Happy 2017! So far this year is exactly as predicted— with no inventory! There are so many qualified buyers that are eager to find something. It’s difficult, because there are 70% fewer homes for sale in King County than five years ago in 2012. Many potential sellers are sitting on the fence because they are worried about where they will go when their house sells in the first week. This is a valid concern, however we are getting creative. Longer closings, rent backs for sellers, VRBO/vacation rentals are just some solutions we have used. In 2017, you will definitely get top dollar for your sale, the prices are surpassing any precedent and expectations. Prices in King County increased 14.2% last year. In the world of real estate we never know exactly how long this will last, so another option is to cash out and rent for a year or two and see if the market levels out. Current forecasters are calling for leveling/slowing in 2019, read the Gardner Report from Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner below for some market predictions and analysis. Only time will tell where this market goes…
We are so excited to launch the Heather Maddox Homes app! This app was 100% created by my team for my clients. It all started two months ago with a very simple idea of getting my industry contacts to all of my clients in an easy and usable way. After lots of brainstorming it evolved into a full blown swiss-army knife of an app for all of your Real Estate needs. Hayes spent nearly all of his time teaching himself how to develop an app. I am so proud of what he created! Please check out our video and then download it, and share it with your friends! We also welcome any feedback, so please let us know how it’s working for you!
Seattle is now officially the second tightest housing market in the country, behind San Francisco. The Seattle Times reports that one of the reasons the market is so tight for buyers is that “no one is selling their house.” Seattle is also seeing the nation’s highest price increases for the third straight month. Supply is dwindling at a time when demand keeps rising with job and population growth, and renters keep getting fed up with pricey apartments.
Seattle treehouse in Magnolia hits market at $475,000
The Seattle Times tells the legal saga of a lighthouse-shaped treehouse in Magnolia that is only accessible by boat, when the tide is out. The treehouse was built and featured on an episode of “Treehouse Masters” and the legality of transferring ownership for a structure built without permits has been in court.
Region now home to 4 million residents
KUOW reports that all indicators point to 4,000,000 people calling the Puget Sound area home. KUOW’s Region of Boom team welcomes all the newcomers.
Windermere, University of Washington launch Real Estate Minor
The University of Washington recently launched a minor in Real Estate studies thanks to a $5.4 million gift from Windermere founder John Jacobi and his wife, Rosalind.
As the Official Real Estate Company of the Seattle Seahawks, Windermere donated a total of $35,000 to YouthCare to help #tacklehomelessness, $100 for each home tackle.
This home had only been on the market for a few days and I was able to negotiate with the listing agent to allow my Buyer to present an offer prior to the review date, and it was accepted! Getting creative in this market is crucial.
This 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom Fairwood Greens home went on the market the week of Thanksgiving & in just 2 days on the market, I was able to fetch $40k over the asking price for my Seller.
I believe that the big story for the coming year will be first-time home buyers. Since they don’t need to sell before purchasing, their reemergence into the market ensures that sales will continue to increase, even while inventory is limited. Thirty-one percent of buyers currently in the real estate market are first-time buyers, but it would be more ideal if that figure was closer to 40 percent.
Why don’t we have enough first-time buyers in the market? With Baby Boomers working and living longer, we aren’t making much room for Millennials to start their careers. Plus, the major debt that the younger generation owes on student loans ($1.3 trillion today) hugely impacts the housing market.
But the bigger issue is lack of down payments. Before the recession, many Millennials could look to their parents for help with down payments; however, these days that is not as much the case. I would also contend that the notion of Millennials being a “renter generation” is nonsense. In a National Association of Realtors survey, 75 percent of them said that buying a home would be the most astute financial decision they’d ever make; however, 80 percent said they don’t think they could qualify for a mortgage.
I do believe that Millennials will eventually buy, but they’re delaying their purchasing decisions by about three years when compared to previous generations, which is about the same amount of time they’re waiting to start families as well.
Matthew Gardner is the Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, specializing in residential market analysis, commercial/industrial market analysis, financial analysis, and land use and regional economics.
The #blackberryhouse is on track for a June completion. It has a roof, gutters, decks, fireplaces and windows. To me, it will start to feel like a home when it’s not freezing cold inside. We recently spent almost 4 hours on a 30 degree day deciding where all the electrical outlets and light switches will go. I had to take a break in the middle to warm up! So far my overall thoughts on designing a custom house is that it is exciting & fun, but perhaps timing could have been better. With full-time jobs and parenting two kids, this often feels like yet another full-time job! Check out the latest updates on the #blackberryhouseInstagram page!