SEATTLE’S GLOBAL REALTY PUBLISHES INAUGURAL ISSUE OF THE CENTRAL PUGET SOUND MARKET REPORT FOR THE 1ST HALF OF 2012
Report covers the Seattle, Downtown, Bellevue/Eastside, Bainbridge Island and Waterfront market areas, findings and trends.
SEATTLE, WA. (August 15, 2012) – Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) released their inaugural issue of the Central Puget Sound Market Report for the first half of 2012.
According to the report, aggregated inventory levels are 34% lower and sales volumes rose 15% as the local economy continues to strengthen. RSIR brokers reported a balanced marketplace with buyers and seller on an equal footing in most markets - albeit at reset prices (according to S&P/Case-Shiller the median home price is approximately 28.6% below the peak in July 2007 after rising for the second straight month as of May 2012). Seattle was among the last of major metro area markets to enter the national housing correction and has since emerged as one of the first out. Accordingly, RealtyTrac reports Seattle had the largest drop of foreclosure filings among the 20 largest metro areas - down 26% from the year prior.
An imbalance of supply and demand tips in favor of sellers within the urban markets close to job centers, along key arterials and within transit-based developments. For perspective there are only 230 condominiums available (135 new and 100 resale) in the center city with no new supply expected until 2015. Not surprisingly, median home prices in the city are recovering and buyers are feeling a greater sense of urgency to own vs. lease (rents have increased at a rate of more than 5% per year).
With improving market fundamentals and rising consumer confidence luxury buyers have come off the sidelines and in some cases are rushing the field. A "flight to quality" is most apparent in highly desirable and inherently limited product segments such as penthouse condominiums in downtown Seattle and waterfront properties. By example, since March 2012 more than a dozen penthouses have sold absorbing virtually all the unsold inventory. Likewise a survey of real estate activity for the entire first half of 2012 (compared with the same period in 2011) reveals waterfront inventory is down 18% and sales are up resulting in a 25% reduction of total months of supply (days on market are also down nearly 20%).
Washington State has regained more than half of the 205,000 jobs lost during the recession (thanks in part to economic engines like Boeing and Amazon to name just a few expanding companies). And we're enjoying one of the best natural advertisements found anywhere in the US - summertime in Puget Sound. The demand pool is expanding too with relocation buyers, property investors and second home ownership all on the rise. Approximately a third of the firm’s sales are to interstate and international buyers, which in part has thrust Realogics Sotheby's International Realty into the #1 position for total sales volume by office in the Seattle Metro area.
“After four years of market turbulence we're pleased to see logic has finally replaced fear in most consumers,” said Dean Jones, Principal of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. “Timing the market in Seattle now has more to do with securing preferred selection and locking in record low interest rates than assuming home prices will continue to correct. That said a lack of inventory will most likely slow down sales ahead.”
About Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty: Representing the greatest number of new construction and resale property closings by total dollar volume among brokerage offices in the Seattle metro markets according to Trendgraphix YTD 2012, Realogics Brokerage, LLC (DBA Realogics Sotheby's International Realty) has emerged as a leading sales and marketing company in the Seattle metro area. Visit www.RealogicsSothebysRealty.com.
EDITORS NOTE: Color photography of referenced principals and graphs are available upon request – please contact Andrea Savage at 206.448.5782 or email Andrea.Savage@