It won’t come as a surprise to anyone house hunting on Capitol Hill that it is still very much a seller’s market. Property values on Capitol Hill have gone up 15% this year — the largest single percentage jump in at least a decade, according to data from the King County Assessor’s office.
On north Capitol Hill, the average property value (includes land and structures) reached $976,400 in 2015. The “Capitol Hill” area as defined by the assessor is roughly bound by Roy St up to the Montlake Cut, and Interlaken Park to I-5.
In the “Central Area,” which includes a good chunk of Capitol Hill, average property values rose 14% in 2015 to $516,800. The area is roughly located south of Roy St to I-90 and
west east of I-5 to 32nd Ave.
The County’s Localscape tool allows users to draw their own boundaries to research average property values and census information.
The $1 million mark is nothing new to Lake Washington neighborhoods like Madison Park and Madrona, where 2015 average values rose 12% to $1,249,700. Property values increased the most in the Eastlake/South Lake Union/Queen Anne area, where a 20% uptick in 2015 brought average property value to $839,800.
The downside for homeowners on Capitol Hill will be a higher property tax bill. Property owners won’t know their final tax bill until levy rates are set after the November election. All things being equal, increased assessed values mean higher property taxes.
The huge uptick in property values and corresponding sales prices has some believing Seattle is reaching a tipping point.
This month’s Northwest Multiple Listing Services report, which tracks most real estate transactions in the region, warned that the current trends wouldn’t last much longer:
The latest statistics from the MLS show a double-digit drop in inventory, a double-digit jump in closed sales, and a near double-digit increase in prices from a year ago, prompting one industry leader to say the trends aren’t sustainable. “We simply can’t sustain double-digit increases in sales when inventory levels continue to drop every month,” remarked OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate. “We’re on the cusp of a housing market slowdown,” he predicts.
Meanwhile, Mayor Ed Murray backed off a plan earlier this summer to loosen zoning restrictions in single family home areas to allow for more multi-family style development. The Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda committee came up with the recommendation as part of its plan to add 20,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade. The City Council will reportedly take up a new proposal that would allow single family homes to be divided into multiple residences in an effort to increase density throughout Seattle.