Gardner Report – Q3

ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

Washington State employment has softened slightly to an annual growth rate of 2%, which is still a respectable number compared to other West Coast states and the country as a whole. In all, I expect that Washington will continue to add jobs at a reasonable rate though it is clear that businesses are starting to feel the effects of the trade war with China and this is impacting hiring practices. The state unemployment rate was 4.6%, marginally higher than the 4.4% level of a year ago. My most recent economic forecast suggests that statewide job growth in 2019 will rise by 2.2%, with a total of 88,400 new jobs created.

HOME SALES

  • There were 22,685 home sales during the third quarter of 2019, representing a slight increase of 0.8% from the same period in 2018 and essentially at the same level as in the second quarter.
  • Listing activity — which rose substantially from the middle of last year — appears to have settled down. This is likely to slow sales as there is less choice in the market.
  • Compared to the third quarter of 2018, sales rose in five counties, remained static in one, and dropped in nine. The greatest growth was in Skagit and Clallam counties. Jefferson, Kitsap, and Cowlitz counties experienced significant declines.
  • The average number of homes for sale rose 11% between the second and third quarters. However, inventory is 14% lower than in the same quarter of 2018. In fact, no county contained in this report had more homes for sale in the third quarter than a year ago.

HOME PRICES

  • Home price growth in Western Washington notched a little higher in the third quarter, with average prices 4.2% higher than a year ago. The average sales price in Western Washington was $523,016. It is worth noting, though, that prices were down 3.3% compared to the second quarter of this year.
  • Home prices were higher in every county except Island, though the decline there was very small.
  • When compared to the same period a year ago, price growth was strongest in Grays Harbor County, where home prices were up 22%. San Juan, Jefferson, and Cowlitz counties also saw double-digit price increases.
  • Affordability issues are driving buyers further out which is resulting in above-average price growth in outlying markets. I expect home prices to continue appreciating as we move through 2020, but the pace of growth will continue to slow.

DAYS ON MARKET

  • The average number of days it took to sell a home dropped one day when compared to the third quarter of 2018.
  • Thurston County was the tightest market in Western Washington, with homes taking an average of only 20 days to sell. There were six counties where the length of time it took to sell a home dropped compared to the same period a year ago. Market time rose in six counties, while two counties were unchanged.
  • Across the entire region, it took an average of 38 days to sell a home in the third quarter. This was down 3 days compared to the second quarter of this year.
  • Market time remains below the long-term average across the region and this trend is likely to continue until more inventory comes to market, which I do not expect will happen until next spring.

CONCLUSIONS

This speedometer reflects the state of the region’s real estate market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors. I am leaving the needle in the same position as the first and second quarters, as demand appears to still be strong.

The market continues to benefit from low mortgage rates. The average 30-year fixed rates is currently around 3.6% and is unlikely to rise significantly anytime soon. Even as borrowing costs remain very competitive, it’s clear buyers are not necessarily jumping at any home that comes on the market. Although it’s still a sellers’ market, buyers have become increasingly price-conscious which is reflected in slowing home price growth.

As Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, Matthew Gardner is responsible for analyzing and interpreting economic data and its impact on the real estate market on both a local and national level. Matthew has over 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.

In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Matthew sits on the Washington State Governors Council of Economic Advisors; chairs the Board of Trustees at the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington; and is an Advisory Board Member at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington where he also lectures in real estate economics.

This post originally appeared on the Windermere.com Blog.

Posted on October 31, 2019 at 6:16 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Bellevue, Bothell, Denise Perkins, Eastside, Fall, Helpful Home Tips, Home Sweet Home, In the News, Kenmore, Market Stats, North Kirkland, Redmond, Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Reasons to Sell Your Home This Fall

4 Reasons to Sell Your Home This Fall 

  1. Buyer demand is still strong
  2. There is less competition now – supply and demand
  3. There will never be a better time to move up
  4. Its time to move on with your life

Watch this video to hear more about why I think you should sell.

 

 

Posted on October 17, 2019 at 5:20 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Bellevue, Bothell, Denise Perkins, Eastside, Fall, Helpful Home Tips, Home Sweet Home, In the News, Kenmore, Market Stats, North Kirkland, Redmond, Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Recession Does Not Equal a Housing Crisis

No — the sky is not falling!  Signs may be pointing toward a recession but let’s look at some past stats re: home prices and appreciation.

  • There is plenty of talk in the media about a pending economic slowdown.
  • The good news is, home values actually increased in 3 of the last 5 U.S. recessions, and decreased by less than 2% in the 4th.
  • Many experts predict a potential recession is on the horizon. However, housing will not be the trigger, and home values will still continue to appreciate. It will not be a repeat of the crash in the 2008 housing market

Source: Keeping Current Matters.

Another really important thing to take into consideration is our area.  This infographic is national data.  Our area is still flourishing with employment, companies hiring and out of the area folks moving in.  Another great person to ask about this is Windermere’s own Matthew Gardener.

 

Posted on October 3, 2019 at 8:20 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Bellevue, Bothell, Denise Perkins, Eastside, In the News, Kenmore, Market Stats, North Kirkland, Redmond, Snohomish, Snoqualmie | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Cost of Waiting!

Interest rates are at a two year low. Who knew!

There have been so many predictions over the past several  years that rates were headed higher and higher and while they have fluctuated a bit – today it’s like free money! Our economy as well as the real estate market is unpredictable.  But one thing is for certain, if you are or were on the fence about buying – either for the first time, selling and getting a bigger house or even ready to downsize and get into your retirement home – now could be a great time to make that happen.  Most markets in our area are still great for sellers if the home is marketed and priced accordingly – and inventory is up (24.5% as of May) which means more for buyers to choose from.

Multiple offers are still the story again in some markets – but with more to choose from it’s doesn’t seem as frenetic.  So why does all this hub-bub matter when it comes to interest rates – well it really can effect what you can buy.  BUYING POWER is the answer – and with low interest rates you can afford more.  And in our area – that makes a big difference.   Which brings me to the information seen here – it’s a great depiction of what waiting, or what a changing interest rate can mean to you and your bottom line.

So when you’re ready to talk about finding your next community – let’s chat – I can help!

Posted on July 24, 2019 at 11:22 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Denise Perkins, Eastside, Helpful Home Tips, Home Sweet Home, In the News, Market Stats, North Kirkland, Redmond, Snoqualmie, Uncategorized, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Farmer’s Markets: Where to Shop Local on the Eastside

If you’re a fan of the “Shop Local” movement, chances are good that I don’t have to clue you in on local farmer’s markets. But, just in case you don’t already plan your weekends around these markets, let’s break it down.

Farmer’s markets on the Eastside give you access to the freshest, most flavorful produce you can imagine. And it’s usually offered at rock bottom prices to boot. You’re supporting local farmers (some of whom drive to the Eastside from Spokane every week!), probably getting better food, and showing your kids about business. It’s really a win-win-win. Here’s where to Farmer’s Market this spring.

Redmond

Season: May 4-October 26

The Redmond Saturday Market is a staple in the Farmer’s Market scene. The event is held on Saturdays, as the name would suggest, but you’ll find so much more than just food here. Crafts, flowers, pet supplies, and even live musicians are here every weekend. The event has a permanent home near the Redmond Town Center and always draws a large crowd. Often called the “Cadillac of Farmer’s Markets.” 2019 marks the 44th consecutive year of operation for this group.

Bellevue

Season: May- October

The Bellevue Farmer’s Market operates on Thursdays, rain or shine, from 3-7pm. With less infrastructure than the bigger Redmond market, this one really feels like visiting the farm. Vendors sell out of tents and stations, and everything for sale is made or grown right here in Washington. Just like in Redmond, you’ll find eggs, fruit, vegetables, crafts, flowers, meats, and artisan designs.

Kirkland

Season: June-September

With a much shorter season than the big markets on the Eastside, Kirkland’s answer to local produce pops up on Wednesdays through the summer. The market pops up in the downtown waterfront park, which means the kids can chase ducks and splash in the lake after you shop. With all of the restaurants and vendors downtown, visiting this market feels like urban shopping at it’s finest.

These are not the only markets on the Eastside, just the most well known. You’ll also find markets in Issaquah, Sammamish, and Woodinville. Which market is your favorite? In fact – what are the farmer’s market items that you just HAVE to have? I want to know so that I can try them, too!

Posted on May 1, 2019 at 5:56 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Denise Perkins | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

November Market Stats

Increased inventory, slower sales and more price reductions all point to a balancing market—welcome news for price-shocked buyers. Sales prices are up from last October and down from the all-time high reached this spring. Despite the slowdown, it’s important to point out that we’re only moving back toward what a normal market looks like. King and Snohomish counties each have over two months of available inventory. While that is double the inventory of a year ago, it’s far short of the four to six months supply that is considered a balanced market. Sellers looking to list their home now can be sure there remains plenty of interest among home buyers.

Eastside

>>>Click image to view full report.

The median home on the Eastside sold for $890,000 in October, up 5 percent from a year ago and unchanged from the previous month. While year-over-year price increases were in the single digits for the Eastside overall, several areas, including Kirkland, Woodinville and Mercer Island, experienced double-digit price gains. Buyers are still having to pay a premium for desirable Eastside properties. However, with more choices and less buyer urgency, sellers need to price their home correctly to maximize their chances of getting the best possible return.

King County

>>>Click image to view full report.

Inventory in King County for all homes, both single-family and condominium, soared 102 percent over last October. The increase was due to an influx of new listings and the fact that homes are now taking longer to sell than at the peak of the market this spring. While buyers now have more breathing room to make their decisions, the 2.4 months of inventory in King County is still far from a balanced market. The median price of a single-family home in October was $670,999, an increase of 7 percent from the same time last year, and virtually unchanged from August and September. South King County showed larger increases, with prices rising more than 10 percent from a year ago in Auburn, Kent and Renton.

Seattle

>>>Click image to view full report.

In October, the median price of a single-family home in Seattle was $750,000, up 2 percent from last October and down slightly from last month. While inventory doubled over a year ago, Seattle falls behind most areas of King County in supply with just under two months of inventory available. Demand is predicted to stay high, with Seattle’s population projected to grow at twice the national rate next year. That said, buyers are in the position to be able to negotiate. A recent analysis named Seattle as one of the top markets in the country where it makes the most sense to buy this winter.

Snohomish County

>>>Click image to view full report.

Inventory in Snohomish County soared 65 percent in October as compared to a year ago. The area now has 2.4 months of inventory, about the same relative supply as King County. As with most of the Puget Sound area, the increase in inventory was due to a higher number of sellers listing their homes and fewer sales. Year-over-year, the median price of a single-family home sold in October in Snohomish County grew 8 percent to $473,000. The median price in September was $485,000.

This post originally appeared on the Windermere Eastside Blog.

Posted on November 28, 2018 at 7:52 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Eastside, Helpful Home Tips, Home Sweet Home, In the News, Market Stats, North Kirkland, Redmond, Uncategorized, Woodinville | Tagged , , ,