A steady influx of buyers continued to strain already tight inventory throughout the area in October. Home sales were up, as were prices in much of the region. With our thriving economy and highly desirable quality of life drawing ever more people here, the supply of homes isn’t close to meeting demand. Homeowners thinking about putting their property on the market can expect strong buyer interest.
As the Eastside continues to rack up “best places” awards, it’s no surprise that the area is booming. Development is on the rise, fueled primarily by the tech sector. The appeal of the Eastside has kept home prices here the highest of any segment of King County. The median single-family home price in October was stable as compared to the same time last year, rising 1% to $900,000.
King County’s 1.74 months of available inventory is far below the national average of four months. Despite the slim selection, demand in October was strong. The number of closed sales was up 5% and the number of pending sales (offers accepted but not yet closed) was up 11%. The median price of a single-family home was down 2% over a year ago to $660,000. However, some areas around the more reasonably-priced south end of the county saw double-digit price increases.
Seattle home prices took their largest year-over-year jump in 12 months. The median price of a single-family home sold in October was up 3% from a year ago to $775,000, a $25,000 increase from September of this year. Seattle was recently named the third fastest-growing city in America. Real estate investment is surging. A growing population and booming economy continue to keep demand for housing –and home prices—strong.
Both the number of home sales and home prices were on the rise in Snohomish County in October. Overall homes sales increased 7%, and the median price of a single-family home rose 5% over a year ago to $495,000. Supply remains very low, with just six weeks of available inventory.
This post originally appeared on GetTheWReport.com
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.
Washington State employment has softened slightly to an annual growth rate of 2%, which is still a respectable number compared to other West Coast states and the country as a whole. In all, I expect that Washington will continue to add jobs at a reasonable rate though it is clear that businesses are starting to feel the effects of the trade war with China and this is impacting hiring practices. The state unemployment rate was 4.6%, marginally higher than the 4.4% level of a year ago. My most recent economic forecast suggests that statewide job growth in 2019 will rise by 2.2%, with a total of 88,400 new jobs created.
Home Sales Activity
- There were 22,685 home sales during the third quarter of 2019, representing a slight increase of 0.8% from the same period in 2018 and essentially at the same level as in the second quarter.
- Listing activity — which rose substantially from the middle of last year — appears to have settled down. This is likely to slow sales as there is less choice in the market.
- Compared to the third quarter of 2018, sales rose in five counties, remained static in one, and dropped in nine. The greatest growth was in Skagit and Clallam counties. Jefferson, Kitsap, and Cowlitz counties experienced significant declines.
- The average number of homes for sale rose 11% between the second and third quarters. However, inventory is 14% lower than in the same quarter of 2018. In fact, no county contained in this report had more homes for sale in the third quarter than a year ago.
- Home price growth in Western Washington notched a little higher in the third quarter, with average prices 4.2% higher than a year ago. The average sales price in Western Washington was $523,016. It is worth noting, though, that prices were down 3.3% compared to the second quarter of this year.
- Home prices were higher in every county except Island, though the decline there was very small.
- When compared to the same period a year ago, price growth was strongest in Grays Harbor County, where home prices were up 22%. San Juan, Jefferson, and Cowlitz counties also saw double-digit price increases.
- Affordability issues are driving buyers further out which is resulting in above-average price growth in outlying markets. I expect home prices to continue appreciating as we move through 2020, but the pace of growth will continue to slow.
Days on Market
- The average number of days it took to sell a home dropped one day when compared to the third quarter of 2018.
- Thurston County was the tightest market in Western Washington, with homes taking an average of only 20 days to sell. There were six counties where the length of time it took to sell a home dropped compared to the same period a year ago. Market time rose in six counties, while two counties were unchanged.
- Across the entire region, it took an average of 38 days to sell a home in the third quarter. This was down 3 days compared to the second quarter of this year.
- Market time remains below the long-term average across the region and this trend is likely to continue until more inventory comes to market, which I do not expect will happen until next spring.
This speedometer reflects the state of the region’s real estate market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors. I am leaving the needle in the same position as the first and second quarters, as demand appears to still be strong.
The market continues to benefit from low mortgage rates. The average 30-year fixed rates is currently around 3.6% and is unlikely to rise significantly anytime soon. Even as borrowing costs remain very competitive, it’s clear buyers are not necessarily jumping at any home that comes on the market. Although it’s still a sellers’ market, buyers have become increasingly price-conscious which is reflected in slowing home price growth.
As Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, Matthew Gardner is responsible for analyzing and interpreting economic data and its impact on the real estate market on both a local and national level. Matthew has over 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.
In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Matthew sits on the Washington State Governors Council of Economic Advisors; chairs the Board of Trustees at the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington; and is an Advisory Board Member at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington where he also lectures in real estate economics.
This post originally appeared on the Windermere.com Blog.
Kirkland isn’t just Costco’s brand name- it’s got imaginative coffee shops, a charming downtown and incredible sunsets.
Kirkland has a wealth of places to visit, from picturesque parks to hip coffee spots to a quickly-growing downtown. There are way too many cool spots to document all in one place, but here are few locations to visit.
Sheri Putzke, Windermere real estate agent in the area, knows a thing or two about Kirkland. One of her favorite spots for coffee is urban COFFEE lounge, which serves up both coffee and alcohol, along with unique drinks like the chai-der. Yes, that’s chai and hot apple cider, combined to create a very cozy autumnal drink. Strange concept, but highly recommended!
Downtown Kirkland is another favorite spot of Sheri’s- specifically, Park Lane, arguably the focal point in DT Kirk. Am I allowed to call it DT Kirk? We’ll see if it catches on.
In the summer, Park Lane becomes a hub of activity. On Sundays in the summer, Park Lane is closed to cars, so pedestrians can stroll, browse and dine in the sunshine. It’s a great way to take full advantage of the vibrant street.
Marina Park Pavilion is also a favorite spot of Sheri’s- especially when there’s a radiant sky like the one below. It’s her favorite spot to sit back and watch sunsets.
If you’re a foodie, Kirkland, of course, has some incredible restaurants as well. Lilac Cafe and Cafe Juanita are there for your Italian food needs, while Bottle & Bull is a swanky 21-and-up restaurant that serves drinks based on the life and times of Ernest Hemingway.
This article originally appeared on KING 5’s Evening.
While fall usually brings a decrease in sales activity, the opposite was true in September. The number of listings on the market dropped by double digits and home sales rose. It is still a seller’s market, however prices have stabilized. With interest rates near historic lows and employment levels at historic highs, the housing market is expected to stay strong throughout the fall and winter.
Long the most affluent area of King County, the Eastside continues to record the highest home prices in the region. The median price of a single-family home on the Eastside was $928,500 in September, an increase of 4% from a year ago and a decrease of less than 1% from August. The Eastside construction boom continues, indicating that developers remain confident in the strength of the local economy.
The number of homes on the market in King County fell by almost 20% in September when compared to a year ago. However, last fall saw an increase in inventory that was unusual for the time of year. The median price of a single-family home was $660,000, down just 1% from the same time last year. Cities in King County, outside of Seattle, all saw price increases. Sales were up 7% indicating no shortage of buyers.
Prices remained relatively stable, with the median price of a single-family home in September dipping 3% over a year ago to $750,000. As tech companies continue to recruit top talent to the area, Seattle’s population keeps booming and demand for housing remains high. While home sales traditionally dip in the fall, the city saw sales increase by 12% in September as compared to last year. Rising rents may push more buyers into the market.
Buyers continue to be drawn to Snohomish County thanks to a strong economy and housing costs that are considerably more affordable than King County. That influx of buyers is also driving up prices. The median price of a single-family home in September was $492,500, up from $484,995 the same time last year. At $167,500 less than the median price in King County, it’s a relative bargain.
This post originally appeared on GetTheWReport.com
Distinguished by a sought-after Kirkland address, Crosswater is a boutique community of 16 luxury townhomes characterized by contemporary architecture and a private setting.
The community, built by Toll Brothers, just opened for presales, offering interested homebuyers the chance to get in early and personalize their homes to their style and taste.
The homes range in size from 1,941 to 2,194 square feet. All of the plans have 3.5 baths.
“One popular design that we’re featuring here is our Burke plan,” says Sheri Putzke, community sales manager. “Its incredible great room surrounded by impressive floor-to-ceiling windows has made this an award-winning design. All of our floor plans are thoughtfully designed with efficient layouts appreciated by homeowners. Flex spaces on the lower level offer versatility as an office, bonus room or guest suite.”
All Toll Brothers homebuyers are offered two complimentary consultations with a designer at the Kirkland Design Studio. At these sessions, buyers can select hardware, paint colors, lighting, cabinets and countertop surfaces, as well as many other design touches to distinguish their home.
As part of the builder’s national sales event, homebuyers who purchase by Sept. 29 receive 50% off Design Studio options up to $30,000, plus additional vendor incentives.
“These appointments are a big hit with our buyers and a huge perk of working with Toll Brothers,” says Putzke. “Buyers have an opportunity to touch and feel the finishes, and select options for their home based on their personal taste. Even if they choose to stay within the included features, they still have choices. It’s not like they’re limited to just A, B or C color schemes. At the same time, if they do choose to upgrade, they have even more options. Agents are welcome to accompany their customers to help select items that might offer a better return on investment in the long run.”
Residents living at Crosswater will appreciate the central Kirkland location, with nearby casual and fine dining and convenient shopping. Juanita Beach Park is nearby, providing easy access to water activities on Lake Washington, and Juanita Village is 2 miles away.
The community is located close to I-405 and major employment centers in Bellevue, Redmond and Seattle. Children living at Crosswater can attend schools in the highly rated Lake Washington School District.
“The quiet location really distinguishes the community as it’s set back from the road,” says Putzke. “There’s a lot of vegetation and it’s situated in a peaceful, lush setting.”
Prices: From the low $800,000s
This article originally appeared in on SeattleTimes.com
A decrease in inventory coupled with an increase in sales activity led to fewer options for home shoppers in August. There is some good news for would-be buyers as mortgage rates have dropped to their lowest level in three years. Demand remains high but there simply aren’t enough homes on the market. Brokers are hoping to see the traditional seasonal influx of new inventory as we move forward.
The median price of a single-family home on the Eastside was $935,000 in August, unchanged from a year ago and up slightly from $925,000 in July. New commercial and residential construction projects are in the works. Strong demand for downtown condos has prompted plans for yet another high-rise tower to break ground next year.
Home prices in King County were flat in August. The median price of a single-family home was $670,000, virtually unchanged from a year ago, and down just one percent from July. Southeast King County, which has some of the most reasonable housing values in the area, saw prices increase 9% over last year. Inventory remains very low. Year-over-year statistics show the volume of new listings dropped 18.5% in King County.
Homes sales were up 12% in Seattle for August, putting additional pressure on already slim inventory. There is just over six weeks of available supply. There are signs that prices here are stabilizing as the median home price of $760,000 was unchanged from a year ago and up less than one percent from July. With its booming economy, demand here is expected to stay strong.
Buyers looking for more affordable options outside of King County pushed pending sales, mutually accepted offers, up nearly 16% over a year ago. Home prices have softened slightly. The median price of a single-family home in August was $490,000, down slightly from the median of $492,225 the same time last year.
This post originally appeared on GetTheWReport.com
The real estate market continued to moderate in July. Inventory rose and home values softened, providing buyers with increased selection and more favorable pricing. With strong job growth and interest rates holding at below 4 percent, brokers expect the market to remain solid through fall.
The market remains strong on the Eastside. The current tech boom continues to fuel demand, buoyed by Google’s recent plans to build out another office in Kirkland. An increase in inventory gives buyers more time to find the right home for their budget. The median price of a single-family home on the Eastside was $925,000 in July, down 2 percent from the same time last year.
Home prices in King County continued to ease. Buyers took advantage of lower prices and new inventory to boost home sales in July. The median price of a single-family home was $680,000, a 3 percent decline from the same time last year. More moderately-priced areas in the south end of the county saw continued price growth.
It’s no surprise that Seattle is the top city in the country where millennials are moving. Apple plans to add 2,000 jobs in Seattle. The first of 4,500 Expedia employees will start moving into Interbay soon. While demand here is expected to stay strong, prices continue to cool. The median price of a single-family home was $755,000, down 6 percent from a year ago and a decrease of 3 percent from June. Southeast Seattle, which generally has more affordable homes, saw the median home price rise 9 percent over the same time last year.
Inventory remains very tight in Snohomish County. The number of listings on the market were up 6 percent over last year, and the county has only six weeks of available supply – far short of the four to six months that is considered balanced. The median price of a single-family home in July was $502,000 – up slightly from the median of $495,000 a year ago.
This post originally appeared on GetTheWReport.com
A strong work ethic and empathetic kindness show up in Sheri Putzke’s #1 passion, which is “complete client satisfaction”. Sheri understands that a real estate transaction is “always a big deal” and not just from a financial perspective. Purchasing or selling a home usually occurs because of something else going on in a client’s life – marriage, a growing family, death, divorce, or a new job. Sheri considers it a privilege to help her clients negotiate transitions that are often emotional and overwhelming. “I like to solve problems and help people. I try to remain even-keeled, staying focused on resolving any issues. When a real state need arises, I want to be the person they call,” she says,
Sheri’s transition into real estate was natural, albeit unexpected. Her husband Mark has built homes for over 20 years and is the sole proprietor of Chandler Homes. Initially, Mark had a business partner whose wife was a real estate agent. When Mark bought out his partner, he suggested Sheri get her license. Sheri has never regretted her decision. Now she and Mark both “live and breathe” real estate. “I help him, he helps me,” she explains. They enjoy going to open houses together, keeping current on the latest and greatest in new trends and fun ideas.
Sheri was primarily a stay-at-home mom to the couple’s three children – Tristan, Ashley, and Chloe – when she started with Hallmark Realty in downtown Kirkland. The low-key, mellow office was a convenient fit for her. In 2009, when her youngest started full-time school, Sheri joined Windermere. Windermere’s technology, education, resources, contacts, and Accountability Group program were instrumental in taking her business to the next level. In her Accountability Group, Sheri and two other agents of similar age and with similar time in the business bounced ideas and best practices off each other. Knowing Sheri’s experience with her husband’s construction business, one group member connected Sheri with CamWest (now Toll Brothers). Working onsite for several years with CamWest dramatically increased Sheri’s expertise with new home sales. The hours were long, but the opportunity for learning and meeting new clients was priceless. Sheri’s knowledge deepened by answering questions about everything from foundations to finishes, guiding buyers through the selection of custom structural options and interior finishes, and educating buyers on the build process. “Site work required a huge commitment, sometimes 5-7 days per week, but eventually the time and tenacity paid off,” says Sheri.
To this day, selling new construction remains an important component of Sheri’s business. Builders seek Sheri’s well-regarded opinion on floor plans, finishes, and pricing. While new construction sales are “not for everyone” given the structured schedule, Sheri credits it with helping jump-start her real estate career. Additionally, understanding what goes into building a home has given Sheri the skill to help buyers, even on resales, better understand inspection issues and possible remedies.
Fourteen years later, Sheri’s clientele is predominantly comprised of past clients and their family and friends. Sheri averages 50+ closed transactions a year and has repeatedly been recognized as one of the top realtors in King and Snohomish counties. However, financial success is not Sheri’s motivation. She “pays absolutely no attention” to the dollar values, focusing instead on creating the best possible experience for her clients. When asked about her awards, Sheri “stays humble”, simply referring people to her website (sheriputzke.com).
Sheri has never forgotten her early years in real estate and the challenges of building a business. Though she continues to hold open her own listings, Sheri gives other agents the opportunity to do so whenever possible, knowing how much those experiences helped her. “I greatly value my relationships with other agents. We are at our best when we work cooperatively–attending one another’s open houses, sharing information and resources, and always treating each other with respect,” she says.
Sheri’s best advice to newer agents? “Just keep going. There were so many times I wanted to quit in my first year. I felt overwhelmed and intimidated. I stuck with it, asked hundreds of questions, and my confidence grew.” Sheri also stresses the importance of honesty. “Always consider today’s buyer as a future seller. Being forthright with them about the value/desirability of their home purchase (and with sellers about the market value of their home) fosters trust,” she advises. Sheri educates first-time homebuyers on the care and maintenance of their home and remains a resource for them after the sale closes.
For more experienced agents, Sheri advocates surrounding oneself with the “best in the business”. She says, “As you get busier, you can’t do it all yourself. It’s important to build a team of like-minded professionals to support you.”
Sheri is a “one-man show” and the primary contact to her clients, but she acknowledges she couldn’t do it without support. She credits her longtime Transaction Manager, Danielle, with helping keep close track of contract deadlines and handling most aspects of the job that require sitting at a desk. It would drive Sheri crazy to sit in a chair all day but Danielle, though licensed, prefers working “behind the scenes”. The two make a great team. “Support” also includes a Social Media Manager, expert stagers and photographers, and top-notch Escrow and mortgage professionals.
Often working far more than 40 hours a week, Sheri strives to keep everybody (meaning clients, Mark, and her children) happy. Working hard is easy. Balance is the challenge. “It is getting easier now that my children are older, but rarely does a day go as planned. My work happens when it happens,” she admits.
Daily exercise is a critical component for restoring balance–running or working out helps to calm and clear Sheri’s mind. The family’s second home in Suncadia also offers respite. Sheri truly loves her on-the-go, fun, interesting, ever-changing job. She chose her tagline, Love Where You Live, because “The Pacific Northwest offers such stunning natural beauty. Views are a passion of mine, and it’s amazing to integrate a great view with incredible architecture. It’s such an honor and privilege to live and work here. I love my home and my community. I want my clients to feel the same way!” Her success and client satisfaction rating suggest they do.
The market in our region appears to be moderating. Inventory is up, prices are relatively stable and homes are taking a bit longer to sell. However, with less than two months of available inventory, supply is still far short of demand. Steady buyer activity, low interest rates and a thriving economy are making for a strong summer in the housing market.
The median price of a single-family home on the Eastside was $950,000 in June, down 3% from the same time last year and up $21,000 from May. Many buyers are looking to take advantage of the Eastside jobs boom with Amazon announcing plans to build a 43-story tower in Bellevue and Google expecting to reach 1 million square feet of office space in Kirkland.
There was good news for buyers in June as a growing supply of homes helped boost inventory close to 2012 listing levels. The median price of a single-family home in King County was $695,000. That figure is a 3% drop from a year ago and virtually unchanged from May. 33% of homes sold above list price; another sign prices are moderating when compared to 52% of homes sold over list price this time last year.
Home inventory in Seattle inched slightly higher in June. However, with less than two months of supply, the city is still a solid seller’s market. Apple’s plan to turn Seattle into a key engineering hub can only add to demand. The median price of a single-family home in Seattle was $781,000, down 4% from a year ago and nearly unchanged from May.
After hovering around $500,000 since March, home prices in Snohomish County crept up in June. The median price of a single-family home was $515,500, as compared to $511,500 last June. Snohomish County continues to attract buyers priced out of the King County market, putting an additional strain on supply which stands a just 1.5 months of inventory.
This post originally appeared on GetTheWreport.com
We are often asked, “Which is the better buy, a newer or older home?” Our answer: It all depends on your needs and personal preferences. We decided to put together a list of the six biggest differences between newer and older homes:
Surprisingly, one of the biggest factors in choosing a new home isn’t the property itself, but rather the surrounding neighborhood. While new homes occasionally spring up in established communities, most are built in new developments. The settings are quite different, each with their own unique benefits.
Older neighborhoods often feature tree-lined streets; larger property lots; a wide array of architectural styles; easy walking access to mass transportation, restaurants and local shops; and more established relationships among neighbors.
New developments are better known for wider streets and quiet cul-de-sacs; controlled development; fewer aboveground utilities; more parks; and often newer public facilities (schools, libraries, pools, etc.). There are typically more children in newer communities, as well.
Consider your daily work commute, too. While not always true, older neighborhoods tend to be closer to major employment centers, mass transportation and multiple car routes (neighborhood arterials, highways and freeways).
Design and layout
If you like Victorian, Craftsman or Cape Cod style homes, it used to be that you would have to buy an older home from the appropriate era. But with new-home builders now offering modern takes on those classic designs, that’s no longer the case. There are even modern log homes available.
Have you given much thought to your floor plans? If you have your heart set on a family room, an entertainment kitchen, a home office and walk-in closets, you’ll likely want to buy a newer home—or plan to do some heavy remodeling of an older home. Unless they’ve already been remodeled, most older homes feature more basic layouts.
If you have a specific home-décor style in mind, you’ll want to take that into consideration, as well. Professional designers say it’s best if the style and era of your furnishings match the style and era of your house. But if you are willing to adapt, then the options are wide open.
Materials and craftsmanship
Homes built before material and labor costs spiked in the late 1950s have a reputation for higher-grade lumber and old-world craftsmanship (hardwood floors, old-growth timber supports, ornate siding, artistic molding, etc.).
However, newer homes have the benefit of modern materials and more advanced building codes (copper or polyurethane plumbing, better insulation, double-pane windows, modern electrical wiring, earthquake/ windstorm supports, etc.).
The condition of a home for sale is always a top consideration for any buyer. However, age is a factor here, as well. For example, if the exterior of a newer home needs repainting, it’s a relatively easy task to determine the cost. But if it’s a home built before the 1970s, you have to also consider the fact that the underlying paint is most likely lead0based, and that the wood siding may have rot or other structural issues that need to be addressed before it can be recoated.
On the flip side, the mechanicals in older homes (lights, heating systems, sump pump, etc.) tend to be better built and last longer.
One of the great things about older homes is that they usually come with mature tress and bushes already in place. Buyers of new homes may have to wait years for ornamental trees, fruit trees, roses, ferns, cacti and other long-term vegetation to fill in a yard, create shade, provide privacy, and develop into an inviting outdoor space. However, maybe you’re one of the many homeowners who prefer the wide-open, low-maintenance benefits of a lightly planted yard.
Like it or not, most of us are extremely dependent on our cars for daily transportation. And here again, you’ll find a big difference between newer and older homes. Newer homes almost always feature ample off-street parking: usually a two-care garage and a wide driveway. An older home, depending on just how old it is, may not offer a garage—and if it does, there’s often only enough space for one car. For people who don’t feel comfortable leaving their car on the street, this alone can be a determining factor.
Finalizing your decision
While the differences between older and newer homes are striking, there’s certainly no right or wrong answer. It is a matter of personal taste, and what is available in your desired area. To quickly determine which direction your taste trends, use the information above to make a list of your most desired features, then categorize those according to the type of house in which they’re most likely to be found. The results can often be telling.
If you have questions about newer versus older homes, contact your local Windermere Real Estate broker to learn more!
This post originally appeared on the Windermere.com Blog.