January 2017 eNewsletter

Defining the Drive-to-Qualify Market
Flickr Photo/SounderBruce (CC BY SA 2.0)/http://flic.kr/p/MzGznr

When I ask buyers to name the most important features of a home, commute time is often near the top of the list. 2016 cemented the fact that commute times to major job centers defines the price divide between key market areas in the Greater Seattle area. This appreciation has created a drive-to-qualify market.  Seattle proper has always been more expensive than its neighboring suburbs, but the most current prices illustrate the value of a shorter commute.

In 2016, the average sales price for a single-family residential home in the Seattle Metro area was $705,000, up 12% from the year prior! In south Snohomish County (Everett to the King County line) the average sales price for a single-family residential home in 2016 was $483,000, up 12% from the year prior, however 46% less than Seattle Metro.

Further, if you jump across Lake Washington to the Eastside, the average sales price for a single-family residential home in 2016 was $907,000, up 12% from the year prior – 29% more than Seattle Metro! The Eastside has the infrastructure to support their own job centers, making it a second Seattle with the benefit of newer and larger housing stock, which reflects the pricing. Many folks are living and working on the Eastside, or using the 520 toll bridge to jump over to Seattle.

In 2016, closed transactions were up 4% in south Snohomish County, which I think was driven by affordability compared to Seattle and the Eastside. Snohomish County offers lower prices, larger houses and yards, new construction, lower taxes, strong school district options and longer, yet manageable commute times. Newer transit centers and telecommuting have also opened up doors to King County’s little brother to the north.

Another pricing hot button to consider are the future locations of the upcoming Light Rail stations. We have seen home values in these locations come with a premium. Northgate, 145th, 185th in Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood are all slated to open over the next 6 years.

No matter which neighborhood you are interested in learning about in either King or Snohomish County, I am happy to provide a 2016 re-cap of that market. I work in both markets and understand each of their nuances. 2016 was an outstanding year in real estate and we are looking for that to continue in 2017. We hope to see more homes coming to market due to the market’s strong price position, which should help to increase inventory levels, in turn helping temper price growth and giving buyers more options.

#TackleHomelessness
In partnership with the Seattle Seahawks, Windermere has donated $100 for every home game tackle this season to YouthCare to help tackle homelessness. As the season came to a close, we decided to up the ante, so we donated an additional $54 for every tackle made by our favorite #54, Bobby Wagner, who currently leads the NFL in tackles. This brought us to a grand total of $35,000 which will go towards funding essential services for homeless youth. Congratulations to our Seahawks for a great season and thank you for helping us #tacklehomelessness!
Christmas Made Brighter Because of You!
Every time a home is purchased or sold with Windermere, a portion of the commission goes to the Windermere Foundation which benefits children and families in our region, helping them with housing, educational programs and emergency funds. In addition to this standard, our office does some special projects throughout the year. This Christmas our office adopted 22 foster boys living in group homes managed by Pioneer Human Services, and we made sure they had presents under their tree on Christmas morning. We also adopted 13 high-need families comprised of 61 individuals and supplied them with grocery gift cards to Safeway. In total, we were able to give nearly $4,600 back to our community so that our neighbors in need could have their eyes light up on Christmas morning and full cupboards for the holiday season. Thank you for your business and support which enables us to spread this good will.
Do you want to be “In the Know” in your neighborhood? Sign up for a monthly overview of what’s happening in the zip code(s) of your choice. Neighborhood News is a great tool to stay informed about the home values and activity in your own backyard or to study a new market you may be interested in. Click here to sign up on my website.
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Posted on January 11, 2017 at 9:02 am
Jen Bowman | Category: eNewsletter, Real Estate News

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