Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Queen Anne Real Estate Recap: January 2014

The hot Queen Anne market shows no signs of slowing down, especially given how few homes are being brought to market in the neighborhood. According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, January, 2014 saw 15 single family home transactions close as opposed to 17 a year earlier.  The median sales price in 2014 was $704,000, which represents a slight improvement from 2013 ($685,000).  Low inventory was a recurring problem for Queen Anne home buyers in 2013.  Hopefully, the early signs are not indicative of a year long trend as only 18 new single family home listings hit the market in the first month of 2014, as opposed to 26 units in 2013.
Queen Anne condo inventory showed signs of improvement with 38 new listings in January, 2014 compared to 33 new listings a year earlier.  19 condo units sold last month as opposed to 21 units the year prior.

The Queen Anne real estate market is strong with properties selling faster, and for more money.  If you are curious about the Queen Anne real estate market, ask Jason Roach about it when you see him in the neighborhood or feel free to contact him sooner.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Breaking It Down: How Much Are Real Estate Transaction Fees?

bellevue homeWhile beginning the home search, many prospective buyers believe that real estate transaction costs are only the 3-6% commission, but the actual cost of selling a home are much higher. To avoid recurring transaction costs, here is a comprehensive estimate of this breakdown:
If you bought a home for $200,000 five years ago, let’s say you put 10% ($20,000) down, and you’re left with a $180,000 mortgage. Now you plan on selling the property for $235,000. Agent commission will likely be 5-6% and cost about $13,000, Escrow costs will be roughly $1,000, title insurance will run $600, and you might want to allot $2,500 for repairs to the home before putting it on the market. The total transaction cost will likely be around 10% of the sale price, and it’s also important to consider the current equity you have on your home which is the difference between $235,000 and your mortgage balance of $180,000. If you take into account what you’re paying in transaction fees, you are eliminating nearly 30% of the equity you had accumulated, which is why ideally it makes sense to hold onto real estate for longer periods of time. If you are interested in selling your Seattle home, contact your local real estate agent for more information today.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tech Cities See Rise in Rent and Residential Costs

Madison park rental
If you rent in Seattle, your pockets have certainly felt the rise in rental rates over the past few years. According to a report by Trulia, so have renters in other large tech cities. After dissecting housing reports Trulia found that prices were generally 82% higher in big tech hubs compared to other large metro cities. While engineers and and highly paid coders are well paid in the industry, the cost of living increase is still making it difficult to afford to live in these cities and bridge the affordability gap. According to the report, 48% of homes listed in these tech cities were affordable to the middle class based on the median household income, compared to 63% listed in other metro areas.
There are also huge variances even in affordability among the big tech hub cities: 14% of homes in San Francisco compared to over 60% in Washington DC and Raleigh. The big year over year increases in asking price were up in the top 10 tech cities, with a high rise of 24.4% in Oakland, and a low of 6.5% in Raleigh. Seattle’s asking price was up 16.6%, which was above that is San Francisco and San Jose. The rise in rent has also been prevalent in these tech hubs, with a standard 2 bedroom renting for over 37% more than in metro cities, and a year over year rise in Seattle has seen a 9.2% increase. If you’re looking for affordable housing in the Seattle area, contact your local real estate agent today.