Still too tight: limited number of Seattle houses for sale drives prices higher

Aug 6, 2014, 6:32pm PDT

Still too tight: Limited number of Seattle houses for sale drives prices higher

House Sold Enlarge Photo

The number of houses that are for sale in the greater Seattle, while increasing, remains constrained. The result is higher prices.

stiles-marc-psbj-1000px.jpgMarc Stiles

Staff Writer-Puget Sound Business Journal

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More houses were for sale last month in the Puget Sound region compared to this time last year, but the inventory was still way too limited, area Realtors said Wednesday.

As a result, the price of houses and condos continues to climb. Snohomish County notched the biggest price hike last month when the median price of sold homes hit $319,950 in July. That’s 10 percent higher than the same month a year ago.

The median price increase 8.3 percent in Kitsap County to $252,250. In King County, the median sales price was $425,000, up 6.5 percent, and in Pierce County last month’s median price was $230,000, a 4.5 percent hike. The numbers were in a Northwest Multiple Listing Service report.

For months, real estate agents have been clamoring for more houses and condos to sell. They’re starting to get their wish, albeit slowly. In the four counties, the number of residences on the market climbed to nearly 14,700 in July, or around 1,550 more than a year ago.

Matt Deasy of Windermere Real Estate in Bellevue said King County is slowly improving supply should alleviate the frenzy among buyers, who are engaging in bidding wars. The frenzy, however, continues for some homes in desirable areas, such as Ballard, Green Lake and North Seattle, agents said.

“Inventory levels are still the main concern in many areas,” said George Moorhead of Bentley Properties in Bothell. He said buyers complain “there just isn’t enough to look at, then when something great does come up there are multiple offers.”

Unlike many previous years, Moorhead said “this year, we have seen weeks of aggressive activity.”


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Zillow buys Trulia for $3.5B

Online real estate company Zillow Inc. said it’s buying San Francisco rival Trulia Inc. in an all-stock deal worth $3.5 billion.

Seattle-based Zillow (NASDAQ: Z) said Trulia will remain an independent brand, but Trulia CEO Pete Flint will now report to Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff.

"Both companies have been enormously successful in creating compelling consumer brands and deep industry partnerships, but it’s still early days in the world of real estate advertising on mobile and Web. This is a tremendous opportunity to combine our resources and achieve even more impressive innovation that will benefit consumers and the real estate industry," Rascoff said in a statement.

The deal wasn’t a surprise: As late as last week, there was speculation about the deal, although the purchase price was estimated to be only $2 billion.

Ben MillerContributing Editor- Puget Sound Business Journal

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Happy 4th of July!

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Great timepieces at less than half price

Find out easily how much less you have to pay for your designer wear

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Seattle startup: PORCH

Apr 28, 2014, 5:17pm PDT

Home improvement: Porch rolls out at Lowe’s stores nationwide

matt ehrlichman headshot Enlarge Photo

Porch photo

Matt Ehrlichman is CEO of Porch.

tracey-spencer-staff.jpgTracey Spenser

Contributing Editor-Puget Sound Business Journal


Porch, a Seattle startup that provides an online database allowing consumers to search for and compare contractors and home repair companies, announced Tuesday that its service is now available in the more than 1,700 Lowe’s home improvement stores across the U.S.

Shoppers at all 1,717 Lowe’s stores will now be able to use Porch in the store to help them find home improvement professionals for nearly any project outside of services that Lowe’s already offers. If a Lowe’s customer needs, for example, a handyman, painter, plumber or landscaper, employees can access the Porch database on their mobile devices and in-store terminals to identify local providers.

Porch’s database has more than 1.5 million professionals and more than 100 million projects.

The nationwide rollout is a "massive accomplishment" for a company that started up 10 months ago with 12 employees in the basement of CEO Matt Ehrlichman‘s rental home.

full article on PSBJ

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SEATTLE MET: Neighborhoods by the Numbers



Download the pdf of vital stats on 138 neighborhoods

How We Got the Data

Market Values

Median prices and sales counts of single-family homes and condominiums were supplied by the online real estate database and marketplace Zillow, headquartered in Seattle. Median home values represent a combination of single-family homes and condos in each neighborhood or city, not just homes recently sold or currently on the market. Rental value index represents median monthly rent for all rental units in each area.

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Severe inventory shortage sends Seattle-area housing prices higher PSBJ

by Marc Stiles

Staff Writer-Puget Sound Business Journal

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Housing Enlarge Photo

The median price of houses and condos that sold last month in King County was 8 percent higher than in March 2013, a new report states.

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.

The shortage is less acute in other areas, but supply is still tight. For single-family houses, Snohomish County has a 2.3-month supply, while Pierce and Kitsap counties’ supplies are around 3.5 and 4.5 percent, respectively.

The lack of inventory has sent housing prices higher. Compared with March 2013, the median price of condos and houses that sold last month was up 8 percent to $378,000 in King County, and up 9.3 percent to $295,000 in Snohomish County. In Pierce, prices rose 11.5 percent to $222,950. The median price fell 2.4 percent to $225,000 in Kitsap.

In Snohomish County, condos are especially hard to come by. The county has a supply of only 1.8 months. As a result, the median sale price last month was $193,500 — 29.4 percent higher than in March 2013.

If you’re looking for a place where there’s plenty of inventory, head to Ferry County. There, in northeastern Washington, you’ll find a 50-month supply of houses, though there’s hardly any demand. Only one house sold last month, and the price was $82,500, according to the multiple listing service.

Marc Stiles covers commercial real estate and government for the Puget Sound Business Journal.

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