It’s time once again for the monthly reporting roundup, where you can read my wry commentary about the news instead of subjecting yourself to boring rehashes of the NWMLS press release (or in addition to, if that’s what floats your boat).
To kick things off, here’s an excerpt from the NWMLS press release:
Frenzied Market Frustrating Buyers
Buyer anxiety is rising as the pace of home sales is faster than brokers are able to replenish inventory, according to members of Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Figures just released for March show 11,408 pending sales during the month while only 10,505 sellers listed their homes for sale during the same period.
The multiple offer market has become commonplace on well-priced new listings, observed John Deely, principal managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain. However, he cautioned, “Some sellers are pushing pricing boundaries and are not seeing the same action as their well-priced competition.”
Deely, a member of the Northwest MLS board of directors, said buyers are flooding into the Greater Seattle market due to abundant job opportunities. He also attributed the high demand to low interest rates and skyrocketing rents. “Some high demand areas in Seattle have had a doubling of per bedroom rental rates to over $1,000 per bedroom,” according to Deely.
Nothing like a little rent price scaremongering from a home salesman to kick us off.
Read on for my take on this month’s local news reports.
Coral Garnick: Home prices in Seattle jump 18.9 percent from year ago
The median price of Seattle homes sold in March rose 18.9 percent over the year to $535,000 — the biggest jump in at least five years.
The number of available homes for sale has been at historic lows in recent months, helping drive up prices.
Multiple offers have become commonplace across the region because of the shortage of homes for sale. In March, King County had 1.3 months’ supply of homes, while Seattle had less than a one-month supply.
As the start of the spring season, March is typically a very good month for sales, Scott said. But coming out of a mild King County winter where sales didn’t slow down as they usually do, March’s sales have made the lack of inventory more severe.
It’s getting really old at this point, but the lack of inventory really is the main story in the Seattle housing market. Without more homes hitting the market we’re going to be stuck in this rut for a while.
As I mentioned yesterday, the P-I’s longtime real estate reporter Aubrey Cohen has moved on to another gig. While my opinion of the P-I has gone down dramatically ever since they dropped the print edition and basically became “Buzzfeed Light: Seattle Edition,” Aubrey always did great work there on the real estate beat. His efforts will be missed.
Deborah Horne: Seattle housing prices skyrocket
That’s how longtime Realtor Carmen Gayton sees the for sale signs in nearly every Seattle neighborhood.
“Amazon, eBay, you name it, they’re all coming to Seattle,” said Gayton, “Which we’re happy about but it does cause a little bit of an issue with housing.”
Indeed business was brisk at this Open House on a Tuesday afternoon on Seattle’s Queen Anne Hill. A little too brisk for Chris Byszeski, a software engineer for Amazon.com.
“The trouble being that you see a list price and that’s probably not what it’s going for,” said Byszeski.
And he’s been looking for the last two months.
It really does stink to be a buyer right now, even if you’re making a sweet six-figure salary working for the biggest tech employer in the northwest.
Travis Pittman: Tight Puget Sound housing market creating ‘buyer anxiety’
Buyer anxiety. Frenzy market.
Those are two descriptions about the current status of the Western Washington housing market given Monday by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.
For those buyers who can’t win a bidding war, they’re left to try to find an affordable place to rent.
Good luck with that.
“Some high demand areas in Seattle have had a doubling of per bedroom rental rates to over $1,000 per bedroom,” said John Deely, a broker at Coldwell Banker Bain.
“Don’t throw your money away on rent!”
“Buy a home no matter how overpriced it may seem!”
Puget Sound Business Journal
You may have hear that millennials don’t buy houses. The Great Recession and housing bubble scared them away.
For some, myself included, that’s true.
But for millennials who are watching their rents go up and up and up, buying a home is looking like a more attractive option.
Combine that with low interest rates and a flood of new people to the area, and you’ll see what’s currently playing out in Seattle.
I may have also heard that making generalizations about an entire group of people based on arbitrary birth year cutoffs is somewhat ridiculous. Or I may have said that. Just now. Articles about what “millennials” are or aren’t doing when it comes to buying homes are annoying and basically never insightful or interesting, in my opinion. Thankfully Ms. Parkhurst avoids falling too far into that trap, but she certainly skirted the edge.
Tacoma News Tribune / The Olympian
C.R. Roberts: Home prices sizzle in a real estate seller’s market
Prices are up, inventory is down and real estate officials seem stretched as they attempt to find the sturdiest metaphors to describe a sizzling seller’s market.
“The multiple-offer market has become commonplace on well-priced new listings,” said John Deely, principal managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain, in a NWMLS release.
“Sellers are currently experiencing the role of Prince Charming as buyers vie to win the Cinderella title by escalating offer prices above market value, releasing earnest money and waiving contingencies normally used to safeguard the transaction,” he said.
Meanwhile, he continued, “the less fortunate ‘stepsisters’ are becoming shell-shocked after numerous failed attempts.”
Okay, John Deely lost points earlier for the rent price scare-mongering, but I will award him some consolation points for at least coming up with an original and colorful analogy.
(Coral Garnick, Seattle Times, 04.06.2015)
(Deborah Horne, KIRO 7, 04.07.2015)
(Travis Pittman, KING 5, 04.07.2015)
(Emily Parkhurst, Puget Sound Business Journal, 04.08.2015)
(C.R. Roberts, Tacoma News Tribune, 04.06.2015)