The median sale price in Seattle was $820,000 in November, up 12% from a year ago; on the Eastside, the median price cracked $1 million to slightly below $1.1 million, an 18% jump from last year and in North King County, the median price rose 19% to $737,000 (NWMLS).
It’s a seller’s market for most properties and locations. Buyer demand is particularly strong for single family homes in suburban markets.
Urban condos in Seattle (like Belltown, Capitol Hill, etc.) are the exception where it is a buyer’s market. There are several reasons condo owners are selling and why new buyers aren’t interested in this market. Social unrest in the city’s core especially earlier this year made the area less attractive to some. Short work commutes and easy access to entertainment used to attract many younger buyers to the condo market but with Covid these factors are less important. The pandemic is driving some people from urban condos toward houses in suburbs and rural areas as they seek more space to make their homes serve as offices, schools and gyms. Some investors are also offloading their investment rental condos as they see tightening landlord restrictions imposed by the city of Seattle and the current eviction moratorium as too great a risk, especially as their incomes are also decreasing at a time when urban rents are dropping.
For buyers still interested in an urban condo and with Covid surely not to dampen demand in these central neighborhoods forever, now may just be the best time to get a good deal on a condo and take advantage of record low mortgage rates.
Looking ahead to 2021
At the end of a tough year, many of us wonder what 2021 will bring. Making predictions is always difficult. In most areas, property prices went up, mortgage rates were extremely favorable and foreclosure rates were low. However, this isn’t the whole picture.
Unemployment remains high and much of the housing market has been propped up by stimulus money, forbearance programs, and moratoriums on evictions. We are simply not through this health and economic crisis of Covid. By the end of 2020, several million borrowers who have received mortgage forbearance will have gone nine months without making a mortgage payment.
We expect an increase in foreclosure activity. The extent will depend on how much assistance state and federal governments will be able to give to distressed homeowners and how much longer the economic effects from Covid will carry on.
We do not see a repeat of the last financial crisis in the real estate market which is a lot more robust due to better lending practices, however, some areas will be negatively affected at least for a short time.
Capitol Hill Condo: Temporarily off market over the holidays but we are happy to arrange a showing if you are interested: 2 bed/1.5 bath – Enjoy a view of the Space Needle and Downtown from your Living Room: 150 Melrose Ave E #204, Seattle, WA 98102. $479,950. Pet friendly, no rental cap, fantastic location, low dues.
Congratulations to our clients
Madeleine and Zack closed on their Judkins Park townhouse purchase in Seattle.
Gabe and Erica sold their Sylvan Heights townhouse in West Seattle.
We’d love to hear from you
Any questions, comments, or feedback? Contact us any time.
Kerstin & Krisanne
Brooks & Heinze Team
at Skyline Properties, Inc.
Kerstin Brooks: 206.276.5827
Krisanne Heinze: 206.920.2541