In early December, the US Census released new data, and as Curbed Seattle reports, Seattle is now among the top five most expensive major U.S. cities as the average rent has increased to nearly $1,500 per month. Think the rent sounds significantly lower than what most people are actually paying in the city limits? Curbed says stats may seem slightly different because “census data is designed to reflect what most people are actually paying, including those in subsidized housing.” The effect is that “instead of reflecting the rate an apartment-seeker can expect to pay with no assistance, census data reflects what people are currently paying in Seattle across rental types.”
Growth is also happening outside of the Emerald City’s bounds as Bellevue, which is not eligible for the ranking due to its size, has seen rents increase at an even faster rate, up $150 compared to 2016 at an average of $1,846. Increasing rents come as the value of home prices continue to appreciate, particularly for condominiums situated within the downtown core.
A recent Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) article proclaims that in November 2017, the median home price for resale condominiums in Seattle had increased 37.3-percent year-over-year, with just 7 resale homes currently listed on Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) priced below $700,000. These statistics are indicative of the supply and demand imbalance, which isn’t likely to find relief soon as most of the units in the nearly 500 units that are set to deliver in the current decade have already presold.
Market pundits say presales are offering some relief to would-be buyers that can plan ahead, as a typical $5,000 deposit can secure a home at today’s price to be delivered in the future. The benefits were on full display in November at the NEXUS Sales Center, as the announcement of 28 attainably priced City Suites was met with a crowd that waited hours in line before the opening and each of the units selling out in just two days.
As Dean Jones, President and CEO of RSIR reflected, “It felt like Black Friday, except it was a Saturday and we were selling condos.” NEXUS is now 90-percent presold with remaining two and three-bedroom homes priced from $1.2 million.
More on current market conditions and the benefits of presales, including changes to lending requirements that may impact buyers in 2018, may be found in the full RSIR feature here.