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2014 Outlook for Seattle Real Estate

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Great news fellow Seattleites: Of the 50+ markets to watch in 2014, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Urban Land Institute ranks the Greater Seattle area as the No. 6 market to watch in the country in their Emerging Trends publication.

Now, since I know not everyone is as nerdy as I am about real estate stats, Emerging Trends is essentially the the foremost authority on where the real estate market is trending and where certain markets are emerging (hence the name, “Emerging Trends”). They interview all facets of the industry from professionals that deal with land, to the folks that invest in that land, to the builders who build the homes on that land, to the folks that sell that house onthat land (me!), to the folks that lend money to a buyer who is purchasing a home that was built on that land. Whew! Here is a link to the full report: http://www.uli.org/wp-content/uploads/ULI-Documents/Emerging-Trends-in-Real-Estate-Americas-2014.pdf

Why is Seattle ranked so highly?

Great question. Well, Seattle has been very fortunate in that we’ve seen significant job growth due to the strong tech companies that have set up shop in our area. We have a  relatively well educated population, good ties to foreign investors, and of course, there is the good ‘ol supply and demand blessing/curse that we have in Seattle…we are flanked by the ocean on one side, mountains on the other, and a massive lake in between. There’s only so much land, and only so much urban sprawl that can occur (particularly with the development regulations in our area)…which keeps prices relatively stable.

What will happen in 2014 with real estate values?

Another fantastic question. While we experienced an increase in values in the 13-15% range in 2013, I don’t expect that we’ll be keeping pace with that (though if we did, I wouldn’t complain too much!). Median home prices are projected to rise 4.4%…however, I predict that we’ll do a little better than that in 2014. I am estimating somewhere in the range of 8% for 2014. We are still recovering from the crash, interest rates remain relatively low (still well under 5% as of this writing), demand is still high, and inventory is low. I am still writing offers on homes (in December) that are multiple offer situations.

Overall – it’s tough to find balance in the real estate market, but we are in one of those rare situations where it is good to be both a buyer and a seller in this market. Values are increasing and inventory is low (great for sellers). Values haven’t hit the peak and interest rates are low (great for buyers).

Enjoy it, Seattle – you’re in the real estate sweet spot to start 2014!

Here is the top 15 cities from Emerging Trends with the best outlooks for 2014:

1. San Franciso

2. Houston

3. San Jose

4. New York City

5. Dallas-Ft. Worth

6. Seattle (!) 

7. Austin

8. Miami

9. Boston

10. Orange Co.

11. Denver

12. Nashville

13. Los Angeles

14. San Antonio

15. San Diego

Please don’t hesitate to contact me or include comments below about predictions you have in your area for 2014.

Ryan Halset, Real Estate Broker

Phone: (206) 930-7959 | Email: Ryan@BoardwalkSeattle.com

Seattle Magazine, Best in Client Satisfaction

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