For the last several years, home sellers had to compete with huge inventories of distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales). The great news is that the supply of these properties is falling like a rock in the vast majority of housing markets. Many homeowners are now thinking of selling as the impact of this substantially discounted competition has disappeared.
However, every seller of an existing residential property must realize that there is a new form of competition about to hit the market: newly constructed homes.
As the economy improves, builders will again be bringing their housing developments to the market. Trulia recently reported that the purchaser, given a choice, actually prefers new construction. Here are two charts showing the results of the Trulia survey:
Home prices in the Seattle metro area dipped for the fourth month in a row in January, in line with a nationwide decrease, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index released Tuesday. The average price of existing single-family homes in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties dropped 0.8 percent from the previous month, after a 0.5 dip in December. By comparison, the 20-city index dropped 0.1 percent in January, as it did the previous two months.
Source: The Seattle Times, March 25, 2014
Home price rising more slowly, but for-sale signs remain scarce:
The median price of single-family homes in King County rose in March to $414,950, an increase of 6 percent from a year ago, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service said Thursday. Prices surged in Snohomish and Pierce counties: The median price rose 9 percent to $314,975 in Snohomish, and 13 percent to $230,000 in Pierce. A continuing tight inventory of homes for sale kept pressure on prices. “Everyone’s waiting for the spring bounce in listings,” said Seattle economist Matthew Gardner.
Source: The Seattle Times, April 3, 2014
Rising rents, rising towers push out tenants of modest means:
When a developer demolishes the century-old Williamsburg Court Apartments in downtown Seattle this year, 49 households will have to find new homes. They include a high-school math teacher, hotel concierge, classical trumpeter, restaurant manager, theater coordinator, a writer and two executive chefs. Across the street at the high-rise apartment tower Aspira, a one-bedroom unit starts at just under $2,000 — more than twice what many residents pay at the three-story Williamsburg Court.
Source: The Seattle Times, April 5, 2014
Severe inventory shortage sends Seattle-area housing prices higher:
Homeowners, if you’re thinking about selling, real estate agents have a message for you: Get off the dime already. A report from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service on Thursday said housing prices in the metro Puget Sound area rose in March compared with a year ago. The main reason is an inventory shortage. The listing service said that in King County, there’s only a 1.8-month supply of houses and condos for sale. Industry analysts say a four- to six-month supply is needed for a balanced market.
Source: Puget Sound Business Journal, April 3, 2014
2 Puget Sound-area neighborhoods on ‘green’ homes list:
Two Puget Sound communities have been named to a list of the top 10 U.S. neighborhoods that have the largest number of “green” homes. Downtown Bellevue was fourth on the list, with 36 percent of its residential home listings having green features, and Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood was No. 8 on the list, with 30 percent of its residential listings having green features.
Source: Puget Sound Business Journal, April 17, 2014