CategoriesWashington real estate

Real estate is local

Windermere Real Estate is proud to partner with Gardner Economics to provide this analysis and commentary on the Western Washington real estate market. This report is designed to support Windermere owners and brokers as they educate buyers and sellers about the realities of the housing market.

I have the benefit of Annual (at minimum) live updates from Matthew Gardner as well as quarterly and periodic reports thanks to my association with Windermere.  I am always happy to pass on the great information I receive from this and other resources.  If you had a chance to read my quarterly report last month you’ll see that this is a bit more broad and looks at the entire NW region.  We hear plenty on the national front, but it’s more important to look at the regional and local real estate market.  It’s always good to bring everything we hear nationally into perspective.  As the old saying goes… “Real estate is local!”

Click HERE to take a look at the report.

Enjoy your week!

CategoriesSeattle, Washington real estate

Stability in Seattle?

If homebuilders may be considered a leading indicator of market direction, up or down, then consider the following good news from John Burns, a real estate industry consultant in the Northwest.

Seattle is starting to show some signs of recovery at least among new construction and planned community home sites. Visiting nearly 50 residential projects, including regional master planned communities like Issaquah Highlands and Snoqualmie Ridge, as well as stand-alone projects in Southeast King County the data speaks for itself.

Here are a few of the interesting trends observed that suggest Seattle is postioned for a comeback:

  • Year over Year Prices are improving.
    1 Year Ago Current
    Median New Home Price $330,000 $344,346
    1-Year Growth Rate -13.8% 4.3%
  • Builders who have adopted smaller floor plans are acheiving higher prices and performing better overall than others. There is some evidence that price per square foot actually increased on a year-over-year basis in King county.
  • Destination “master planned” communities appear to be garnering the best sales rates because consumers value the amenities and lifestyle.
  • Plats that have been on hold for the last few years are being restarted, as some public builders and larger regional builders are finding opportunities to purchase distressed projects or re-launch mothballed projects.
  • We anticipate job growth to return to Seattle in 2011 and will continue to strengthen in 2012.

Additionally, Seattle ranks 6th for commercial and multifamily investments among the nations top 50 markets. According to the Price Waterhouse Coopers report’s author, “Seattle is retaining it’s position as an up-and-coming gobal gateway.” He also says that apartments will be the only sector to see significant new construction in the region for 2011.

The bottom line?
Home prices, and particularly price per square foot, appear to be showing some new strength as home designs are reconfigured for the evolving market. Seattle is still a market with some barriers to entry, but the strongest local and national builders are finding opportunities in today’s enviornment.

Windermere Real Estate

CategoriesSeattle, Washington real estate

Seattle is a good place to build a “nest egg”

One result of the last few years for most of us is a change in our perspective about spending, and saving, habits.  Personal savings rates have increased significantly in the US compared to 5 years ago, from -0.5% in 2005 to 5% in September of 2010.  That’s a start.  The idea of saving for the future, from that occasional “rainy day” to the dream of someday retiring, is something most people are taking much more seriously these days.

This recent article from U.S. News places  Washington State as a great place to build a “nest egg” for the future.  U.S. News created an index to measure which states are the best for Americans who are saving for retirement and Washington ranked #4!  Home prices here are expected to surge by 6.6% per year between 2010 and 2013, according to Moody’s Analytics, providing residents who are downsizing for retirement with opportunities to put away some extra cash.

As always I appreciate the opportunity to help you build your nest egg over the long-term and continue to endeavor to provide you with useful information to help you make sound decisions along the way.

Warm Regards,

Windermere Real Estate

Categorieshome values, Seattle, Washington real estate

5 Stats You Won’t Hear On The News…

We know that many of our clients are still concerned about whether buying or selling in this market is a good idea. As always, there are individual factors that affect each person’s situation, and making a move is a big decision in any market.

This being said, it’s important to keep the housing market in perspective and not be alarmed with the media’s need for a catchy “story” saying real estate is either booming or it’s busting. Here are some interesting statistics that give a slightly broader view of the housing market and the economy:

Fact #1:
Approximately 30% of all U.S. homes are free and clear and do not have a mortgage

FACT #2:
Of the 70% of households that have a mortgage, 96.15% are current in their payments, NOT in foreclosure.

FACT #3:
The U.S. Gross Domestic Product is more than the GDP of the next three countries combined.

FACT #4:
When mortgage rates fall to a record low, housing affordability surges to a record high.

FACT #5:
The Housing Affordability Index is at the highest level of affordability in history.

This article from August in the Seattle Times talks more about our local affordability index rating.

Local HIA

There is still time to take advantage of lower home prices and historically low interest rates. Please feel free to call us anytime if you’d like to talk about this information and how it might relate to your situation.

Warm regards,
Windermere Real Estate

CategoriesSeattle, Washington real estate

By The Numbers

This has been an interesting year in Seattle Real Estate.  And it’s sure to continue in the year to come.  As we approach the end of the 2nd Quarter of 2009 we can get perspective on how the year is shaping up.

The charts below are a good visual representation of activity in the Seattle Metropolitan area.
This chart represents active listings (light green), listings in contract with a buyer (Pended, red line) and closed transactions (blue).

We have seen a steady increase in sales closed and pending sales this spring with a relatively stable inventory base.

This chart shows average days on market for listings and overlays the list/sales price ratio over the top.

The rise in the number of short sales& bank owned listings has increased days on market significantly this year.  You can see how that in turn affects the list price/sales price ratio.  People pay less for homes that are on the market longer.

This last chart illustrates the months of inventory on the market.

We saw a startling five year peak of 11 months of inventory in January of this year and have seen a steady and dramatic decrease since then.

The trend so far this spring has been positive and we are hoping to continue to see improvement in activity and stability over the next half of the year.  It is always our intention to provide sound information whether it’s good news or bad and we welcome your feedback!  As always please don’t hesitate to give us a call if you’d like to discuss the Seattle real estate market in more detail.

Have a great week!


Windermere Real Estate