How High can they Go? Snoqualmie Valley homes prices see big jump, slower rise expected in coming year

[**This article courtesy of Nancy Backman, longtime Snoqualmie resident and John L.Scott Real Estate agent/broker**]

What an amazing time in the Puget Sound region real estate market. 2016 was one of the best years ever for our area’s housing market.

The Greater Eastside showed the strongest year over year appreciation with, according to the Seattle Times, a 19% increase since 2015. According to the Seattle Times, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service’s “East of Lake Sammamish,” which includes Snoqualmie, North Bend, Issaquah, Fall City and Sammamish, there was an area-wide increase of 29%.

Strong job growth, low interest rates and virtually no inventory should keep this trend going into 2017. There were 53% more sales in King County in December than new listings. With a backlog of buyers, that means that every home that comes on the market gets snapped up quickly – and in many cases, experiences multiple offers.

According to the Northwest Multiple listing service, there were about 15.6% fewer listings at December month end than one year ago, with about 90% of them being single family homes.

Currently there are only 9 active listings in Snoqualmie Ridge with 159 sales in the last 6 months, with an average time on market of 17 days.  In the entire Snoqualmie Valley, there are only 39 active listings ranging from $199k to $10M.

Fall City and North Bend continue to have longer marketing times than Snoqualmie Ridge, however, that’s a significant improvement since 2015. The average days on market in Fall City averaged close to 100 days in 2015 and last year it decreased to about 38 days. North Bend was close to 50 days in 2015 and is now at about 36 days.

The luxury market, which in the Snoqualmie Valley is the $1M+ homes, continues to have a bit longer marketing time, but that tracks with the luxury/high-end market in other areas of the Eastside as well.

In the 98065 zip code, the average price per square foot in December 2015 was $215, with the average price per square foot in 2016 increasing to $234.

The Snoqualmie Valley continues to benefit from a number of factors:

  • Home prices in the areas closer to the Seattle/Bellevue core have become almost unattainable for many buyers and the increasing development on the Sammamish Plateau is going to cause significant traffic issues going forward.
  • The increased retail and business developments in the Valley will continue to make the area more appealing to people looking for more conveniences close to home.
  • School digger has the Snoqualmie Valley School District ranked 9th among all 203 districts in Washington State, with the individual schools all ranked a 4 or 5 stars on their scale.

While this market can be very difficult for buyers, it is a great time for homeowners in the Snoqualmie Valley to sell their home and get top dollar. With the high competition for newly-listed homes, sellers may need to be prepared to get tsell first and rent if they have to for a short period, just so that they can compete in potential multiple offer situations. When is the best time for you to sell? It is an individual decision, but if you are selling and buying within the same market, the timing should be okay as you will end up with approximately the same net asset position.

The real estate market will continue to be very dynamic in 2017. There is just not enough inventory and new construction to accommodate the needs of all of the new employees being hired locally. The economy continues to be robust, putting increased demand for housing. The upward pressure on prices may slow a bit as inventory levels rise slightly, but 2017 should be another great year!




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