By Tyler Freed
10:01 AM 11/10/2015
On October 21, 2015, Scott Sunde with the Seattle PI posted an article that Seattle has the top real estate market in the US in his article, "Report: Seattle has the nation's hottest real estate market." Thousands of local real estate brokers flooded the social media sites with links to the article. The Seattle market is spectacular, for sellers. As an 11-year real estate broker in the South Puget Sound area I've seen the effects of rising prices pushing buyers out to suburbia.
Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate adds, “Benjamin Franklin penned the quote “Time is Money!” in his article, “Advice to a Young Tradesman” and I believe that the same statement can be made when we consider relative home values across the Puget Sound region.
The Seattle market continues to see its population grow which, in turn, puts more cars on the road and this, as we are all aware, has led to congestion which ranks high on a national scale.
One of the effects of our woefully inadequate transportation infrastructure is that it leads home buyers to pay more to live closer to their places of work as their time is, indeed valuable. As such, home prices are higher the closer one gets to our job centers.”
Let’s talk about one suburb in particular, Lakeland Hills. Lakeland Hills is in Auburn, Washington. Auburn is the 14th largest city in Washington. Lakeland Hills is made up of over 30 different condo/townhome/single family neighborhoods. It is truly a master plan community with exceptional schools (Lakeland Hills Elementary has a 9 out of 10 rating on GreatSchools.org), parks, walking paths, restaurants and shopping.
In the last five years movement has spread farther east with the many new builders entering the market. Currently 26% of the inventory (active and pending) is new construction. The builders with a heavy presence in Lakeland East right now are MainVue Homes, DeNova Homes NW, Pacific Coast Home Builders and Richmond America.
The median asking price for homes in Lakeland Hills is $432,475 and the median sold price is $346,000. 13 homes have sold in the last 30 days with an average days on market of 15 days.
The rental markets are peaking across the US. In Auburn the average rental is about a $1.00/per square foot. The median rental price in Lakeland hills is $1660/month (Zillow Real Estate Research). I've seen several newer homes rent for well over $2000/month.
Affordability levels are still moderate in the area compared to the closer in Seattle neighborhoods. With Sound Transit locations in Auburn, Sumner and Kent many homeowners are commuting via train into the city. Those commuters driving into Seattle have easy access to Highway 167 and can access I-5 that way or jump on Highway 18 and connect to I-5.
MainVue Homes is a perfect example of a builder experiencing gains in the area. Homes started out in the low 400's three years ago and now are going in the low to mid $500's. Homeowners and investors have been able to capitalize on the separating factors that make Lakeland Hills a great place to live.
MainVue's site agent, Jennifer Clarke, commented on why they are so successful in the area:
I think the reason MainVue has done so well in our Edgeview neighborhood is because the savvy buyers out there today want something new and different. Lakeland is a destination neighborhood for many. A cool place to live with a unique friendly neighborhood feel. There are so many great things to do outside- walk trails, visit the dog park, play basketball or softball all within the neighborhood. MainVue continues that theme with their award winning outdoor rooms. They are really impressive and such a fun and useful addition to homes. In addition to the outdoor rooms, their homes have impressed many people with the unique style and designs, more modern and updated finishes, and overall I believe they are the best value around.
For more information on resale and new construction in the Puget Sound area visit www.lakelandhills.com, or www.tylerfreed.com.