Eastside market heats up as major tech news hits

What does Amazon’s move to Bellevue mean to surrounding communities?

  • Thursday, April 11, 2019 1:30pm
  • Life

Sure as the cherry blossoms blooming every spring, the residential housing market in Redmond began heating up in March. Mona Spencer, branch manager for John L. Scott’s Redmond office, said brokers in her office are seeing multiple offers on many properties. She noted this reality should be considered by buyers serious about securing their home of choice.

“Buyers need to understand what will make their offer strong enough to reach acceptance with a seller,” said Spencer. “There is some risk again for buyers in the spring market because they are in many instances waiving inspections, appraisal and the protection of a finance addendum.”

In his monthly comments following the Northwest Multiple Listing Service release of March’s housing numbers, John L. Scott chairman and CEO J. Lennox Scott said the frenzy market is back on the Eastside in the more affordable and mid-price ranges. Additionally, unsold inventory on the Eastside remains higher than it was in 2018, though still at a severe shortage level.

“March is always the start of the eight months of prime-time selling season when you look at sales activity in the residential market, and this year will be no exception,” said Scott.

Spencer echoed Scott’s sentiments, saying the John L. Scott Redmond office is already seeing a spring surge, with more houses on the market and more buyers out shopping. Adding to this effect is interest rates, which are still in the low range.

The local market is heating up just as major local tech news hit — Amazon announced they are moving their entire Seattle-based worldwide operations team to Bellevue over the next four years, with the migration beginning in April. This will bring several thousand jobs to the Eastside in the years to come, which could significantly affect the job and housing markets of Seattle and the Eastside.

Spencer said this move is bound to shake up the landscape of housing on the Eastside as the migration occurs alongside other business and tech growth in the area.

“Based on the number of people moving into our area, we will see impacts on our infrastructure and demand for housing,” said Spencer. “This move is aligned with planned expansions to light rail and public transit infrastructure on the Eastside, so we anticipate growth in Bellevue as well as the surrounding cities as people look to put down roots.”

As many who witnessed Seattle’s boom when Amazon began expanding rapidly in the city can attest to, much can change in a few short years. However, one segment of the housing market hasn’t seen rapid growth since 2009: new condo development. This is due to an unusual Washington condo liability law that has caused local developers to all-but-abandon condo construction to avoid being sued.

Now, there is bipartisan support for a bill that could encourage developers to build more condos, and at press time it has passed the Senate and is in committee in the House. If it passes and results in new condo construction, Spencer said the area could benefit.

“I believe there is a need for more condos in our areas because they are often more affordable than stand-alone homes,” said Spencer. “Also, many people like the lock and leave lifestyle of condominium living.”

More in Life

Redmond: Now and then

A look at Redmond back in the day.

Movies@Marymoor summer lineup announced

The series runs weekly from July 10 through Aug. 28.

Dying from an overdose; not just heroin that’s killing us

A monthly column about mindfulness and health.

Veg Fest comes to Redmond for the first time

Celebrating all vegetarians on June 22.

Healthy summer recipes — herbs, veggies and wild fish abound

A monthly health column from the Eastside.

Photo courtesy of the city of Redmond 
                                Siddhant Singh, 8, meets Mayor John Marchione to talk about his Beyblade tournament idea.
Eight-year-old’s letter to mayor brings Beyblades to Redmond

Thanks to Siddhant Singh’s letter, there will be a Beyblades free play at Derby Days.

The Love Box program provides foster families with community and holistic support so that they can continue to do the meaningful and important work of being foster parents. Photo courtesy of Seattle Angels
Seattle Angels aim for holistic support of Eastside foster families

The nonprofit offers wraparound support through its Love Box Program.

More than 400 people broke bread together in celebration of the Islamic month of Ramadan at the annual Interfaith Iftar hosted by the Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS) on May 15. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
Redmond community breaks bread in celebration of lslamic month

More than 400 people attended MAPS’ annual Interfaith Iftar.

Courtesy photo of GoRedmond 
                                The 8th annual Bike Bash returns to Redmond on May 17.
Redmond’s annual Bike Bash set for Friday

The event is in its eighth year.

Courtesy photo 
                                EHS DECA officers and advisers.
Eastlake DECA team competes at ICDC in Florida

29 DECA students competed in the DECA ICDC 2019.

Six LWSD students receive National Merit scholarships

The students are six of 2,500 high school seniors nationwide to win this scholarship.

Isabella, 8, from Sammamish wears a traditional Mexican dress at the first Cinco de Mayo festival in Redmond on May 5.
Redmond celebrates Cinco de Mayo

The city’s first Cinco de Mayo festival included live music, traditional Mexican foods and more.