Fueled by population growth that is putting pressure on housing inventory and pushing up prices, Seattle is home to four of the top 10 and 10 of the top 30 most competitive neighborhoods for housing, according to a report by Seattle-based real estate listing website Redfin.
Seattle’s Factoria neighborhood topped Redfin’s list, with home-price growth of 25.9% in 2016 raising the median sales price to $352,500, while 62.1% of homes were sold above the asking price and 46.3% of sales were all-cash.
- The University District of Seattle came in at No. 2, followed by Washington Square in Boston, Prospect Hill in Sommerville, MA, and Inner Richmond, in San Francisco, rounding out the top five.
A robust job market is drawing more people to Seattle, putting pressure on the city’s already-tight housing inventory. As a result, the city is looking at new initiatives to bridge the affordability gap.
In November, the city council approved a 30-year, $29 million affordable housing bond for its 2017 budget, with a focus on transitional housing and seismic retrofitting to bring existing structures into use. It follows a $290 million levy passed in August to fund affordable housing.
Housing prices continue to increase across the country. The latest S&P Core Logic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index put prices up 5.6% year-over-year in October, compared to a forecasted increase of 5.4% in September. Seattle posted a 10.7% year-over-year home-price increase in October 2016, the latest data available from the S&P index. Portland followed with a 10.3% rise and Denver at 8.3% for the period.
In its fourth quarter 2016 Home Affordability Index, RealtyTrac reported that housing affordability in the U.S. was at its lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2008, noting that stronger wage growth is required to prevent further regression.
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