Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

Tech set to continue driving Seattle-area housing market in 2019

A look at what’s the real estate market in the coming year.

  • Thursday, January 10, 2019 1:30pm
  • Business

By Erin Flemming

Special to the Reporter

As 2019 begins, the bustling technology sector in the Seattle area is likely to continue fueling Seattle’s housing market, though there will be some changes. When looking back on December’s market in Kirkland, Jon Hunter, vice president of residential success at John L. Scott, said the median sales price in Kirkland grew from $695,000 in December 2017 to $823,500 in December 2018 — about an 18 percent increase.

Recently, J. Lennox Scott, John L. Scott’s chairman and CEO, released his forecast for the 2019 housing market in the Puget Sound area. Scott noted that despite some headwinds in the residential housing market, there are many positive signs, including job growth, millennials entering the market and interest rates that are still historically low.

“Heading into 2019, we anticipate the more affordable and mid-price ranges in all markets will go up one level of hotness after January 1 to a surge level of sales activity intensity, then transition back down to strong for the remainder of the year,” said Scott. “From January to April, we will see a mild increase in the median home price appreciation, which shows up in closings into June. Then, price appreciation tends to flatten out the remainder of the year due to the large number of new listings that come on the market over the summer, creating dispersed buyer energy.”

Hunter agrees with Scott’s predictions for the next year, saying he expects we will see more inventory come on the market in late spring. Hunter added that the economy is doing well, despite the fall on the stock market, and adding that Seattle’s consistent growth in the technology sector bodes well. When looking toward the spring, Hunter said he thinks it’ll be a different market from last year, but is still poised to have strong growth.

Recently, ATTOM Data Solutions released a home affordability report, which found the median home price in the United States reached the least affordable level since the third quarter of 2008. However, the report notes that the Seattle market saw annual wage growth outpace annual home appreciation, which is encouraging for those looking to own. Some of this wage growth can be attributed to the continued expansion and investment in the area’s technology sector from companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Expedia, T-Mobile, Facebook, Google, Apple and Indeed, which sets a strong base for the local economy.

“There has been a lot of news as of late about how the affordability factor in Seattle has skyrocketed,” said Hunter. “Real estate is an investment into your future, and the key to this investment is to purchase a house, condo or co-op as quickly as you can. Many times it can be cheaper than renting, and you’ll build equity with the market appreciation while you pay down your loan.”

Hunter added that he’s seen many clients then use this built-up equity to purchase a bigger home — or alternately rent out their old home with cash-flow positive income. While purchasing a home isn’t right for everyone, he recommends starting the conversation with a lender and real estate broker early to determine the best plan of action when it comes to home ownership.

More in Business

Stephanie Quiroz/staff photos
                                Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce celebrates with owner Kimberly Johansen, the Empowered Pregnancy team, friends, and family on the grand opening of Empowered Pregnancy, PLLC on May 9.
Second out-of-hospital birth center comes to Kirkland

Community welcomed Empowered Pregnancy Birth Center and Women’s Wellness Clinic on May 9.

‘Busy’ housing market enters pre-summer phase

As the pre-summer market begins, standing out from the crowd is crucial for buyers.

The data visualized here was compiled from Apartment List’s monthly rent reports. See an interactive chart below. Kailan Manandic / data illustration
Eastside rental market could balance out with the region

Eastside rent medians increased by 2.8 in the past year, a decrease in growth from previous years.

The current Board of Directors for the Greater Kirkland chamber of Commerce. Photo courtesy of the the Greater Kirkland chamber of Commerce
Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce celebrates centennial

The 100-year celebration will take place during the chamber’s annual gala.

Nintex acquires EnableSoft in company acquisition

Bellevue-based company is a world leader in workflow automation industry.

Paige Bisbee, of Bellevue is a paid employee at Davis Wright Tremaine in Bellevue. As part of the law firm’s inclusive program, Bisbee distributes snacks and office supplies to her co-workers. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo.
People with disabilities find purpose through new employment opportunities

Paige Bisbee of Bellevue finds employment at Davis Wright Tremaine

Local inventory is up as buyers and sellers prep for spring real estate market

February’s snowfall temporarily slowed down sales.

Kristina Perdue sets up her vendor booth for cosmetic distributor SeneGence International. Before starting the Kirkland Women’s Show, Perdue and other Eastside vendors would have to travel out of the Eastside just to compete with bigger corporate vendors. Photo courtesy of Kristina Perdue
Local business owner starts Kirkland’s first vendor show

The Kirkland Women’s Show will take place at Kamiakin Middle School on March 30.

Stocks stay strong for Smartsheet, Microsoft, T-Mobile

Fortune 500 functionality, Hololens technology, 5G network contribute to growth

Kirkland’s McAdams Remodeling & Design receives Best Of Houzz award

The custom design-build residential remodeler was chosen by more than 40 million monthly users from the Houzz community.

Praerit Garg joins Smartsheet as CTO

Bellevue-based company employs 760 people

A comparison of how many life science companies are on the Eastside and in other Washington cities. Photo illustration by Kailan Manandic
Life science hits its stride on the Eastside

Life science has strong roots in Washington, contributing economically and scientifically.