2018 Puget Sound Real Estate and What’s to Come in 2019

Wow 2018 came to an end with a “softening” tone for the Puget Sound real estate market.  Just like the previous two years as I forecast, the first half of 2018 was much more robust than the second half.  Much of the appreciation came in the first 6 months.
WA and Seattle have outpaced the nation for a few years but the reality of too many new apartments on the market, great reduction in Chinese overseas buyers, rising interest rates and uncertainty about the tech market with Amazon announcing a HQ2 on the East Coast caused the local market to “pause”
I am already getting many emails and calls regarding “what shall we expect in 2019?”

  • interest rates have dropped ½ a point in last two months and I can tell already that buyers are starting to come out again
  • Seattle job hiring is up 1.2% from a year ago according to LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/blog/linkedin-workforce-report-december-2018-seattle-wa.  So the tech industry is not slowing, it will keep growing.
  • Economists expect Seattle area to fare better than rest of country
  • Did the market prices peak in June of 2018?  Yes so don’t expect wild rises this year instead more moderate appreciation such as 5-6%
  • The rental market-Too many new apartments so rental rates will continue to drop in 2019
  • Second home market in places like Leavenworth look strong for bulk of this coming year
2019 will behave differently than the past 3-4 years.  Whether you are thinking about buying or selling or know someone who is talking about it, now is the time for us to start the conversation and plan a winning strategy in this moving market.
Chart below is key Puget Sound neighborhoods 2018 sales trends.  Yes much more listings and fewer sales but appreciation growth continues.
Chart below is actual sales trends King county past three years.  Many sellers waited for when they “thought” the peak of market was here, which was in the first half of 2018, however look how many waited to hear that and then list in the second half of the year.  This chart shows the typical end of year slow down in sales but a significant rise in new listings, the highest rise since 2012.  Except because of the uncertainty in the market and rising rates buyers went to the sidelines in bunches in the second half.
I think buyers are coming back out now that rates have dropped.
Chart below is for “condos only” in the same key area.  Note that for the year, condos nearly caught up with home appreciation rates and in some areas like East Bellevue, Kirkland, Ballard and Lynnwood areas condo appreciation was around 20% for the year.  Yes days on market are a little longer and fewer listings but buyer demand is still going to be strong in 2019
Top 10 Home Trends in 2019
Here is a great article on the top ten home trends for 2019

  • The backsplash as a focal point
  • Dark and moody colors throughout the home
  • Destiination like spa tub and bathroom
  • Tuxedo kitchens (Black and white)
  • Glass and steel room dividers
  • Freestanding dining benches
  • Board and batten accents the modern farmhouse
  • Kitchens that open to the out-of-doors
  • Wood vanities
  • A four wall accent color

Here is the full article:

“Tuxedo Kitchen”  ala black and white
It’s January-This is the best time to have a conversation on this.  Last year, my clients and friends that started in January had record setting sales in March and April

Posted on January 17, 2019 at 3:46 pm
Michael J. Link | Posted in Real Estate | Tagged ,

Mike’s July 2018 Real Estate update with notes

Here is your snapshot of home sales in key Puget Sound neighborhoods updated for July 2018 and its influence on the rest of the state.   For the first time in 18 months the market cooled somewhat.  We have went from super hot to slightly less hot (not just the weather).  Buyers shouldn’t get over excited but some relief is here.  Home price escalation has slowed from 12.8% to 12.1% statewide and in this chart most neighborhoods are still up double digits.  August should see even more cooling before we head into the “post Labor Day season” which picks up till mid-November.

Posted on August 16, 2018 at 6:05 pm
Michael J. Link | Posted in Uncategorized |

Mike’s Summary First Half 2018 Real Estate Trends WA



Here is the first half summary of real estate trends for homes and condos in key sub areas of King and Snohomish counties as well as the upper Wenatchee valley of Chelan county.  Although demand is still high, foot traffic to listings has slowed some.  Price change in many sub areas is down to 10% for the first time in quite a while.
In this summary I have shared the Leavenworth area details AND one more thing!

Posted on July 26, 2018 at 11:14 am
Michael J. Link | Posted in Uncategorized |

Offering a historic mansion in Leavenworth, WA

Here is a choice opportunity to own this historic mansion just a few blocks from downtown Leavenworth!!! Likely one of most expensive home built in 1918, this well preserved and updated 2028 sq ft 3 bedroom custom masterpiece has solid hardwood floors throughout, period lighting, custom crystal sheet glass windows, open floor plan with tons of potential.  Huge 1/4 acre corner lot, fully fenced backyard, mature landscaping, high walk score, could be B & B, monthly rentals ok, your vision awaits this must have gem.


You probably have friends, family and peers that have been looking for a great home in downtown Leavenworth, Peshastin or the upper Wenatchee valley.  I just listed the historic Motteler Mansion for $535,000!
Over 2000 sq ft of hi quality period craftsmanship with hardwood floors throughout, crystal glass custom windows, over 1/4 acre lot, well maintained and updated through the years.  Open houses this coming Saturday the 30th and Sunday the 1st (12-4).  Tell everyone and I hope to see you there!  Neighborhood lemonade stand included!!!!

Posted on June 27, 2018 at 1:43 pm
Michael J. Link | Posted in Uncategorized |

The Reprint– Buyers Guide How to buy in Seattle area

I wanted to share with you this great reprint of the authored article published in The Seattle Times that summarizes what the buyer needs to be prepared for.  It is a battle out there and I have been helping my buyers win homes and condos even in this super hot competitive market.

Here is the cold, hard math: The median down payment on all homes (single-family and condos) in King County just topped $100,000 for the first time, up from about $50,000 just five years ago, according to mortgage tracking company Attom Data Solutions.

contact me directly to receive the full 28 page article!!!


Posted on June 12, 2018 at 2:45 pm
Michael J. Link | Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged ,

Here is where people are moving to–

wanted to thank so many of you for the comments on my recent article about everyone moving to WA and Seattle specifically.  However the number one question I have been getting from my discussions with you “would be sellers” is “If I don’t stay here where will I go?”

Recently my stats friend Mark Nowlin at the Seattle Times compiled the data and chart for me.  The chart below shows the top ten counties that King County residents are moving to.
The top two areas that I have the most outside influence on is Chelan and Kittitas County of which both counties made the top 20 list with about 1000 each.  Keep a close eye on these two counties.  Long a huge refuge for recreating second home lovers.
My prediction-As density continues to increase in Puget Sound, look for neighboring Chelan, Kittitas, Thurston and Skagit counties to continue to grow at more than 15% per year.  Reason-less dense and slightly lower housing costs, recreation, lower cost retirement, good care nearby, not too far away from family and peers.

View this email in your browser
Here is a link to the US Census Migration map.  You enter most counties and see for yourself the migration pathsmigration charts


Keep in mind I have Windermere agent staff in all 13 Western states.  If you or someone you know is looking to move far or near I can put my Windermere team to work right away!!!!!

Posted on May 18, 2018 at 6:48 pm
Michael J. Link | Posted in Uncategorized |

Mike’s Windermere 1st Quarter 2018 update with Gardner notes


Posted on May 2, 2018 at 8:45 am
Michael J. Link | Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged

Mike’s 2018 Real Estate Forecast

Posted on January 11, 2018 at 3:22 pm
Michael J. Link | Posted in Uncategorized |

Here is the Windermere Gardner 3rd Quarter 2017 report


Posted on October 26, 2017 at 6:09 pm
Michael J. Link | Posted in Uncategorized |

Time to get your place ready for Fall


Posted on October 9, 2017 at 10:39 am
Michael J. Link | Posted in Uncategorized |