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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
Email Me
     
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:

Revolt Against the Elites

Source: Jim Rickards

You’re acquainted with recent demonstrations in Hong Kong. But this is not a local phenomenon. Protests bordering on riots are occurring in Barcelona, Paris, Santiago, Baghdad, Caracas and elsewhere. Meanwhile, the UK, Israel, Italy and the U.S. all have governments that are divided to the point of paralysis.

When you add it all up, it is reasonable to ask if we are watching the beginning of the end of the existing order.

This article offers a closer look at the situation in Santiago. But the larger point is that we are witnessing a global surge in urban protests against elites and governments that either deny human rights or block paths to economic progress or both.

Investors with gold, silver, land, hard assets, fine art and other tangibles are in the best position to survive the worst.

Comment from Bo Foster:

Real estate is a hard asset! No matter what one’s political views are, even with its own short term value fluctuations, long term, real estate is a lot more likely to survive economic upheavals.

Bo

Northwest MLS brokers say transition to fall creating opportunities for buyers

Source: NWMLS

KIRKLAND, Washington (October 7, 2019)

Northwest Multiple Listing Service brokers reported year-
over-year gains in pending sales, closed sales and prices, but its report summarizing September activity
also showed an 18% drop in inventory compared to a year ago.


“The transition into the fall housing market creates opportunities for homebuyers,” suggested J. Lennox
Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate. “Although there are fewer listings than what
buyers find during peak summer months, there is also less competition” for the available inventory, he
added.


While the intensity of sales activity is typically lower for new listings in the fall and winter, Scott noted
“It appears we are headed toward a more intense winter market than last year.” He said he expects the
number of unsold listings will continue to decrease once the winter “clean-up” of inventory begins.


At the end of September, MLS brokers reported 15,982 total active listings, down more than 18% from
the same month a year ago when the selection totaled 19,526 listings. Only three of the 23 counties served
by Northwest MLS – Clark, San Juan and Whatcom – had year-over-year gains in inventory, while 18
counties had double-digit drops. Thurston County reported the sharpest shrinkage, at nearly 35%.


“September’s housing market was a bit of a roller coaster, up in certain areas and down in others,”
commented OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate.. Within the four-county Puget Sound
region, Pierce County prices rose more than 10% thanks to high demand and low inventory, he noted.
“Buyers continue to be drawn to the area thanks to more affordable housing costs, but this influx is also
driving up prices,” he remarked.


MLS data show the median price for last month’s home sales in Pierce County ($379,950) was $213,800
less than the median price in King County ($593,750). A comparison of single family prices (excluding
condos) reveals a $275,500 difference between the two counties.


“In King County, prices were down nearly 2.7% while pending sales rose nearly 10%. This tells us there
is no shortage of buyers in the Greater Seattle area,” stated Jacobi. He also said home prices normally
start to taper off this time of year, “so this isn’t a major cause for concern.” Within King County, prices
rose in four of the six sub-markets; only Seattle (down 3.2%) and Vashon (down almost 28%) reported
drops.


The median price for single family homes and condos that sold last month in King County was $593,750,
down from the year-ago figure of $610,000 and the first time it dipped below $600,000 since January.
Three other counties, Okanogan, Pacific, and Clallam, also reported year-over-year price drops. Joining
Pierce County with double-digit price increases from a year ago were eight other counties.


System-wide, prices were up 5%, rising from $400,000 a year ago to $420,000. The volume of closed
sales increased about 4.4% from a year ago (7,962 versus 7,630).

The Future of the US Housing Market

Source: Peter DeVries, Loan Depot

This month marks the 11th anniversary of the government takeover of the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Last Thursday, The Trump administration released its long-awaited blueprint to reform the nation’s housing finance system and privatize GSEs Fannie and Freddie.

The plan consists of a series of recommended legislative administrative reforms aimed to create a competitive mortgage market with a limited government role, protect American taxpayers against future bailouts, and help guide Americans toward the path to homeownership.

Whether the government successfully recapitalizes these agencies and ends this conservatorship or not, loanDepot is uniquely and proactively positioned with capital and a world class capital markets team to benefit from any changes that may transpire.

Home Price Trends

  • The CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates that home prices will increase by 5.4% on a year-over-year basis from July 2019 to July 2020
  • Over a quarter of Millennials have expressed interest in buying a home in the next year
  • Connecticut and South Dakota were the only states to post declines in their year-over-year home prices

The expected reacceleration of home prices over the next year to just over 5% is caused by lower mortgage rates, making it more affordable for millennials to enter the market in the upcoming months. This increased demand for housing is the major driver for higher home prices, which we’ll likely continue to see rise for the foreseeable future.

Source: https://www.corelogic.com/insights-download/home-price-index.aspx

Home Price Trends

Mortgage rates dropped again this week! The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.49% for the week ending September 5, a slight drop from 3.58% prior week. By contrast, mortgage rates stood at 4.54% a year ago, almost a full percentage higher than today. The historic low for 30-year rates was 3.31% in November 2012.

If you or your clients are in the market for a purchase or refinance, this fall may be a favorable time to apply for one and save on interest overtime. Don’t forget to ask me about loanDepot’s mello smartloan™ and how it could help 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 option for both purchase and refinancing.

Peter DeVries
NMLS# 1156114
Loan Consultant
1025 Black Lake Blvd SW Ste 1C
Olympia, WA 98502-1120
Office: (360) 706-6104
Cell: (360) 791-8064
My Website
Email Me

Home buyers seeking affordability are expanding search outside Greater Seattle job centers

Source: NWMLS

KIRKLAND, Washington (September 9, 2019) – Depleted inventory continues to frustrate would-be
buyers in Western Washington. Many of these potential homeowners are expanding their search beyond
the major job centers in King County, according to market watchers who commented on the latest
statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.


The MLS report summarizing August activity shows less than two months of supply system-wide, and
only about 1.6 months of supply in the four-county Puget Sound region. The sparse selection is pushing
up prices. For last month’s sales of single family homes and condos across the 23 counties served by
Northwest MLS, prices rose nearly 6.2% compared to a year ago.


“Areas immediately outside the Puget Sound region and along the I-5 corridor continue to see double-
digit house price growth,” noted James Young, director of the Washington Center for Real Estate
Research (WCRER) at the University of Washington. He attributes the increase to high demand in these
areas “due to first-time homebuyers who struggle to afford housing in King and Snohomish counties as
well as from existing homeowners cashing out of Seattle and King County.”


“While August is always a slower time for listings and sales, what is really surprising this year is the
decrease in new listings taken, while pending sales increased,” observed Mike Grady, president and COO
of Coldwell Banker Bain.


A comparison of year-over-year statistics for August shows the volume of new listings dropped nearly
13% system-wide and 18.5% in King County. Last month’s total number of new listings (10,488)
declined 6.3% from July’s volume (11,193).


Brokers reported 10,602 pending sales (mutually accepted offers) during August for a 4.9% increase from
a year ago. Pending sales rose nearly 6.6% in the Puget Sound region, led by Snohomish County with a
gain of 15.8%. Six counties had double-digit gains while an equal number had declines.


Grady noted June and July were also lackluster this year with regard to listings “when typically they are
both still fairly active coming off spring. The pending sales numbers indicate that buyers are indeed out
there and willing to purchase, but there are simply not enough homes,” he commented, adding,
“Everything that is listed is getting sold and fairly quickly.”


The volume of total active listings is down more than 10% from a year ago, with only four of the 23
counties in the report showing a year-over-year increase (Chelan, Grays Harbor, San Juan and Whatcom).
Fourteen counties had double-digit drops. At month end there were 16,697 active listings in the MLS
database, down from the year-ago total of 18,580.


MLS figures show only seven counties have more than three months of supply, with four-to-six months
generally considered the volume needed for a balanced market.