What happened to real estate values around Seattle from 2003 to 2020.
A Personal Story
I was inspired to write this story because I wanted to know how my client’s experience fit into the bigger picture. I chose the years 2003, 2008, 2009, 2016, and 2020 because those are the years when the six transactions took place.
Five years, six transactions
I started in real estate in 2002, so this story is also a look back at my 18 years in this business. In 2003, this client – The Family – moved to Seattle from Chicago. A Swiss friend from church had recommended me to them.
Little did I know back then that the purchase of a bungalow-like home near Seward Park would be the first of six transactions. Since then, my business has grown mainly due to repeat business and recommendations.
From boom to bust to best
Having arrived in Seattle in 1999 for a job in my former career, I had very few local contacts. That was painfully obvious during the boom years of Seattle real estate. Oddly enough, the year 2008, after the bubble burst, was until then my best year in real estate. That was also the year when I helped The Family with the purchase of their second home.
All values are for Single Family Homes, excluding townhomes.
Inventory and Days-On-Market
Inventory and days-on-market both measure the health of a real estate market. The relationship between the two is telling.
There are stark differences between 2003 and 2008/2009 and between 2016 and 2020. The inventories in 2016 and 2020 are far apart with the low days-on-market even lower in 2020.
After the bust, homes stayed on the market for a long time, even with the inventory being low. People had to get back on their feet again.
In 2016, the inventory had rebounded and homes sold quickly. Since then, inventory has been on a downward trend with a record low inventory so far in 2020.
Still, homes around Seattle are selling quickly despite the pandemic and social unrest.
Seattle and Seattle Eastside Average Sales Prices
Real Estate Values: The up and down, and then all the way up
After the bust which started in Seattle in the summer of 2007, real estate values took some time to come back. In retrospect, 2014 was the best year to buy a home. Luckily, some of my clients did just that.
Looking at the recent explosive rise in real estate values, the question is how long this can last. We are in an election year. Once the dust has settled, I believe Seattle real estate values will come down. By how much is anyone’s guess.
Note that my Eastside consists of five municipalities: Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Woodinville, and Bothell. I know that including places like Issaquah and Sammamish would produce very similar real estate values.
Location and Timing: how The Family fared.
It’s both plan and pounce
As the years passed, The Family grew from one to seven children. The little South Seattle bungalow saw the birth of two which brought the total to three.
When space got tight and the employer relocated, The Family moved to the Maple Leaf neighborhood.
This home saw the first of two major renovations. Purchased out of a bankruptcy, the sale eight years later was profitable.
Although the Maple Leaf home’s renovation created plenty of room for The Family – now seven – the city lot became too small but an imminent move was not in the picture.
That’s when a family friend who lived on the Eastside became aware of a 1.5-plus acre property in Bothell. The Family pounced at the opportunity.
A radical renovation added nearly 1,000 square feet and value to the home. Many generations were to live there.
However, circumstances called for yet another move, this time to another state. I will miss The Family!
What is your story?
What is your real estate story? How many homes have you bought and sold? Are you ready to add to your story? Are you about to buy or sell for the first time? I’m interested to learn about your story. If I can help, you know where to find me.