In 2015, I was referred Joel & Lindsey Palmer, recent WSU graduates who at the time were engaged to be married. Despite being younger than your average homeowner, they were extremely smart about their purchase. They had saved for a downpayment and did not try to stretch their dollar beyond their means. If anything, they were looking for something that they could put some sweat equity into. They had great vision when house-hunting, looking at the floorplan & bones of homes rather than the cosmetics.
They won a multiple offer situation on a home in Covington and completed an impressive list of improvements before moving in. The couple put Do-It-Yourself (DIY) home improvement shows to shame, and their house looks amazing! Their work inspires me and if the home looked like it does now when it was on the market, it would have received at least three offers and gone for $30,000 more than they paid. Click here or on the photo below for their Before & After story.
What ‘Slow Season?!?’
Statistically speaking, November to January can be a bit sleepy in the real estate world. This winter was the opposite of sleepy. I was arguing a successful offer on behalf of a Buyer the week of Christmas that was up against a handful of other offers. What does this mean for the PNW housing market?
Spring is going to be unprecedented.
Windermere Real Estate chief economist Matthew Gardner said recently, “With a vast majority of our metropolitan areas having fully recovered from the job losses seen during the recession, I expect to see somewhat more modest job growth in the coming year. That being said, our economy will continue to expand, which will be a benefit to our region’s housing market.”
This speedometer reflects the state of the region’s housing market using housing inventory, price gains, sale velocities, interest rates, and larger economic factors.
The market is heavily in favor of Sellers, but some markets are reaching price points that will test affordability. Because of the constricted inventory of homes available for sale, which is not expected to keep up with demand, this will add further upward pressure on prices.
Annual Change in Home Sale Prices
Prices in the region rose by an average of 9.3% on a year-over-year basis, but were 0.4% lower than seen in the third quarter of 2015.
Unsurprisingly, no counties saw a drop in average home prices compared to fourth quarter last year.
When compared to the fourth quarter of 2014, San Juan County again saw the fastest price growth with an increase of 37.6%. However, this county is notorious for extreme swings giving the huge variations in prices in the San Juan Islands. Double-digit percentage gains were also seen in five other counties.
As long as inventory contraints persist, it is likely that price growth will continue. That said, modest increases in interest rates, in combination with declining affordablity conditions in several markets, will likely slow price appreciation.
Source: Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner
First-time buyer down payment statistics
How does your savings strategy stack up against other first-time buyers?
The typical first-time buyer had a down payment of 6%.
47% of first-time buyers saved for their down payment in a year or less.
Among first-time buyers, 81% used their savings, 26% used gifts, and 10% borrowed money from friends or relatives for their down payments.
It is extremely important that you change your locks after taking posession of your new home. You never know who might have copies of keys, garage door openers, etc., and changing the locks adds an extra layer of protection.
Do-It-Yourself, or consult a pro. Ballard Lock & Key is just one of many reputable locksmiths in the area. Please, please, please change your locks!
Vacant land with view of Lake Sammamish got 5 cash offers in 24 hours, and sold in just two days for more than the asking price. Interesting fact— the winning offer owns the adjacent house and wanted to preserve their view.