Home Buyer Frustration Continues

Taxes

Home Buyer Frustration Continues

Latest News Release

KIRKLAND, Washington (Jan. 5, 2017) – Like many other months of 2016, December was frustrating for buyers across Washington state as they encountered depleted inventory and rising prices. Post-election hikes in interest rates – with more on the horizon — added to would-be homeowners’ worries.

Northwest Multiple Listing Service statistics for December show year-over-year drops in new listings, but gains in pending sales, closed sales and prices. Pending sales (mutually accepted offers) in the four-county Puget Sound region reached their highest level since 2005.

“The data just keep telling the same story – low inventory and increasing prices,” remarked Mike Grady, president and COO of Coldwell Banker Bain. “As one of our brokers put it, ‘Sellers received an awesome Christmas gift in December, but buyers, only a lump of coal.'”

Brokers added 4,217 new listings to the inventory during December to bring the supply up to 10,571 listings. The volume of new listings surpassed the year-ago figure of 4,041, but supply still fell, dropping to only 1.4 months for the Northwest MLS market area covering 23 counties. Both King and Snohomish counties reported less than a month of inventory.

Robert Wasser, owner/broker at Prospera Real Estate in Seattle, said his analysis of the MLS data indicates the supply of single family homes for sale in King County just hit a post-recession low. “The only other time supply fell below one month was around this same time a year ago,” noted Wasser, a member of the Northwest MLS board of directors.

At month end, MLS figures show inventory (10,571 listings) was nearly 15.6 percent below year-ago levels (12,522 listings), with about 90 percent of the selection being single family homes.

Seventeen of the 23 counties in the MLS report had double-digit drops in active listings at the end of last month compared to December 2015.

Northwest MLS members reported 6,401 pending sales during December, up from 5,970 for the same month a year ago for a year-over-year gain of 7.2 percent.

“The housing market remains frenzy hot on a seasonal basis,” exclaimed J. Lennox Scott. Noting sales activity was substantially higher than the number of new listings, he said such conditions “continue to foster a competitive market where homebuyers are just waiting for the next new listing to come on the market.”

Commenting on strong sales in the Central Puget Sound region, Scott noted King County recorded the biggest year-over-year jump in pending sales of single family homes, surging nearly 11.3 percent, well ahead of Kitsap (up 4.5 percent), Pierce (up 4 percent) and Snohomish (up 3.2 percent).

“Buyers pursued homes aggressively all through November and December with little to no slowdown amid fears of rising interest rates and worsening inventory levels,” said MLS director George Moorhead. “Inventory levels have dropped to their lowest level, which makes buyer frenzy even more intense as prices approach double-digit appreciation,” he added. Moorhead, the designated broker at Bentley Properties, calculates buyers have lost $37,000 in buying power due to interest rate increases. He likens the situation to having two cars, “one going forward, and one going in reverse. The gap is widening too fast for some buyers.”

Closed sales also finished on a strong note with brokers reporting 7,575 completed transactions during December. That’s up more than 6.8 percent from a year ago when members notched 7,091 closed sales.

Prices area-wide also continued trending upward, rising nearly 9.2 percent from a year ago. The overall median price for single family homes and condominiums that sold during December was $343,950; a year ago it was $315,000.

King County prices jumped 12.2 percent, from $450,000 in December 2015 to $505,000 for last month’s sales. For single family homes (excluding condominiums) the median price for December’s sales was $550,000, unchanged from October and November. Prices peaked this year in King County in June, reaching $573,522.

Condo sales slowed compared to a year ago, due at least in part to a sharp drop in inventory (down more than 19 percent). Pending sales were essentially flat (up 0.73 percent). Closed sales for December slipped nearly 6 percent, while prices on last month’s completed sales of condos rose 9.8 percent. The median price on last month’s closed sales of condos was $280,000. Condo prices in King County jumped more than 12 percent, from $279,975 a year ago to last month’s sales price of $314,000.

“Looking ahead to 2017, the Seattle market will continue to perform well, even with the expected interest rate increase,” stated OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate. The regional economy is in full stride, he noted, adding, “This will continue to create increased demand for housing across the board. Price growth should start to cool a little as inventory levels rise modestly, but overall, 2017 should be another banner year for the housing market.”

Consumers should expect prices to continue edging upward, suggested Moorhead. “NAR indicates we are 70,000 units short of meeting the housing needs in the Puget Sound area. Builders are just flat out running out of urban land to work with,” he said. Moorhead believes rising costs for construction labor are the driving force for price increases. Builder confidence continues to grow, reaching its highest levels since 2005, he noted, but added, “Naturally, some trepidation is heard as some feel this level of growth in the market is completely unsustainable.”

Grady believes the pattern of low inventory and increasing prices will continue. “We believe it is a predictor for what to expect throughout 2017,” he commented. “There’s simply not enough new construction to fill the needs of new employees being hired both locally and new to the state. The key is employment,” Grady continued, saying “There’s no reason to think that a new administration will cause employment to slow down; rather, it’s more likely we’ll see it increase in the Puget Sound region so we’re off to another strong start in 2017,” he stated.

Scott, the chairman and CEO of John L. Scott, expects a higher number of new listings will start to show up in mid-February – “just in time for the spring housing market rush.”

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership of nearly 2,100 member offices includes more than 25,000 real estate professionals. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 23 counties in the state.

 

November Real Estate Market.. HOT, HOT!

 

Snohomish County Statistics as of November 2016

15078749_1420841284600348_1785316821576766752_n

 

November is known for being on the cold side and normally signs of a slowing Real Estate market as everyone starts to buckle in for the winter and holidays. Not this year however! November was smoking hot with only 1.4 month of inventory and buyers were snatching up everything they could. I saw multiple offers skyrocketing and bidding wars with some homes being bid up 100K. The picture to the left is a Bothell home that had 32 offers and was bid up 95k! Crazy!!

Here are your local inventory stats.

 

Active Inventory

 +17% November 2016 vs. November 2015

1111 available homes currently on market -800 vs. last month.

Pending Transactions

Up 1% November 2016 vs. November 2015

1528 units -88 vs. last month

Sold Transactions

+27%!!! November 2016 vs. 2015

1452 units -182 than last month

Days on Market

Snohomish County Active to pending 33 days vs. 47 a year ago up 7 days from last month.

Median home price in Snohomish County 399,000 +14% last year.  Up $7,000 from last month.

Area price % based on last Quarter

All percentages are up and also include new construction

Bothell + 16%, Edmonds/Lynnwood +17%. Everett/Mukilteo +12%

Snohomish/Monroe+ 11%. Lake Stevens/Granite Falls + 17%.

Marysville +14%

King County Median home prices are $523,000 + 16% over last year and up $6k from last month.

Woodinville area Median price is $550!!

OPEN HOUSE TODAY IN BOTHELL 3-5!

 

Rambler1
OPEN HOUSE TODAY IN BOTHELL 3-5! Come and see me today and let the kids have some cookies and juice while you tour this great newly listed home. Do you know Ramblers always hold their value? They are sought out and they just don’t build them anymore! This Fannie Mae Value Priced Home! Lovely rambler located in an established neighborhood. Welcoming entry opens to great room concept living area which features custom tile flooring, vaulted ceilings and skylights and gas fireplace. You’ll love the natural light and warmth of this room! Home has a island kitchen with enough space for cooking for a crowd. This Home qualifies for HomePath Mortgage Financing and HomePath Renov.Financing. Purchase with as little as 5% down! This one is a MUST see. 1820 224th St SW, Bothell 98021

rabler7 rambler2 rambler3 rambler4 rambler6

Sneak Preview New Listings

Sneak Peak! Do you know there are some great bank owned homes from Fannie Mae coming soon? Here is one in Bothell that will hit the market in a few weeks. 1994 Rambler with nice tile floors, island kitchen, gas fireplace, 3 bdrm/ 2 bath/ 1632 sq ft. List price will be under $340K. Want more info? Hurry and ask BEFORE it hits the market.

Bothell Coming soon

 

This one is going on tomorrow! Turn Key FHA approved town home ready for new owner! Located in a small gated community surrounded by new homes & natural growth protected area. This Private & spacious home sits in back of the complex backing up to green belt. W/ Large living space of 1128sq. ft. & a 525 sq. ft garage w/additional storage you have room for everything. Features lots of large windows, hardwoods in kitchen & bath, gas stove, gas fireplace, gas heat & all appliances. Min. to Everett Boeing, Muk. Schools & Shopping. $165K

 

Front

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mortgages may be easier to get than potential home buyers believe

Many potential buyers think they need near-perfect credit scores to get a home loan. But lenders may be loosening their tight underwriting standards.

WASHINGTON — Are you on the home-buying sidelines this spring because you think you won’t be able to qualify for a mortgage? Do you know what sort of FICO credit scores are being accepted by lenders at the moment — they’re lower than they were a year ago — and whether yours could now be good enough?

You may be part of the surprisingly large crowd of folks who fear the home-loan unknown. A new national consumer survey found that 56% of potential purchasers of homes say they’re out of the market because they don’t want to face the possibility of rejection by lenders. Even 30% of current homeowners believe that they wouldn’t pass muster today.

Using a statistical sample of 1,055 Americans 18 and older, survey research firm OmniTel, polling on behalf of mortgage lender LoanDepot, documented widespread uncertainty and lack of specific knowledge about current market conditions when it comes to qualifying to buy a home. According to the survey, 74% of potential buyers who would need a mortgage concede that they have not scoped out the current market or taken the steps needed to qualify.

Many potential buyers believe that they need near-perfect credit scores to get a home loan. Half of those surveyed said they had no idea what minimum FICO score is needed for a mortgage, and nearly a fifth (18%) said the minimum score might be 770 or higher.

Debt-to-income ratios are another insurmountable obstacle in many potential buyers’ eyes — enough so that they don’t even try to obtain a mortgage.

Most lenders use two forms of debt ratios: a “front end” ratio that compares the monthly costs of the proposed new mortgage and other housing expenses with the applicant’s monthly income, and a “back end” ratio comparing all recurring monthly debt obligations — housing expenses, student loans, credit cards and the like — with the applicant’s monthly income. Roughly a third of potential buyers on the sidelines believe that their debt ratios are too high.

But what’s the statistical reality on debt ratios, FICO score minimums and down payments? What are lenders approving?

The best answers come from a company called Ellie Mae, whose loan origination and tracking software is widely used by lenders. Every month Ellie Mae analyzes a huge sample of new mortgage originations nationwide and issues an overview report rich with the sort of detail that buyers sitting on the sidelines could use.

Here’s what it found in its report on March:

•Thirty-three percent of new loans last month had borrower FICO scores below 700. A year ago it was just 27%. (FICO scores max out at 850, which is considered excellent credit; applicants with scores under 700 present higher credit risks to lenders.) Federal Housing Administration-insured home purchase loans had an average FICO in March of 684. Conventional mortgages, those designed for purchase by investors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, still have relatively high FICOs — they averaged 755 in March, but that was down slightly from 759 a year before. Lenders are doing far fewer refinancings this year, so they are loosening up on FICO minimums for purchasers.

•Debt ratios also are more generous than many sidelined potential borrowers probably imagine. The FHA’s average front-end (housing costs) ratio last month for purchase loans was 28%. In other words, if your projected housing and mortgage-related costs represent 28% of monthly income, you’re average. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans averaged 22% ratios on the front end. Back-end (total recurring debt) ratios for FHA averaged 41%. For Fannie and Freddie it was lower — 34%.

•Down payments can be small if that’s what you need. FHA’s average down payment last month for home purchases was 5%, but many borrowers put down just 3.5%. Fannie and Freddie allow 5% down as well, provided that you can pay mortgage insurance premiums. VA loans can go to zero down if your veterans status allows you to qualify. Department of Agriculture home buyer loans, which are designed for people who live in small towns, also allow for no down payments.

The point here: If you’re on the sidelines, check out what’s really going on in the mortgage market. There may be more opportunities — even in an era of tighter underwriting — than you think.

Article by Ken Harvey

Winter Coziness and Home Tips.

“Winter is time for comfort and warmth, it is a time for home” Edith Sitwell

Just a few hightlights of warmth for this month

Check out Zillows cozy cabins and rustic fireplace designs they look all so heavenly!

And with all this coziness I just have to add a “Did you know”?

Of about the 350 million cans of chicken noodle soup of all commercial brands sold annually in the United States, 60 percent is purchased during the cold and flu season. January is the top-selling month of the year!

Today January 10th is National Cut your Energy Costs Day. Here are a few energy tips and Winter Home Maintenance Tips for this Winter. Do these first and then enjoy a cozy fire! 

Maintenance TIPS Winter

YOUR HOME may be the biggest investment you make. Proper house maintenance

ensures a safe and comfortable environment for you and your family. Here are helpful tips

and reminders of chores you may have overlooked for preparation this winter season.

Clean faucet aerators and showerheads.

Clean refrigerator drain pan and vacuum condenser coil.

Clean kitchen exhaust fan filters.

Vacuum bathroom vent fan covers.

Clean dishwasher food filters and check that openings in spray arms are clear.

Examine caulk and grout in shower, repair as needed.

Clean and seal grout.

Exercise (turn on and off) plumbing shutoff valves. Just in case you may need to in an emergency.

Exercise circuit breakers.

Test relief valve on water heater.

Vacuum smoke detectors, heating registers, vents, ducts and radiators.

Clean out dryer vent duct.
 
These will save energy and ensure a safe home!
 
 

US. Housing Price Appreciation and Real Estate News

Real Estate News

In 2013, the housing markets with the biggest increases in asking prices were all rebounding from severe price drops in the housing bust. Home prices are still in rebound mode, but this effect will weaken in 2014. Job growth, in contrast, mattered little for price gains in 2013 but helped drive rent increases.

In December, the year-over-year increase in asking home prices slowed for the first time since the price recovery began in early 2012: prices rose 11.9% year-over-year in December, compared with November’s 12.2% year-over-year increase. Asking prices rose 0.4% month-over-month, seasonally adjusted, the third straight month of gains less than 1%.

Overall, regression analysis shows that recent price gains are most strongly associated with the severity of the local housing bust. Markets where prices fell most during the bust (roughly 2006 to 2011, but varies by metro) offered bargains for investors and other buyers who have helped bid prices back up over the past two years. A second important factor is foreclosures: adjusting for other factors, metros with a higher foreclosure inventory today – including many in Florida – have slower price growth. Job growth, however, had little impact on local home price gains in 2013: the relationship between job growth and price gains was positive but not statistically significant.

Therefore, year-over-year price gains in December 2013 are still primarily a reaction to the housing bust, but this rebound effect is fading as we enter 2014. Looking at the quarter-over-quarter price changes throughout 2013, the relationship between the severity of the housing bust and the recent price recovery was stronger earlier in the year than later in the year. More specifically, the correlation between peak-to-trough price change (FHFA) and the Trulia Price Monitor quarter-over-quarter change was -.59 in March; -.45 in June; -.43 in September; and -.33 in December. This correlation is moving closer to zero, which signifies that the rebound effect is fading. As the housing market continues to recover, factors other than the rebound effect – like job growth – will matter more for price gains. That means slower but more sustainable price increases.

Note: These asking prices are SA (Seasonally Adjusted) – and adjusted for the mix of homes – and this suggests further house price increases, but at a slower rate, over the next few months on a seasonally adjusted basis.

From Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko: The Post-Crash Rebound, Not Job Growth, Drove 2013 Price Gains

Interactive Chart

Please take a look at this great interactive PDF with a map and average home price appreciation info for the entire United States by clicking  through to this link, you’ll find the US Map and much more state specific data in an interactive version.

US Housing app

We hope you find this information useful and never hesitate if you would like to see more or would like more information.

http://www.snohomishcountyhomes4u.com

 

 

US. Housing Price Appreciation and Real Estate News.

Real Estate News

In 2013, the housing markets with the biggest increases in asking prices were all rebounding from severe price drops in the housing bust. Home prices are still in rebound mode, but this effect will weaken in 2014. Job growth, in contrast, mattered little for price gains in 2013 but helped drive rent increases.

In December, the year-over-year increase in asking home prices slowed for the first time since the price recovery began in early 2012: prices rose 11.9% year-over-year in December, compared with November’s 12.2% year-over-year increase. Asking prices rose 0.4% month-over-month, seasonally adjusted, the third straight month of gains less than 1%.

Overall, regression analysis shows that recent price gains are most strongly associated with the severity of the local housing bust. Markets where prices fell most during the bust (roughly 2006 to 2011, but varies by metro) offered bargains for investors and other buyers who have helped bid prices back up over the past two years. A second important factor is foreclosures: adjusting for other factors, metros with a higher foreclosure inventory today – including many in Florida – have slower price growth. Job growth, however, had little impact on local home price gains in 2013: the relationship between job growth and price gains was positive but not statistically significant.

Therefore, year-over-year price gains in December 2013 are still primarily a reaction to the housing bust, but this rebound effect is fading as we enter 2014. Looking at the quarter-over-quarter price changes throughout 2013, the relationship between the severity of the housing bust and the recent price recovery was stronger earlier in the year than later in the year. More specifically, the correlation between peak-to-trough price change (FHFA) and the Trulia Price Monitor quarter-over-quarter change was -.59 in March; -.45 in June; -.43 in September; and -.33 in December. This correlation is moving closer to zero, which signifies that the rebound effect is fading.

As the housing market continues to recover, factors other than the rebound effect – like job growth – will matter more for price gains. That means slower but more sustainable price increases.

Note: These asking prices are SA (Seasonally Adjusted) – and adjusted for the mix of homes – and this suggests further house price increases, but at a slower rate, over the next few months on a seasonally adjusted basis.
 
  
 
 
Interactive Chart
 
Please take a look at this great interactive PDF with a map and average home price appreciation info for the entire United States by  clicking  through to this link, you’ll find the US Map and much more state specific data in an interactive version.

We hope you find this information useful and never hesitate if you would like to see more or would like more information.  

 
 
 

%d bloggers like this: