21 June 2012

Seattle Real Estate Market Update ~ I'm Abuzz About Seattle Condos and Snohomish County Values!

It's funny what gets you excited.  As a teacher, a few more details and a richer adjective or two from a single student could send me into outer space.  Now as a realtor entering year ten, seeing appreciation in markets that looked like wastelands just months ago makes me weak in the knees.  I regularly watch the Seattle condo market and keep an eye on Snohomish values as well.  The signs have been there for improved performance:  like the Seattle single-family market, inventory is down roughly 40% over last year at this time.  Still, prices have been falling in both markets for several years.  But that was not the case this May!  It made my week to see both markets UP over last May by roughly 7%!!!  I'll be the first to point out that this is one isolated month; give me 6-12 months before we really start to celebrate this appreciation as a trend.  Yet, never in my wildest dreams did I expect to see any kind of appreciation in these markets for several months, if not a year or more.  Yes, this certainly could be an aberration.  However, even a month or two of increases like these show phenomenal improvement over the wasteland of the recent past.

The Seattle single-family market continues to be hot.  Inventory in May was lower than it has been at anytime since the downturn, with 1.7 months of inventory based on pending sales - in other words, that red line continues to inch closer to the rave green bar on the graph below.  May prices are up year-over-year from $389K in '11 to $425K in '12.  Those who prevail in the ubiquitous multiple offer scenario oftentimes have to go 10-15% above asking price. 

Below you will find detailed statistics.  As always, let me know if I can be of help in anyway! 

These charts come from Trendgrafix, Inc. and represent all single-family homes (not condos but including town homes) in all Seattle areas.

From the Chef ~ Homemade Cannoli!


Good news!  Cannoli sightings are becoming more and more prevalent here in the Emerald City!  It used to be that you’d have to make an order from Brooklyn or catch a flight to the island of Sicily to get one.  Truth be told, cannoli are relatively simple to make.  And a homemade cannoli made with quality ingredients is a real treat.  I come from Barese and Napolitano roots, so we had no secret Sicilian recipe in the family.  Thus, I headed out on the internet and bumped into several recipes I liked.  This one is quite close to Mario Battali’s recipe, though I’ve backed off on some of the flavorings to allow the richness of the ricotta to rise to the top.  Questions?  Let me know!

1. Drain 1 lb. whole milk ricotta of all excess moisture for 30-60 minutes, depending on the level of moisture in your ricotta.  You could even skip this step and the filling will still be great.  I like to use the best quality ricotta I can find, and homemade ricotta is usually it (posted below on 3/19/12 on CasaFioreOnline.com).  However, I’ve had great results with stuff as pedestrian as Whole Foods 365 label ricotta.
2. Mix ricotta with 1/2 cup superfine sugar, 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, 1 tbsp. orange zest, 2 tsp. vanilla, and 1/4 cup tiny chocolate chips (or chop up regular chocolate chips).  Place mixture in a gallon zip lock bag and chill for 1 hour or more.  Small amounts of cinnamon, candied citron or lemon peel, and pistachios can add variety.
3. Purchase a box of six cannoli shells; I’ve found them at Metropolitan Market and PFI.  If you are ambitious, there are plenty of recipes on line.  Snip off a corner of your bag and pipe in the filling just when ready to serve.  Soggy cannoli really bum me out.  Enjoy with caffè e liquori.

Casa Fiore #67: Published, Posted, and in the Mail!

This month's offerings include:
  • From the Chef:  Cannoli!
  • The Windermere Foundation grants $2000 to University Food Bank
  • Just Listed:  Stunning New Construction Home $699,950
  • Just Sold with Multiple Offers:  Big Queen Anne Dutch Colonial Fixer
  • Client Testimonial:  "Fiore continues to offer advice even after we have moved into our home, which further shows his professionalism and integrity."
Stay tuned to CasaFioreOnline.com for the web release of selected articles.  Care to join the hundreds who receive the old-fashioned, snail mail version of Casa Fiore at their door step?  Send along your address and let me know!