I am thrilled to share Realogics Sotheby's International Realty's acclaimed Research Editor and Data Analyst, William Hillis, has put together a comprehensive year-over-year review featuring eight key counties and 29 communities around the Puget Sound. The market data is complemented by key insights and trend forecasts, including a timeline of Seattle's incredible performance on the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index, the "Condominium Conundrum," landmark sales on the Eastside, the effects of Chinese capital controls and Canada's restrictions on foreign buyers, and more. Below you'll find a few key highlights from the report and the full digital conversation. I invite you to reach out to me if you'd like to discuss the implication for homes in your neighborhood.
Landmark sales on the Eastside
The steady escalation in home prices dominated the year's other real estate news, and was reflected in a series of high-value transactions for extraordinary properties on the Eastside. During the region's peak season for waterfront sales, previously unheard-of prices well-exceeding $10 million were paid for waterfront properties beginning in August. These proved to be the first start of a trend that has continued into the first months of 2018 including RSIR's record Medina waterfront closing in February at $26.76 million.
The "Condominium Conundrum"
By August, the month in which the first of the aforementioned landmark sales was closed, RSIR was reporting on a supply-related phenomenon that is still working its way through the home construction pipeline. A multi-year pattern of building apartments instead of condominiums has depleted the inventory of homes for sale in Seattle generally and especially downtown.
Seattle condo inventory reached record lows in 2017, which proportionally more high-end units. Downtown, the supply of entry-level condos was absorbed more rapidly, leaving a stark imbalance - by the end of the year, million-dollar units there outnumbered others four to one.
Seattle's performance on the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index
The metropolitan region, comprising the city of Seattle, the Eastside, Snohomish and Pierce counties, led the nation in home price growth for the entire year. This amazing achievement is replayed month-by-month in our special section in this year's Market Report:
Monthly & 12-Month Case-Shiller Index Trends: 20-City Index of Four Pacific Coast Metropolitan Regions
8 County Outlook
In King County, the shortage of single-family homes for sale in 2017 allowed scarcely any more transactions than in the preceding year. Yet as prices escalated sharply due to supply constraints, selling volume likewise rose, though not by as much as in Snohomish or Pierce counties. Median selling prices surpassed a million dollars in Bellevue and Mercer Island, and drew close to this threshold in Sammamish (at $955,000) and the Seattle neighborhoods of Queen Anne and Magnolia (at $946,000).
Due to the spillover of demand into the exurbs, supply along I-5 North had been depleted to the point that Skagit County suffered an outright decline in new transactions in 2017. Both there and in Jefferson County, buyers paid higher selling prices, but these resulted in more modest selling volume than seen closer to the major employment centers to the south.
In Kitsap and Pierce counties, supply rose to meet demand in 2017. These counties saw greater increases in transactions combined with moderately higher selling prices, leading to much higher selling volumes in both. These counties absorbed some of the excess demand from metropolitan Seattle. The prospects of improved services to commuters, such as those offered by Kitsap Fast Ferries and Sound Transit, probably influenced some buying decisions in these areas.
Comparatively subdued demand prevailed in Island and San Juan counties, where sellers enjoyed moderate increases in transactions and selling prices, leading to higher selling volume.
Read the full digital publication below or contact me for your complimentary print copy: