Mondays with Matthew #1

Here is the latest market update from Windermere Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner.

Posted on March 30, 2020 at 5:50 pm
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in economy, market trends, real estate, statistics |

Newport Hills

5229 120th Ave SE, Bellevue – $950,000

5 Beds | 2.75 Baths | 2,800 Sqft

Charming daylight rambler on quiet street in Newport Hills. A wall of windows floods the living room with natural light. Kitchen flows to spacious dining with slider to private patio, perfect for BBQs. Master on main floor with ¾ bath. Lower level with plenty of potential currently features family room with fireplace which opens to a tranquil back yard retreat. Plenty of storage space. TPO roof. Walk to community pool and tennis courts. Award-winning schools: Lake Heights, Tyee, Newport.

See the Virtual Tour


Posted on March 13, 2020 at 1:37 pm
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in bellevue, listings, real estate |

May Creek Highlands

4619 NE 21st Pl, Renton – $735,000

4 Beds | 2.5 Baths | 2,420 Sqft

Traditional two-story on quiet cul-de-sac in Brandalwood. Dramatic entry into light filled living and dining featuring vaulted ceilings. Chef’s kitchen with stunning granite countertops, large eating area, and hardwood floors, opens to cozy family room with gas fireplace. Retreat to the master bedroom, featuring vaulted ceilings and 5 piece bath with soaking tub. BBQ on the entertainment size deck or relax by the fire pit. 3 car garage with workshop. New appliances, new carpet and paint.

See the Virtual Tour

 

 


Posted on March 13, 2020 at 1:30 pm
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in listings, real estate, renton |

Somerset Tudor

5275 Highland Drive, $1,180,000

4 Beds |  2.5 Baths  |  2,760 Sqft

Your own private sanctuary in sought-after Somerset. Spacious kitchen with eating area opens to family room featuring wood burning fireplace and hardwood floors. Formal dining flows to cozy living room with fireplace. Retreat to the entertainment size deck nestled in the secluded back yard. Luxurious master suite with custom walk in closet and 5-piece bath with jetted tub. Convenient location near shopping, freeway access, parks and walking trail. Award winning schools: Somerset, Tyee, Newport.

See Virtual Tour


Posted on March 11, 2020 at 4:49 pm
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in bellevue, listings, real estate |

Love Lake Hills

912 165th Ave SE, Bellevue $700,000

3 bedroom, 1.5 bath

Charming tri-level on a quiet street in Lake Hills. Spacious living room with fireplace opens to light-filled dining and kitchen with a huge skylight. Master bedroom with half bath and custom closet. Two bedrooms have been combined to create a spacious suite, easily converted back. One additional bedroom upstairs, and family room downstairs. New vinyl windows with exterior shades, fresh paint, and hardwood floors. Move-in ready with lots of potential for easy upgrades too.   Fenced backyard with covered patio, perfect for entertaining. Convenient location to downtown and parks. Walkable to sought after Bellevue schools.  This is a great place to start!

Virtual Tour Here


Posted on February 17, 2020 at 8:17 am
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in bellevue, listings |

Gardner Report Q4 2019

THE GARDNER REPORT – FOURTH QUARTER 2019

[THE STATE OF] REAL ESTATE

The following analysis of the Western Washington real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

ECONOMIC OVERVIEW
Employment in Washington State continues to soften; it is currently at an annual growth rate of 1.7%. I believe that is a temporary slowdown and we will see the pace of employment growth improve as we move further into the new year. It’s clear that businesses are continuing to feel the effects of the trade war with China and this is impacting hiring practices. This is, of course, in addition to the issues that Boeing currently faces regarding the 737 MAX.

In the fourth quarter of 2019 the state unemployment rate was 4.4%, marginally lower than the 4.5% level of a year ago. My most recent economic forecast suggests that statewide job growth in 2020 will rise 2.2%, with a total of 76,300 new jobs created.

HOME SALES
There were 18,322 home sales registered during the final quarter of 2019, representing an impressive increase of 4.7% from the same period in 2018.
Readers may remember that listing activity spiked in the summer of 2018 but could not be sustained, with the average number of listings continuing to fall. Year-over-year, the number of homes for sale in Western Washington dropped 31.7%.
Compared to the fourth quarter of 2018, sales rose in nine counties and dropped in six. The greatest growth was in Whatcom County. San Juan County had significant declines, but this is a very small market which makes it prone to extreme swings.
Pending home sales — a barometer for future closings — dropped 31% between the third and fourth quarters of 2019, suggesting that we may well see a dip in the number of closed sales in the first quarter of 2020.

HOME PRICES

Home price growth in Western Washington spiked during fourth quarter, with average prices 8.3% higher than a year ago. The average sale price in Western Washington was $526,564, 0.7% higher than in the third quarter of 2019.
It’s worth noting that above-average price growth is happening in markets some distance from the primary job centers. I strongly feel this is due to affordability issues, which are forcing buyers farther out.
Compared to the same period a year ago, price growth was strongest in San Juan County, where home prices were up 41.7%. Six additional counties also saw double-digit price increases.
Home prices were higher in every county contained in this report. I expect this trend to continue in 2020, but we may see a softening in the pace of growth in some of the more expensive urban areas.

DAYS ON MARKET
The average number of days it took to sell a home dropped four days compared to the third quarter of 2019.
For the second quarter in a row, Thurston County was the tightest market in Western Washington, with homes taking an average of 29 days to sell. In nine counties, the length of time it took to sell a home dropped compared to the same period a year ago. Market time rose in four counties and two were unchanged.
Across the entire region, it took an average of 47 days to sell a home in the fourth quarter. This was up nine days over the third quarter of this year.
Market time remains below the long-term average across the region, a trend that will likely continue until we see more inventory come to market — possibly as we move through the 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.

The housing market ended the year on a high note, with transactions and prices picking up steam. I believe the uncertainty of 2018 (when we saw significant inventory enter the market) has passed and home buyers are back in the market. Unfortunately, buyers’ desire for more inventory is not being met and I do not see any significant increase in listing activity on the horizon. As such, I have moved the needle more in favor of home sellers.

This post originally appeared on the Windermere.com Blog.


Posted on January 22, 2020 at 2:08 pm
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in economy, interest rates, market trends, real estate, statistics |

Plymouth Housing needs your help this Thanksgiving

Special request from Plymouth Housing
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and we still need your help filling our table! Every year, we invite all 1,000+ Plymouth residents to come together for a delicious Thanksgiving meal.

If you’ll be in the Seattle area for Thanksgiving, you can make a difference by cooking extra food for people who are healing from homelessness. Right now, we’re most in need of turkeys, hams, salads, and vegetable side dishes.Can you deliver a cooked Thanksgiving dish to a Plymouth building on the morning of Thursday, November 28?

Click the button below to let us know what you’ll bring.

Sign Up
Will you be out of town for the holiday? Too busy to cook? You can still help us celebrate with a donation.
Donate

Thank you for being part of our community!


Posted on November 18, 2019 at 10:40 am
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in community, events, giving back |

Gardner Report Q3 2019

The following analysis of the Western Washington real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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 23, 2019 at 4:14 pm
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in bellevue, economy, interest rates, market trends, statistics |

Seattle/Eastside Market Update – October 2019

While fall usually brings a decrease in sales activity, the opposite was true in September. The number of listings on the market dropped by double digits and home sales rose. It is still a seller’s market, however prices have stabilized. With interest rates near historic lows and employment levels at historic highs, the housing market is expected to stay strong throughout the fall and winter.

Long the most affluent area of King County, the Eastside continues to record the highest home prices in the region. The median price of a single-family home on the Eastside was $928,500 in September, an increase of 4% from a year ago and a decrease of less than 1% from August. The Eastside construction boom continues, indicating that developers remain confident in the strength of the local economy.

VIEW FULL EASTSIDE REPORT


Posted on October 15, 2019 at 12:16 pm
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in bellevue, economy, seattle, statistics |

Windermere Living Fall Issue

Welcome to the fall issue of Windermere Living! Are you a foodie who loves to travel? Inside this issue is an article about interesting destinations where you can enjoy edible, immersive experiences like making your own coffee on the Kona coast of Hawaii, or diving for clams in Cabo and cooking them with an executive chef.

If you’ve ever undergone a major home remodel, you know all too well how important it is to partner with the right architect. We explore that topic in this issue, along with some pro tips on how to match yourself up with the perfect architect for your project, a process that isn’t that different from dating.

Last but not least, there are more than 70 pages filled with homes for sale throughout the Western U.S. Whether you’re in the market for a country farmhouse or a high-rise condo, there’s a little something for everyone.

This is just a sampling of what you’ll find in this issue of Windermere Living; we hope you enjoy it!

If you are interested in having the magazine delivered to you, let me know and I’d be happy to get you subscribed.

Read the Fall Issue of Windermere Living. 


Posted on September 26, 2019 at 11:41 am
Stephanie Kristen | Posted in community, design, market trends, preparing your home |