On Seattle's Eastside (Bellevue, Bothell, Carnation, Duvall, Kirkland, Issaquah, Mercer Island, Redmond and Woodinville), the median sales price of single-family homes rose a solid 12%. This comes after a remarkable 2012–making 2013 truly a banner year.
There were 8,206 homes sold–an increase of 15% in 2013. That's up from 7,226 homes in 2012, and 5,883 in 2011, and a clear continuation of a strong upward trajectory. Homes closest to employment hubs in Seattle and Bellevue/Redmond will likely continue to see the greatest levels of appreciation in 2014. The number of condominium sales increased as well–by 15% over 2012 levels.
Of the single-family home sales, 897 (11%) were above $1,000,000–a significant increase from 620 in 2012 and 471 in 2011.
Two factors led to a decrease in both median and average sales prices for condominiums in 2013. One was a market correction following the huge 30% increase in sales prices the year prior; the other was a large number of short sales/foreclosures. Industry experts predict that these "distressed" sales will decrease in 2014.
The average market time decreased, from 126 days (2012) to 46 days (2013) for single-family homes. Condos saw similar decreases–from 105 to 48 days. Highly desirable properties of all types received offers–and often multiple offers–within seven days of coming to market.
Improved local, regional, and national economies have helped real estate rebound throughout the country. Some of the biggest impetus in 2013 came from historically low interest rates, which averaged 3.98% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. The year started off with extremely low rates in the first half, but by mid-year interest rates began to rise, ending at 4.6% in December. As every 1% increase in rates leads to a corresponding 10% decrease in purchasing power, it will be interesting to see how 2014 interest rates impact our market in the coming year.
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© Copyright 2014, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Statistics provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.