2017 Home Prices in Kirkland

I have jumped ahead from near the end to post this at the top. Notice that the movement in 98033 pushes the prices in 98034 with a one year lag. The huge movement in the 2014-2015 period in 98033 caused the same movement in 98034 in 2015-2016. We saw this before in the last bubble, especially in the condo market. When Downtown became too expensive the Juanita Beach area started pushing up to a greater degree. But I’m jumping ahead…back to the beginning.

Here is a map and description of all of the neighborhoods of Kirkland from the Kirkland City site. I find “by Elementary School” in Lake Washington School District to be more relevant to prices than “Neighborhoods”, so I will be using “by Elementary School” for price stats near the end. The links above give you the Neighborhood Maps, the School Boundary Maps and the School Rankings in case you need a little help relating the data to the specific price areas.

We’ll start with the broadest area, all of Kirkland, pulling the data by the two Kirkland Zip Codes of 98033 and 98034 separately. Generally speaking one would expect 98033 homes to cost more than 98034 homes when looking at the area median home price. That has more to do with proximity to Downtown and more land area with views and access to Lake Washington than most anything else. Let’s see if that continues to hold true in 2017, while at the same time calculating rate of price growth over the last 5 years. For consistency I will use a 12 month rolling basis from 9/16 to 9/15 but will call the year by it’s end date.

For 98033 the current 12 month rolling median price in Kirkland 98033 is $1,050,000, up from $650,000 5 years ago.

In addition to knowing the median price (half sold for more and half sold for less) I find it more relevant to know the price at which MOST people purchased and for how much. Doing this for 9/16/2016 to 9/15/2017 – 12 month period – and not for all five years. Here is where we have been in the last 12 months as to who bought and for how much in 98033.

To break the above pie down even further, 23 of the 31 “up to $600,000” were between $500,000 and $600,000 and only one was $400,000 or less. 69 were between $700,000 and $800,000 and 74 were between $800,000 and $900,000. About 45% were between $600,000 and a million.

NOTE: Median Condo Price for 98033 for the same period was $625,000.

Running the same numbers for 98034. …the results are pretty astounding so I’ll post those before the commentary. I am calculating the data as I type this and I adjusted the visual a bit as to coloring on the pie graph so that you can see more clearly the part I find pretty astounding. Showing the results side by side.

Restating the 5 year growth for Kirkland by Zip Code on the same chart vs separately so that the visual is more relevant with the end amount being consistent for both. For kicks I added the 2002 median price as the start point so we can compare the last 5 years with 15 years ago.

I moved that graph to the top as well for people who just like to glance and go.

I want to move on to Bellevue and Redmond to compare to Kirkland, but I promised prices by Elementary School back at the beginning. I did this one back in March by Average Price vs Median Price and will try to come back and update it. But for now it gives you a rough idea of the variance from one Elementary School Boundary Area to another. As you can see from the dot to dot, 9/16 to 9/17 had a 19% push up in both Zip Codes equally. So I’d say add 10% to those March 2017 Average Prices in the bar graph for now.

Here is the key. To see where these fall geographically go to the Lake Washington School District Boundary Map though for some reason the “new” map seems to be a lot harder to follow than the one I’ve used for many years which was interactive. For now I’ll just throw the Zip Code on for you.

Fro = Robert Frost Elementary 98034, Kel = Helen Keller Elementary 98034, Tho is Henry David Thoreau Elementary 98034, Jua is Juanita Elementary 98034, RH = Rose Hill Elementary 98033, Mui = John Muir Elementary 98034, San = Carl Sandburg Elementary 98034, Fra = Benjamin Franklin Elementary 98033, Twa – Mark Twain 98033, Bel = Alexander Graham Bell 98033,Kir = Peter Kirk Elementary 98033, LV = Lakeview Elementary 98033

The large marjority of homebuyers are choosing by Elementary School and Elementary School rank with an overlay of commute considerations. So breaking down price by Elementary School becomes important so a buyer can readily see that the price tag of Lakeview Elementary is much higher than the price tag of Sandburg Elementary, as example. But calculating the median price by school boundary is extremely tedious, so here is March 2017 and I’ll try to do all of the polygon search fields by year end.

There’s Kirkland at a glance. I find all this ridiculously fascinating though I think many would be bored by now. I run these numbers for myself to keep my perception in line. Even though I do this all day, every day, out in the field, it still amazes me when I line up the data.

It’s always good to check and correct your perspective…as often as possible. I do it for myself…but hopefully you enjoyed at least some of it. ūüôā

Required Disclosure: Stats used in this post and graphs are hand calculated by Ardell and not compiled, verified or published by The Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

7,200 sf lot West of Market Kirkland

Awhile back, Dustin wrote a post about Pocket Listings, and we had a discussion about what “pocket listings” are, and why agents¬†advertising them is generally against mls rules.

A pocket listing is¬†someone who tells you they want to sell a property, but for some reason they either are not ready to, don’t want to, or can’t enter the property in the mls.¬†

I think this one may fall into the category of “can’t”, though I’m not totally sure.¬† I was recently contacted by someone who owns a 14,000 +sf lot with a house on it, West of Market in Kirkland which is zoned for 7,200 sf lots.¬†It is a view lot, and the 7,200 sf vacant portion of the lot is on the view side (view of Lake Washington)¬† I believe it is unobstructable as to houses but not trees, across from Waverly Park.¬† Taking another walk over there today to study it further.

Back to the mls and “pocket listings”.¬† Clearly to put a property in the mls, you have to have an asking price.¬† Given current market conditions, do the builders want a 7,200 sf lot with a view West of Market in Kirkland?¬† There are lots of houses for sale over that way.¬† Might someone want to build their own custom house and get the lot cheaper by doing the short plat?

Since the lot is not two separate lots today, should the seller go to the time and expense of separating it into two lots and increase the cost of the lot accordingly?  Or in this day of the cheaper the better for a buyer, should they let the buyer of the lot participate in the short plat to save some money?

Given there is no current legal entity “7,200 sf lot” until after it is short-platted into two lots, can you even put the property in the mls, given it doesn’t exist as that legal description?

There is a note in the mls rules that you can list a property if it can not be put in the mls by reason of other mls rules, but you can’t use a NWMLS contract form to do so.¬† This one seems to fall into that category.

So to Dustin, since you asked, I guess there may be a “true” pocket listing…even here in the Seattle Area.¬† Maybe not.¬† Perhaps someone will shed some light on this in the comments.

Sunday Night Stats – Best and Worst

First, it’s been pretty obvious in the last 3 to 4 days that people are reacting to the interest rates being at 4.75% to 4.875% recently.¬† I can honestly say agents are not instigating this momentum, as all of the calls I have received have been directly from buyers that I’ve never spoken with before.¬† In fact I have had more calls to see property from buyers than I have had showings from agents.¬† It’s like a large part of the agent marketlace is MIA.¬† I’m hearing similar stories of “agents retreating” from Vancouver.¬† A sign that first quarter 2009 is clearly going to be on the upswing.¬† But let’s look at some more of the here and now tonight.

The Best:¬† Townhomes – the under $500,000 variety – net even a Buyer’s Market really – not a Seller’s market either.¬† A balanced market in Townhomes in Redmond where almost ALL townhomes sell for under $500,000 and¬†North of Downtown in Seattle.¬† Location issues are more of a concern in Seattle than Redmond, as most townhomes in Redmond are built in larger, well located communites.¬† In Seattle they are often smack on a main arterial.¬† So be discriminating as to location and lifestyle and not just space issues.

Only a 5.7¬†month supply of townhomes in Redmond 98052 – not even a buyer’s market

Hard to believe with all the gloomy news, I know, but yes there is a market segment that is still performing well.¬† That will clearly improve in 2009 if rates stay this low, so we could even see a Seller’s Market come back in Redmond Townhomes in the not too distant future.¬† Still, I’ve seen prices taking a beating in the last 60-90 days.¬† Let’s see if lower rates and low supply pulls that back to stable.¬† I think that will happen for Townhomes in Redmond.

Now for the Opposite Extreme – The Dark Side – The Scariest Stat of all Sundays

Over FOUR YEARS of Inventory!  Where you ask?

Kirkland 98033 in the $1.2M plus market.  115 for sale and only 7 closed in the last 90 days.  See detail.

Compare Single Family Homes РKirkland 98033 above to Redmond SFH 98052 below:

They look like Chirstmas Balls ūüôā¬† The more red you see, the less green and blue, the weaker the housing market.¬† Redmond is doing pretty good until you get over $750,000.

Two story townhomes under $500,000 are definitely the IT segment both in Seattle and the Eastside.¬† Kirkland just doesn’t have enough of them like Redmond does.¬† Not sure what happens when you get out to Cougar Mountain and other not “close-in” newer townhomes.¬† I don’t get out that way very often, and last¬†I looked there was a reason why I don’t go out there very often.¬† Every time it snows, I get calls from people who want to sell them and move closer to work.

Well, that’s your Sunday Night Stat “Christmas Balls” edition.¬† Hope you’re enjoying your “White Christmas”.


How to evaluate "the comps" and price per square foot

tri levelWith more and more home buyers and sellers participating in the home buying & selling process to a greater degree than ever before, we can’t write enough posts that provide the basic infomation and skills that help them evaluate home prices. The other day I talked about the popularity and pricing of homes in differering age segments.

Today I’m going to talk about “the comps” and median price per square foot of homes of differing styles. For this purpose I’m going to use Bellevue, Kirkland and Redmond vs. Seattle or all of King County. We will be looking at the differences in price per square foot for ramblers, split-entry homes and ramblers with basements, tri-levels and two story homes both with and without basements. I’m using all sales from 1/01/07 to date, to insure enough volume of sales in each category, to have a relevant median price per square foot. I eliminated lots in excess of 13,000 sf so the “extra” land doesn’t skew the data.

The photo above is a tri-level. When you’ve been in the business for many years, you can pretty much know the floor plan of a house without ever needing to go inside. When a house looks like one story from one side and two story from the other, viewing it from left to right while standing only in front of it, that is a tri-level. You will enter on the main level which has the living room, dining room and kitchen. After you are inside the main floor (and not when you immediately enter the front door) you will go up 4 or 5 steps to the bedrooms or down 4 or five steps to the family room that exits to the yard, usually via sliding glass doors. The garage entrance is on the other side of the family room and no portion of the tri-level is underground. That is your basic tri-level and you can tell that without having to go inside.

bi levelThe home pictured to the left is a split-entry home. For those reading this from outside of the Seattle Area, you may call a “split-entry” a 2-level, a bi-level, a raised rambler or a raised rancher. All are referencing the same style of home called different things in different areas. Basically it is a rambler with a basement, most often but not always a daylight basement. The underground side of the basement is raised high enough for there to be windows.

The front steps take you up to the front door that looks like it is centered in the middle of the structure. Once you walk in the front door you have to go immediately up or down from the foyer to access any of the rooms. It is a rambler with a basement that is not fully underground at any point. A rambler with a daylight basement is basically the same home, but the street side of the basement is fully underground, so you enter at street level onto the main floor.

Now let’s do some stats on the differing home styles. PPSF = Price Per Square Foot.

Rambler/One Story Home – median price $491,500 – median sf 1,470 – median PPSF $334 DOM 26

Rambler w. basement – median price $699,000 – median sf 2,760 – median PPSF – $253 DOM 30

Some people think that the smaller square footage is creating the higher price per square foot. What is really happening is that the main level is valuing at $334 per square foot (same as the rambler) and the basement level is valuing at $172.50 per square foot. For instance the 2,760 sf divided by two, equals 1,380 on the main level times $334 equals $460,920 for the main floor “rambler portion”. The difference, $699,000 minus $460,920 = $238,080 for the basement divided by 1,380 sf equals $172.50 PPSF for the basement. That averages $253 PPSF for the whole house as to finished square foot and does not include the garage or unfinished/not heated basement area. It’s a bit simplified, but hopefully you get the gist of that. Same is true for the split entry.

Split-entry home – median price $510,000 – median sf 2,150 – median PPSF $237 DOM 30

Again, the main level of 1,075 sf of the split-entry is valuing the same as the rambler at $334 or $359,050. $510,000 minus $359,950 = $150,050 divided by 1,075 basement sf = $139.58 for the basement sf and that averages to $237 PPSF for the whole house. In reality above ground square footage values higher than underground square footage, so if the basement is all underground on either the rambler or split entry, the basement square footage would value for less than a “daylight” basement and the fully above ground portion would value for more than the partially above ground portion. So don’t pay the same for a fully underground basement as you would a daylight basement.

Two Story Home – median price $750,000 – median sf 2,760 – median PPSF $271 – DOM 39

Two Story Home w/basement – median price $1,097,000 – median sf 3,920, median PPSF $280 – DOM 59

The two story home with a basement does not get “diluted” in value by the basement because it is basically the top choice of available homes, there are fewer of them and almost half of them have a lake view. The builders will put the most house, 2 story plus a basement, on the priciest lots with views. So there are a lot of factors that create what looks like full value for the basement on these 2 story homes, when in reality it is an external “plus feature” doing that. Only 4.7% of splits and 1 story ramblers have a lake view, 11.4% of 2 story homes without a basement have a lake view and 42.8% of 2 story homes with a basement have a lake view. 31.8% of the big ramblers with basements have a lake view, so adjust for that as well.

The longer days on market has more to do with higher total price of home, than home style.

The tri-level pictured at the top is only valued at $268 per square foot, even though all of the living square footage is above ground. There are fewer of them, but that does not make them more desirable and a higher PPSF, because when you chop up 2,000 sf into three levels, no level seems large enough. When you put the family room on the main floor next to the kitchen it values higher on the main level, than when you put it down on the basement level. If you can see into the family room on the lower level from the kitchen, it values higher than if you can’t.

It’s really common sense when you think about it that way. With more and more people using price per square foot as an indicator of value, I hope this post gives you a little more info to help you to refine your DIY valuation process.

Have a great day!

September 11, Neighborhood Round-up begins with a West Seattle Tribute to Freedom….

…Alki unveils its Lady Liberty so reveals West Seattle Blog


Personal remembrance of things past…Pike Place Market, circa 1923, via Alki.¬† Always a wonderful surprise at Beach Drive Blog when one of these is caught on digital.¬†¬†¬†

Ballard Avenue¬†compares the “Bootylicious” quotient of an Olympic Sculpture.¬† Issaquah Undressed and¬†ART.¬†¬†

The Wedgwood Blog ponders¬†“weighty” sidewalk issues in a “healthy” debate.¬†¬†¬†NIMFY musings At Large in Ballard.¬†

Urban fruit harvest time!¬† Capitol Hill Seattle reminds us the proper harvest “ratio” for the annual bounty.¬† Bento Box tip at Broadway Seattle¬†.¬†

Captain Columbia City¬†and the cinema….On again/ off again the wagon at Kirkland Weblog.¬†

¬†¬†Red Brick Blog in Issaquah wonders “Y” for fun.¬† First Day of School in Sammamishmash.¬†¬†

Miller Park Neighborhood¬† wins for BEST headline…”Storm in a D-Cup”!

And now for something completely different…Seattle Neighborhood Round-up

Headlines come and go…life goes on in our Seattle Neighborhoods….

A refreshing Alki twist on an old time summer favorite. On Beach Drive Blog some resident wildlife captured in aerialist feats of fishing. Discovered at West Seattle Blog rare sightings of pink birds are anticipated to be seen in West Seattle yards soon.

Happy 500th Ballard Avenue blog! At Large in Ballard tips us on the BBQ at the BCC.

Up on Capitol Hill at CHS the moon shone a little less brightly last Tuesday and has photos to prove it.

Issaquah Undressed spots a horse of a different color and composition…scrap iron. The City of Redmond Neighborhood BLOG reports on some stormwater solutions happening in Redmond.

Over at Kirkland Weblog a dancing hot dog delights drivers…and captures children’s’ attention at the corner of 124th and 116th. Week 35 at Kirkland 52 drops the hint of fall.

Neighborhood Roundup: Breaking the Espresso Rut

Creating the list of active neighborhood blogs was only the first step in my grand vision… (or is it Greg that has the grand neighborhood vision?) Okay… Maybe there is no grand plan, but I thought it would be fun to give a roundup of recent neighborhood posts…

The West Seattle Blog has turned to Cafe Rozella to break out of an espresso rut and is “really impressed”.

Dave at the Learning from Lake City expanded my skatepark world view considerably… Skatedots? Skatepots? Districts? Regionals? Who knew?

Georgetown Stew highlights a scam where people are not only taking advantage of day laborers, but it gets worse

Not only are some folks in South Park being stiffed out of their wages, the employer(s) are apparently asking the workers for their home address, with the promise that a paycheck will arrive in the mail. And then the surprise arrives. Not a check, but officers from Immigration & Naturalization show up.

Beach Drive gives us a beautiful photo of a brave soul on the Sound…

Linked a day too soon to the Outer Limits blogEricka announced that she was moving on (thanks to a job!) and looking for a replacement…

The Miller Park Neighborhood Association blog is looking to get people out at an upcoming (March 28th) Sound Transit meeting to show support for lightrail on the eastside

The Kirkland Weblog highlighted a great new photo blog out of Kirkland… The idea (as I understand it) is that the author of Kirkland 52 is planning to post photos of Kirkland once a week over the next year.

The Capitol Hill Seattle blog indulges their love of maps with an interesting map of voter patterns on the Viaduct Replacement. (PI Article)

The Belltown Bent highlights an award given by a Harvard Group to Weiss/Manfredi Architects for their work on the Olympic Sculpture Park.

Ballard Avenue wallows a bit in the transportation history of Ballard… I think the photo makes the post.

did you know…

That March is Washington Wine Month? Several venues are having celebrations of the vino that comes from our fine state – now 2nd in sales and distribution for the United States. The link above will take you to the WA Wine Commission site for a list of venues that are celebrating the occasion. I happen to be the President of the WAC Wine Club for this year and I know that the Washington Athletic Club is participating in the Taste WA Winemaker’s Dinner in April that is part of that event at the Bell Harbor Convention Center April 14/15 but since the dinner may be limited to WAC members I figured a few more public venues would be worth noting for the celebration of wine all month long.

In honor of this month’s celebration of vino, and the oenophiles who love them, I will put on this post a few public venues that are worth checking out.

[photopress:grapes_red.jpg,thumb,alignright]Purple Cafe now has 3 locations: Woodinville, Kirkland and now Seattle. On Sundays they offer 1/2 price bottles of wine valued at $50 or more with a minimum $25 entree purchase. They are also participating in the month’s promotions at their restaurants.

It also happens to be 25 for $25 month (March and October) where 25 local restaurants offer a 3-course meal for the set price of $25. One of the locations that participates is Market Street Grill in Ballard where me and my partner know the owners, John and Kendell Sillars. They always have interesting food and a well stocked, even if smaller than some, wine list. The food is great and I’ve never had a bad experience here.

Ponti in Fremont is also part of the wine promotion with discounts on bottles of wine for this month only and they are also part of 25/$25.

Ten Things I love about Living in Seattle

Ask ten people and you get ten different answers. So I thought I’d give my take on Dustin’s topic from last year. Maybe every Frequent Contributor can do one on the ten things about living in Seattle that they think are worth knowing.

1) The flip side of rain – not only is the weather close to perfect here from April/May through October, the days are a lot longer than anyplace I have ever lived before…and I’ve lived a lot of places. The painted naked cyclists on the Summer Solstice are a clue as to how much Seattle celebrates the longest day of the year here. Sitting on Alki Beach on the evening of the longest day of the year is something everyone should do. Watch the sun set around 10 p.m. But get there early if you plan to eat…the restaurants tend to run out of food before sunset.

2) Everyone “belongs” here – No matter who you are, or are not…oops…What’s that Kim?

my partner Kim Harris is jumping in with HIS perspective…which is much longer and in a different direction than mine. Going to Kim’s Perspective on what drew him TO the Pacific Northwest in 1964 and KEPT HIM in Seattle since he got off the plane from Vietnam in 1969…The History – The Tremendous Impact and Signficance of this area on the Music Industry (Kim’s previous life and passion, as founder of Easy Street Records and teacher of “The History of Rock and Roll” at the U and BCC and original manager of Queensryche, when they were high school kids hanging out at his Easy Street Records, of then, on Bel-Red Road…long past history all over the world managing bands and music venue and private label and much more…on to his LOVE of Seattle from a music perspective:

[photopress:blue_moon_1.jpg,thumb,alignright] The (fabulous) Wailers – Tall Cool One, being able to find things in Seattle he spent two months trying to find in record stores in San Francisco as a teenager, The Kingsmen, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Quincy Jones, The Sonics, Viceroys, Jimi Hendrix, Bluebird, The Daily Flash, Brothers Johnson, Sir Mix-a-Lot, QueensRyche, Heart, Sound Garden, Nirvana, The Melvins, Pearl Jam, Screaming Trees, Mudhoney, Presidents of the USA, Modest Mouse, Built to Spill, Foo Fighters, Alice in Chains

The Castle, Lake Hills Roller Rink (believe it or not), Eagles Auditorium, The Blue Moon, The Show Box, The Vogue, The (original) Off Ramp, RKCNDY, The Tractor, the Crocodile…

Other influences that made a difference: Sub Pop and CZ Records, Thom Bell, Bruce Pavin, Boyd Grafmyer (presents), Pat McDonald who was a major influence on music from his time at KOL-fm to this day, as a not often enough writer of the Seattle Times. His infrequent musings on today’s music are not to be missed. Jack Endino and the Great Pad O’Day. Campus Music, Discount Records, Music Millennium, East Street Records and Celophane Square.

Paul Allen and his Experience Music Project (EMP) for having kept Seattle’s Music History alive, for the benefit of both visitors to Seattle and local residents of Seattle, due to his love of music generally.

The Seattle Weekly and The Stranger still give a left of center approach to what is happening currently in the Seattle Area. Great Articles on Food, Music, Shopping, what to do…etc.

Well…so much for “Ten”…went off on a tangent in “stream of consciousness blogging” fashion…there will have to be a part two on this one…I have work to do ūüôā

Enjoy Seattle Music Lovers!!! A trip down Memory Lane!

Tear Downs

One of the commenters, Redmondjp, asked about tear downs. Kirkland is famous for new homes being put where old ones used to be. But our conversation stemmed around whether or not Bellevue and Redmond ramblers built in the 50s and 60s will go the way of these Kirkland teardowns. I know of a few in Bellevue. I don’t know any in Redmond.

Here are a few recent tear downs, before and after, from Kirkand. What do you think?

Should the old ones have stayed?