Last year was an amazing come back year for many areas across the nation. Here in Seattle we saw about a 11% percentage increase in housing prices across the city (source NWMLS). The majority of the spike happened in the first two quarters of 2012 with steady rises seen throughout the year. Although those of us on the ground know we are dealing with low inventory, seeing the hard data was a bit of a shock. Since 2010 Seattle’sÂ overall housing inventory dropped by 59%.Â The low inventory combined with a steady increase in demand is definitely pushing prices up. This uptick in prices has means those of us who have been holding tight on to our Diva Dwellings have a little bit more optimism and room to breath. The other strong trend is that the under $500K market was truly the hottest of the hot markets in 2012. Interestingly, this years boom has encouraged many sellers to revert back to the old practice of overpricing their homes in the over $600K and above market.The graph below gives amazing insight into the mind set of both buyers and sellers.
Here are some of our favorite hoods and their come back numbers:
Divaliscious Hood Come Back Story (Comparing Dec 2011 to Dec 2012)
Capitol Hill Condos 14% From 2011 to 2012
Columbia City 14% From 2011 to 2012 (most unstable market)
Ballard Area 27% From 2011 to 2012
Magnolia 2.7% From 2011 to 2012 (expect to see big changes in this number in 2013)
Checkout Your Specific Hood Below
King County Single Family Homes – 2012
Moving into 2013 Here Are a Couple of Diva Predictions for the Market
Moving into this next year we Divas think it is all about more house love. We have always said that owning a house is like a hobby, a marriage, a passion, or in other words – it is a labor of love. Somewhere along the way we lost this expression with our abodes, casas, maisons, dwellings, and homes. It is our goal to share with many folks our love affair for our Diva Dwellings.
On the technical side the Divas predict that the inventory will improve just slightly. Be prepared to pay more both in your mortgage rates and purchase price. But on the flip side you are buying a house with someÂ guaranteed appreciation – for now. It is also the year for our Diva Dwellers to start movin’ on up!
- Sustained price increases. We expect Capitol Hill to go up about another 10%. The southend will probably see about 3-5% and the area around the Columbia City Light Rail station will continue to be feeding frenzies. Ballard – all you hipsters and shop local fiends should expect to bid like a crazy person to get house in this hot neighborhood. Magnolia is an interesting beast. The schools are great. Inventory is ridiculous low. But the price point is typically higher than other neighborhoods. Magnolia might well just remain stable or it could see a more substantial bump as the buy-up folks start hitting the market.
- Mortgage Rates and Closing Costs to Increase: The fiscal cliff debacle kept interest rates super low. Our clients who closed in December saw probably saw of the lowest mortgage rates of our generation. Lucky Diva Dwellers! Our advice to buyers and refinance folks – DO IT NOW. With the financial debate in Congress on pause till March – rates will probably stay uber low rates. But, once the budget issues are resolved, we may start seeing minor rate increases throughout the year.
- More Flipped Houses – Its 2006 All Over Again: An investor bought the house behind Chez Diva. Right now out of our home office window we get to spy on the progress of the contractor. Let’s just say we wouldn’t hire him. It did get us thinking about flippers in general. We realized in a short walk through our neighborhood there several active projects, one flip for sale and at least three that have sold in the last year. The interesting thing about the house behind ours is that the investor is from out of the city and so is the contractor. The Divas will be following the progress and reporting back. Check out a blog post from October/2011 that shows the first signs of this processÂ Â»
- Year of the Move Up Buyers: These are folks who have more than likely, been in their homes a while and have a pressing need to make a change; a new school district, a bigger house or maybe folks like the Divas, who feel the need to downsize. They often have been holding out for a more stable market for a while. These buyers are tough. They are committed to homeownership and house love. And this time around they are making a more intellectual decision with specific motivation. The Divas fall into this realm themselves so we are tuned into the needs of this small but growing demographic. We have a new packet to help peeps who are in this situation that gives a clear break down of how to navigate the process. Or check out the blog post we did this past fallÂ Â»
- Exalted Home Delight: Last summer we had so much fun hanging out in our house, roasting marshmallows, getting the garden in shape and entertaining so many people in our fab dining room. Experiences like this can only be achieved when you are the master of your domain. You own it and it is amazing! This year look for more videos and blog posts about the simple delight of being a Diva Dweller.