Local Market Update – November 2020

The number of people who can work remotely may be changing the way we view our homes, but one trend has not changed. The local housing market in October remained unseasonably hot. And that doesn’t show signs of changing any time soon.

October saw continued low inventory and record-level sales, with the number of sales exceeding that of 2019 year-to-date.

While new listings are on the rise, they are being snapped up quickly and many homes are selling in a matter of days. In King County there were 38% fewer single-family homes on the market as compared to a year ago. Snohomish County had 59% fewer listings. A four-month supply of homes for sale is considered a balanced market, but King and Snohomish counties currently have less than one month of supply.

With supply unable to keep up with demand, home prices are escalating at double-digit rates. The median single-family home price in King County rose 14% over a year ago to $745,000. Prices in Snohomish County jumped 17% year-over-year to a record high of $579,972. About half the homes that closed in October sold for over the asking price as compared to about a quarter of the homes the same time last year.

The real estate market here is uncommonly resilient. Growing employment in major tech industries and an enviable quality of life have made our region one of the fastest growing areas in the country. With interest rates remaining at record lows, we may well skip the traditional slowing in the winter market altogether.

The charts below provide a brief overview of market activity. If you are interested in more information, every Monday Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner provides an update regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the US economy and housing market. You can get Matthew’s latest update here.

EASTSIDE

VIEW FULL EASTSIDE REPORT

KING COUNTY

VIEW FULL KING COUNTY REPORT

SEATTLE

VIEW FULL SEATTLE REPORT

SNOHOMISH COUNTY

VIEW FULL SNOHOMISH COUNTY REPORT


This post originally appeared on GetTheWReport.com

Posted on November 12, 2020 at 1:09 am
Sue Bethke | Category: Housing Market Updates | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

The Gardner Report – Q3 2020

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 your Windermere agent.

 

REGIONAL ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

Employment numbers in Western Washington continue to improve following the massive decline caused by COVID-19. For perspective, the area shed more than 373,000 jobs between February and April. However, the recovery has been fairly robust: almost 210,000 of those jobs have returned. Unemployment levels remain elevated; the current rate is 8.2%. That said, it is down from 16.6% in April. The rate, of course, varies across Western Washington counties, with a current low of 7.2% in King County and a high of 11.2% in Grays Harbor County. The economy is healing, but the pace of improvement has slowed somewhat, which is to be expected. That said, I anticipate that jobs will continue to return as long as we do not see another spike in new infections.

HOME SALES

  • Sales continued to improve following the COVID-19-related drop in the first quarter of the year. There were 25,477 transactions in the quarter, an increase of 11.6% from the same period in 2019, and 45.9% higher than in the second quarter of this year.
  • Listing activity remains woefully inadequate, with total available inventory 41.7% lower than a year ago, but 1.6% higher than in the second quarter of this year.
  • Sales rose in all but two counties, though the declines were minimal. The greatest increase in sales was in San Juan County, which leads one to wonder if buyers are actively looking in more isolated markets given ongoing COVID-19-related concerns.
  • Pending sales—a good gauge of future closings—rose 29% compared to the second quarter of the year, suggesting that fourth quarter closings will be positive.

 

 

 

HOME PRICES

  • Home-price growth in Western Washington rose a remarkable 17.1% compared to a year ago. The average sale price was $611,793.
  • When compared to the same period a year ago, price growth was strongest in Mason, Island, and San Juan counties. Only one county saw prices rise by less than ten percent.
  • It was even more impressive to see the region’s home prices up by a very significant 9.4% compared to the second quarter of 2020. It is clear that low mortgage rates, combined with limited inventory, are pushing prices up.
  • As long as mortgage rates stay low, and there isn’t an excessive spike in supply (which is highly unlikely), prices will continue to rise at above-average rates. That said, if this continues for too long, we will start to face affordability issues in many markets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAYS ON MARKET

  • The average number of days it took to sell a home in the third quarter of this year dropped two days compared to a year ago.
  • Snohomish County was the tightest market in Western Washington, with homes taking an average of only 16 days to sell. All but two counties—Lewis and San Juan—saw the length of time it took to sell a home rise compared to the same period a year ago.
  • Across the region, it took an average of 36 days to sell a home in the quarter. It is also worth noting that it took an average of 4 fewer days to sell a home than in the second quarter of this year.
  • The takeaway here is that significant increases in demand, in concert with remarkably low levels of inventory, continue to drive market time lower.

 

 

 

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.

High demand, favorable interest rates, and low supply clearly point to a seller’s market in Western Washington. As such, I am moving the needle even more in favor of sellers.

As I suggested earlier in this report, although the market is remarkably buoyant, I am starting to see affordability issues increase in many areas—not just in the central Puget Sound region—and this is concerning. Perhaps the winter will act to cool the market, but something is telling me we shouldn’t count on it.

ABOUT MATTHEW GARDNER

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 28, 2020 at 11:30 pm
Sue Bethke | Category: The Gardner Report | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Local Market Update – October 2020

While daily life may seem unpredictable, the local real estate market remains extremely stable. Activity in September acted more like the traditional peak spring market with home sales soaring and prices hitting record highs. Inventory remains very tight and new listings are selling quickly in every price range.

There just aren’t enough homes on the market to meet demand. King County had about half the inventory of a year ago. Snohomish County had 63% fewer available homes. On the other hand, the number of condos on the market in King County jumped by 24% over last September. Brokers attribute the flood of new inventory to COVID remote workers looking to trade their in-city condo for more living space. Despite the increase in inventory, condo prices rose 8% in September and pending sales — the best indicator of current demand — shot up 36% over the same period last year.

The slim supply of single-family homes means bidding wars and all-cash offers were the norm, driving prices to record highs. King County saw the third consecutive month of record-setting values. The median home price hit $753,600 in September, a 14% jump over last year. Prices in Snohomish County soared 16% from a year ago to $569,997, just shy of its all-time high of $575,000. For both counties, half the homes sold for over list price in September as compared with just a quarter of the homes a year ago.

The market doesn’t show signs of cooling off any time soon. In September the greater Northwest area saw the highest number of transactions since June 2018. Pending sales were up 32% in King County and 29% in Snohomish County. Interest rates continue to be at historic lows. With the area posting some of the fastest population growth in the country, expect the market to stay unseasonably hot.

The charts below provide a brief overview of market activity. If you are interested in more information, every Monday Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner provides an update regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the US economy and housing market. You can get Matthew’s latest update here.

EASTSIDE

VIEW FULL EASTSIDE REPORT

KING COUNTY

VIEW FULL KING COUNTY REPORT

SEATTLE

VIEW FULL SEATTLE REPORT

SNOHOMISH COUNTY

VIEW FULL SNOHOMISH COUNTY REPORT


This post originally appeared on GettheWReport.com

Posted on October 12, 2020 at 2:04 am
Sue Bethke | Category: Housing Market Updates | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Windermere Offices Find Safe Ways to Give Back

Pictured foreground to background: Zoe Brady, Kim Hyland, Angela Cherbas. – Eugene, OR

 

Preparing for the Holiday Season – Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

On August 29, Windermere’s Coeur d’Alene offices donated $500 to Heart Reach, Inc., the non-profit food bank of the local Heart of the City Church, in support of their 2020 Turkeys and More program. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, this donation will help Heart Reach jumpstart their program year. Heart Reach will work with the United Way to identify and assist 1,700 families facing financial hardship in Kootenai County and provide them with food this holiday season.

 

 

Pictured L to R: Evalyn Adams, Heart Reach Inc. coordinator for Turkeys and More, agents Rich Dussell, Karen Hansen and Vicky Houle of Windermere Coeur d’Alene Realty. – Coeur d’Alene, ID

 

Let the Kids Play! – Seattle, WA

On August 5, the Windermere Sand Point office held their own Community Service Day at Thornton Creek Elementary school, readying the playground for use when school is back in session. Broker Tammy Heldridge led talks with the school district to put the event together, taking proper precautions to follow COVID-19 guidelines. Along with additional help from Heather Curiel, Brixton Ward, and Kate Chamberlin from the Windermere Northgate Office, the brokers, staff, and volunteers worked hard weeding, leveling sand, spreading wood chips and moving planters. Representatives from Seattle Public Schools’ Facilities Department lent a helping hand and by the end of the day, the playground was ready for play.

 

Above: Pictured L to R: Tammy Heldridge and Kian Pornour
Below: R: Renee Menti Ruhl – Thornton Creek Elementary – Seattle, WA

 

Gardening For Food Access – Lane County, Oregon

Over the course of three Fridays in August, staff and agents from Windermere Real Estate Lane County worked to transform the gardens of local food bank Food For Lane County, whose mission is to “Reduce Hunger by engaging our community to create access to food.” Working in groups of no more than ten and wearing masks, the teams took to the fields, shoveling dirt and hauling wheelbarrows, breathing new life into gardens that provide food for the community. Even though their original Community Service Day was canceled, “we still wanted to find a way to help the community, especially in a time like this when so many families are having a hard time putting food on the table due to Covid-19,” said Administrative Assistant, Whitney Schmidbauer.

 


Above: Pictured foreground to background: Zoe Brady, Kim Hyland, Angela Cherbas. Below: Angela Cherbas – Eugene, OR

 

 

Feeding Ronald McDonald House Families – Seattle, WA

Through the Windermere Foundation, Windermere Wedgwood donated 50 chicken dinners on August 19 to Ronald McDonald House through local restaurant Wedgwood Broiler. The office was originally scheduled to make dinners for the families at the Ronald McDonald House kitchen earlier this spring. But since the pandemic put a strain on visitors and in-house meal prep, they asked for meals to be packaged and brought in for the families to enjoy. Wedgwood Broiler stepped up with meals of roasted chicken, rice pilaf and fresh veggies.

 

Pictured L to R: Ann O’Neil, Jay Nemitz, and Michele Flinn picked up the meals and delivered them to Ronald McDonald House – Seattle, WA

 


This post originally appeared on the Windermere.com Blog

Posted on October 7, 2020 at 3:38 am
Sue Bethke | Category: Community News | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Local Market Update – September 2020

August saw the lowest number of homes for sale in more than 20 years and the lowest mortgage rates on record. Sparse inventory and high demand pushed home prices to new highs.

  • With pending sales outpacing new listings, inventory continues to shrink. King and Snohomish counties each have about a two-week supply of available homes. Four to six months of inventory is considered a balanced market, favoring neither buyers nor sellers.
  • The region saw the second consecutive month of record-setting price growth with home prices experiencing double-digit increases as compared to a year ago.
  • Fierce competition among buyers has made multiple offers the norm. In King County, 46% of home sold for more than the list price. Last August that number was 24%. In Snohomish County, 58% of homes sold above list price as compared to just 28% the prior year.

The charts below provide a brief overview of market activity. If you are interested in more information, every Monday Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner provides an update regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the US economy and housing market. You can get Matthew’s latest update here.

EASTSIDE

VIEW FULL EASTSIDE REPORT

KING COUNTY

VIEW FULL KING COUNTY REPORT

SEATTLE

VIEW FULL SEATTLE REPORT

SNOHOMISH COUNTY

VIEW FULL SNOHOMISH COUNTY REPORT


This post originally appeared on GettheWReport.com

Posted on September 18, 2020 at 12:06 am
Sue Bethke | Category: Housing Market Updates | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Windermere Foundation Has Raised over $825,000 This Year!

Image source: Shutterstock

 

The first half of 2020 has brought uncertain times and unprecedented change, and across our network, our agents and offices have rallied with their communities through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve seen offices come together in support of their neighbors by providing meals to frontline workers, donating to local food banks, and giving their time in support of low-income and homeless families impacted by COVID-19. So far this year, we’ve raised over $825,000, with over $500,000 coming in second quarter alone, bringing the total raised by the Windermere Foundation to $41.8 million.

 

Here’s how some of our offices have served their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic:

 

Sedro Woolley & Mount Vernon, WA

Over the course of the first half of the year, the Windermere Sedro Woolley and Windermere Mount Vernon offices have donated more than $5,000 combined to the Helping Hands Food Bank to help their mission of providing local families with healthy meals through the pandemic.

 

Gearhart & Cannon Beach, OR (Windermere Realty Trust)

In a joint effort through Windermere Realty Trust, the Oregon Coast offices of Cannon Beach and Gearhart raised $2,000 for the organization Food 4 Kids. Food 4 Kids’ goal is to supply elementary and middle school students in the Seaside School District with supplementary weekend meals during the school year, currently feeding 235 children.

 

Penrith Home Loans 

Earlier this year, Windermere’s mortgage partner, Penrith Home Loans, donated a total of $12,000 to the Windermere Foundation.

“The Windermere Foundation’s dedication to supporting low-income and homeless families in our communities aligns with the personal values of the employees who make up Penrith Home Loans,” said Maya Dartiguenave, Marketing Manager at Penrith Home Loans.

Penrith’s donations supported the organizations Hopelink and Share Vancouver. Hopelink was chosen by Penrith because of their holistic approach to helping people out of poverty and its mission “to promote self-sufficiency for all members of our community.” Share Vancouver was chosen because of its commitment to making Vancouver, Washington a home for everyone in the community. Examples of their work include employing an outreach team directly on the streets of Vancouver, providing emergency shelters, offering free meals to hungry children and subsidized housing to low-income families.

 

 

Neighbors in Need 

Between April 21 and May 5, the entire Windermere network came together to support local food banks through our Neighbors in Need fundraising campaign. Offices were challenged to raise $250,000, to be matched by the Windermere Foundation, for a total goal of $500,000. While coping with increased demand and a bottlenecked pipeline of food supply due to COVID-19, food banks were—and continue to be—desperate for funds to continue to serve those in need. Neighbors in Need surpassed the original goal of $500,000, raising a total of $690,000, and helping hundreds of food banks.

“I’m incredibly proud of how our offices and the community came together to raise much needed money and awareness to help food banks keep up with unprecedented needs,” said Windermere Foundation Executive Director, Christine Wood. “I hope we inspire others to do the same.”

These are just a few examples of how the donations flowing through the Windermere Foundation propel us forward in our mission to support low-income and homeless families in the communities across the Western U.S. If you’d like to help support organizations and programs in your community, please click the Donate button.

 

 

To learn more about the Windermere Foundation, visit WindermereFoundation.com.

 


This post originally appeared on the Windermere.com Blog

Posted on September 18, 2020 at 12:00 am
Sue Bethke | Category: Community News, Windermere Foundation | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Local Market Update – August 2020

While the pace of daily life may seem slow right now, the
local real estate market has had an unusually busy summer. The number of
new listings in July was up, sales increased, and home prices followed
suit.

• While overall inventory is at historic lows, more sellers put their homes on
the market. New listings of single-family homes in King County jumped more than
25% from a year ago. Snohomish County saw a 7% increase in new listings.

• Pent-up buyer demand fueled sales activity in July. The number of pending
sales was up 17% over a year ago in King County, and up 13% in Snohomish
County.

• With buyers snapping up new listings as soon as they hit the market, total
available inventory dropped to a 10-year low for the month.

• The lack of inventory is benefiting sellers, and multiple offers are now common
at every price point. As a result, single-family home prices rose 7% in King
County and 15% in Snohomish County.

The charts below provide a brief overview of market activity. If you are interested in more information, every Monday Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner provides an update regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the US economy and housing market. You can get Matthew’s latest update here.

EASTSIDE

VIEW FULL EASTSIDE REPORT

KING COUNTY

VIEW FULL KING COUNTY REPORT

SEATTLE

VIEW FULL SEATTLE REPORT

SNOHOMISH COUNTY

VIEW FULL SNOHOMISH COUNTY REPORT


This post originally appeared on GetTheWReport.com

Posted on August 19, 2020 at 12:29 am
Sue Bethke | Category: Housing Market Updates | Tagged , , , , , ,

The Gardner Report – Q2 2020 Western Washington

 

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 your Windermere agent.


 

REGIONAL ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

It appears as if the massive COVID-19 induced contraction in employment that Washington State — along with the rest of the nation — experienced this spring is behind us (at least for now). Statewide employment started to drop in March, but April was the real shock: total employment dropped almost 460,000 between March and April, a decline of 13.1%. However, this turned around remarkably quickly, with a solid increase of 52,500 jobs in May. Worthy of note is that, in May alone, Western Washington recovered 43,500 of the 320,000 jobs that were lost in the region the prior month. Although it is certainly too early to categorically state that we are out of the woods, the direction is positive and, assuming we respect the state’s mandates regarding social distancing and mask wearing, I remain hopeful that Washington will not have to re-enter any form of lockdown.

 

HOME SALES

  • There were 17,465 home sales during the second quarter of 2020, representing a drop of 22.2% from the same period in 2019, but 30.6% higher than in the first quarter of this year.
  • The number of homes for sale was 37% lower than a year ago, but was up 32% compared to the first quarter of the year.
  • Given COVID-19’s impacts, it’s not surprising that sales declined across the board. The greatest drops were in Whatcom and King counties. The smallest declines were in Grays Harbor and Cowlitz counties.
  • Pending sales — a good gauge of future closings — rose 35.7% compared to the first quarter of the year, suggesting that third quarter closings will grow as well.

 

 

 

HOME PRICES

 

  • Home-price growth in Western Washington rose by a relatively modest 3.5% compared to a year ago. The average sale price in the second quarter was $559,194.
  • Compared to the same period a year ago, price growth was strongest in Grays Harbor County, where home prices were up 14.3%. Clallam County also saw a double-digit price increase.
  • It was interesting to note that prices were up a significant 6.6% compared to the first quarter. This suggests that any concern regarding negative impacts to home values as a function of ​    COVID-19 may be overblown.
  • I will be watching for significant price growth in less urbanized areas going forward. If there is, it may be an indication that      COVID-19 is affecting where buyers are choosing to live.

 

 

 

DAYS ON MARKET

  • The average number of days it took to sell a home in the second quarter of this year matched the second quarter of 2019.
  • Across the entire region, it took an average of 40 days to sell a home in the second quarter. I would also note that it took an average of 14 fewer days to sell a home than in the first quarter of this year.
  • Thurston, King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties were the tightest markets in Western Washington, with homes taking an average of only 17 days to sell. All but two counties, Grays Harbor and Cowlitz, saw the length of time it took to sell a home drop compared to the same period a year ago.
  • Market time remains well below the long-term average across the region. This is due to significant increases in demand along with the remarkably low level of inventory available.

 

 

 

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.

What a difference a quarter makes! Given that demand has reappeared remarkably quickly and interest rates remain historically low, it certainly remains a seller’s market and I don’t expect this to change in the foreseeable future.

The overall housing market has exhibited remarkable resilience and housing demand has rebounded faster than most would have expected. I anticipate demand to remain robust, but this will cause affordability issues to remain as long as the new construction housing market remains muted.

 

ABOUT MATTHEW GARDNER

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 July 25, 2020 at 12:26 am
Sue Bethke | Category: Housing Market Updates, The Gardner Report | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,