2015 was another year for rising home prices in the greater Seattle area. Home prices have clearly recovered in King County – with the median home price surpassing pre-recession levels. A major contributing factor to these rising home prices is depleted inventory – King County dropped to less than one month of supply (a "balanced market" is considered 4-6 months of housing supply).
The map below shows the median price increase by area in the Seattle and Eastside markets. West Bellevue had the greatest price appreciation at 22.7% – which is also significant as the average sale price in 2015 was over $2,000,000. Top rated schools, attractive neighborhoods and proximity to downtown Bellevue and Seattle drew luxury home buyers both locally and from overseas, especially China, to this coveted community. Not surprisingly, areas further away from the city cores, such as Juanita and Redmond, did not experience as much price appreciation on the Eastside.
In Seattle, Beacon Hill and Shoreline experienced the greatest median price increases – while Capitol Hill only increased 2.2%. I think the affordability of areas further away from downtown such as Shoreline, Kenmore and Beacon Hill – combined with record low inventory in Seattle – drew buyers to these areas and contributed to the price appreciation there. The average sale price in those areas last year was around $500,000 – whereas the average sale price on Capitol Hill was nearly $900,000.
2015 was Seattle's fourth year of home price increases – putting us in year five of a strong seller's market. Inventory continues to be the biggest problem for buyers and local economists report they see no signs of a housing bubble in our area. Predictions are that 2016 will be another hot year for real estate – however price appreciation is expected to increase less dramatically than last year. If you've ever considered selling, NOW IS THE TIME!