLS members added 91,359 new listings of SFH and condos to inventory, a drop of more than 10,000 units from 2011.
  • Represented 241,781 home sellers, on average, each month.
  • Reported 1,116 sales of single family homes and 138 sales of condominiums priced at $1 millionor more. 623 condos sold for $500,000 or more.
  • The MLS area covering Bellevue/West of 405 (map area 520) had the highest number of million dollar-plus sales with 202, followed by Central Seattle (area 390) with 129. For high-end condos ($500,000-plus), Belltown/Downtown Seattle claimed the highest number of sales (170), followed by the area covering West Bellevue with 158.
  • Highest prices: Among the 21 counties in the MLS service area, King County claimed the highest median price for single family homes that sold last year ($365,000).
  • New construction: The median price for7,170 newly built single-family homes that sold in 2012 area wide was $299,950; for 930 condo sales it was $331,888.
  • About half (48.8 percent) of single family homes that sold system-wide last year had 3 bedrooms.
  • Condos: Brokers sold more than 8,900 condominiums during 2012; nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of condo sales system-wide were in King County; nearly 77 percent had two or fewer bedrooms.
  • Prices, 3-bedrooom homes: The median price for a 3-bedroom home that sold in 2012 was$229,000; median prices on these homes ranged from a low $117,900 in Pacific County to $370,750 in San Juan County.
  • Most expensive: The highest priced single family home that sold was on Mercer Island ($21,625,000); the highest priced condo was a downtown Seattle penthouse ($4.25 million).

Continue reading the full NWMLS press release for 2012 (pdf)

December 2012 Market Report – NWMLS

Northwest MLS Tallies Busy December as First-time Buyers, Investors Return

KIRKLAND, Wash. (January 7, 2013) – Home buyers around western Washington made offers on 5,314 residences during December, outnumbering the 3,857 owners who listed their homes for sale. The imbalance helped push up prices and further thin already depleted inventory.

While the expected seasonal slowdown occurred last month, determined buyers were undaunted by sparse inventory and record-breaking rainy days, according to December statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

“This is a unique housing market,” said J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate. “There is nothing normal about the combination of factors fueling the current market,” he added.

Continue reading the report (PDF)


National Open House Event – April 28 & 29, 2012

The annual National Open House Event is coming up this weekend on Saturday April 28th and Sunday 29th. The Washington REALTORS association anticipates several hundred properties will be open to the public. So far, are over 650 properties in King County are participating, including more than 200 in Seattle. That number will rise as we get closer to the weekend.

House hunters – including first-time buyers and investors – will be able to learn more about home ownership from experts who are hosting the open houses. The National Open House Weekend is a stress-free event where prospective home buyers can arrange their own customized tours (with or without an accompanying Realtor) as part of the Open House showcase.

Living Northwest provides online tools for identifying listings open this weekend. Simply click on the “Open House” tab in the left hand column on the property search page to locate open house opportunities.

I will be hosting an open house at Veer Lofts in South Lake Union on Sunday, April 29th from 1 pm to 4 pm. If you’d like to check out this fantastic building or want to chat about the Seattle real estate market, please come by.

Veer Lofts is located at 401 9th Avenue N.

Tips for Buying in a Home in a Seller’s Market

If you’re been looking to purchase a home in the Seattle region, it almost seems as though the market changed overnight. Ever since the housing market crashed several years ago, buyers had been keenly aware that Seattle represented a strong buyer’s market. However, since the start of the year the market has shifted.

Seattle is exhibiting seller market characteristics as the supply of available Seattle homes for sale constrict. Compared to last March, there are 38% fewer properties on the market today.

Demand has risen as homebuyers and investors take advantage of lower home selling prices and historic low mortgage interest rates. As a result, buyers are encountering more multiple offer situations and, yes, we’re even beginning to see bidding wars again.

How can buyers best position themselves to have their offer accepted at the best possible price?

Here are a few tips for buying a Seattle home in a seller’s market:

  • Get your finances in order before venturing out. Work with a recommended mortgage lender to get pre-approved, or if you’re a cash buyer, have your proof of funds on hand. You will benefit by knowing how much you can afford and you’ll be in a stronger position when making an offer. Buyer financing is the number one reason why transactions fall apart so sellers give greater weight to cash and pre-approved buyers.
  • Know your limit. If you happen to encounter a multiple offer situation, know how high you’re willing to go. This will allow you to present your highest and best offer while keeping you from straying beyond your budget. The last thing you want is being caught up in a bidding situation and paying more than you should.
  • Research in advance. Determine the neighborhoods and type of properties that best suit your needs and lifestyle – layout, number of stories, yard space, transportation and commute options, crime rate, market sales activity, price trends and so on. By defining the areas you’d like to live in, you’ll be able to move more readily giving you an edge over the competition when properties become available in your favorite neighborhoods. You will know a good value and the perfect property when you see it.
  • Be prepared to act quickly. When a house that ticks off all the boxes comes on the market, be prepared to act quickly. Homes that are well priced for the market, in good condition and located in desirable neighborhoods are selling faster. Recently, in the hour it took me between setting up a showing with a buyer and arriving at the property the unit went pending. It was on the market less than 24 hours.
  • Strengthen your offer position. In a multiple offer situation, consider minimizing contingencies and strengthening the other elements of your offer. This may include a larger down payment or earnest money deposit amount, pre-inspecting the property, or being flexible with the contract terms such as the closing date or escrow preference.

Heading into spring, we are moving towards the high season for home purchases. The low cost to finance, better values and warmer weather offer a compelling opportunity for buyers to enter the market, and as they do they are experiencing dwindling inventory supply and greater competition from other buyers. To get the edge buyers need to be aware of these essential tips for buying in Seattle’s evolving real estate market.

Are you ready to get your feet wet?   Contact the Living Northwest team at Keller Williams Greater Seattle to get started.


March 2012 Seattle Housing Market Update

In March, the Seattle housing market may have turned the corner, even if only for one month as the median Seattle home sales price inched up 0.56% to $359,500 over last March.

The single family dwelling median sales price fared better than condos increasing 3.12% to $397,000 while condos lagged behind falling 11.75% to $236,500, compared to a year ago.

Currently, Seattle’s real estate market is exhibiting a “seller’s market” characteristic with low inventory supply and high buyer demand. The number of available homes for sale dropped 38.4% from a year ago while sales have increased 15.4%. Brokers are reporting a greater number of multiple offer instances, something we haven’t seen since the bubble burst.

Citywide, the inventory supply rate has dropped to 1.6 months of supply. That means, at the current rate of sales and provided no new listings come on market, it will take 1.6 months to sell out the remaining inventory. The months of supply metric is used to identify the market environment:

1 – 3 Months:  Sellers Market
4 – 6 Months:  Neutral Market
6 + Months:     Buyers Market

Will this trend continue? It’s hard to say. This time of year we normally see the number of listings rise as homeowners take advantage of the Spring selling season to put their homes on the market. However, that hasn’t happened this year, which is resulting in a dearth of inventory. On the other hand, low mortgage interest rates, rising rental rates and a better economic outlook in the Seattle region are encouraging buyers into the housing market.

Inventory will likely remain low until (1) housing prices start to increase and homeowners feel more confident about realizing appreciation (or minimizing their losses) and (2) banks begin to reduce the shadow inventory.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms Required for Sellers

Recently a new law went into effect in Washington state requiring all residential homes for sale to have carbon monoxide alarms installed.  The new law (RCW 19.27.530) took effect on April 1, 2012 and is applicable to single family homes, condominiums, townhomes and manufactured/mobile homes.

The building code requires that carbon monoxide alarms be installed outside each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of each bedroom, on each level of the dwelling, and in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

What is carbon monoxide and why are alarms necessary?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that kills approximately 500 people in the United States every year. Carbon monoxide killed over 1,000 Washington residents between 1990 and 2005. You cannot hear, taste, see or smell carbon monoxide.  In many cases of reported carbon monoxide poisoning, victims were aware they were not well, but became so disoriented that they were unable to save themselves by either exiting the building or calling for assistance.  Young children and household pets are typically the first affected.

More info from the Washington State Department of Health:



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Listing information is provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS). Property information is based on available data that may include MLS information, county records, and other sources. Listings marked with this symbol: provided by Northwest Multiple Listing Service, 2015. All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. All properties are subject to prior sale or withdrawal. © 2015 NWMLS. All rights are reserved.
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