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Feb 20

The Latest In Real Estate News

by EmilyDir

Home Prices Hit Peak Levels In Majority of Metro Areas, Fourth Quarter Data Show

The best quarterly sales pace of the year pushed available housing supply to record lows and caused price appreciation to slightly speed up in the final three months of 2016, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors. The report also revealed that sales prices in over half of measured markets since 2005 are now at or above their previous peak level. The median existing single-family home price increased in 89 percent of measured markets, with 158 out of 178 metropolitan statistical areas1 (MSAs) showing sales price gains in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared with the fourth quarter of 2015. Twenty areas (11 percent) recorded lower median prices from a year earlier. There were more rising markets in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter of 2016, when price gains were recorded in 87 percent of metro areas. Thirty-one metro areas in the fourth quarter (17 percent) experienced double-digit increases – an increase from 14 percent in the third quarter. –From Forbes

Mad About Property-Tax Increase? Assessors in Western Washington are Bracing for Your Questions

This year is shaping up to be more difficult than recent years for the “bearer of bad news” job of county assessor. That’s because residents across the state are getting hit with an unusually large property-tax increase, largely driven by a state property-tax hike approved by the Legislature last year. County-assessor offices far and wide say they are ready for your questions as bills begin reaching property owners this week. King County Assessor John Arthur Wilson said he has been speaking to more realtors, senior centers and business, labor and community groups than he has in the past to educate as many people as possible about the changes. “I feel like Paul Revere,” Wilson said. Wilson isn’t alone. Phil Cook, Kitsap County’s assessor, has been hitting the speaking circuit harder than in years past, giving presentations to 22 groups, including chambers of commerce, service clubs and landlord associations. The increase in speaking engagements is also happening in Pierce and Snohomish counties. Linda Hjelle, Snohomish County assessor, says she doubled her outreach efforts this year. –From SeattleTimes

‘A Double Whammy:’ Pierce County Assessor Warns of Big Property Tax Bills

TACOMA, Wash. — Brace yourself, property owners. Tax bills are coming. Homeowners in Pierce County will see anywhere from a 6.47 percent year-to-year increase at the low end, to a 24.52 percent increase at the high end, according to Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer Mike Lonergan. “This is going to be a year of pretty big surprise when people open up their tax statement,” Lonergan said. Tax bills will be mailed out Thursday, hitting mailboxes Friday or Saturday. A new state-mandated property tax increase for education will be added to existing school taxes, adding about $1.03 per $1,000 of assessed home value. If your home is worth $400,000, taxes will bump up about $400 for the one tax, Lonergan said. –From Q13 Fox

$757K: Finding homes Under Seattle's New Median Price

January may have felt like a whole year in one month, but that doesn't mean the real estate market slowed down. Anyone hoping for a new year, new outlook for the Seattle-area market will be let down: King County saw the largest year-over-year gain in the state with prices for homes and condos rising 20.3 percent to $571,250. Within Seattle, the median sales price for single-family homes and condos is $700,000, rising to $757,000 if you just look at homes. "The Seattle area real estate market hasn't skipped a beat with pent-up demand from buyers stronger than ever," John Deely, the principal managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain in Seattle, said in the Northwest Multiple Listing Service report. 5000 California Ave. S.W., #305, listed for $385,000. See the full listing here. "Sellers that have put their properties on the market early this year have less competition and are seeing multiple offers. Open houses are experiencing heavy traffic with hundreds of potential buyers attending." If there's a potential silver lining it's that in King County the number of new listings outgained pending sales for the first time since September. The number of total active listings at the end of the month was still down 17.6 percent from a year ago, but that's something. –From Seattlepi

Seattle Eyes Taller, Denser in Affordable Housing Proposal

Seattle's booming tech industry has brought a massive influx of new residents with big wallets to the city. But an ensuing housing crunch has led to skyrocketing rents and home prices that have strained middle- and working-class families and deepened the city's homelessness crisis. To keep construction humming and help people of all incomes stay, city officials have come up with what's dubbed the "grand bargain": Let developers build taller and denser in core areas across the city and require them to either include units that working-class people can afford, or pay for projects to be built elsewhere. Backlash was swift from those worried increased heights and density will change the character of single-family neighborhoods that dominate this picturesque Northwest city. But equally vocal groups have formed to back the city's mandatory housing affordability plan, which aims to create 6,200 new affordable units over 20 years for those making 60 percent of area median income. More growth and housing choices mean teachers, firefighters and other laborers can remain in Seattle alongside wealthy tech workers, supporters say. –From abcNEWS

7 Tax Benefits of Owning a Home: A Complete Guide for Filing Now and Next Year

What are the tax benefits of owning a home? Homeowners might be wondering this right around now as they prepare to file their taxes. Or, you might be wondering how the new tax plan might affect the tax perks of homeownership when you file next year. Well, look no further than this complete guide to all the tax benefits of owning a home—for this filing year (2017) as well as the next (2018). Read on for the full rundown just to make sure you aren't missing anything that could save you major money! –From Realtor

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This post was created by: Emily Dir, Marketing Coordinator, Rainier Title

Emily Dir
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