Madrona Real Estate Market at an All-Time High

Madrona Real EstateThe Madrona real estate market (picture above: Madrona home for sale) like most of Seattle has improved greatly over the last two years.  While the Seattle real estate market has improved, Seattle area homes are still only up to what the real estate prices were in 2006 (with mid-2007 being the peak).  According to the most recent Case-Schiller index, Seattle area prices are just over 160 for the home price index while in the summer of 2007 the home price index was over 192.  Since the index puts prices at the beginning of 2000 at 100, that means the Seattle home values nearly doubled from 2000 to 2007 before the real estate market bubble burst.  Prices in February 2012, saw the post-bubble low with a home price index of 129 before the local real estate values started to recover.

I wrote a blog back in March 2012 about the Madrona real estate market and the flaws of Case-Shiller.  One of the bigger flaws is Case-Shiller defines “Seattle” as King, Snohomish and Pierce counties which does not tell the story about Madrona real estate.  In fact, in a recent Seattle Times article it discussed the strength of Central Seattle’s real estate market and noted that we can say something that no other area in “Seattle” can say:

Central Seattle, which includes Capitol Hill, Washington Park and Madrona, is the only area where the 2013 median price — $619,000 — surpassed the level set during the 2007 housing bubble and saw a new high.

So while Case-Shiller index still shows Seattle prices as below 2007 prices, it does not show that Madrona homes are really selling for more than they ever have.

If you want to know what your house is worth, I am happy to prepare a market analysis for you.  Please feel to reach out to me through my company website: Kristine Losh.

Leschi Real EstatePictured Above: Leschi Home for Sale across from Madrona Park


Update on School Zone Speed Cameras

Earlier this week we blogged about the new School-Zone Speed Cameras. According to the Seattle Times, there were over 6,000 speeders since November 1st when the cameras went live. Mayor Mike McGinn was surprised by these numbers. Because there were so many speeders, the warning-citation period that was supposed to end THIS WEEK, has now been extended to Monday, December 10. From that day forward any vehicle caught driving faster than 20 MPH in those school zones when lights are flashing, they will expect to receive a $189 ticket in the mail!According to the Seattle Times and McGinn, if drivers continue to exceed the speed limit in the numbers they did in November, the city could expect to collect between $2-4 million in ticket revenue each year! Although McGinn said, “Our goal is not to write tickets, it’s to reduce speed.”

So drivers, SLOW DOWN! Any day after Monday December 10th, if caught speeding in those school zones, you WILL be ticketed!

For more information and to read the full article from the Seattle Times, visit their website!

Slow Down or Pay $189

Seattle Schools

Photo Courtesy of Seattle Times

If you missed the article in the Seattle Times the other day, pay attention because it could cost you $189.  The City of Seattle is adding new cameras to snap pictures of school-zone speeders near four schools. The cameras, at least for the time being, will only be used to catch speeders when the school-zone beacons are flashing for motorist to slow to 20 MPH.  If they catch you, the ticket will automatically be mailed to the register owner of the car.

While there are cameras by four Seattle schools, the only one close to Madrona, Leschi, and Mt. Baker is Thurgood Marshall Elementary located in Judkins.  Thurgood Marshall is just off of Martin Luther King Jr. Way as it goes over the I-90 tunnel so anyone driving along Martin Luther King Jr. Way in that area during school hours better slow down or smile because you’re on Candid Camera.

Madrona’s Liberation United Church of Christ and Gay-Marriage Issue

The Seattle Times just published an article “In Black Churches, A Gay-Marriage Divide” that discusses the gay-marriage issues that is being voted on in 4 states and how it remains a “thorny” issue in African-American churches.  The first church mentioned in the article was Liberation United Church of Christ who worship at Epiphany Church in our Madrona neighborhood.  The Liberation United Church of Christ is lead by co-pastor Marshan and Darrell Goodwin-Moultry.  The two men married in New York and now are supporting Referendum 74 here in Washington.

Click the link above to read more of the Seattle Times article.

Madrona Venture Group Making News

Maurice Clemmons

Madrona Venture Group (named after the tree, not the neighborhood) made news recently because they raised $300 million for their 5th and largest venture fund.  The money raised should nearly double the amount of companies (37 currently) that Madrona has in their portfolio in the next several years.  Check out The Seattle Times to read more about Madrona’s new fund.

Metro Bus Riders Have Big Changes But #2 Spared

Metro BusI have written several blogs on the proposed changes to the #2 Metro Route between Queen Anne and Madrona, but it always good to see the Seattle Times confirm that the #2 Route has been spared any major changes.  Read the article if you want to find out about the changes to Metro bus routes, and if you do, take special note of the last several paragraphs.  While the #2 Metro Route is still intact from Madrona to Queen Anne, as the Seattle Times suggests, there is always danger for future changes:

A more visible case was Route 2, an electric trolley bus from Queen Anne Hill to First Hill. Metro wanted to break it into two lines — and shift a section one block from Seneca to Madison Street — to create a frequent super-corridor where the 2 and Route 12 constantly run along Madison. But the change would have forced Queen Anne users to switch buses on Third Avenue.

“Every time a senior has to get on a bus, get off a bus, it’s dangerous for them, especially in inclement weather,” said Uptown resident Jane Couchman, 75, who rides the 2 to medical appointments.

Last week, she thanked Metro leaders for keeping the line intact, at least for now.

Madrona Home Featured in Pacifc Northwest Magazine

Contemporary HomeA beautiful Madrona contemporary home was featured in the Pacific Northwest Magazine in this Sunday’s paper.  The home was built in 2009 after the owner noticed the real estate was for sale while jogging in the Madrona neighborhood.  Click the link to the Seattle Times to see more pictures and read more about this Madrona home.

Seattle and Madrona Real Estate Market

Madrona Real Estate In the physical Seattle Times today I read the headline “No End to Slide in Home Prices” and the headline on the same article online says “Seattle-Area Home Prices Fall in January for Sixth Month in a Row”.  The article focuses on Case-Shiller home-price index  which measures home prices in 20 major metropolitan areas including Seattle.  The index shows Seattle real estate to be 130.03 which means that compared to January 2000, home prices are up in the Seattle area 30%.   The reason for the headline though is Case-Shiller got as high as 192.30 in the summer of 2007, thus prices are down overall in the last 5 years.

While prices are down from 2007, I have seen signs of recovery in my day-to-day life as a real estate agent especially in Madrona real estate market and the rest of Seattle.  For example, the median home price in the Seattle city limits were up 3% over the previous year in February.  There are several reasons why today’s headline is not matching what I see or what the Seattle February numbers indicate.  For one, Case-Shiller is lagging in time.  The numbers just released are measuring the Seattle real estate market in January – nearly two months have passed since then.  Another factor, is Case-Shiller measures “Seattle” which they define as King, Snohomish and Pierce counties while the February statistics are from the actual city of Seattle and at the same time I tend to work in the Seattle area with much of my business in Madrona and the surrounding neighborhoods.

Looking at the statistics from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) more closely one can get an idea what is going on.  For example, in Area 390 which includes Madrona real estate as well the surrounding area, one can compare the first quarter numbers (through March 28th of each year) for single family homes and see the real estate market in 2012 is favorable in many of the key statistics when compared to a year ago:

SOLDS 1Q 2011 1Q 2012
# Transactions 125 113
Average List Price  $     646,756  $     725,303
Average Sales Price  $     605,691  $     689,815
Average Market Time 94 66
Average Square Feet            2,109            2,537
% of List Price 96.01 96.86

The number of sales and the average price per square foot are both down slightly, but on average more expensive and larger homes are selling, homes are selling much faster, and the sales price is closer to the asking price.  All of these indicate to me that the Seattle and Madrona real estate markets are doing better.

Statistics not compiled or published by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Seattle Cupcakes

Cupcake RoyaleThe Seattle Times did a feature on cupcake shops around Seattle and of course no article would be complete without discussing Cupcake Royale which began across from the Madrona Playground in 2003.  The article discusses cupcakes around Seattle including Cake Envy, Confetti Cupcakes, Frosted sold at Nama’s Candy Store, New York Cupcakes, Pinkabella, Sugar Rush Baking Co., Trophy Cupcakes, and Yellow Leaf.  If you love cupcakes, you have to go no further than 34th Avenue in the Madrona Business District, but Seattle has plenty of options throughout our Seattle neighborhoods.

Adult Websites Viewed at the Madrona Library?

Seattle LibrariesThere recently has been a debate raging in the Seattle Times about X rated websites being viewed at the Seattle Public Libraries.  In a Seattle Times article by Danny Westneat, Westneat repeats the experience of a mom while she visited the Madrona Library:

“They are protecting perverts over the kids,” one wrote.

It is off-putting what some people do with library computers. Once I was in the tiny Madrona branch with my kids and my mother — who is a librarian herself — when we were confronted with someone watching what must have been a triple-X video.

“What should we do?” I whispered, worried my kids would see.

My mom was disgusted. But she only shrugged.

“There’s nothing to do. Let’s just move over there.”

The experience is not unique to the Madrona branch.  This example shows that it is not isolated to larger libraries such as the Downtown branch, but smaller Seattle neighborhood libraries – even those across from an elementary school such as Madrona K-8.

The debate is essentially those that think the Seattle Public Libraries have no morals or common sense versus the slippery slope argument that if the library starts blocking content then where will it end?  Thus the Seattle Libraries stance is to allow access to individuals to constitutionally protected material.