Q3 2018 Seattle-Eastside Real Estate Report

Q3 Market Snapshot for Seattle and the Eastside

 

As Q3 comes to a close, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are at their highest levels since April 2011—now averaging just above 4.7%. Even so, they are still far lower than their 30-year trendline. A 1% increase in mortgage interest rates decreases buying power by 10%. Or said differently, a 1% rate increase has the same net effect on monthly payment as a 10% increase in the sale price. That also means if prices fell 10% but rates went up 1% your payment would remain the same. This is a far bigger factor than most people consider.

 

Both first-time and move-up home buyers, with (finally!) more homes for sale to choose from and motivated by anticipated further rate hikes nipping at their heels, will feel the urgency to get moved and settled while they can still afford to do so.

 

Our market is likely to increasingly favor buyers as interest rates cause mortgage payments to increase uncomfortably beyond the affordability ceiling governed by personal income and wages. Properly-priced turn-key homes, and those in the most desirable settings, are still commanding very attractive prices and occasionally multiple offers. Everything else is seeing slowing appreciation and market softening. Strategic positioning, savvy marketing, and expert negotiation have never been so important as they are now.

 

Q3 Market Averages for Seattle

 

Click or scroll down to find your area report:

Seattle | Eastside | Mercer Island | Condos | Waterfront

 


SEATTLE

Seattle neighborhoods that were strongly bolstered by new construction and renovation saw the strongest sales activity, and not surprisingly, the greatest correlated price growth. Up 16.4% Q3 over Q3, the Queen Anne/Magnolia area led the charge, followed closely by Madison Park/Capitol Hill at 15.9%. Lake Forest Park/Kenmore at 13.2% and West Seattle at 12.5% also fared very well. Richmond Beach/Shoreline (6.2%), Ballard/Green Lake (4%), North Seattle (3.4%), and South Seattle (0.7%) saw notable price easing and contributed to rounding Seattle out to a modest 6.3% overall Q3 2017 to Q3 2018 median price increase.

Seattle Chart

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.

Seattle Report

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EASTSIDE

Sharp increases in the number of homes for sale coupled with fewer international buyer transactions has caused a few ripples in the Eastside real estate market.

Mercer Island shows the strongest Q3 over Q3 increase in median sale price (see explanation below) at 19.7%, followed by Woodinville at 12.3% and Redmond at 12.2%. Bringing up the mid-section was West Bellevue at 8.0%, East of Lake Sammamish at 7.8%. Lagging the Eastside median increase of 7.3% were Kirkland (6.9%), South Eastside (2.0%), and East Bellevue (1.8%).

Eastside Chart

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

Eastside Review

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MERCER ISLAND

The Q3 median sale price was 19.7% higher than that of Q3 2017. However, its crucial to note that Q3 of 2017 was an anomaly with many land-value sales transacting at the low end of the price spectrum. The effect was that the median sale price was 10.2% lower than Q1 of that same year. Far fewer moderately priced homes transacted in Q3 of this year.

There were 89 sales in Q3 2017 and of those sales 45 were of homes priced below $1.5 million. Compare that to Q3 of 2018 with 74 sales, of which only 28 were priced below $1.5 million. The differential of sales between the two years was almost entirely composed of entry-level and land value home sales.

To further prove this, we looked at comparable homes sold this year and last (an approach like that of the Case-Schiller index). All things being roughly equal, the median sale price of that subset of homes increased only 9.0% from Q3 2017 to Q3 2018. This number is far more in alignment with what we have truly experienced in our market.

Mercer Island Chart

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.

Mercer Island Report

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CONDOS – SEATTLE & EASTSIDE

Significant new construction projects underway or announced have dampened sales of existing condos somewhat, especially where they will directly compete with the new buildings. Neighborhood safety is being weighted more carefully against urban hip now more than ever. In Seattle, median sale prices of existing condos in Downtown Seattle/Belltown (-0.4%), Queen Anne/Magnolia (-4.8%), and North Seattle (-8.0%) have all decreased while surrounding areas have seen very strong to moderate Q3-Q3 increases. This quarter’s top contenders were Richmond Beach-Shoreline (30.3%), Ballard-Green Lake (26%), and West Seattle (25%).

On the Eastside, all areas except South Bellevue (-9.3%) saw considerable increases in the Q3 median sale price. East Bellevue (37.1%), Redmond (19.1%), and Kirkland (17.6%) topped the charts.

Check out all of these factoids and more in the full condo report.

Condo Report

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WATERFRONT

The Eastside has been a hotbed of waterfront closed sale activity with as many Q3 sales as Seattle, Mercer Island, and Lake Sammamish combined. The number of active private waterfront listings for sale on the Eastside is down compared to Q3 of both 2015 and 2016, while the listing levels of Seattle, Mercer Island and Lake Sammamish waterfront properties remain about the same.

With only two closed sales in Q3, Months of Inventory—the number of homes for sale divided by the number of homes that sold—climbed dramatically on Mercer Island. Seattle, with four closed waterfront sales, saw a similar but more moderate increase. The Eastside and Lake Sammamish both experienced improvement in the Months of Inventory indicator.

The highest private waterfront Q3 sale was of a newer 6,570 square foot Hunts Point modern estate designed by Baylis Architects with 80 feet of no-bank waterfront on just over an acre of lush, private grounds for $18 million. The lowest sale was a 1,010 square feet westside Lake Sammamish 1958 beach house with 60 feet of waterfront on a shy ¼ acre lot with permitted approval for a new 5000 square foot home.

Check out the full Waterfront Report for a complete list of waterfront home sales by address and community.

Waterfront Report

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ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

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© Copyright 2018, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.

Posted on October 9, 2018 at 12:05 pm
Windermere Mercer Island | Category: Real Estate, Seattle Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

2018 Housing Forecast

I feel fortunate to have Chief Economist Matthew Gardner on staff to provide valuable analysis of the economy and housing market. Matthew recently completed his national forecast which details his predictions for the 2018 housing market.

 

Posted on January 18, 2018 at 11:21 pm
Andrew Jackson | Category: Home Seller, Matthew Gardner Report, Real Estate, Seattle Real Estate

Perspectives: 2017 Forecast

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Originally published on Windermere Blog; authors Jill Jacobi Wood, OB Jacobi & Geoff Wood

Well, it’s December; the time of year when we look to our crystal ball and offer our housing market predictions for the coming year. And by crystal ball we mean Windermere’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, who has been travelling up and down the West Coast giving his annual forecast to a variety of real estate and financial organizations. Last month’s surprising election results have created some unknowns, but based on what we do know today, here are some thoughts on the current market and what you can expect to see in 2017.

HOUSING SUPPLY: In 2016 the laws of supply and demand were turned upside down in a majority of markets along the West Coast. Home sales and prices rose while listings remained anemic. In the coming year, there should be a modest increase in the number of homes for sale in most major West Coast markets, which should relieve some of the pressure.

FIRST-TIME BUYERS: We’re calling 2017 the year of the return of the first-time buyer. These buyers are crucial to achieving a more balanced housing market. While rising home prices and competition will act as a headwind to some first timers, the aforementioned modest uptick in housing inventory should help alleviate some of those challenges.

INTEREST RATES: Although interest rates remain remarkably low, they will likely rise as we move through 2017. Matthew Gardner tells us that he expects the 30-year fixed rate to increase to about 4.5 percent by year’s end. Yes, this is well above where interest rates are currently, but it’s still very low.

HOUSING AFFORDABILITY: This remains one of the biggest concerns for many West Coast cities. Some markets continue to see home prices escalating well above income growth. This is unsustainable over the long term, so we’re happy to report that the rate of home price appreciation will soften in some areas. This doesn’t mean prices will drop, but rather, the rate of growth will begin to slow.

Last but not least, we continue to hear concerns about an impending housing bubble. We sincerely believe these fears to be unfounded. While we expect price growth to slow in certain areas, anyone waiting for the floor to fall on housing prices is in for a long wait. Everything we’re seeing points towards a modest shift towards a more balanced market in the year ahead.

Photo credit: Andrew O’Neil

Posted on December 14, 2016 at 5:53 pm
Andrew Jackson | Category: Matthew Gardner Report, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , ,

The Trump effect. How will it impact the US economy and housing?

Originally published on Windermere Blog by author Matthew Gardner, chief economist of Windermere Real Estate.

american-flag-1208660_960_720The American people have spoken and they have elected Donald J. Trump as the 45thpresident of the United States. Change was clearly demanded, and change is what we will have.

The election was a shock for many, especially on the West Coast where we have not been overly affected by the long-term loss in US manufacturing or stagnant wage growth of the past decade. But the votes are in and a new era is ahead of us. So, what does this mean for the housing market?

First and foremost I would say that we should all take a deep breath. In a similar fashion to the UK’s “Brexit”, there will be a “whiplash” effect, as was seen in overnight trading across the globe. However, at least in the US, equity markets have calmed as they start to take a closer look at what a Trump presidency will mean.

On a macro level, I would start by stating that political rhetoric and hyperbole do not necessarily translate into policy. That is the most important message that I want to get across. I consider it highly unlikely that many of the statements regarding trade protectionism will actually go into effect. It will be very important for President Trump to tone down his platform on renegotiating trade agreements and imposing tariffs on China. I also deem it highly unlikely that a 1,000-mile wall will actually get built.

It is crucial that some of the more inflammatory statements that President-Elect Trump has made be toned down or markets will react negatively. However, what is of greater concern to me is that neither candidate really approached questions regarding housing with any granularity. There was little-to-no-discussion regarding housing finance reform, so I will be watching this topic very closely over the coming months.

As far as the housing market is concerned, it is really too early to make any definitive comment. That said, Trump ran on a platform of deregulation and this could actually bode well for real estate. It might allow banks the freedom to lend more, which in turn, could further energize the market as more buyers may qualify for home loans.

Concerns over rising interest rates may also be overstated. As history tells us, during times of uncertainty we tend to put more money into bonds. If this holds true, then we may see a longer-than-expected period of below-average rates. Today’s uptick in bond yields is likely just temporary.

Proposed infrastructure spending could boost employment and wages, which again, would be a positive for housing markets. Furthermore, easing land use regulations has the potential to begin addressing the problem of housing affordability across many of our nation’s housing markets – specifically on the West Coast.

Economies do not like uncertainty. In the near-term we may see a temporary lull in the US economy, as well as the housing market, as we analyze what a Trump presidency really means. But at the present time, I do not see any substantive cause for panic in the housing sector.

We are a resilient nation, and as long as we continue to have checks-and balances, I have confidence that we will endure any period of uncertainty and come out stronger.

Matthew Gardner is the Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, specializing in residential market analysis, commercial/industrial market analysis, financial analysis, and land use and regional economics. He is the former Principal of Gardner Economics, and has over 25 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.

Photo Credit: Aktim Ι Pixabay

Posted on November 12, 2016 at 12:22 am
Andrew Jackson | Category: Real Estate | Tagged , , , ,