Residential Market Analysis

“Seattle: For the second year, the area has experienced growth the company calls extraordinary in the high-tech and bio-tech industries, keeping the Seattle market hot. The demand for single-family homes has driven prices to an all-time high, with no reported end in sight.The average home sale price within Seattle’s city limits between 1987 and 1999 more than tripled, from $98,000 to an incredible $307,139, according to the outlook. The average number of days for a home on the market in 1999 was 24.East King County: The area’s emergence as an economic and business center in its own right has helped continue a strong real estate market on the eastside. Affordability is an issue with the high-end market reaching record levels in 1999.In east King County the average sale price rose from $269,000 in 1996 to $384,000 in 1999. Average days on market in 1999 was 45.Spokane: The Spokane area real estate market has remained steady, experiencing moderate appreciation of 4 percent. A trend to watch, according to the outlook, is an increase in bank foreclosures, with over 1,000 properties becoming HUD homes or repossessed by the banks in 1999.The average 1999 sale price for a Spokane area home was $121,136.Tacoma/Pierce County: Downtown redevelopment, expansion at the Port of Tacoma, and an increase of jobs in the area were all cited as helping to create an active market in 1999. The high-end market saw what the outlook called a remarkable increase in the sale of beachfront and luxury properties.The average 1999 sale price was $159,576.Snohomish County: Snohomish County has experienced a diversification of its economy as buyers priced out of the Seattle and Eastside markets move north. The resulting influx, according to the outlook, has made up for the loss of business created by Boeing layoffs in early 1999, and has helped to stabilize the market.The average 1999 sale price was $209,124.South King County: This area continues to attract first-time homebuyers as an affordable alternative to the Seattle and Eastside markets.A scarcity of new construction has resulted in strong demand and an emergence of a strong high-end market for buyers seeking affordable view property, according to the outlook.The average 1999 sale price was $197,055.Thurston County: In 1999, Thurston County enjoyed one of its best real estate markets ever, due to professional s, state government workers and military personnel moving in, and out of, the area.While the impact of Initiative 695 and its impact on state government could influence the area’s market in 2000, the ongoing influx of military retirees from other areas remains a constant and may well counteract any budget cuts, according to the outlook.The average 1999 sale price was $150,415.Kitsap County: The market in Kitsap County remained steady in 1999, due in large part to first-time and move-up buyers from within the county, the latter taking advantage of home appreciation over the past few years to move in to larger homes or waterfront properties.The average 1999 sale price was $181,053.Yakima County: The average home price in Yakima County remained virtually unchanged in 1999, from $119,769 to $120,358.A sluggish economy resulting from poor sales of apples and other fruit exports has hurt the high-end market recently, according to the outlook. However, the outlook for 2000 is positive, given a mild winter that is bringing out buyers earlier than usual.The average number of days a home spent on the market in 1999 was 134.”