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To say that this is an unprecedented real estate market would be a massive understatement. For most of us veterans of the Seattle real estate scene, this is like nothing we have ever witnessed.

We did not experience the typical seasonal slowdown associated with the holidays, and there was no new year lull — 2021 is off to a roaring start. In the first nearly two months of the year, sales volume in 98112 has increased 76 percent over the same period a year ago, and the average sales price is up nearly 51 percent (the majority of that increase is in homes under $2 million.)

Sparse inventory and low interest rates are the biggest drivers of our current market. Without a home to buy, many sellers are staying put, resulting in a cycle that perpetuates the low-inventory dilemma. If there was ever a “seller’s market,” this is it. As new listings come on the market, they are immediately scooped up by a plethora of waiting buyers.

The market is moving fast, and staying on top of current statistics and trends is important if buying or selling a home is in your future. Let’s dig into the most recent numbers:

 

For Denny Blaine, Broadmoor, Washington/Madison Park

2021 through Feb. 22:

17 sold homes

Average Sales Price: $2,238,561

Average Days on Market: 73

Average Price Per Square Foot: $709

Lowest Sales Price: $440,000

Highest Sales Price: $4,625,000

Selling at 97.07 percent of last listed price

Over $2.5 million market time is 69 days, and there were 7 sales with an average price of $3,243,857

2020 through Feb. 22:

12 sold homes

Average Sales Price: $1,860,583

Average Days on Market: 82

Average Price Per Square Foot: $628

Lowest Sales Price: $545,000

Highest Sales Price: $3,000,000

Selling at 97.25 percent of last listed price

For 98112

2021 through February:

44 sold homes

Average Sales Price: $1,432,830

Average Days on Market: 56

Average Price Per Square Foot: $627.16

Lowest Sales Price: $438,000

Highest Sales Price: $4,625,000

Selling at 101 percent of original listed price

6 of these are $2.5M+, and this market and the market time over $2.5M is 79 days

2020 through Feb. 22:

25 sold homes

Average Sales Price: $950,076

Average Days on Market: 55

Average Price Per Square Foot: $556

Lowest Sales Price: $375,000

Highest Sales Price: $1,750,000

Selling at 101 percent of original listed price

In looking at the Seattle luxury market as a whole, during the period of Jan. 1, 2021, to Feb. 22, 2121, sales of homes over $2.5 million rose from seven sales in 2020 to 22 is 2021. The average price of these homes was $2,819,429 in 2020 and $3,283,276 in 2021, a 16.5 percent increase.

 

My takeaways:

The Seattle-area housing market was very competitive before the coronavirus pandemic and has only gotten more competitive.

Year-over-year real estate activity in our neighborhood remains strong and steady with sales up, prices up and days on market down.

Overall, in 98112, a 51 percent average price increase year over year; it’s important to note that this a small sample, and the majority of the increase is under $2 million.

The market time for homes over $2.5 million is over 40 percent longer those under that price point.

We continue to see multiple offer situations at certain price points and with unique, show-ready homes.

Historically low interest rates mean would-be home buyers have more buying power, which is needed with the area’s price increases and is leveraged to bid higher in multiple offer situations.

A Feb. 23 article in The Seattle Times speaks to the price increases seen in the Seattle area and across the nation over the last several months.

“In December, home prices in the Seattle area continued to rise faster than the national average, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index released Tuesday,” the article stated. “The index reports a three-month rolling average of home prices and lags by two months. Prices for homes in the Seattle area were up 13.6% in December compared to a year earlier. Nationally, prices rose 10.4% year over year. That national jump in December was the first double-digit increase since January 2014, according to CoreLogic Deputy Chief Economist Selma Hepp.”

Two takeaways from the last year that are making a significant impact on housing trends:

1. The emphasis on spaces for working and studying from home. Recent announcements in the tech industry and others tell us that the work-from-home lifestyle is here to stay. Homebuyers are juggling Zoom calls and home schooling; separate spaces to accomplish all of these tasks is a priority. We are finding that homebuyers also seek larger lots to give all members of the household room to play during the day or when the work is done. Luckily, our neighborhood is less dense than in other Seattle areas; those seeking more space continue to be attracted to the 98112.

2. The desire for homes in resort-style settings. The ability to work from home and a desire for greater access to the outdoors, combined with lower mortgage rates, has resulted in a huge increase in second-home purchases over the last year. Some of these vacation homes may ultimately become primary residences — especially for those getting close to retirement — but many have opted to invest in that sanctuary now as a result of pandemic lockdowns and the desire to seek respite from urban areas.

One development you should know about since the last time I wrote this column: Open houses are back with up to 10 visitors socially-distanced (including the broker.) This return to some form of normal has been an optimistic development in the real estate market, and a welcome tool for buyers and sellers alike.

In closing, thank you to everyone who has remained committed to supporting our local Madison Park Village businesses and helping them through this unprecedented time. Having shops, coffee, cafés, fine dining and pubs within strolling distance is a valuable asset for our neighborhood, and we want as many of our small businesses to survive as possible.

Please keep shopping small, and when you visit, post to social media and encourage your neighbors to lend their support as well. #Shop98112

As of press time, there are 13 homes for sale over $2.5M in Madison Park, Washington Park, Broadmoor and Denny Blaine. Three of the residences are condominiums, and the highest priced single-family home for sale is a contemporary villa with 130 feet of Lake Washington waterfront.

If you have given any thought to selling your home, there has not been a better time in recent memory. Our Compass experts have a long history in Madison Park and are ready to help you navigate this unique time with the latest technology, top-notch marketing and proven pricing strategies. Do you need help getting your home ready for sale? Ask about our Compass Concierge program! If you’re buying, our knowledgeable agents will help you achieve success in this still competitive market.

 

Evan Wyman

Broker/Partner

The Wyman Group @ COMPASS