Home Buyer Frustration Continues

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Home Buyer Frustration Continues

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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.

 

Homes For Heroes

Picture of who is elgible

I am privileged to announce that I have officially joined the Homes for Heroes organization in their mission to help heroes across the country save thousands of dollars in the process of buying or selling their home.

What is Home for Heroes?

Homes for Heroes is an organization that was formed after the tragic events of 9/11 as a way to say “Thank You” to the heroes of our nation. The Homes for Heroes organization is composed of a network of real estate professionals who are prepared to give real savings to those who serve their communities when they buy, sell, or refinance a home. This program is our way to say, “Thank you!”

Who qualifies as a hero?

Our core group of local heroes includes but is not limited to: Military personnel, Police Officers, Firefighters, First Responders, Educators, and Health Care Workers.  If you think you might qualify, please contact me and tell me about what you do for your community. When you are buying, selling or refinancing a home, let us say thank you for all that you do!

How much will I save?

The total amount you save will depend on the final selling or buying price of your home. Homes for Heroes Affiliate Realtors agree to rebate equal to 25% of the gross commission they receive on your transaction. Discounted lender fees are also offered on purchases and refinances with a Homes for Heroes lender. The savings can be thousands of dollars!

Are there a lot of extra applications, forms, and paperwork?

No! Homes for Heroes promises no extra forms, no red tape, no fine print, no hidden fees, and no catch!

Homes for Heroes offers me the chance to help our local community heroes achieve their dreams of home ownership.  If you are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity, please contact me for more info or you can register now at www.snohomishcountyheroes.com to get started.

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November Real Estate Market.. HOT, HOT!

 

Snohomish County Statistics as of November 2016

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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!!

Christmas Cheer

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Did you know? 

There are currently 78 people living in the U.S with the name S. Claus and one Kriss Kringle? What were those parents thinking?

Mistletoe was used by Druid priests 200 years before the birth of Christ in their winter celebrations. They revered the plant since it had no roots yet remained green during the cold months of winter. 

In the show, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” the Grinch cuts out a Santa beard, but never wears it.

12 million packages are delivered by the U.S. Postal Service every day during the holiday season through Christmas Eve. The busiest delivery day: December 20th.

Finally A Politically Correct Christmas Carol

Deck the halls with boughs of non-endangered plant species
Fa la la la la, la la la la
“Tis the season to be self-actualizing
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Don we now our organic apparel
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Toll the ancient non-denominational-winter-solstice-holiday-Carol
Fa la la la la, la la la la 
See the blazing log on non-denominational-winter-solstice-holiday non-endangered wood before us,
Play the harp without unnecessary brutality and join the chorus
Sing we emotionally stable in a collective group effort,
Heedless of the weather patterns despite the effects of global warming,
Fast away the chronologically challenged year passes
Hail the new year without any implicit ageism, ye persons
Dance in a non-ierachical manner in  merry measure,
While I tell on non-materialistic, non-demoninations-winter solstice-holiday treasure.
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Finally- What do you call people who are afraid of Santa? 

Claus-trophobic

Happy Holidays!

Trends, local news & Real Estate dose of Awesomeness!

Check out these articles for great information about our community and the real estate industry.

REAL ESTATE news

What to expect for the 2017 housing market

Optimism and caution set to greet real estate in 2017

MORTGAGE & FINANCE news

How to save money as a last minute holiday shopper

How important is your credit score?

6 steps to take to ensure you don’t outlive your money

HOME trends 

Some “green” features can increase your home’s value more than others

Pinterest 100 pins for 2017

Design recipes to make your space bright

LOCAL news

Washington considers road use tax based on how many miles you drive

The new SR 99 Tunnel is 70 percent complete

Seattle must halt plan for more backyard cottages

Boeing cutting production of 777 beginning next year

WEEKLY DOSE OF awesomeness

Tricked-out tiny house has motorized furniture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curious on bank owned properties?

Here is a current list of just listed bank owned in the Snohomish County area. If you would like more information or to see one of these feel free to reach out to me.

Click Link to View Property 23115 ALDER DR
GRANITE FALLS, WA 98252

2.0 br, 2.0 ba | 1380 sq. ft.
MLS ID: 1058850
$251,450
Just Listed

 

Click Link to View Property 2931 NEWBERG RD
SNOHOMISH, WA 98290

2.0 br, 2.0 ba | 1504 sq. ft.
MLS ID: 1058443
$379,900
Just Listed

 

Click Link to View Property 25 E BEECH ST
EVERETT, WA 98203

2.0 br, 1.0 ba | 771 sq. ft.
MLS ID: 1056881
$262,500
Just Listed

 

Click Link to View Property 3431 159TH PL NW
STANWOOD, WA 98292

3.0 br, 2.0 ba | 1062 sq. ft.
MLS ID: 1037488
$264,900
Back on Market

 

Click Link to View Property 11220 180TH ST SE
SNOHOMISH, WA 98296

3.0 br, 2.5 ba | 1330 sq. ft.
MLS ID: 1036137
$450,000
Price Reduced

 

Click Link to View Property 19231 SOUNDVIEW DR NW
STANWOOD, WA 98292

2.0 br, 2.0 ba | 0 sq. ft.
MLS ID: 1040470
$329,900
Price Reduced

 

Click Link to View Property 9620 54TH AVE NE
MARYSVILLE, WA 98270

3.0 br, 2.0 ba | 1211 sq. ft.
MLS ID: 1027039
$229,900
Active

 

Click Link to View Property 6811 74TH DR NE
MARYSVILLE, WA 98270

3.0 br, 2.5 ba | 1354 sq. ft.
MLS ID: 1026982
$324,000
Active

 

Click Link to View Property 14423 368TH AVE SE
SULTAN, WA 98294

2.0 br, 1.0 ba | 880 sq. ft.
MLS ID: 1013263
$74,900
Active

 

Click Link to View Property 7513 HERMOSA BEACH RD
MARYSVILLE, WA 98271

3.0 br, 1.0 ba | 620 sq. ft.
MLS ID: 1024843
$119,900
Active

 

Click Link to View Property 13516 131ST AVE NE
LAKE STEVENS, WA 98258

3.0 br, 3.0 ba | 2058 sq. ft.
MLS ID: 1027729
$474,900
Active
Click Link to View Property 4404 106TH PL NE
MARYSVILLE, WA 98271

4.0 br, 3.0 ba | 1512 sq. ft.
MLS ID: 1057708
$289,500
Active