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 | Category: 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 | Category: 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 | Category: 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 | Category: bellevue, listings, real estate

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 | Category: economy, interest rates, market trends, real estate, statistics

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

Where are home prices heading?

The Home Price Expectation Survey checks in with over 100 national real estate experts every quarter, including Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. Here’s where they think prices will go:

Gardner predicts our local market will fare better than the nation overall.

“As I look to 2019, I believe home prices in King County will increase 7.8% over the current year.”
– Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner

“The local economy will continue to grow and that will drive demand for ownership housing,” according to Gardner. “Supply will slow during the holiday season before we see a new influx of listings in the spring. With more supply, I believe that home price growth will continue to slow, but values will still increase.”

Posted on November 26, 2018 at 3:46 pm
Stephanie Kristen | Category: economy, market trends, real estate, statistics

How Interest Rates Affect Buying Power

Whether you are thinking about buying or selling a home, interest rate trends are an important factor to consider. Mortgage interest rates have been rising and experts, including Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner, predict that they will continue to increase in 2019.

Interest Rates and Buying Power

The chart below shows the impact rising interest rates would have if you planned to purchase a $675,000 home while keeping your principal and interest payments at $3,500 a month.

Every time interest rates increase by a quarter of a percent, your buying power decreases by about 3 percent.

Whether you are thinking about buying or selling a home, interest rate trends are an important factor to consider. Mortgage interest rates have been rising and experts, including Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner, predict that they will continue to increase in 2019.

Interest Rates and Buying Power

The chart below shows the impact rising interest rates would have if you planned to purchase a $675,000 home while keeping your principal and interest payments at $3,500 a month.

Every time interest rates increase by a quarter of a percent, your buying power decreases by about 3 percent.

What this means for buyers:

With prices moderating and interest rates slated to rise again, now is a good time to buy. If you’re betting on prices falling, you need to consider the strong possibility that an increase in interest rates would offset any potential price savings.

What this means for sellers:

Listing your home now means you will attract a larger buyer pool before interest rates rise.

Whether you’re thinking of buying or selling I can provide you market data that will help you make the best decision for your circumstances. Let me know how I can help.

Posted on October 26, 2018 at 5:15 pm
Stephanie Kristen | Category: economy, interest rates, real estate

What’s Really Happening in the Housing Market?

 

Our housing market is finally cooling a bit, from scorching hot to slightly-less-sweltering. While some alarmists are talking bubble or impending crisis, the statistics tell a different story. The market does appear to be shifting, and that’s good news! The steep price increases of the past few years are not sustainable, and also risk pricing buyers out of the market altogether.

Where The Market Is Today

  • Inventory is up, but still far short of demand. Despite a considerable increase in inventory, King County has just six weeks of supply. Four to six months of inventory is what is considered a balanced market, and we’re far short of that.
  • Homes are staying on the market a bit longer. New listings have increased in the past few months, but the increase in inventory is primarily due to homes staying on the market longer. With buyers accustomed to homes being snapped up in days, “longer” is a relative term. Homes in King County are taking an average of 15 days to sell.
  • Prices appear to be moderating. While home prices are up compared to a year ago, the rate of increase is in the single digits rather than the double-digit surges of past months. Prices are down 4 percent from the record high reached this spring.

What This Means For The Housing Market

  • The shift towards slower, consistent appreciation will result in a healthier market.    
  • Buyers have more choices and more time to make an informed decision.
  • It’s still a seller’s market, but sellers need to have realistic expectations about pricing their homes as the market softens.
  • More inventory is still needed to meet demand. 

Whether you’re thinking about buying or selling, it’s important to have the most current information about the market. Please contact us today and we can provide you with information about today’s market and answer any questions you may have.

Posted on October 2, 2018 at 2:54 pm
Stephanie Kristen | Category: economy, market trends, real estate