Thank you for taking the time to read this report. Our analysts at Brazen Sotheby’s International Realty compared the first three quarters of 2013 to the first three quarters of 2014. Put simply, the state of the market in Seattle and Bellevue is hot.
With companies such as Amazon, Expedia, and Microsoft thriving, people are flocking to the region for jobs. According to the Seattle Times, economists project that Washington will see about 500,000 more jobs by 2022. The unemployment rate in Seattle is now at 4.7%, a stunning contrast to the national average of 6.2%. This surge in population is a catalyst to the housing market as a whole.
When comparing the performance of the first three quarters of 2013 to the first three quarters of 2014, data suggests that while number of units sold is similar, total dollar volume, average sale price, and sold price per square foot are up. The number of days on market is low because demand exceeds inventory. Overall, today’s market is seller friendly and buyer competitive.
In West Bellevue, the number of sales are down in but the total dollar volume, average sale price and average price per square foot are up. Additionally, the average days on market is down and inventory is lower than in the first three quarters of 2013. A quick glance at the condo market in West Bellevue would suggest that it did not perform as well as year to date in 2013, but this is simply due to a lack of inventory since the sold price per square foot has increased and buyers are consistently paying above asking price.
In East Bellevue, number of units sold was down. Continuing the trend, average sale price and average price per square foot are up. It’s worth noting that the average sales price of waterfront homes was up 41.52% in 2014. Current inventory of single family homes is down but current inventory of condos has increased.
Across the lake, all indicators point to a strong performance for the Seattle area in 2014. Despite the number of sales being nearly identical throughout, total dollar volume, price per square foot and average sales price are up. Compared to the first three quarters of 2013, current inventory is down 10 percent in non-waterfront homes and 31 percent in waterfront homes. Number of units sold and sales price of Seattle condominiums were up significantly while days on market decreased, making it even harder on buyers.
In my opinion, 2015 is slated to be the best year we’ve had in 10 years because lenders are loosening up on first time homebuyers guidelines. Therefore, I predict there will be a positive ripple up effect in the luxury home segments. Also, banks are bringing back NIV (Non-Income Verification) loans which will help self employed people start buying. Along with the financial institutions is the increase in new construction which will help solve the lack of inventory issue. The market is stable and the fundamentals are in place to end the year at parity with 2013 on a unit basis and slightly higher on a dollar basis due to the strengthening upper end. Holding onto the gains of last year and building a firm foundation to move forward into 2015 is the most positive performance goal we can have. Please feel free to call with any questions.