The real estate market continued to moderate in July. Inventory rose and home values softened, providing buyers with increased selection and more favorable pricing. With strong job growth and interest rates holding at below 4 percent, brokers expect the market to remain solid through fall.
The market remains strong on the Eastside. The current tech boom continues to fuel demand, buoyed by Google’s recent plans to build out another office in Kirkland. An increase in inventory gives buyers more time to find the right home for their budget. The median price of a single-family home on the Eastside was $925,000 in July, down 2 percent from the same time last year.
Home prices in King County continued to ease. Buyers took advantage of lower prices and new inventory to boost home sales in July. The median price of a single-family home was $680,000, a 3 percent decline from the same time last year. More moderately-priced areas in the south end of the county saw continued price growth.
It’s no surprise that Seattle is the top city in the country where millennials are moving. Apple plans to add 2,000 jobs in Seattle. The first of 4,500 Expedia employees will start moving into Interbay soon. While demand here is expected to stay strong, prices continue to cool. The median price of a single-family home was $755,000, down 6 percent from a year ago and a decrease of 3 percent from June. Southeast Seattle, which generally has more affordable homes, saw the median home price rise 9 percent over the same time last year.
Inventory remains very tight in Snohomish County. The number of listings on the market were up 6 percent over last year, and the county has only six weeks of available supply – far short of the four to six months that is considered balanced. The median price of a single-family home in July was $502,000 – up slightly from the median of $495,000 a year ago.
This post originally appeared on GetTheWReport.com
Seattle has many fantastic neighborhoods. You’ve probably heard of Ballard, Queen Anne or Capitol Hill, to name a few. As these long-standing popular neighborhoods continue to increase in density, it is time to turn our attention to up-and-coming areas blossoming with fantastic restaurants and shops. Rainier Valley is on the top of our list!
Located in south Seattle, Rainier Valley is a hub of excitement growing in conjunction with the communities of Columbia City, Hillman City, Brighton and Beacon Hill. Filled with independent, small and minority-owned businesses, great services and lots of activities, Rainier Valley is the place to be.
We created this handy guide to help you get started on exploring all that Rainier Valley has to offer. After hitting all the spots, we are sure you’ll fall in love with the are and want to move in!
Columbia City is a historic landmark district in South Seattle, known for its international mix of restaurants and cafes, live music venues, Ark Lodge Cinema, and locally-owned shops and businesses. In the 1890’s, Columbia City was the last stop on the trolley line from downtown Seattle. Now, it is at the heart of the Light Rail line, 15 minutes from Sea-Tac Airport and 11 minutes to Downtown – Columbia City Business Association
A community of collaborators, Hillman City is always abuzz with neighborhood gatherings and new businesses popping up. From breweries to co-working spaces, Hillman City is a wonderful area to relax and be yourself.
Brighton is a primarily residential neighborhood in the Rainier Valley district. It is just south of the Hillman City neighborhood and about a mile and a half south of the Columbia City neighborhood and retail district. It was reportedly named “Brighton Beach” after the English resort city of Brighton in East Sussex.
Beacon Hill is a giant, pea pod-shaped neighborhood in south Seattle that is booming with new development. Beacon Hill offers residents – many families and young professionals – an urban feel without being too close to the hustle and bustle with lots of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks.
People come from far and wide to stand in line outside of Geraldine’s. It is continuously voted one Seattle’s top breakfast and brunch destinations – and it is right here in the heart of Rainier Valley! Located on a busy corner in Columbia City, Geraldine’s supports customers from far and wide with Americana comfort food.
Empire Espresso is a cozy Columbia City gem that manages to feel both bustling and calm enough for reading or working. The staff are known for their seasonal latte art, so every frothy cup — from traditional to matcha to cayenne — ought to feature something Instagram-worthy. And the snacks include crispy waffles (including vegan and gluten-free versions), killer paninis, and hearty hummus plates. – Eater Seattle
Established in 1992 by Amy herself and now owned by Judy and Filli, Amy’s Merkato is a restaurant, deli, and café AND, of course, is also Seattle’s first Ethiopian Market. The Google reviews and Globalist praise are enough for you to be sure Amy’s Merkato is the city’s best Ethiopian restaurant.
NW Peaks Brewery
If you didn’t believe us before, you need not worry any longer. NW Peaks Brewery, a stable of the hip Ballard community, has opened its doors in Rainier Valley’s Hillman City! It features unique beers and specialty casks for special occasions. Both tap rooms are open 7 days a week and are family friendly
Pizzeria con Cucina
It began as an idea back in 2004 inspired by a trip to Italy and stoked by some life experiences in Washington DC. After the owners moved back to the beloved Pacific Northwest, hosted several backyard fundraising parties, found investors, secured a location and undertook six months of building, the doors of Pizzeria con Cucina opened in Beacon Hill on July 15th, 2011.
Third Place Books
Third Place Seward Park is a general-interest bookstore featuring new and used books with a used-book buying counter open seven days a week. It opened its doors in May of 2016 in the Seward Park neighborhood of south Seattle. It provides a gathering space for its community by hosting over 200 events a year! – Third Place Books
Jacob Willard Home
Family-owned vintage furniture shop Jacob Willard Home operated online before opening its Hillman City showroom. In addition to a wide variety of restored midcentury furniture, it sells a selection of collectibles and LPs—and offers upholstery and refinishing services. Open Tuesday-Saturday, you can swing by the shop while you’re on your way home from work, the farmers market or a stroll! – Curbed Seattle
In the winter of 2008, Hello Bicycle was founded with the mission to bring Beacon Hill a bicycle shop that could meet the needs of the diverse ridership in the area. Sam took ownership in 2018 and continues to help, educate, and encourage riders from all skill levels and background. Hello Bicycle approaches every encounter with the highest level of customer experience and detail oriented bicycle repair.
Okay, so it is not in Rainier Valley per say, but Southcenter is a fantastic area and shopping mall that is super close to Rainier Valley. There you will find everything you need from Target to iFly Indoor Skydiving and beyond!
BEAUTY, HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Rocket is owned by husband and wife duo Brady and Alyssa. It was started in 2011 by Brady, who had a vision about creating community through fitness. “We are pretty sure we’ve got the best trainers in the city, and our incredible members deserve no less. We are the place where you can set aside all of your fears and insecurities while you find strength you didn’t know you had, cheered on by a remarkably diverse group of people who are doing the same thing.” – Rocket Crossfit
Tina’s Hair & Nail Salon
With top ratings on Yelp, Nextdoor and more, the community members of south Seattle and Rainier Valley LOVE Tina’s Hair & Nails Salon. They basically describe Tina and her staff as beauty wizards. It is quite possibly the most beloved hair/nail salon in Seattle. You be the judge!
The greater Seattle area has oh so many parks including the magical Kubota Gardens. It is a stunning 20-acre landscape blending Japanese garden concepts with native Northwest plants. Since 1987 it has been owned by the city and is an historical landmark. Visit the park to enjoy the beautiful landscaping or join in one of its many year-round events!
Just over the hill is one of the most peaceful parks Seattle has to offer. Named for William H. Seward, the Secretary of State who was responsible for America’s purchase of Alaska in 1867, Seward Park boasts 300 acres of something for everyone. It is home to eagles’ nests, forest land, old growth forest, a 2.4 mile bike and walking path, an amphitheater, a native plant garden, an art studio, a playground, shoreline, beaches and more.
Columbia City Farmers Market
Seattle has a vibrant farmers market scene. The Columbia City Farmers Market, which began in 1998, is a beautiful gathering point for local farmers and community members to come together. Small farmers come in person to sell their food products to neighborhood residents while also providing education about their farm products and the importance of supporting and preserving local farmland. Check it out every Wednesday from May – October!
HONK! Fest West
HONK! Fest West is a free, non-profit, community music festival driven by the energetic performance of street bands in public spaces. Completely volunteer-planned and organized, HONK! festivals are a part of a global renaissance of community street band culture. For three days in Seattle area parks and streets, 25+ bands deliver music and celebration that is accessible to all. – HONK! Fest West
For over 25 years, BeatWalk has brought incredible live music to the heart of Columbia City! Thanks to our generous sponsors, Beatwalk remains FREE for all ages! BeatWalk always features a great line-up of first-rate, local musicians hosted by neighborhood businesses for audiences of all ages. Since 1995 BeatWalk has brought music lovers together for a fun and safe night out on the town. – BeatWalk
The whole of Rainier Valley is conveniently situated along Sound Transit’s light rail including the new Othello Corridor. With numerous stops in the area, the whole city is at your fingertips! Such easy access makes Rainier Valley an excellent place to live.
Kari Haas – Windermere
After just 6 years in the industry, Kari Haas has risen to a top producer in her office of over 100 agents for the past 2 years in a row! Make sure to check out all the reviews she has on Zillow. If you or your friends are looking to buy or sell in the area, she’s the one you want.
There is nothing more satisfying than easy access to your utilities. For that reason, we have all that info for you right here!
Cable, Internet & Phone: Comcast 800-934-6489; Wave 855-971-1252
Electricity, Garbage, Sewer & Water: Seattle Public Utilities/Seattle City Light 206-684-3000
Gas: Puget Sound Energy 888-225-5773
Tens of thousands of dollars — that’s how much you could be making by renting your property out to vacationers if you do it right. Boosting the overall level of comfort and aesthetic appeal could turn a modest dwelling into a cash cow. Potential guests are willing to shell out for the extras, as long as they’re the right ones. If you want to turn their heads, as well as a tidy profit, you need to have a top-notch rental in a great area to get an excellent return on investment.
Location Is Important
Having a rental that’s close to activities, shopping, and dining makes all the difference. And when marketing your vacation rental, you want to highlight these nearby attractions — especially since you’re likely to have competition in a hot market like Seattle. If your rental is in one of Seattle’s many unique neighborhoods (Shoreline, Ballard, Queen Anne, Capitol Hill and West Seattle to name a few!) you’re well on your way to attracting guests. And even if you aren’t in one of these neighborhoods, look for other ways to make your rental stand out.
Upgrade the Kitchen
Vacationers often rent homes rather than stay at hotels in order to cook for themselves, so offer them a pleasant experience preparing their meals. First, make any necessary changes to the layout. Then, continue with popular upgrades that focus on function and appearance, such as new countertops and fixtures.
Add Some Appliances
New appliances could seal the deal when a potential client is considering your property for rental. They’ll expect the basics, such as an oven, refrigerator, and microwave, while toasters, blenders, and food processors make for attractive bonuses — as long as they don’t take up too much space.
Redo the Bathrooms
You can save money by doing a bathroom remodel yourself. You’ll significantly boost value with a coat of paint, some fresh grout, and a new vanity. Of course, if you’re not handy with a hammer and drill, hiring a contractor to install these wouldn’t be a bad idea. If you want to do a full remodel, make sure there’s room in your budget. Even a mid-range bathroom remodel averages $19,000. However, the Kari Haas team has great resources and new bathrooms are often less than $7,000 for designer details!
Install New Lighting
New lighting will make the whole interior look more spacious, warm, and inviting. There are a few ways to do this quickly and easily using recessed fixtures and sconces, with perhaps some under-cabinet task lighting in the kitchen to make cooking that much easier. And don’t forget the outdoors, particularly the path that leads to the doorway.
Give It a Unique Decor
Provide an experience that’s one of a kind rather than run of the mill. You can do that without busting your budget by buying furnishings and decorations at secondhand or outlet stores, estate sales, consignment shops, and auctions. There’s treasure to be discovered there.
Make the Patio Special
Your guests want to chill outside with a drink in their hand, one of the most pleasant parts of any vacation. Ensure they can do that in style and comfort with seating that fits the climate, along with some shade from umbrellas or a retractable awning. If space permits, consider setting up an al fresco dining area.
Plan for Maintenance
When it comes to maintenance, a preventive approach comes highly recommended and could save up to 20 percent in repairs when it comes to major appliances, as well as the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems. Regular tasks like cleaning filters should be carried out according to a strict schedule, which should also include periodic visits from qualified technicians.
Keep It Spotless
If your vacation home isn’t clean, you may get a nasty review from one of your guests that scares off future business. Pay close attention to the kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms, as those draw the most scrutiny. Hire a cleaning service to keep your vacation rental sparkling clean. In the Seattle area, this will typically cost you between $123 and $239.
Learn How to Market
These improvements are for nothing if potential clients don’t know about them. Pictures are the best way to show them what’s on offer, so they should be taken by a professional. They will make an impact when you spread the news of your property far and wide on the internet and social media. Call Kari Haas for great photographer referrals costing between $300-$500!
With these upgrades and savvy salesmanship, you’ll get rave reviews that’ll bring a steady stream of clients flowing through your doors. Any successful business person will tell you that regular business is the best kind.
This post was originally submitted by Erin Reynolds and has been edited by the Kari Haas Team. Erin Reynolds is the creator of DIYMama.net, which provides resources to help others with home improvement projects and repairs.
January brought more good news for homebuyers. Prices were down, inventory was up and interest rates hovered near a nine-month low. Those factors drove more buyers into the market and resulted in an uptick in sales for the month. We’ll see how this transitioning market evolves as we head into the prime Spring home buying season.
The most expensive region in King County saw prices soften in January. The median price of a single-family home on the Eastside dropped 3 percent over last January to $910,000. It’s an excellent time for buyers to leverage the cooling market and negotiate terms that work best for their needs. Last January, 39 percent of the homes in this area sold for over asking price. This January, that figure dropped to 12 percent. With its favorable business climate and high rankings for both economic growth and technology capabilities, demand on the Eastside is projected to remain strong.
January marked the first time home prices in King County decreased year-over-year in seven years. The median price of a single-family home was $610,0000, a drop of 3 percent over the prior year. Inventory more than doubled. Unlike recent months, this was due primarily to more people putting their homes on the market, as opposed to homes taking longer to sell. Despite the surge in listings there is just two months of available inventory, far short of what is needed to meet demand.
The median price of a single-family home in the city was $711,500 in January, a decrease of 6 percent year-over-year. Despite a 107 percent increase in homes for sale compared to a year ago, Seattle continues to have the tightest inventory in King County with less than two months of supply. A booming economy that shows no signs of slowing continues to draw more people to the city. The area will have to significantly add more inventory to meet that growing demand.
The median price of a single-family home in January inched up 1 percent from last year to $455,000. That price is down from the median of $470,000 recorded in December. Snohomish County also saw a surge in inventory with the number of homes on the market double of what it was last year at this time.
This post originally appeared on the WindermereEastside.com Blog.
The following analysis of the Western Washington real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact your Windermere Agent.
The Washington State economy continues to add jobs at an above-average rate, though the pace of growth is starting to slow as the business cycle matures. Over the past 12 months, the state added 96,600 new jobs, representing an annual growth rate of 2.9% — well above the national rate of 1.7%. Private sector employment gains continue to be quite strong, increasing at an annual rate of 3.6%. Public sector employment was down 0.3%. The strongest growth sectors were Real Estate Brokerage and Leasing (+11.4%), Employment Services (+10.3%), and Residential Construction (+10.2%). During fourth quarter, the state’s unemployment rate was 4.3%, down from 4.7% a year ago.
My latest economic forecast suggests that statewide job growth in 2019 will still be positive but is expected to slow. We should see an additional 83,480 new jobs, which would be a year-over-year increase of 2.4%.
Home Sales Activity
- There were 17,353 home sales during the fourth quarter of 2018. Year-over-year sales growth started to slow in the third quarter and this trend continued through the end of the year. Sales were down 16% compared to the fourth quarter of 2017.
- The slowdown in home sales was mainly a function of increasing listing activity, which was up 38.8% compared to the fourth quarter of 2017 (continuing a trend that started earlier in the year). Almost all of the increases in listings were in King and Snohomish Counties. There were more modest increases in Pierce, Thurston, Kitsap, Skagit, and Island Counties. Listing activity was down across the balance of the region.
- Only two counties—Mason and Lewis—saw sales rise compared to the fourth quarter of 2017, with the balance of the region seeing lower levels of sales activity.
- We saw the traditional drop in listings in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter, but I fully anticipate that we will see another jump in listings when the spring market hits. The big question will be to what degree listings will rise.
With greater choice, home price growth in Western Washington continued to slow in fourth quarter, with a year-over-year increase of 5% to $486,667. Notably, prices were down 3.3% compared to the third quarter of 2018.
Home prices, although higher than a year ago, continue to slow. As mentioned earlier, we have seen significant increases in inventory and this will slow down price gains. I maintain my belief that this is a good thing, as the pace at which home prices were rising was unsustainable.
When compared to the same period a year ago, price growth was strongest in Skagit County, where home prices were up 13.7%. Three other counties experienced double-digit price increases.
Price growth has been moderating for the past two quarters and I believe that we have reached a price ceiling in many markets. I would not be surprised to see further drops in prices across the region in the first half of 2019, but they should start to resume their upward trend in the second half of the year.
Days on Market
The average number of days it took to sell a home dropped three days compared to the same quarter of 2017.
- Thurston County joined King County as the tightest markets in Western Washington, with homes taking an average of 35 days to sell. There were eight counties that saw the length of time it took to sell a home drop compared to the same period a year ago. Market time rose in five counties and was unchanged in two.
Across the entire region, it took an average of 51 days to sell a home in the fourth quarter of 2018. This is down from 54 days in the fourth quarter of 2017 but up by 12 days when compared to the third quarter of 2018.
I suggested in the third quarter Gardner Report that we should be prepared for days on market to increase, and that has proven to be accurate. I expect this trend will continue, but this is typical of a regional market that is moving back to becoming balanced.
This speedometer reflects the state of the region’s real estate market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors. I am continuing to move the needle toward buyers as price growth moderates and listing inventory continues to rise.
2019 will be the year that we get closer to having a more balanced housing market. Buyer and seller psychology will continue to be significant factors as home sellers remain optimistic about the value of their home, while buyers feel significantly less pressure to buy. Look for the first half of 2019 to be fairly slow as buyers sit on the sidelines waiting for price stability, but then I do expect to see a more buoyant second half of the year.
As Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, Matthew Gardner is responsible for analyzing and interpreting economic data and its impact on the real estate market on both a local and national level. Matthew has over 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.
In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Matthew sits on the Washington State Governors Council of Economic Advisors; chairs the Board of Trustees at the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington; and is an Advisory Board Member at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the Unversity of Washington where he also lectures in real estate economics.
This post originally appeared on the Windermere.com Blog.
The real estate market continued to improve for buyers in King County and beyond in November. Interest rates dropped slightly, price increases slowed and inventory soared. It’s important to note that inventory increases, while significant, are being compared to the record low supply of last year. We’re still far short of the inventory needed for a truly balanced market, however buyers have greater choice and less competition than they’ve had in years. Sellers who price their home according to current market conditions continue to see strong interest. Heading into the holiday season, there’s something for everyone to celebrate.
The Eastside economy continues to be very strong. Heavy investment in commercial construction from companies such as Vulcan boost expectations that the area will continue to thrive. The median price of a single-family home in November hit $885,000 on the Eastside. Although an increase of 4 percent from a year ago, home prices have remained steady since this fall. With continued demand and only 2.4 months of inventory, the market has a long way to go to becoming balanced.
Price increases continued to slow in King County. The median single-family home price was $643,913 in November, an increase of 2 percent over a year ago. South King County, where the most affordable homes in the county are located, saw significantly greater increases compared to a year ago. North King County also posted greater increases than the county overall. Inventory has skyrocketed as the number of homes for sale in King County more than doubled year-over-year. While that’s good news for buyers, there is only 2.1 months of available inventory in the county, slightly down from October and not nearly enough to meet demand.
The median price of a single-family home in Seattle was $760,000 in November. This is up 3 percent from a year ago and slightly up from October. Inventory jumped 177 percent year-over-year however, at just two months of supply, the Seattle area has the tightest inventory in King County. With the city’s strong economy and lifestyle appeal, that’s not expected to change any time soon. Forbes recently named Seattle as the best place for business and careers in the nation. U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Washington among the top ten universities in the world with Money Magazine rating Seattle the #5 Best Big City to Live In.
Inventory in Snohomish County continued to climb, surging 88 percent in November as compared to a year ago. That said, the area has fewer homes for sale than King County with just 1.8 months of inventory. This is still far short of the four to six months of supply that is considered a balanced market. The median price of a single-family home sold in November was up 6 percent from last year to $470,000, virtually unchanged from October.
This post originally appeared on the WindermereEastside.com blog.
Contact Kari Haas at 206-719-2224 to discuss your best strategy for buying and selling today!