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July 2016

News In Brief

  • According to The Seattle Times, Seattle's technology-fueled job market is the third best in the country for job seekers this year as reported from salary data and recruiting website Glassdoor. San Jose was No. 1 in the ranking, followed by San Francisco. Those cities and their neighbors are home to such technology giants as Google, Apple and Facebook, as well as a thriving startup scene.

  • Seattle voters will have a $290 million housing levy on their August 2 primary election ballot. Over seven years, the property tax measure for affordable housing would raise twice as much as the existing levy, which expires this year. If passed, the levy would cost an owner of an assessed valued home of $480,000 $122 per year.

  • According to The Seattle Times, the number of homes worth at least $1 million has tripled in the last four years across the Seattle metro area. In all, 7 percent of all single-family homes in the region are worth seven figures, up from 2.5 percent in 2012. The Seattle area is the 10th fastest growing market for million-dollar homes in the country, behind only New York, Honolulu and several spots in California.

  • Amazon added about 3,500 full-time employees to its head count in Washington state during the first quarter, a 13 percent bump that outpaces the clip of its global hiring.

  • Home prices are rising faster in Washington than in any other state in the nation. Washington is now among the top five states for priciest homes overall, just below Hawaii and California. This according to an AP report compiled and reported by mynorthwest.com. The Seattle Times reports those price hikes are not unique to the Seattle area. Counties including San Juan, Stevens, Mason, Grays Harbor and Jefferson were among those with price increases of 20 percent or more during the first few months of 2016 compared with a year ago. In San Juan, the median home price is approaching $1 million, according to the Times. On the other hand, the median price in Grays Harbor is $141,000.  But that's an increase from $88,000 four years ago.  While well below King County's median home price of $508,000 (Dec, 2015), the unemployment rate in Grays Harbor is 8.3 percent - nearly doubled the rate in King County, according to the Times. Washington home prices are growing at a rate of nearly double the national average. Washington home prices in April rose 10.6 percent compared with a year ago. Data firm CoreLogic says that's the biggest jump in any state for the third month in a row. The median cost of all sold homes across the state hit $307,658 in April, according to The Seattle Times. That's a 37-percent increase from four years ago, according to Zillow data.  It's the first time Washington state has surpassed the price record reached in summer 2007, according to The Seattle Times. CoreLogic's index shows one area where home prices have slipped in the last year.  Wenatchee saw a 3-percent drop, with all other metro areas experiencing a 5-percent increase in prices.