Alki Point, Seattle. Photo: Russ Walker/Flickr
The Seattle-area housing market was dramatic in 2015. Bidding wars, all-cash purchases, foreign intrigue, scandal — King County had all the trappings of a James Bond film.
If you felt more like you were engaging in hand-to-hand combat atop a speeding train than buying a house, you weren’t alone. Seattle suffered the worst shortage of homes for sale in more than a decade, as rapid population growth continued to escalate. So it comes as no surprise that thirteen neighborhoods in King County made Redfin’s list of the 30 most competitive neighborhoods in the US this past year.
According to Redfin,”The 30 most competitive neighborhoods of 2015 were all located in just four cities: Boston, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle. The rankings are based on several indicators of competition, including the percentage of homes that sold above asking price, how quickly homes went under contract and the percentage of Redfin offers that faced bidding wars.”
Seattle neighborhoods included on the list are Roosevelt (4th), Phinney Ridge (9th), Stevens (11th), Greenwood (12th), Victory Heights (16th), Green Lake (17th), Madrona (20th), West Woodland(22nd). Overlake in Redmond came in as the second most-competitive neighborhood in the whole country along with Grass Lawn in seventh and Idylwood in twenty-eighth place. Newport Hills (14th) and Newport (30th) of Bellevue also came in as top contenders.
All these homes spent a median of under 10 days on the market, all saw over 50 percent of their homes sell for over asking price and all of them saw bidding wars break out for almost every home sale.
At least we don’t have to compete for the number one most competitive Inman Square, Massachusetts where 96 percent of offers written by Redfin agents faced bidding wars. Homes stayed on the market for a median of just 7 days and 38 percent of homes sold to cash buyers. With a Walk Score of 94, the neighborhood is centrally located and attracts buyers with its classic New England feel and proximity to Harvard.
The demand for Seattle-area housing shows no signs of slowing, but pressure is on for lawmakers to address the situation. Best of luck in your house hunt next year. May it come shaken, not stirred.