Category Archives: Eastlake

Real Estate Update for Bellevue WA

As of today, there were only 3 new listings in Bellevue: one classic, tri-level remodel and 2 new construction pre-sales.  It appears most sellers are recovering from the holidays and waiting for the Spring market rush.

Meanwhile, homebuyer frustration continues, as noted from a few of our local Real Estate authorities.

“The data just keeps telling the same story – low inventory and increasing prices. As one of our brokers put it, ‘Sellers received an awesome Christmas gift in December, but buyers  only a lump of coal’.” Mike Grady, president/COO of Coldwell Banker Bain.

“The housing market remains frenzy hot on a seasonal basis … which continues to foster a competitive market where homebuyers are just waiting for the next new listing to come on the market.” J.Lennox Scott

“Buyers pursued homes aggressively all through November and December with little to no slowdown amid fears of rising interest rates and worsening inventory levels.” George Moorhead

Low inventory and increasing prices will continue. “We believe it is a predictor for what to expect throughout 2017. There’s simply not enough new construction to fill the needs of new employees being hired both locally and new to the state. The key is employment. There’s no reason to think that a new administration will cause employment to slow down; rather, it’s more likely we’ll see it increase in the Puget Sound region so we’re off to another strong start in 2017.” Mike Grady

And in the National news, Redfin names the most competitive neighborhoods in 2016!  Thank you Keena Bean for your insights.

Seattle was home to 10 of the country’s 30 most competitive neighborhoods. In addition to Factoria, the University District and Woodridge landed in the top 10.

Y’all ready for this?!  Factoria was named the most competitive neighborhood based on percentage of homes sold over asking price, time on market and annual price growth in 2016.  Median sale price was $352,500, home price growth was 25.9%, 104.9% was average sale over list price, and 62.1% of all homes sold above asking price.

Another Bellevue neighborhood that ranked in the top ten was Woodridge.  Median sale price was $708,500, home price growth was 12.5%, 107% was average sale over list price, and 74.3% of all homes sold above asking price!  Impressive stats to be sure.

All good news for sellers, right?  Well, yes, except you may be thinking where to move next.  Our team offers strategic solutions on preparing your home for sale, negotiating offers and selecting your next community.  Let us show you how!

Seattle’s 2017 appartment boom

Recently I read in the Seattle Times  we are about to get a whole lot of inventory. This is good news if you are looking for an apartment. The Times reported Seattle is set to see about 10,000 new apartments in 2017. Yep, you read it right, 10,000! If you don’t have your calculator handy that equates to about 27 per day.  That is almost twice as many in any prior year in the city’s history. What does this mean? Rent increases should ease up. This year may only see  a 5% increase. In fact, rents dipped in the last quarter of 2016. Landlords are starting to offer incentives. With all this said now is a good time  if you are looking for a place to rent. The vacancy rate is the highest it has been in the last six years.

2017 Real Estate Market Predictions


Each year we take time to review what has happened during the year and to look forward to predict what is in store for real estate.  Below are our predictions for the 2017 real estate market, based on data that was available at the time this was written:

Median Sold Prices  – Home prices will continue to increase nationally by single digit numbers, about 5%. However, urban metro areas with high employment or that are in high demand by Millennials may still see increases at 10% or above. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, October’s national median price for existing single family homes was $232,200, which represented a 6.0% increase over October of 2015 (which was the 56th consecutive month of year over year gains). National inventory shortages coupled with high demand will continue in 2017.

Housing Inventory –  Although there are improvements in this category, it will take more than just a year for the situation to turn around. Our inventory shortage was caused by a shortage of housing starts that began during the recession. We will continue to see inventory challenges until new construction picks up even further. We predict that more buyers will be entering the market for a home as our economy is strong with low unemployment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national unemployment rate stands at 4.6% for November, 2016, which is the lowest it has been since August of 2007. High demand and low new construction means a continued inventory crunch.

Housing Starts – Housing starts (the measure of homes that began construction) jumped from 900,000 in 2015 to 1.3 million in 2016. Although this is a welcome increase, it is still not enough to quench the demand. Our country needs about 1.5 million new starts per year to maintain inventory, but since 2009, we have been short a cumulative 5 million units. This is one of the primary causes of our inventory shortage and what is driving prices up – demand outweighs supply. In 2017, I predict that builders will finally surpass the 1.5 million start target and our inventory shortage will begin to wane by mid-2018.

Second Home Markets – Investment and vacation homes markets will continue to be strong in 2017. The passing of wealth from the Silent Generation (1925-1945) to the Baby Boomer Generation (1946-1964) is a strong driver of vacation home purchases. Investment properties are a hot commodity, especially in urban areas where rents are skyrocketing due to a shortage of housing.

Interest rates – The improving economy and almost full national employment is a sure sign that interest rates will continue to increase in 2017. The new rates will balance job growth and higher inflation rates. The Federal Reserve increased interest rates a quarter of a percentage point at its December meeting.  The federal fund rate has a significant effect on mortgage rates. We expect the 30 year fixed rate mortgage rate will reach 4.75% by the end of 2017.

We are excited for what 2017 has in store! For additional information and predictions on our local market, please call or text: 206-419-2350 or 425-270-0149,  or send an email to, or