By Annie Gustafson
John L. Scott Real Estate
Similar to the hours of daylight this time of year, the number of homes for sale in Bellevue shrunk in November. This tendency is typical for the local winter real estate market. For the month of November, the number of homes for sale in Bellevue was down 39.5 percent compared to June, which was the high water mark for listings year to date in 2017.
The reduction in available inventory, however, does not mean prices have gone down.
“The median selling price for a home in Bellevue in November was $859,000,” said Julia Nordby, branch manager of John L. Scott Real Estate in Bellevue. “This is an increase of almost 5 percent compared to last month and — looking at the year over year trend—median home prices are 22 percent higher now than in November of 2016.”
Bellevue is attractive to buyers because it has urban and suburban elements as well as bridge access to Seattle. Considering last week’s news of Microsoft’s significant expansion of their Redmond campus, Bellevue’s strong schools and additional seasonal attractions such as Snowflake Lane, Nordby predicts Bellevue’s residential real estate market will remain robust. When the calendar turns to 2018, she anticipates the number of new listings will grow, and that the trend of more homes being listed will continue through the summer.
One issue top of mind for both buyers/sellers and their brokers is uncertainty about the GOP tax plan approved by the Senate on Dec. 2. “Buyers are understandably concerned about anticipated changes to mortgage interest and property tax deductions,” said Lisa Molinaro, who is a Bellevue-based John L. Scott broker along with her business partner Marianne Barkman. “Marianne and I are here to be guides and advocates for our clients, and we take our mission seriously because, for many people, home ownership is the largest financial decision of their lives.”
Until a final bill is signed into law, Molinaro summarized the current mood as wait-and-see.
With the holidays approaching and the new year on the horizon, Nordby said this is one of her favorite times of year because of the emphasis on giving back.
“All broker associates have the option to give a percent of each commission to the John L. Scott Foundation, which is dedicated to helping kids get healthy and be at home,” she explained. “Giving back is not a once-a-year consideration. Instead, it’s ingrained in our business model, one transaction at a time.”
In 2017, the John L. Scott Foundation helped sponsor 30 events for 20 children’s hospitals, which helped raise over $13 million for children’s health care.