No One Will Move, The LLC Next Door & Cottage Rules

Even with another hint of a late-summer cooling in home prices, the Seattle area real-estate market has still gotten so intense there often aren’t enough inspectors and appraisers to keep up with the demand. That’s creating extra risk and cost for homebuyers desperate to get an edge in bidding wars. At best, the staffing shortage…




Teardowns & Letters

As the Seattle area zips through a historic building boom, one of the most visible changes is a surge in bulldozing old, small houses to make way for big, new homes that typically carry much higher price tags. Seattle on average now sees one home teardown every day. More houses have been demolished and replaced…




Down Goes Vancouver & Up Goes Sound Transit

As crazy as Seattle’s real estate market has been, Vancouver’s is arguably more extreme – and may be imploding in an extreme fashion. What else would you call a 20 percent drop in one month? How Vancouver’s market implosion affects Seattle – Curbed Shoreline’s 145th Street Station Is Moving North – The Urbanist Rent-to-Own Homes:…




Best July Ever, Condo Flipping & Grand Bargains

The Puget Sound region’s housing market is still booming and last month recorded its best-ever July, according to a new report that the Northwest Multiple Listing Service issued Thursday. A severe inventory shortage has resulted in an unbalanced market, but now more houses and condos are being put up for sale. It was the best…




Growth questions…

Talk to just about anyone about local real-estate prices and there’s a good chance you’ll hear this: Seattle is becoming the next San Francisco. Sure, housing prices and rents are skyrocketing here, but are we really doomed to a fate where million-dollar homes and $5,000-a-month rents will soon be the norm? Don’t count on it….




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Bad News In Rents, Good News In Utility Costs & It’s Not A Bubble

Home prices have hit record highs in some major U.S. metropolitan areas, and house-flippers are behaving like it’s 2005: It’s no wonder people are chattering about another housing bubble. But residential real estate isn’t in a speculative bubble, industry observers contend. Instead, a low inventory of available homes is driving prices higher—prices, however, will eventually recede…




Criminal Trespass By Banks & Time To Refi

In a ruling this month, the Washington Supreme Court found that action illegal — a decision that clears the way for a federal class-action case that Jordan brought on behalf of at least 3,600 borrowers in the state, and one that could have broad ramifications on how some lenders respond when homeowners miss payments. “This…




Evil Seattle Home Prices, Historic Pop Growth & What Is A Limited Pre-Inspection

As home prices and rents continue to soar faster in the Seattle area than just about anywhere else in the nation, the city and its neighbors have set new highs for housing costs. Seattle’s median single-family home cost $666,500 in June, easily beating out the record set in February, according to figures released Wednesday by…




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U District Rezone, High Efficiency Dwellings & Is KC Affordable?

Seattle’s Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) released draft recommendations on the University District rezone and urban design proposal in late May. The draft recommendations consist of a large breadth of changes to development regulations in the neighborhood and substantially increase development capacity. Most of the proposed changes would affect the core of the…




Local Companies Buy & Settle

In separate statements, Zillow and Move said the settlement was an “amicable resolution” and that they intended to put the dispute behind them. Both companies declined to comment beyond the statements. As part of the settlement, neither company admitted wrongdoing. Zillow settles suit by rival for $130 million – Seattle Times Zillow Boosts Accuracy With…




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Bidding Wars, Skyrocketing Prices = Bubble?

In today’s ultracompetitive local housing market, there are now more home-bidding wars than at any point this decade. The result? For the first time during the economic recovery, the majority of homes are selling for above the list price in Seattle and surrounding cities. It’s an inescapable reality from West Seattle to the Eastside: A…




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Seattle To Host Special Olympics USA Games & Other Local Headlines

Seattle has been selected to host the 50th anniversary Special Olympics USA Games in July 2018. The quadrennial event – which celebrates athletes with disabilities – will bring tens of thousands of people and hundreds of millions of dollars to the region. “We look forward to welcoming 3,500 athletes, their families, friends and supporters to…




Listings Up, Prices Up & Mortgage Rates Down

Pending home sales in the Puget Sound region’s four-county area are at a near record, more owners are putting their houses on the market, and price increases for single-family homes have started to slow down some. Yet prices still are climbing, and it remains a seller’s market, especially if you’re unloading a condo. The median…




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Homes Imported From Canada, Assessor Goes Green & What A Gorgeous Stamp

Home prices in Seattle continued to outpace most of the nation’s other top metro areas in February, jumping 11 percent year-over-year, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index released Tuesday. The Seattle metropolitan area trailed only the Portland area, which posted an 11.9 percent leap in home prices. Other cities showing the highest year-over-year growth include…




Silicon Seattle, A Few Predictions & Lead In The Water

With high home prices, low inventory and heated bidding wars, Seattle is the new San Francisco. In the metro Seattle area, home-sale prices rose 9.5% from 2014 to 2015, putting the median home value at $385,300, according to the National Association of Realtors. That’s below the limit for government-backed loans for the area, which currently…




Seattle Buyers Get Thrifty & Commercial Rent Control

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray on Thursday named 15 people to a committee that will recommend ways the city can address rising prices that small businesses pay to rent commercial space. He said everything, including rent control and mandating developers include lower cost commercial space in their projects, is on the table. Rent control for commercial…




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Squeeze on Inventory, Booming Downtown & Love That Craftsman

The shortage of homes for sale in the Seattle region is now stretching beyond King County. All four central Puget Sound counties are exhibiting a similar pattern: Prices are going up, but inventory is going down. All four have less than two months of inventory, going into the season when home sales typically heat up….




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MLS Market Update: April 2016

Puget Sound Area Home Sales Slow (Not Prices) Traffic isn’t the only thing that is gridlocked around many Puget Sound communities. “We’re experiencing gridlock in the Puget Sound housing market,” suggested J. Lennox Scott in reaction to the latest statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. MLS figures show pending sales across the 23 counties it…




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Moving Trends For People, Transit & Google

What’s behind Seattle’s steady growth? The Seattle metro area experienced the fifth largest amount of growth among 85 metros in the Western Region of the U.S. from 2000-2014, an annual average rate of 1.4 percent. While that might not sound like a lot, that is about 700,000 new residents calling the Emerald City home since the…




All You Need to Know About RRIO

Improving & preserving safe & healthy housing for all Seattle renters. A quick reminder that the City of Seattle’s Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance (RRIO) is rolling out across the City, with deadlines arranged by ZIP code. The City reports that many landlords do not know about this requirement, so pass this along to friends/family/colleagues…




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7 Steps To Buying A House