Today’s Seattle Times (http://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/home-prices-in-seattle-pop-nearly-19-percent-for-the-year/) reported on increasing property values and declining housing inventory levels in Seattle; the same is true for the Eastside. The number of available single family homes and condominiums for sale in and around Bellevue has been at historic lows for many months. With more buyers than there are available homes demand is high and multiple offers are driving up prices.
Shorter market time, multiple offers and sales over the list price are common. In downtown Bellevue there are currently less than 100 condominiums listed for sale. Of those, barely a third are resale units. (The balance of available condos represent the remaining developer owned units at Washington Square built in 2009.) There is currently barely a one month supply of available resale condo inventory – 4 to 5 months is considered a balanced market.
Why are active listings so scarce? Bellevue is a highly rated, desirable place to live. Award winning schools, a thriving economy, abundant parking, strong job market and a vibrant and safe downtown are driving demand for housing. Its a great place to live, work and raise a family. Existing condominium communities are the only current option for absorbing buyer demand. All the tower cranes downtown are supporting construction of mixed use office projects or rental apartments. No new construction condo communities are scheduled for completion in the central business district for several years. To build anything new downtown an existing structure or community will need to come down before something new can go up.