Bellevue Condo Market Data

Earlier this month I shared 2017 King County real estate market statistics supplied by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Median sales prices overall were up 15% county-wide (houses and condos) over 2016. Taking a closer look, here are the 2017 Bellevue condo market statistics:

  • 759 condos sold in 2017 (resale and new construction) up from 746 in 2016 for a 2% increase
  • The median Bellevue condo sales price was $500,500 in 2017, up 30% over 2016
  • Ending 2017 there was less than a 1 month supply of inventory (a 4-6 month supply is considered a balanced or normal market)

Just eight weeks into the new year stats haven’t changed much. Currently there are just 20 condos available for sale in of Bellevue. Newly listed condos are trickling into the market but selling quickly. So far this year 61 resale condos (vs. new construction pre-sale units) have sold with an average market time of 15 days. Sales prices this year are averaging 5.5% over the list price. Continue reading

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Senior Property Tax Assistance

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flickr/Backdoor Survival

Did you know WA State law provides tax benefit programs for senior citizens and the disabled? in the form of property tax exemptions and property tax deferrals. As you pack this year’s tax records away, you may want to look into whether you, a family member or someone you know might qualify for a property tax exemption, reduction or property tax deferral program. To qualify for taxpayer assistance or tax relief a person must apply for a senior citizen or disabled exemption and meet program qualifications. Its worth looking into  – visit the King  County Assessor website at http://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/assessor or call 206-296-3920 for more information and forms for the Senior Property Exemption and Deferral Program.

It may well be worth the time and effort to save money on future property tax bills.

Conforming Loan Limits Increased

house on moneyLoan limits for mortgage loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will increase next year for the first time in ten years. In recognition of rising home prices nationwide, the loan limit for a conforming loan (not a jumbo loan)  will increase from $417,000 to $424,100. For areas like the Seattle/Bellevue metropolitan area, which have a more expensive housing market, loan limits are much higher. In King, Pierce and Snohomish counties conforming loan limits will increase from $540,500 to $592,250 next year.

What does this mean if you’re planning to purchase a home in 2017? Jumbo mortgage loans (over the new limit of $592,250) generally have higher interest rates, require higher credit scores and larger down payments of 15-20%. These steep requirements can keep many highly qualified home buyers out of the market  –  buyers who have the income and employment history to qualify for a loan but don’t have a 20% down payment. When the conforming loan limit is raised, it opens the door giving qualified buyers with 3%, 5% or 10% down an opportunity to get in the game.

If you haven’t talked with a lender or Realtor® lately, now would be the time to start that conversation to see how the increase in loan limits could benefit you.

Affordable Housing in Bellevue

The high demand for housing in Bellevue has created a robust real estate market, driving sale prices for houses and condos and residential rents up in recent years. It was great news when the King County Housing Authority announced last week it had reached an agreement with local builder Intracorp to purchase the Highland Village apartment community and preserve the apartments as an affordable place to live in Bellevue.

Intracorp, the developer who purchased the Highland Village property, had submitted plans to redevelop the property’s 76 affordable apartments into 87 townhomes selling between $650,000 and $900,000. The KCHA agreement with Intracorp to purchase the property will preserve the Highland Village apartments as affordable housing, allowing existing families to continue to live in the community. (Intracorp will sell the property to KCHA  for below appraised value.) After the acquisition of the property KCHA will renovate the property over the next two years, keeping rents at or near their current affordable levels.

Finding and preserving opportunities for affordable housing is a goal of city, county and state governments. Preserving Highland Village will allow these families to maintain their homes where there is access to quality schools, employment and public transit.