Despite my prediction that we would not see Bibeka Shrestha's name on another Seattle Times' real estate article, she has resurfaced this weekend with one of those "neighborhood in focus" type articles. The neighborhood in focus: Queen Anne.
Single-family houses and condominiums in the area that includes Queen Anne had a median price of $483,000 in June, up 13.7 percent over the past year, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.What really strikes me as crazy is that the price of homes just five years ago on Queen Anne has now become what you can expect to pay in much less desirable neighborhoods like West Seattle, Mountlake Terrace, or even Ballard. It's understandable that a place like Queen Anne will have considerably higher prices than other parts of the county. I just don't believe that it's sustainable for prices to be so high that even affluent people with high-paying jobs have to stretch to afford a home in the "sought-after" neighborhoods.
Janet Gabbert, 65, and her husband bought their house on in 1968 for $22,500. "And we thought we were being taken," she said with a chuckle.
"Even for an attorney with a good salary, it's getting difficult" to buy a house on Queen Anne Hill, said Jeffrey Valcik, an associate broker with Windermere Real Estate.
While most homes are single-family houses, condominiums and apartment buildings are going up.
Helen Bigelow, 81, has lived in the area for 13 years and lamented the redevelopment on the hill.
"It's horrible," she said, while taking a break from grocery shopping. "They're tearing down some of the lovely old houses ... they replace it with a lot of boxes with no grass, no flowers."
With the new development comes more traffic and difficulty in finding parking.
But that just comes with the territory of being what Valcik calls Seattle's most sought-after neighborhood.
(Bibeka Shrestha, Seattle Times, 08.27.2006)