Monthly Archives: January 2020

Northwest MLS 2019 Real Estate Sales Statistics

Source: NWMLS (January16, 2020)

Members of Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported 92,503 closed sales during 2019, slightly fewer than the previous year, but the dollar volume surpassed 2018 by more than $1.8 billion for gain of over 3.8%.

Measured by dollars, last year’s sales of single family homes and condominiums were valued at just over $49billion. The sales activity reflects the work of around32,000brokers at more than2,400 member offices. The member-owned Northwest MLS serves 23 counties around the state.Collectively, these counties encompass more than 82% of the state’s population.

Of last year’s 92,503completed sales, 80,734were single family homes (87.3%of the total) and 11,769were condos (12.7%). Newly-built residences accounted for about 13%of the sales.

The area-wide median price for last year’s sales of single family homes and condominiums(combined)was $425,000, a gain of about 5.7%from the year-ago figure of $402,000. A comparison by county shows median sales prices ranged from $149,900in Ferry County to $619,000in King County.

Year-over-year prices for single family homes (excluding condominiums) increased about 6.1%system-wide, jumping from $410,000in 2018 to last year’s median price of $435,000. Condo prices were flat, rising less than one percent from the 2018 figure of $352,000 to last year’s median selling price of $355,000.

Inventory shortages persisted throughout 2019. Brokers added 110,940 new listings (down 5.3% from the 2018 total of 117,177), but that volume was outpaced by pending sales.

Member-brokers reported 114,410 mutually accepted offers during 2019, a slight gain (1.9%) over 2018 when they logged 112,267 pending sales.Last year, the area-wide supply, as measured by months of inventory, averaged 1.78months, about the same as 2018. Among the counties in the MLS service area, Thurston had the lowest level,averaging just 1.14months, followed by Pierce at 1.3 months.Five other counties reported averaging less than two months of supply. In general, industry analysts use a 4-to-6 month range as an indicator of a balanced market, favoring neither buyers nor sellers.

Sales of high-end single family homes outgained 2018by about 3.3%, with homes selling for more than $1 million rising from 6,101in 2018 to last year’s total of 6,299; of these 65 residences commanded $5 million or more. The highest priced home in the 2019 sales report, located in Hunts Point, sold for $37,500,000. Sales of luxury condos fell below 2018 totals, declining 11.4%. During 2019, a total of 2,951condos sold for $500,000 or more. The previous year, 3,332 condos sold for a half-million dollars or more. Of last year’s high-end condo sales, 391 buyers paid $1 million and up. The most expensive condo, at nearly $4.7 million,was in downtown Seattle.

What Will 2020 Bring for Borrowers?



Source: Peter DeVries, Loan Consultant – Loan Depot

Jan. 9, 2020    

  2019 was the best year for mortgage rates since 2011, but what will the new year bring for the mortgage industry?

As we’ve seen throughout the second half of last year, fixed mortgage rates averaged less than 4%. Most economists speculate that rates will remain just south of the 4% mark for the remainder of the year, however, several factors could impact how long today’s low rates will last.

Firstly, the latest crisis with Iran could serve as a catalyst for a drop in 2020 as instability among foreign relations typically drives down long-term interest rates. Secondly, during election years, the Fed is typically reluctant to make any major moves and choose to remain on the sidelines as it relates to hikes or cuts. As long as rates hold steady, consumers are likely to begin the highly anticipated spring buying season earlier.

However, even if rates tick north of 4% as this monumental year unfolds, it’s still extremely attractive when compared to nearly 4.5% rates in early 2019. Despite somewhat low inventory, 2020 will remain an opportune year for first-time buyers, especially considering the positive combination of low rates, newly expanded loan limits, and numerous low down payment options available.
 
  More borrowers will qualify for loans as a result of the recent increase in loan limits. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced the increase of the 2020 conforming loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In most parts of the country, the 2020 loan limit for one-unit properties will increase to $510,400 from $484,350. This will provide more buying power to homebuyers across the nation. High-cost area loan limits are also increasing.
 
  Check out FHFA’s full list of the new loan limits for each county nationwide.  
  Mortgage rates have been edging lower for nearly 2 weeks and are now at their lowest in exactly 1 month. 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.72% for the week ending January 2, down two basis points from the prior week. By contrast, mortgage rates stood at 4.45% a year ago. 15-year fixed rates dropped by three basis point to 3.19%.

If you or your clients are in the market for a purchase or refinance, now may be a favorable time to apply and save on interest over time. Don’t forget to ask me about loanDepot’s mello smartloan™ and how you or your clients will enjoy a faster, more secure, stress-free mortgage process. Source: http://www.freddiemac.com/pmms/  
  If you have any questions, contact me anytime! I can help your clients explore the best mortgage options for either a purchase or refinance.  
Peter DeVries NMLS# 1156114
Loan Consultant
619 Commercial Ave Unit 24
Anacortes, WA 98221-1730
Office: (360) 706-6104
Cell: (360) 791-8064
My Website
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Rates, terms and availability of programs are subject to change without notice. loanDepot.com, LLC is a sister company to mellohome, a licensed Texas real estate brokerage. loanDepot.com, LLC. All rights reserved. NMLS #174457 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org). For more licensing, please visit www.loanDepot.com/licensing.
 
This message was sent from loanDepot.com, LLC to bo@signatureservice.com as a result of an existing business relationship. It was sent from: loanDepot.com, LLC, 619 Commercial Ave Unit 24 `, Anacortes, WA 98221-1730.

Eager home buyers were plentiful in December but their choices were meager

Source: NWMLS

KIRKLAND, Washington (January 6, 2020) – “The buyers are out there and are showing up at open
houses and making multiple offers on new listings,” was how one industry leader summarized
December’s housing activity involving members of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.


Frank Wilson, Kitsap regional manager and branch managing broker at John L. Scott Real Estate in
Poulsbo, also said the severe shortage of inventory – “much lower than in years past” – will lead to
continued buyer frustration and escalating home values. He noted one of his colleagues added a new
listing the day after Christmas and it quickly drew 11 offers.


Newly-released figures from Northwest MLS show inventory at the end of December was down 31%
from the same month a year ago, with only 8,469 active listings compared to the year-ago total of 12,275.
The figures include single family homes and condominiums across the 23 counties in the MLS service
area.


Last month marked the sixth straight month of declining inventory, noted James Young, director of the
Washington Center for Real Estate Research. MLS figures show inventory peaked in June when the
database had 16,680 active listings ̶ about twice as many as December.


Inventory for single family homes and condos (combined) was down by more than 30% in seven
counties: Thurston (-54%), Pierce (-38.9%), King (-38.8%), Snohomish (-35.6%), Mason (-32%), Kitsap
(-30.6%), and Skagit (-30.5%). System-wide there is only about 1.2 months of supply.


The inventory of single family homes (excluding condos) is especially tight in several counties, notably
Thurston (-54%), King (-41.4%), Pierce (-40%), Snohomish (-36.1%), and Kitsap (-34.3%).


Robb Wasser, branch manager at Windermere Real Estate/East and NWMLS director, noted the sharp
drop in King County marked the first time since March 2018 that the supply of homes dropped below one
month. “Looking all the way back to 2012 when home values first began recovering, King County has
only logged six months with supply levels lower than where we currently stand,” he remarked.


“This market is unlike any market I’ve seen in the South Sound over the past 40 years. Too many buyers
chasing too few properties,” remarked Dick Beeson, principal managing broker at RE/MAX Northwest in
Gig Harbor.


December’s volume of active listings included 3,777 new listings added during the month, but during the
same timeframe, 5,943 sellers accepted offers on their properties. That number of pending sales was up
about 4.7% from twelve months ago.


Brokers said December is typically a slow month for home sales with holidays and historically cold, wet
weather, but several MLS representatives commented on last month’s surge in activity: