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 | Category: 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 | Category: bellevue, economy, seattle, statistics

South Bellevue School Bells

It’s back to school time and that can make traffic a bit busy around here.  Being aware of the school bell schedule might make it easier to plan your schedule accordingly. Also be aware of the changes made to the east side of Tyee along 138th and plan for drop off accordingly.

There are so many great reasons to carpool, and now Bellevue Schools have teamed with SchoolPool to make it even easier connect you to a carpool in your area.

Most importantly, please bring your patience and allow plenty of time as we adjust to our back to school routines.

Be safe and have a fantastic start to the new year!

Link here for more detailed information on schools.

Posted on September 3, 2019 at 8:44 am
Stephanie Kristen | Category: bellevue, community, somerset

Live in Somerset

Located on a quiet cul-de-sac, one block to elementary school, this updated Somerset home offers all the spaces you’re looking for. Light-filled open concept kitchen/family room, perfect for everyday living. Wall of windows soaks in the views and leads to expansive deck for easy entertaining. Remodeled master suite with custom walk-in closet and five-piece bath. Covered patio surrounded by gorgeous landscaping. So much more plus the best schools: Somerset, Tyee & Newport. You won’t want to miss! Check out the virtual tour here.

Posted on August 11, 2019 at 1:34 pm
Stephanie Kristen | Category: bellevue, listings, real estate, somerset

Privacy and Views in Somerset $975,000

4232 136th Pl SE – 3 bedroom – 3 bath – 2360 sq ft

Located at the end of a cul-de-sac in sought after Somerset where privacy and views abound. New deck soaks in the Olympic Mountains and Seattle to Bellevue skylines. Great flow on the main floor with open kitchen, dining and living room. Vaulted ceilings with open beam construction and large floor to ceiling windows create a spacious feel surrounded by nature. Updated kitchen with gorgeous white marbeled granite counters, stainless appliances and tailored beech cabinets. See full listing here.Sweeping views of Bellevue and Seattle skylines framed by snow capped Olympic mountains.

New deck in 2018 soaks in expansive views

Open floor plan with vaulted open beamed ceilings

Kitchen with bar open to dining room.  Garden window frames the serene sights and sounds of the backyard

Backyard waterfall

Posted on May 19, 2019 at 10:03 am
Stephanie Kristen | Category: bellevue, listings, real estate, somerset

Free Shredding Event

The April 15th tax deadline is fast approaching.  Every year about this time I promise myself to be better organized next year. My filing system is always a work in progress.  I am often struggling with what to do with all the accumulated receipts, statements, bills and legal documents? Below is a link to an article on how long keep these docs and what can been thrown away or better yet shredded.

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/how-long-should-i-keep-records

Windermere is here to help and are providing some options for shredding your old documents.  We are offering complimentary shredding services at multiple locations.  You can bring your sensitive documents to be professionally destroyed on site. A certificate of destruction can be provided upon request.

Shredding Dates and Locations

Saturday, April 20th  10 am – 2 pm  – Issaquah Office  1810 15th Place NW, Issaquah

Saturday, May 11th  10 am – 2 pm  – Bellevue South Office   14405 SE 36th St, Bellevue

Wishing you all the best for a happy and pain free tax season. (well, as pain free as it can be!)

Posted on April 10, 2019 at 8:30 pm
Stephanie Kristen | Category: bellevue, community, events, giving back

Recycling Event this Saturday at Windermere Bellevue South

Posted on February 27, 2019 at 2:02 pm
Stephanie Kristen | Category: bellevue, community, events, giving back

Somerset Two-Story – $980,000

Private setting for this traditional two story in sought after Somerset. Dramatic living room with soaring cathedral ceilings. Updated kitchen with custom cabinets and stainless counters. Open concept floor plan flows into family room with fireplace and deck overlooking fenced backyard. Master suite with new tiled bath and walk-in closet. One of the larger yards in the neighborhood with a park-like feel including Rainbow Play System that stays. Top notch schools: Somerset, Tyee and Newport.

4605 Highland Drive – 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath – 2,470 sq ft – $980,000

Link to listing details here.

Posted on September 23, 2018 at 1:32 pm
Stephanie Kristen | Category: bellevue, somerset

Mid-Century Modern in Lake Hills

Charming home located on a private setting next Larsen Lake. Classic mid-century home is sure to check all the boxes; updated kitchen, 5 bedrooms (3 on main level), 3 remodeled baths, refinished hardwood floors, newer vinyl windows. Open floor plan is light and bright with large picture windows and southwest exposure. Lower level family room w/new gas insert. Corner lot with big yard and additional off street parking. Convenient location w/easy access to everything. You’re sure to love it here! $898,000 53 151st Pl SE, Bellevue, WA 98007

Listing details here.

 

Posted on September 18, 2018 at 2:58 pm
Stephanie Kristen | Category: bellevue, listings

Somerset NW Contemporary

 

Beautifully updated Northwest Contemporary in sought after Somerset. Mountain and territorial views are framed by the tree lined private setting. 5 bedrooms and 3.5 baths including full guest quarters in daylight lower level with separate entrance. Light filled kitchen opens to family room with gas fireplace. Living room with vaulted wood wrapped ceilings. Deck overlooking private backyard. 3 car garage, additional work space, and an abundance of storage. Convenient location and top ranked schools – Somerset, Tyee, Newport

All the listing details here.

Posted on July 14, 2018 at 8:48 am
Stephanie Kristen | Category: bellevue, listings, real estate, somerset