What’s behind the boom?
- We have lots of high-paying jobs. Our job market is the third best in the country for job seekers.
- People want to live here. We rank #4 for population growth in the U.S.
- The combination of high demand and low supply have pushed King County home prices to an all-time high. Home values are up 55% in the last four years.
Are you ready to take advantage of this historic seller’s market?
Get in touch with me today.
House hunters looking for relief from soaring rents continued to snap up homes at a record pace in May. By one analysis, 80 percent of the homes coming on the market in King and Snohomish counties sold within the first 30 days – many within the first week. With a severe lack of inventory in prime buying season, sellers are getting record prices for homes.
EastsideThe Eastside, already the most expensive area in King County, saw home prices set a new record in May. Median home prices on the Eastside were up by over $100,000 compared to last year, reaching an all-time high of $760,000. With just a month of inventory available, most new listings here drew multiple offers. Even with soaring prices, buyers should plan to act quickly and count on navigating multiple offers.
King CountyWith 20 percent fewer homes on the market here than last year, competition among buyers remained fierce. Tight supply and high demand sent prices surging. For the fourth straight month, King County set a new record, with the median price of a single family home sold in May jumping 16 percent over last year to $560,000. The market is in dire need of new homes to ease the inventory crunch.
SeattleSeattle has the 4th fastest growing population in the country. That growth has fueled demand. Seattle trails only Portland on the list of markets with the fastest-growing home prices. A single family home here cost $641,250 in May, an increase of 14 percent over the same time last year. While slightly higher than the median price last month, that figure is down from the peak in February.
Snohomish CountySince the close-in neighborhoods in Seattle and Bellevue have priced out most first-time buyers, they continued to look to Snohomish County as a more affordable option. The median price of a single-family home increased 11 percent over last year to $389,950. That price is slightly above the pre-recession peak in 2007. However, at 30 percent less than the median price in King County, it’s a relative bargain.
As Americans are starting to feel more optimistic about purchasing homes, homebuilders are feeling hopeful about their sales. This is a welcome relief after a weak start to the spring home-selling season. During that time both parties were concerned about their prospects in the housing market. A recent article from The Seattle Times discusses the causes and importance of this positive change in sentiment among both groups.
How can we determine a rise in sentiment among home buyers and homebuilders? People have always understood the benefits of home ownership, so while the desire and demand have been constant, many factors deterred potential homeowners from investing in real estate. Lately we’ve seen that steady job gains and low mortgage rates are encouraging those people to buy new homes with less risk. That drives home construction and helps support the economy. This is where homebuilders come in (feeling optimistic).
Though new homes represent a small fraction of the housing market, they have an outsized impact on the economy. According to data from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in tax revenue. While we could just assume that new, steady jobs boost morale, the NAHB/Wells Fargo have an index that actually quantifies builder sentiment. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good rather than poor. As of last Thursday, the reading was at 60, which is the highest it’s been since January.
Although the housing market has yet to recover from the consequences of the downturn a decade ago, rising sentiments prove that we are making progress. According to Robert Dietz, the NAHB’s chief economist, the latest builder survey results indicate that the housing market “should continue to move forward in the second half of 2016.” That makes us feel pretty optimistic, too.
Read the full article at The Seattle Times.
If you’ve been looking to buy a home in Seattle or the Eastside recently, you’ve probably been overwhelmed with news of bidding wars, rising costs, and inventory shortages. I'm here to share good news that will keep you optimistic about jumping into the housing market.
According to The Seattle Times, long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week after three straight weeks of increases. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage slipped to 3.6 percent from 3.66 percent last week, which is well below its level a year ago. As for short-term mortgages, the report states that it is unlikely that the Federal Reserve will increase short-term interest rates at its upcoming meetings this summer.
What does this mean for you?
It means now is a great time for you to invest in your new home. You know as well as I do that mortgage rates fluctuate often, so securing a home is all about seizing the day (and house) when conditions are right – like they are now.
What does this mean for me?
It means I am ready to work with you to help you find your new home, and soon. Contact me today so I can help put the power of Windermere to work for you.
Read the full article on The Seattle Times.
When the Federal Reserve announces a change in interest rates, it makes headlines. Many are speculating what this kind of change will mean for our mortgage rates, and some are preparing for the worst.
But does the federal interest rate directly impact your mortgage rate? See what Windermere’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner has to say by watching the video on the Windermere.com blog.
LinkedIn recently told us that 4,279 new apartments were added to Seattle’s local inventory last year, and based on the number of cranes you constantly see around the city, we believe them. With so many choices, Millennials are getting really specific about what they want in a living space and the lifestyle it provides them. Here are some of the amenities we’re told that Millennials have come to want, and in some cases, expect:
1. Parking & Electric Car Charging Stations
2. High Speed Internet and WIFI (around the entire building). Preferably free WIFI on the first floor
3. State of the Art Fitness Center – Fitness centers not only act as a place for exercise, but now a place to casually socialize and build friendships. For instance, when a developer integrates fitness classes into the gym, they are creating a space where tenants can connect with their building community.
4. Dog Grooming/Washing Facility & Outdoor Pet Run: As many millennials are postponing starting a family to focus more on their career, their pets are like their children. With that said, an apartment building that doesn't allow their fury friends will ultimately be losing out on a big portion of the millennial pie.
5. High- Tech Control Automation: Using smart technology to control your thermostat, lights, switches, sensors, and locks while you are away.
6. Business Center/ Work From Home Space: With remote work becoming an increasing popular trend, the potential ways of catering to work-at-home tenants are limitless.
7. Laundry Facility/Service and Dry-Cleaning Drop Off/Pick Up- Laundry is a hassle, and most renters want the burden of doing laundry to be, well, less burdensome. Programs like “Laundry View” are used in some apartment buildings to view how many washers and dryers are in use. It will also send you text alerts when your laundry is done.
This article originally appeared on the Windermere.com blog.
We're in a seller's market, no doubt. But our brokers work hard to make sure that buyers see every benefit available to them.
Before they help you buy your home, Windermere Real Estate brokers help you find the perfect home for you. They go the extra mile and scour the listings to find the home that best fits your needs and lifestyle. In our 2015 survey of Windermere customers, 44 percent of buyers said their broker introduced them to the property while 37 percent found it themselves online. Our brokers do more than help you with the paperwork. They help you navigate the housing market with ease.
Windermere Real Estate brokers also hold the advantage in multiple offer situations when home sales often go over list price. With their expert knowledge and education, our brokers work hard to get you your new home and make your offer stand above the rest.
Our brokers will get the job done quickly. We're all too familiar with the cost of waiting to buy a home, so trust that your broker will help you get into your new home as quickly and stress-free as possible.
If you're ready to jump into our spring housing market, contact me today. I'll help you buy the home of your dreams.
The supply of homes for sale in April was up over March, indicating that more sellers are deciding to list their homes. But with less than a month of inventory available in the area, it’s still a seller’s market. While prices were up over last year, the increases aren’t as lofty as they were in the first quarter of this year. Buyers looking for affordable housing continue to push their search outside the more expensive urban cores.
EastsideAt $730,000, the median price of a home on the Eastside was up 11 percent over last year. That figure was down slightly from February and March, suggesting that prices may be moderating. Competition for homes has not moderated. Brokers continue to report homes on the Eastside selling very quickly and often for over asking price.
King CountyAfter breaking records for home prices in February and March, King County reached a new record-high in April. The median price of a single-family home was $540,000, a 12 percent increase over the same time last year. The more affordable areas in the south and north ends of the county saw the greatest increases, with home prices climbing almost 20 percent in these outlying areas.
SeattleSeattle continues to have the tightest inventory of homes in King County. An influx of young, well-paid technology workers has fueled demand for homes close to the city. The median price of a single-family home increased 15 percent over a year ago to $637,250. But like the Eastside, that number was down slightly from February and March.
Snohomish CountySnohomish County posted more moderate price gains than King County. The price of a single-family home increased just 4 percent over last year to $375,000, down from a median of $385,000 last month. With prices here a third less than in King County, some buyers are willing to trade a longer commute for a more affordable home.
Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, recently released his latest quarterly report for Western Washington. He breaks down the economic overview for our region, home sales activity, home prices, average days on market, and more. Here's his economic overview…
Washington State has seen very robust growth over the past 12 months with the addition of 102,600 new jobs, which is 224,000 more jobs than seen at the previous peak in 2008. With this robust growth, it is unsurprising to see the unemployment rate trend down to 5.8%—well below the long-term average of 6.4%. As pleasing as it is to see the unemployment rate drop, it is equally pleasing to see that the decrease comes in concert with growth in the civilian labor force, which continues to grow at a very solid pace. I continue to believe that there is no risk that we will see a statewide decline in the employment picture in 2016.
You can read the full report in its entirety on the Windermere.com blog.
There is no doubt that the local real estate market is hot. Last month in King County:
- 57% of homes sold in less than 15 days.
- 4 out of 10 homes sold for over list price.
- 25% of home sales were cash sales.
With more people competing for fewer homes, it can be frustrating to be a home buyer. Here are some tips that can help you gain an advantage and get a home that you love.
1) Get ready to compromise. Separate your needs from your wants.
In a competitive market, most buyers will have to compromise on location, amenities or condition of the home. Make a list of your must-haves and features you'd like (but can live without), and prepare to be flexible.
2) Get pre-approved for a mortgage.
With many buyers now offering cash, it's critical to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start looking at homes. If financing is needed, sellers prefer conventional loans to FHA or VA loans.
3) Be ready to move fast.
With homes selling within days – or even hours – you can't afford to wait on a decision. If you see a house you like, be ready to act on it that day.
4) Work with an agent who is a great negotiator.
Your agent needs to do much more than just write up an offer. A good negotiator can find out what terms are most important to the seller, and write an offer (and maybe additional counter-offers) that best meet their needs.
5) Find creative ways to make your offer more appealing.
Every seller has their own wish list. It may be a large earnest money payment, or they may want to stay in the home a few months after the sale. A savvy agent can use that knowledge to sweeten your offer and give you an advantage over other potential buyers.
You don't want to navigate this frenzied market without the best possible representation. Contact a me today so I can help you get the home you want at a price you can afford.