Home Buying in Seattle>Question Details

Julie Hindma…, Home Buyer in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Hello, we're relocating to the Seattle area later in the year and I was wondering if there has been a drop in

Asked by Julie Hindmarch, Fort Lauderdale, FL Tue Jun 3, 2008

property prices there as much as there has been here in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Thanks, Julie

Help the community by answering this question:


I took the liberty of compiling a graph for you showing the trend of home SOLD prices from Feb 07 - April 08 with an average price from $400K - $800K in King County. The data is easy to read and perhaps will give you a good idea of how are market is holding up here in the Northwest.

Oh, and before you leave Fort Lauderdale -- Visit Sea Watch for me :-) We have lots of family there!

Good Luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 3, 2008
It depends on what market you’re shopping in. For example homes over 1 million dollars are selling quite slowly and therefore many home owners are accepting much lower offers than they would have in 2006. On the other hand $300-$600K homes are selling quick and for full price as long as they are a good product, its all about area, quality, usability and price. As a buyer you have the opportunity to get a fantastic deal on great homes. And if you buy right, you can own a home that has real demand therefore you will see appreciation. There are pocket sized areas in Seattle that are still seeing high demand. You just need to know where to look. Look for walk-able communities. You may not get as much home as other area’s, but the movement lately has been people moving back to the urban core. I don’t see that trend ending any time soon. If you buy a home in a great walk-able community you will have the best chances of selling in the future. Homes in the suburbs are starting to look a lot like Ford Expeditions, large, unnecessary and wasteful. To wrap it up, some areas see declines while others see increases. Look into what’s popular and what’s happening with society to see where and what you should look for in a home.
Web Reference: http://www.walkscore.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 5, 2008
Further to my response below, when I did the stats the last couple of weeks, the drops were averaging more like 6.7% and the in escrow prices were lower than current closed prices, especially on condos. This Sunday I will be doing the results of the first half of the year as compared to peak pricing from mid 2007. Check out the link below early next week.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 3, 2008
Drop - yes, Big - no. When you are ready to buy make sure to research school district as it is a great indication of stable prices. houses=families=kids. Good public schools is always a good property value stabilizer. for more info on schools, visit http://www.schoolmatters.com. Great site for school rating. also, if you go on my site for schools, i have links to school districts in King County.
Web Reference: http://www.verabrodsky.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 24, 2008
Hi Julie!
Welcome to Seattle when you get here! I grew up in the South and that is a very big move you are making! From everything I have seen, Florida has dropped a lot more than we have here. The housing market in Seattle has certainly slowed down a bit and is tricky at times, but we overall have a good market compared to other areas of the country.
If you are looking for a bargain, I would suggest new construction right now. The builders are being far more willing to negotiate than the banks are at short sales and foreclosures.
Good luck and have a safe move! Please feel free to get a hold of me if you have questions!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 13, 2008
The big story here is in huge drops in volume of sales and increasing inventory. Most areas are at least 30% down in the number of homes being sold vs. the same month last year. That has been going on pretty much since September of 2007. That hasn't translated into price drops. Most areas are flat. A few have modest price declines of 1% to 3%, Nothing much to speak of until you get far South or North. Not likely in places where you will be living.

If it's much later in the year, like October 15th or shortly thereafter, the increase in inventory over the next 60 days could change things.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 12, 2008
Hello Julie,

Welcome to the great northwest. I'ts a big change...I lived in New Olreans for most of my life and then Sarasota, Fl for eight years before moving ot Seattle. The market is much different here and so is the life style. Prices are flat but not going down. Seattle is a great area to buy in, very refeshing....Inventory is up, rates are good...It's a buyers market.
Seattle has lot of different neighborhoods , so you should check where you want to live, depending on where you work, and your price range. If you go to my webiste I have lots of infomramiont on the different neighborhoods of Seattle. If I can help you, please let me know. I know about moving from the south land to the northwest., I can be very helpful. Good Luck...

Roger Kinnaman
The Roanoke Group,Inc
Real Estate and Property Management Services
9505 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, Wa. 98115

Direct (206)356-1282
E-mail: rogerkinn@comcast.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 11, 2008
Prices are dropping in Seattle area, not as large percentage as the average in the nation, but the options here for buyers best condition properties are not Foreclosure or Distressed Properties. There are many homeowners who are just planning relocation and are caught in this market. Take a look at Shoreline which is north of Seattle. This area is a great location for commuters and the prices for the remodeled homes are reasonable. With the depreciation of the current market you may find a diamond with built in Equity.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 11, 2008
There hasn't been a drop in property prices. The median price in Seattle is flat. Find a Realtor that is familiar with the neighborhoods in which you plan to live. Begin a correspondence so that many of your questions have been answered and you have a plan before you arrive. Also, you may want to work with a Realtor that is a relocation specialist. Many companies like John L. Scott have departments that are skilled in helping relocate and offer programs and discounts. Let me know if you need any assistance!

Barbara McMahon
Associate Broker
John L. Scott
425 218 0707
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 10, 2008
Clearly not "as there has been...in Fort Lauderdale". The market is getting a bit sluggish due to the mortgage industry changs though. So be careful and pick best possible area. Outlying areas are starting to suffer. Inventory is climbing and sales are at half mast or lower in many areas.

When volume is this far down, it's hard to believe that prices will remain steady, especailly after "high season".
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 7, 2008

Congrats on your move to the Pacific NW. It's a great place to live. A litle less sunshine then you are used to but a lot less humidity.

Seattle has survived the housing crisis better then almost anywhere else in the country. It is however a really neighborhood specific market. This id true most places but especially in Seattle. Some neighborhoods have seen a drop, but for the most part Seattle has seen a flattening of prices an not so much a drop. If you also take into consideration that we have seen a disappearance of the multiple offer bidding up and overpaying for homes go away, the change in price is even less dramatic.

Now is a great time to buy in Seattle. I know, I know, I am an agent and we all say that, but it's true. Interest rates are low, buyer's have more of an edge then they have seen in recnet years, and you can negotiate some great things that you didn't have a chance at a few years ago.

Let me know if you want information about specific neighborhoods. You'll consider yourself a local in no time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 5, 2008
It looks as though you are getting some good feedback on your question. I appreciate finding the SeattleBubble reference because its inclusion reinforces the opinion that I’m going to give to you, as a Realtor. Just as you will get a diversity of opinions on the market in this forum, you will find good and bad value in any real estate market situation, regardless of public opinion. The relationship between the seller and buyer of a home is very personal and based on motivation. If you find a property that you can live with for the next 5 years and it is owned by a motivated seller, you have a recipe for good value anywhere in the Seattle area. There is some emotional uncertainty driving some sellers. If you are working for a popular software company, however, and want to live within a 15 minute bus ride of your new office, you may find yourself compromising on price. We still see multiple offers in some situations. Location, location, location…The point is that the market is based on what a similar property sold for most recently, not what the average or mean prices of the NWMLS are. I suggest that good Realtors attempt to draw the motivations of a seller and buyer together on a very individual basis. If the Realtor avoids dual agency and acts strictly as a buyer’s agent you have an even better chance of achieving value.
I always like to recommend local newspaper sotes to people coming into the area. The Seattle Times link, below, has a lot of local color.
Best of luck.
Web Reference: http://www.nwsource.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 4, 2008

Hi Julie,

The Wall Street Journal recently published a neat summary of market stats for different areas, and Seattle and Ft. Lauderdale are both on it. You will see when you click the link that it would take about 3 years to sell all of the houses that are on the market in Ft. Lauderdale at the current pace. That is not great news if you are planning to sell before moving here. Seattle is considered to have one of the strongest markets in the country, but buyers are still finding that they can ask for more concessions than they could a year ago. I hope this helps.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 3, 2008
No. Some areas of greater Seattle have seen sharp decreases but most in-city neighborhoods have seen losses in the low single digits. Also, keep in mind that prices fall at different rates according to price range and neighborhood. Within Seattle there are huge discrepancies in the prices. For instance, multi-million dollar homes are not selling as well as the mid-range which skews the median selling price.

The link below will show you some graphic snapshots of Northeast Seattle.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 3, 2008
Hi Julie,

Prices have dropped in nearly all areas in the last year, some more than others. Here is a link to a blog post I did a while back that charted price drops. I didn't create the data (that came from Radar Logic), and it doesn't address Ft. Lauderdale spcifically, but it may give you some insight into the differences.


Best of luck on your upcoming move...

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 3, 2008
Check out this site. We are also looking and have found a lot of interesting reading here.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 3, 2008
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