Seattle Home Sales Heating Up

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 02 March 2005 16:00

Realtors in Seattle are reporting rising home sales as buyers head into prime homebuying season.

"Seattle has it all," says Realtor Mark Despain , "with so many great neighborhoods, each with their own character, and shopping, music, theaters, cinema, sports and recreation. The market here seems to be cooling somewhat, but demand for housing is still far outpacing the supply. Keeping entry level pricing for single family homes and fixers at about $260,000."

Say Realtors Denice Rochelle and Bill Aubuchon , "Seattle and its close-in neighborhoods have something for almost everyone. In these neighborhoods you'll find beautiful old mansions standing next door to much more modest homes, many of which have been restored to their original grandeur. The Seattle-Metro area is a melting pot, and it's all about diversity, that's what makes these neighborhoods so rich. Lots of transition is happening in the Central Area, Leschi, Madrona, Mt. Baker, Madison Park, Judkins, Madison Valley, and Columbia City just to name a few and these neighborhoods are really appreciating! If you like being close to the water, having a water view, or living on the water, check out the Leschi, Mt. Baker and Madison Park neighborhoods and their proximity to Lake Washington and all those parks and amenities. If you like these urban, tree-lined types of neighborhoods and need more of a starter home, check out the Central Area, Judkins, Columbia City and Madison Valley. All this diversity, lots of trendy restaurants, all these great houses, all this appreciation, and like 10 or 15 minutes to downtown Seattle.

They continue, "Close-in south Seattle neighborhoods are very popular locations for lots of people because in general, they offer a bigger bang for the buck (larger lots for less money) than Seattle-proper properties. So, whether you're looking for your first home or waterfront living, your dollar will go farther if you're willing to live 15 or 20 minutes south of Downtown Seattle. If this sparks your interest, check out Skyway, Burien, Tukwila, and Sea-Tac. These are great areas offering diversity, established neighborhoods and parks, and amenities. Excellent bus service to downtown Seattle is very attractive. And if you fly a lot, you can be at the airport in like 10 minutes. There are plenty of homes in these areas in the $200,000s and $300,000s and some properties can still be had in the $100,000s. If you're in the high-end water view and waterfront market, there's plenty for you, too."

"Seattle is a major metropolitan destination located on beautiful Puget Sound," explains Realtor Jan Snook . "'Emerald City' is known around the world for its beautiful setting, with it's views of Mt. Rainier, Puget Sound, and the Cascade and Olympic Mountain ranges. Outdoor recreation is a way of life in Seattle. The city maintains 6,000 acres of parkland where residents bike, jog, in-line skate, and hike. Two major lakes offer plenty of opportunity to boat and play on the beach. The Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges, both visible from Seattle, are just a drive away. And daily ferries carry passengers across the Sound to nearby island and peninsula destinations."

About the market, Snook says, "Despite tight inventory, would-be homebuyers found ample choices during January to push sales well ahead of last year's start, according to the latest figures from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Member brokers said the number of pending sales surpassed year-ago totals by 22 percent. Prices for January's completed sales were up 12.7 percent compared to twelve months ago. Pending sales of single family homes climbed 21 percent in January, while condo sales surged nearly 28 percent. January's strong sales came despite inventory shortages in many areas. Overall, the number of active listings was down 14.8 percent compared to a year ago, with five counties (Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, King, Mason, and Skagit) reporting inventory levels at 80 percent or less than a year ago. Only four counties (Grant, Jefferson, Kittitas, and Lewis) experienced gains in the number of active listings last month compared to the same period a year ago. At months-end, the MLS database contained 20,196 active residential listings, which compares to 23,703 offerings of a year ago."

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