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Local Market Update – July 2021

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LOCAL MARKET UPDATE·2 min read Is there finally hope for homebuyers? The number of listings rose slightly throughout the region in June, but it’s not clear if that trend will continue. Supply is still far short of demand, and the Puget Sound region remains one of the hottest housing markets in the country. Despite the uptick in inventory, many homes continue to sell within days and for over asking price. As tech companies like Amazon and Microsoft lease large office spaces and hire thousands of employees, demand for homes in our region isn’t expected to lag any time soon. With more buyers chasing a limited supply of homes, the market still heavily favors sellers. The median price of a single-family home in King County rose 19% from a year ago to $860,000, down slightly from the all-time high of $869,975 set in May. Seattle saw home prices increase 11% year-over-year to $890,444, also down from May’s record price of $919,000. Home prices on the Eastside, however, continued to trend up. The median home price in June soared 40% over last year to $1,364,000, surpassing the previous high set in March. With inventory the tightest of any area of King County — the Eastside had just 288 homes for sale at the end of June —  prices are expected to remain strong. Snohomish County also hit new records, with the median home price jumping 32% over a year ago to an all-time high of $716,000. The number of homes for sale in the county declined more than 44% from a year ago, leaving it with only about 10 days of inventory, the lowest of all the counties served by Northwest MLS. Much of the demand is being driven by buyers who can continue to work from home, and are opting to buy outside of King County where housing is more affordable. Condos are another more affordable option for buyers wanting to stay in King County. Condo inventory is relatively more plentiful, and prices aren’t escalating at the same pace as other homes. And the median price of $462,500 is nearly half that of a single-family home. As a result, condo sales here continued to boom, with closed sales up 79% over the same time last year (that compares with a 39% increase in the sale of single-family homes for the same period). Market shifts can happen quickly, and your best strategy is to be well […]

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Preparing Your Equestrian Property for Sale

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by Windermere Staff Selling a horse property is quite different to selling your typical single-family home and can present some unique challenges. Therefore, when marketing a property like this, there are certain things to consider in order to achieve a successful sale. Because equestrian properties aren’t usually located in heavily populated areas, when buyers take the time to visit your property, you need to do everything you can to make a lasting impression. Having an equestrian property is a major responsibility, but if you convey to interested buyers the value and joy it can bring, it will help with getting your property sold. Here are some ways you can prepare your equestrian property for sale. Sell the Lifestyle How your property is described and positioned in the marketing assets is key. You are selling a lifestyle, so it’s worthwhile to talk up the experience that comes from owning such a unique property. Elaborate on nearby vets, feed lots, co-ops and grocery stores. Describe the nearby trail rides and point out if there are neighborhood riding clubs.  Paint the picture of what a potential buyer’s life could look like when they buy your property. Will they be enjoying the sunset on the patio overlooking the pasture? Does a stream trickle by the patio creating a relaxing ambiance? Can you watch the horses play in the field from the bedroom window? These are the visuals images that can capture a buyer’s imagination. Organize your Documents There are certain legal documents and records that come with owning and operating an equestrian property. Make sure you have the title and any land surveys or improvement location certificates ready to go as you prepare the property for sale. In addition to legal documents, make sure your agricultural records are current and updated. This includes plant health analyses, well permits, water or mineral rights, grazing leases or anything relating to natural resources on your property. Many buyers will ask to see records of past water and utility bills as well. This will make the process that much easier when you know the logistics have been taken care of. Stage for Buyers More than likely, the buyers who are touring your property either own horses or have been around equestrian properties before. Therefore, you will want to make sure the property appeals to horse owners. This includes making sure your fencing is intact, locks are secure, the […]

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Local Market Update – June 2021

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LOCAL MARKET UPDATE·2 min read May was a record-breaking month for the real estate market. Inventory hit all-time lows, and home prices reached record highs. With the supply of homes so tight, this sizzling seller’s market is expected to continue throughout the summer. High demand hammered inventory in May. While the number of new listings increased, homes sold within days, leaving the market with just a few weeks of available inventory. There were 43% fewer homes on the market in King County at the end of May as compared to a year ago.  The supply of homes was particularly dire on the Eastside where inventory was down 71%, leaving just 239 single-family homes for sale across the entire area, which stretches from Issaquah to Woodinville.  Snohomish County saw the same trend, with inventory down 60% year-over-year.  With the local economy remaining strong and population continuing to grow, don’t expect demand to slow down any time soon. With inventory so scarce, it was yet another record-breaking month for home prices.  The median price of a single-family home in King County last month jumped 29% to an all-time high of $869,975. Home prices in Seattle soared 20% to a record $919,000. The Eastside posted a median price of $1,298,475, down slightly from its all-time high, but soaring 37% from a year ago. Slim supply and high demand resulted in 78% of homes on the Eastside selling for over the list price. A 62% jump in pending condo sales in King County indicates that some buyers are opting for a more affordable home option.  At a median price of $459,000, condos look like a relative bargain when compared to single-family homes.  Snohomish County home values rocketed up as well. With some of the tightest inventory in the region, home prices there shot up 35% to a record $697,000.   It’s a challenging market for buyers, and it looks like it will continue to be that way for quite some time.  Now more than ever, you need a broker who can help you set your priorities, strategize your options and negotiate successfully on your behalf.  And sellers need someone who really understands this fast-changing market and who can create a plan to get you the greatest return on your investment. The charts below provide a brief overview of market activity. Every Monday, Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner provides an update on the US economy and housing market. […]

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Local Market Update – May 2021

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LOCAL MARKET UPDATE ·2 min read A sizeable increase in new listings in April offered some good news for buyers, but it was matched by an even greater increase in sales. With supplies depleted, and homes being snapped up within days, nearly every area saw double-digit price gains. The current forecast as we head towards summer: the market remains as hot as ever. Despite the influx of new listings, inventory in the region remains one of the tightest in the country. At the end of the month there were 43% fewer homes on the market in King County than there were a year ago. Snohomish County had 49% less inventory, and has just 519 single-family homes for sale in the entire county. There were only 309 homes for sale on the Eastside, which stretches from Renton to Woodinville.  Demand is so outstripping supply that 95% of the homes that sold last month on the Eastside sold within two weeks. In Seattle that number was 84%. Home prices hit record highs in April, with nearly every area seeing double-digit price increases. The median price of a single-family home in King County last month was $830,000. Snohomish County’s median price soared to $675,000. Seattle’s median home price hit $875,000.  All were new records. At $1.3 million, the median price on the Eastside was down slightly from its all-time high in March, but up a whopping 39% from the same time last year. In another show of the strength of the market, 82% of homes on the Eastside sold for over the list price. That compares with 60% of homes in Seattle. The Seattle market remains strong, however price appreciation there has slowed relative to other areas of King County and inventory has crept up. Condos present one bright spot for buyers. Price growth has been slower and inventory has been higher than for single-family homes. The $460,000 median price for a condo in King County is 45% less than the median price of a single-family home there. Needless to say, this is a challenging market for buyers. With multiple offers and escalation clauses the norm, it’s critical to work with your broker on a plan to consider all possible scenarios when looking to buy a home.  If you’re thinking about selling, it’s an ideal time to get a maximum return on your property before the prospect of rising interest rates starts to moderate […]

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Local Market Update – April 2021

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LOCAL MARKET UPDATE ·3 min read Despite a bump in new listings the supply of homes still can’t keep up with the demand. The result? Multiple offers, escalation clauses, and record-breaking prices. If you’re considering selling your home, you’d be hard pressed to find a more lucrative market than what we have today. March marked the first post-COVID/pre-COVID comparison, and the results were dramatic. The drop in the number of listings was profound.  In King County there were 54% fewer single-family homes on the market at the end of March than the same time a year ago.  The Eastside had 68% fewer listings. There were just 216 homes for sale on the Eastside, which stretches from Issaquah to Woodinville. Extensive new investments there, including Amazon’s plan to add 25,000 jobs in Bellevue, will only increase demand for housing. North King County, which includes Richmond Beach and Lake Forest Park had just 26 homes for sale. In Seattle, the 498 listings there represents a drop of 18% from a year ago.  Despite the comparatively greater number of listings, Seattle still has only two weeks of available inventory.   The situation was even more dire in Snohomish County. With the number of homes for sale down 68%, the county has just one week of inventory. So why is inventory so low?  The pandemic certainly has played a part. People now working from home have bought up properties with more space in more desirable locations.  Nervousness and uncertainty about COVID compelled many would-be sellers to postpone putting their home on the market. Downsizers who may have moved into assisted living or nursing homes are staying in place instead. But there are other factors as well. For more than a decade, less new construction has been built relative to historical averages, particularly in the suburbs. Interest rates have also been a factor. Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner noted, “I think a lot of the urgency from buyers is due to rising mortgage rates and the fear that rates are very unlikely to drop again as we move through the year, which is a safe assumption to make.”  Homeowners who refinanced when rates were at record lows are staying in their homes longer, keeping more inventory off the market. And those same low interest rates have compelled many homeowners who bought a new home not to sell their previous one, but to keep it as a rental […]

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Give Blood to Give Back

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  All in, for community.   This month, Windermere and I are doing our part to give back to our communities. We’re partnering with Bloodworks Northwest for an important blood drive and are encouraging clients and friends like you to take part. Recent heavy demand in local hospitals has drawn down our region’s life-saving supply of blood. That’s where you and I come in. The Bloodworks-Windermere drive runs April 1 – 30. To donate blood at any Bloodworks center or pop-up location, please sign up here or call 800.398.7888. Please make sure to use sponsor code WRE when you arrive at your donation appointment. Be assured that Bloodworks Northwest is taking every precaution to make the donation process as safe and simple as possible. Measures such as increased social distancing in their centers, donations by appointment and only allowing donors over the age of 16 ensure that we can all stay safe while we do our part to give back to our communities. Please join Windermere and me as we give blood to give back. schedule.bloodworksnw.org

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Getting Through an Unforgettable Year: Windermere Eastside Foundation Donates $265,000 to Local Nonprofits

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WINDERMERE NEWS ·13 min read Windermere has always put our communities first, and after a year like 2020, more families and charity organizations are in need of support than ever before. Every year, ten Eastside Windermere offices join together to distribute funds from the Windermere Foundation to assist local families and organizations in need. In 2020, the Eastside Windermere Foundation was able to donate $265,000 to 26 local charitable organizations. Funds for the Windermere Foundation come from a portion of the proceeds of every home sale a Windermere broker completes, as well as additional donations raised by brokers and employees. Read on below to find out more about each of the organizations the Eastside Windermere Foundation helped support this year. Acres of Diamonds This nonprofit seeks to provide shelter, safety and an opportunity for women to break out of cycles of poverty and abuse. Not only does Acres of Diamonds provide women and their children a safe place to stay, it also provides counseling services to help children heal from trauma and help their mothers rewrite their own stories. A donation of $35 provides a night of safety for a mother and her children. With the Windermere Foundation’s grant, Acres of Diamonds can continue to provide support for women seeking transitional housing, overcoming substance abuse and rebuilding their lives. Learn more at: https://www.acresofdiamonds.org/ Assistance League of the Eastside The Assistance League of the Eastside is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that puts caring and commitment into action. Their community-based, philanthropic programs make a positive difference in the lives of children and adults touched by hardship or violence. The Windermere Foundation’s grant will help support some the Assistance League’s programs, such as Operation School Bell, which provides new school clothes to students in need. Learn more at: https://www.aleastside.org/ Attain Housing Since 1989, Attain Housing has provided transitional housing, case management, and support services to help families with children move forward from homelessness to stability. This organization focuses on providing families in need with rental assistance and transitional housing, as well as practical case management. The Windermere Foundation’s grant will help Attain Housing provide stable housing for families, support community supper services and offer hope to those in need. Learn more at: https://www.attainhousing.org/ Backpack Meals For Kids Many students depend on free or reduced meals through their schools to avoid going hungry during the week. Backpack Meals for Kids is a completely volunteer-run organization that provides free, easy-to-make […]

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Local Market Update – March 2021

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LOCAL MARKET UPDATE ·2 min read Local Market Update – March 2021 Neither the snowstorm nor the increase in mortgage rates dampened buyer demand in February. Lack of inventory continues to be a frustration as there are way more prospective buyers than there are homes for them to buy. As a result, prices continued their upward climb. While the number of homes for sale edged up, it was still far shy of demand. This is especially true of single-family homes. There were 41% fewer homes on the market in King County in February than the same time last year. In an indication of just how competitive the current market is, the entire Eastside ended the month with just 224 homes for sale.  Inventory was even more scarce in Snohomish County where the entire county had just 283 homes for sale, a drop of 58% from a year ago.  Condo shoppers have more options as the number of units on the market in King County increased 56% from last February. With inventory so slim, competition is fierce. 57% of King County properties that sold in February sold over the list price. The median sale price paid was 9% over list price. Both are record highs. Competition doesn’t show signs of easing any time soon. A hike in interest rates is expected to only increase buyer urgency. An average rate of 3.02% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage for the week ending March 4 is the first time since July that the benchmark mortgage rate climbed above 3%. The enormous imbalance between supply and demand sent single-family homes prices soaring throughout the region. In King County, the median home sold for $750,000, 11% higher than a year ago. Most areas in the county saw double-digit increases. Home prices on the Eastside jumped a whopping 28%. Seattle home prices were up 9%.  In Snohomish County, the February $624,075 median price was up 21% from a year earlier and far surpassed the previous all-time high of $599,990 set in January. With seller review dates, escalation clauses and multiple offers now the norm it’s more important than ever for buyers to work with their broker to create a strategy that balances their wants and needs with their budget. 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 on the US […]

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Local Market Update – February 2021

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LOCAL MARKET UPDATE This winter’s real estate market is looking more like a typical spring market. Sales were up, competition was fierce and prices continued to rise. Lack of inventory still presents a huge issue. At the end of January there were only 1,055 single-family homes on the market in all of King County, 33% fewer than a year ago. If that wasn’t tight enough, Snohomish County had only 298 single-family homes for sale, 63% fewer than a year ago. Condos remain a bright spot for buyers frustrated by the frenzied market. January saw a nearly 50% increase in the number of condos for sale in King County.  However, the increase in inventory didn’t translate into a drop in price. The median condo price was flat for the county, up 10% in Seattle and up 7% on the Eastside. Those looking for a relative bargain should consider Southwest and Southeast King County where the median condo prices were $254,275 and $269,900 respectively. The large imbalance between supply and demand sent prices higher. Home prices here are climbing at the second-fastest rate in the nation. The median price of a single-family home in King County was $725,000, a 15% jump from a year ago. Seattle home prices increased 10% to $791,471. Inventory on the Eastside was down 58%, sending the median home price soaring 29% to $1.15 million. Snohomish County saw prices rise 18% to $599,990, well surpassing its previous high of $575,000. While low interest rates take some of the sting out of rising prices, multiple offers over asking price have become the norm and are expected to continue. The easing of COVID restrictions may add yet more competition. Both King and Snohomish counties have moved into Phase 2 of the Healthy Washington plan, which allows open houses to resume with up to 10 people socially distanced. All signs point to this strong seller’s market continuing for some time. The person who represents you as a buyer can make the difference in owning a home or not.  Brokers are advising buyers to create a plan that prioritizes their wish list and sets realistic expectations in this hyper-competitive market. 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. […]

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Western Washington Real Estate Market Update ~ FOURTH QUARTER 2020 

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  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 After the COVID-19-induced declines, employment levels in Western Washington continue to rebuild. Interestingly, the state re-benchmarked employment numbers, which showed that the region lost fewer jobs than originally reported. That said, regional employment is still 133,000 jobs lower than during the 2020 peak in February. The return of jobs will continue, but much depends on new COVID-19 infection rates and when the Governor can reopen sections of the economy that are still shut down. Unemployment levels also continue to improve. At the end of the quarter, the unemployment rate was a very respectable 5.5%, down from the peak rate of 16.6% in April. The rate varies across Western Washington, with a low of 4.3% in King County and a high of 9.6% in Grays Harbor County. My current forecast calls for employment levels to continue to improve as we move through the spring. More robust growth won’t happen until a vaccine becomes widely distributed, which is unlikely to happen before the summer. WESTERN WASHINGTON HOME SALES ❱ Sales continued to impress, with 23,357 transactions in the quarter. This was an increase of 26.6% from the same period in 2019, but 8.3% lower than in the third quarter of last year, likely due to seasonality. ❱ Listing activity remained very low, even given seasonality. Total available inventory was 37.3% lower than a year ago and 31.2% lower than in the third quarter of 2020. ❱ Sales rose in all counties, with San Juan County seeing the greatest increase. This makes me wonder if buyers are actively looking in more remote markets given ongoing COVID-19 related concerns. ❱ Pending sales—a good gauge of future closings—were 25% higher than a year ago but down 31% compared to the third quarter of 2020. This is unsurprising, given limited inventory and seasonal factors. WESTERN WASHINGTON HOME PRICES ❱ Home price growth in Western Washington continued the trend of above-average appreciation. Prices were up 17.4% compared to a year ago, with an average sale price of $617,475. ❱ Year-over year price growth was strongest in Lewis and Grays Harbor counties. […]

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