Seattle Property Market
Well, it is official – last year Seattle was the fastest growing city in the US.
From July 1, 2012 to July 1, 2013, Seattle grew by 2.8 percent — the highest rate among the 50 most-populous U.S. cities. Seattle added nearly 18,000 residents and 15,000 new jobs in the one-year period, bringing its population to about 652,000.
MLS figures show that King County, which comprises the main cities of Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Issaquah, Renton and Kent has only 1.7 months of housing inventory. This makes the residential market a “red hot” seller’s market.
Multiple offers and pre-inspections are the “norm” for new listings with about two-thirds of homes near job centers selling in the first 20 days. Homes in desirable neighborhoods close to the city center like Queen Anne, Ballard, Green Lake, Fremont, Wallingford and Capitol Hill are being put on the market on a Tuesday and reviewing all offers the next Monday.
One of our clients bidding on a house in Ballard managed to buy a house against 16 total offers, 10 of which were pre-inspected or had no inspection contingency, 8 of them had escalation clauses and ended up paying 14% over the list price.
There appears to be a catch 22 situation where inventory is being held back because potential sellers fear they will sell their home and not be able to find a house to move into before becoming “homeless”
It is a tough market for buyers right now and there are no signs of it softening in the near future. The local economy is good, everyone is hiring, and Amazon and Microsoft seem to be sucking in all the tech talent from around the globe.
Post contributed by Ian Bell, NAEBA member in the Seattle, WA area.