Thursday, June 30, 2011

Home Market Update

The Standard & Poor/Case-Shiller home-price index released on Tuesday showed a glimmer of hope for the Seattle area housing market. The Seattle metropolitan home market saw a slight increase in the month of April. The index tracks data in 20 large U.S. cities, and Seattle’s data showed higher prices than data compiled for February and March. However, experts say this doesn’t mean much for the Seattle housing market. Seattle’s prices are still down 6.9% from last year, and the index as a whole showed a slight fall in prices.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Data Reveals Drop in Underwater Homes

A California research firm, CoreLogic released data last week revealing that the number of U.S. homeowners owing more than their homes are worth fell in the first couple months of 2011. Experts say this is due to more foreclosure sales. Washington State statistics were not mentioned in the Seattle Times article, and the state of Nevada had the most underwater homes.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Are Seattle Families Getting Smaller?

How do Seattle’s families compare to those in other U.S. Cities? To put it simply, they’re smaller. New census data shows that Seattle has the smallest-size families among 50 big U.S. cities. Moreover, we have the third highest amount of single living and the third-highest rate of “unrelated people living together”, according to a Seattle Times article. Because of the considerably weak housing market and flourishing rental market, families are purchasing homes out of King County, yet a high degree of solo Seattlites stay. Read more about the latest census data by checking out the full article.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Beautiful Broadmoor Home for Sale

Please come tour a beautiful, Broadmoor home this weekend from 1:00-4:00 pm, listed by Ewing and Clark broker Betsy Terry. The fantastic home has a wonderful floor plan, gracious and sunny rooms, and high ceilings. A lovely kitchen features marble countertops, high-end appliances and one of the home’s two fireplaces. The home is available for purchase at $1,995,000. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity. Please contact Betsy Terry of Our Distinctive Home Shop in Madison Park to set up a viewing appointment.

Betsy Terry: (206) 595-0334

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Nationwide Open House Happening This Weekend

The Nationwide Open House Weekend is happening June 4th and 5th, brought to you by the National Association of Realtors. In Washington state alone, organizers estimate that around 7,000 homes will be open, tripling the amount of any ordinary weekend. You’ll have the chance to tour many of Washington’s homes for sale and be able to navigate easily with a customized list and blue balloon markers. Please visit the official event page for more information.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Mercer Island Waterfront Home for Sale

This Avant garde one level design on 120 feet prime no bank Lake Washington Waterfront home is available for purchase in Mercer Island. The home is currently listed at $7,295,000. Completely remodeled, but the original International Style design was incorporated in the remodel. This luxurious Mercer Island home features an incredible kitchen, family room, media room, office, pantry, floor to ceiling windows and has an open floor plan. The sweeping lawn to beach and 55ft +/- dock with beach house is perfect for entertaining or just enjoying the sun. Click the link to see more details about this beautiful home.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Art Stable in Lake Union

Tuesday, I toured two amazing live/work spaces at the Art Stable in Lake Union, at 516 Yale Avenue N. Since its construction, the Art Stable in Lake Union has received multiple awards including the 2011 AIA Housing Award, and was named 2011 Project of the Year by Residential Architect Magazine. The 6-unit building was designed by Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig Architects, and all units came on the market for sale in 2010 as empty shells, allowing buyers to create their own unique space. The Art Stable is built on a site that was formerly a horse stable, hence the name.

Of the 6 units in Art Stable, only two remain. The units, #400 and #600, are incredible spaces that can be transformed in so many ways. They have floor to ceiling windows and large, industrial style metal “art windows” on the alley-side. These “art windows” (and multiple others) are hand-crank operated. The art window is referred to as a “gizmo”, a hand-operated device that literally moves a part of the building. Gizmos can be found in much of Kundig’s architecture. The purpose of the window, in coordination with the crane atop the roof, is to provide a space through which artists can bring their pieces into their units. Another cool feature is the geothermal heating and cooling systems in the building, which are very energy efficient. This is a more advanced system that hasn’t been used much in the U.S. As far as finishing the units, buyers can expect to pay at least $150/sf, depending on materials used.

From this great Lake Union location, building residents enjoy sweeping views of Downtown Seattle, the Olympic Mountains and Queen Anne Hill. The South Lake Union area is continuing to thrive with new developments, both residential and commercial. If you’re in the market for a great condominium or work space and want something different and unique, don’t hesitate to check out the Art Stable. Full listing details and photos can be found in the links below:

Unit #400
Unit #600

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Are Seattle Home Prices Still Falling? Maybe NOT!

According to the Seattle Times, home prices are falling across the U.S. and even the prices of homes in Seattle are dropping. We all know that there is a large number of foreclosures taking place in the real estate market, which may or may not affect prices of homes in certain areas. Please click on the Seattle Times link to learn more about the falling prices in Seattle. But one thing to point out is the "Seattle" real estate market includes King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties for the purposes of the Seattle Times article. There are signs that the real estate market is strengthening in the Seattle city limits. For example, while both Madrona and Laurelhurst neighborhoods have small sample sets, some of the home sales numbers are looking up when comparing 2011 and 2010. In both of these neighborhoods, the price per square foot for houses sold in the 1st quarter 2011 was higher than for the same time period in 2010 - click Madrona real estate and Laurelhurst real estate to read more.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Zoning Changes in SoDo Allows for New Residential Buildings

New residential buildings may be coming to SoDo as Seattle City Council recently voted to change current zoning allowing for buildings up to 24 stories high, according to a Seattle Times article. The vote came as a result of wanting to increase residency, but still be able to maintain the characteristics that make the area so unique. Some of these places already are flourishing with great restaurants and shopping centers, so it’s no wonder the city is making an effort to draw new residents. The proposal for the change is over a year old and had a lot of community support. However, if the city wants to draw more residents to the International District, especially families with kids, more improvements need to be made. For example, the city should plan for more parks or open spaces. Crime rates in the International District are an issue as well. Not to say other Seattle neighborhoods like Belltown don’t face high crime rates, but SPD has already increased patrol to address the problem. When it comes to the International District, police reported that the area does not have a higher than average crime rate. In September of last year, KOMO covered a story on the International District and the negative perception of the area as opposed to the actual amount of crime. I can understand how this could be true. At any rate, it’s going to take more than a few new buildings to attract people to the area. If the area is revitalized, it can easily become a desirable place for Seattleites to find new Seattle real estate opportunities.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Business-and-Occupation Tax Will Lead to Mortgage Tax

A new issue has arisen in Olympia concerning the taxation of mortgage loans. Activists are lobbying to apply the business and occupation tax on interest earned by income lenders on mortgage loans. There was a good editorial in the Seattle Times about this home mortgage tax. Basically, if this tax is imposed, it’s a near certainty mortgage rates will climb to cover the costs. (Not like the banks are just going to eat the cost to do mortgages in Washington State). While there are signs that the home market is recovering in Seattle, this tax seems to be a very dangerous proposal. Loans are harder for home buyers to get as it is – now these activists want to make it even harder? If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in Seattle this year, next year, or in your lifetime – you should tell your legislature that this is not a good idea.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Seattle Real Estate Selling Fast if Priced Right

Ewing and Clark brought this Seward Park house on the market last week and within two days it was pending. This is not unusual. Real estate in Seattle is selling, especially if it is priced reasonably from the beginning. Seattle's Mount Baker neighborhood is a great example of this. According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS), in the last 6 months 31 homes have sold in the Mt Baker neighborhood. Of those almost 1/3 of the homes (9) went pending in less than 10 days. Of the 9 Mount Baker homes that sold in less than 10 days, 6 of them sold for the original list price or higher. Of the 22 Mt Baker homes that sold in more than 10 days, only 2 sold for the original list price or higher. Both of those homes sold relatively quickly as well - going pending within 30 days.

While these statistics are a good example of what is going on in the Seattle real estate market, it should be pointed out that there are other well priced homes available for purchase - even if they are on the market for more than 10 days. For example, this (click link) Mount Baker home is priced nearly $40,000 less than what the house a few doors down just sold for two months ago. Both homes are nicely finished with the same amount of bedrooms. In fact, the house still currently for sale has more bathrooms than the house that sold.

So if you a buyer looking for a home to purchase, you should get your ducks in a row to be ready for the next great house that is listed, get to know the market so you know a great house when you see it, and do not forget the homes that are already on the market - there are fantastic homes already available.

Statistics not compiled or published by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Foreclosure in The Highlands Seattle / Shoreline

A week ago Sunday, the Seattle Times wrote and article about a foreclosure in The Highlands. The article titled, The Highlands Can't Keep Out Foreclosures, is buried at the bottom of the first article about the proxy fight at Fisher. While the article points out the foreclosure, it also discusses what The Highlands has to offer: large lots, view of Puget Sound, privacy, and access to community trails, tennis courts, playfields, beach, pool, etc. And while sales essential stopped (no sales in 2009), since then sales have picked up. With just over 100 homes in The Highlands, 10% have sold or under contract since the beginning of 2010.

The Seattle Times article extensively quotes Jane Powers, real estate broker from Ewing & Clark. Jane has three listings in The Highlands including this fantastic home listed for nearly $5 million. Currently there are 12 homes available for sale in The Highlands. To quote Jane and the article:

A dozen homes in The Highlands are for sale now, Powers says — a lot by historic standards, but down from 18 a couple years ago.

Why so many? "There were some financial situations, like everywhere else," Powers says. But folks also were selling for all the usual reasons — death, divorce, relocation, downsizing.

With inventory high, this might be the time to buy in one of Seattle's great neighborhoods.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Medina Makes "Most Expensive" List

Bloomberg Business Week recently published an article on the most expensive neighborhoods in the nation, and one Bellevue community made the list-Medina. More specifically, the list pinpoints the most expensive blocks, identifying the area from 84th Avenue to the waterfront at Lake Washington. These homes have a median value of $1,452,523 and the Lake Washington waterfront homes average a price point of about $3,000,000. The article features data from Neighborhood Scout Reports website, which regularly reports the data taken from neighborhoods across the U.S. Bellevue luxury real estate can also be found in nearby communities Yarrow Point and Hunts Point. Follow the link to search for Bellevue luxury homes for sale.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Point Wells Development Faces Opposition

Last year, the Alon Group planned to build a new urban community at Point Wells in Snohomish County, just north of Shoreline. Point Wells has long been a storage tank site and transfer facility for petroleum, but was purchased by the Alan Group in 2005. In 2010, the group proposed transforming the Point Wells site into a new, self-sustaining community. Now, the Alon Group is facing a lot of opposition from the surrounding residents who are unhappy with the plans to create new residential streets and high-rise buildings near to their currently ‘quiet’ communities. Shraga Biran, founder of Alon Group, believes the site has too much potential as a waterfront community to leave it alone. The project has a big price tag, with over $30 million dedicated to environmental clean-up. The total costs are even higher, with a planned 3,000 condominiums and 100,000 sf of retail. Early this month, the project application will be assessed for environmental impacts, a process that could take 2 years. For more information on the Point Wells project, please visit their official website.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Waterfront Mercer Island Home Sold

This is a rare street-to-water property on 80 feet of prime, Lake Washington waterfront on the north end of Mercer Island was sold in February. The home offers glorious views of the North & East, including those of the Cascade Mountains, the Bellevue skyline, and the picturesque, meandering shorelines of Medina, Bellevue and the North End of Mercer Island. The 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom 2,970 sf home is Just 10 minutes to Seattle with convenient freeway access! The home also has an extremely large, covered moorage. The home is outstanding and spacious, and a perfect remodeling opportunity. It also sits on two lots, ideal for investment and/or development. To see the full listing, follow this link. Click here to search more Mercer Island homes for sale.

Status: Sold
Listing Price: $3,595,000
Bed/Bath: 3/2.5

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ray Allen's Home for Sale

Former Seattle SuperSonics player Ray Allen and current Boston Celtic recently put his Washington State home on the market. Allen's home in Carnation, WA has been co-listed for sale by Ewing and Clark agent Nate Pearson The 10,000 sf estate is located in the Blakely Woods community. The 5 bedroom, 5 bathroom home sits on 4.5 acres and is the epitome of luxury living. The home’s amenities include a sports court, a pool, a putting green and a Jacuzzi. The home is offered for $3.7 million. Click the link to see more details on this beautiful home.

Friday, January 14, 2011

2010 Foreclosures

In 2010, nearly 1 million homes were repossessed across the nation. Washington alone saw 20,000 foreclosures, a 30% increase from the year before. RealtyTrac, who reported the statistics, says things are only going to get worse this year. They predict 1.2 million homes will be foreclosed in 2011. However, Washington State saw a smaller amount of foreclosures compared to other states last year, which gives us a glimmer of hope. The month of December also had the lowest number of foreclosures in the last 30 months. Washington State is ranked #18 among state’s with top foreclosure rates.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

An article in The Seattle Times published last Friday reported that the median sales prices of single family homes dropped to just around $360,000. This is the lowest median seen in King County in the last 5 years. This median is typical for previously-owned homes, and around or under 2,000 sf of living space, dependent on location. Because the median is so low, this time is opportune for buyers to make a move. Buyers are also seeing low mortgage rates, which should be taken advantage of. We can help you find a Seattle home for sale. Please visit our residential property search page to find a home in your price range.