July wasn't short on surprises in the Seattle region's real-estate market, but as bad as we seem to have it, it's still not as bad as San Francisco.
July wasn’t short on surprises in the Seattle region’s real-estate market.
But there’s some potentially good news buried in there: The local housing market might be cooling somewhat and, as bad as we seem to have it, it’s still not as bad as San Francisco.
We’re wrapping up all of our July real-estate stories in this space so you can impress your friends, wow your family and be the toast of your next cocktail party with your insight into the local housing market.
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You can also use it as a crib sheet for the Reddit AMA that we’re hosting on Wednesday, Aug. 3 at noon. Seattle Times real estate reporter Mike Rosenberg will be on hand to field your questions.
San Francisco’s northernmost suburb?
Despite our real-estate angst, Seattle remains much more affordable than San Francisco and is building more homes. But many worry that we’re headed to the same extremes.
Listening to people in Seattle complain about rents reminds me of the chatter around San Francisco. But to my mind, the prices here aren’t in the same ballpark yet.
Home is where the house is
A unique Capitol Hill mansion is listed at $15 million, but it comes property-tax-free thanks largely to an obscure state law.
After 41 offers, a mold-infested West Seattle home with collapsing floors and ceilings sold for more than double the asking price.
Three houses in a Kirkland subdivision, all built about the same time by the same developer with the same upscale finishes, were assigned widely varying values by the King County assessor.
The star soccer goalie aims to make a 54 percent profit, but it’s a mystery why she would sell it just days after telling the world how much she loves being there.
The Weyerhaeuser Building has stood tall in Everett for 93 years, though not always in the same place. Now it is moving for the third and, it is hoped, final time.
By the numbers
Seattle’s monthly home price increase is now just slightly ahead of the national average, after it was double the U.S. rate the previous two months.
Prices for high-quality farmland across the state are up 47 percent in the last four years, mirroring similar increases in home prices and rents.
Rents in the Seattle area are rising about four times faster than the national average and have topped $2,000 a month.
The typical house in Seattle now costs 74 percent more than it did in 2011. Across King County, the median home price is up 66 percent over those five years.
2015 saw the second-slowest pay growth in the past five years in Washington.
Advice and analysis
The rapidly climbing price of Seattle homes could be the symptom of a real-estate bubble, or proof of a strong economy. Columnist Jon Talton looks at the arguments.
The rent-versus-buy issue has spawned an extraordinary number of online calculators, but a calculator analysis of costs and benefits has some drawbacks.
Seattle ranked high among the major markets with “severe unaffordability” for middle-income people. Columnist Jon Talton notes that measures to make housing more affordable are bound to stir a lot of debate.