Friday, January 9, 2015

Haves and Have Nots in Seattle

98118 is one of the hottest zip codes in Seattle right now. In the last six months, there were 253 residential sales, with an average sales price of $349,950. A year ago, the median home price was $345,000.

Compare this to the trendy Ballard neighborhood, where 314 homes sold in the 98117 zip in the past six months at a median price of $549,450. A year ago, the median home price was $477,500.

There is more than twice the active listing inventory in 98118 (59) than in 98117 (25).

Nothing demonstrates the rising inequality gap between the haves and have nots in the City of Seattle than these two comparisons. While Seattle is becoming increasingly more white, increasingly more affluent, those who can no longer afford the pricey north end neighborhoods are moving to the south. Increasingly, 98118 is seeing that influx of investors and new homebuyers looking for affordability, with proximity to jobs in Seattle city center.

Yet the bulk of the wealth and appreciation are taking place in the north end of the City, where home prices are back to or even above their pre-bubble prices.

For investors, and others looking for working-class neighborhoods in which to invest at more affordable prices, the south end offers some growth opportunities. In the north end, expect the bidding wars to continue, as inventory remains very tight.

Happy Investing!

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