Seattle Times Market Digest – July 2016

The Seattle Times has just released the July 2016 issue of the Seattle Market Digest that is full of current market information for our area. These areas include the Labor Market, Retail Market, Regional Development, Travel Market, Economy, and of course, the Real Estate Market.

The review features highlights of each with promising rankings for Washington and Seattle:

  • Labor Market: Mixed signals on the Puget Sound-area jobs front
  • Retail Market: CVS giving local pharmacies some competition
  • Regional Development: Seattle convention center expansion hits $1.6 billion
  • Travel: Sound Transit puts $54 billion light-rail plan on ballot
  • Economy: Boeing says it signs historic sales agreement with Iran Air
  • Real Estate: Seattle-area home prices surge to new high

The Digest features a few statistics and articles on the real estate market, including …

Seattle-area home prices surge to new high

Apartment rents surge, vacancies plummet

Seattle-area home prices set record; 2nd-fastest rising in nation

To read the market digest in its entirety, click here.

 


VA Loan

Are you ready to buy a home and qualify for the VA loan? Let me help you out! As a local real estate broker in Bellevue, WA and a Veteran of foreign wars, I am committed to help you find the home you deserve through the VA loan.


Posted on July 8, 2016 at 10:32 am
Steve Harwood | Posted in Seattle Market Digest, Veterans in Real Estate |

Home Prices Soar Across Washington State

When you think about the Washington housing market, you probably focus on Seattle. After all, the Emerald City is home to several prominent companies that have brought home buyers to the city en masse, and two weeks ago it was recognized for officially having the hottest housing market in America. Previously people who wanted to live in Washington but weren’t too attached to city life could move to a number of suburbs just outside of Seattle. According to The Seattle Times, that may not be an option for long, as home prices are rapidly soaring across the entire state.

According to CoreLogic, Washington home prices in April rose 10.6 percent compared with a year ago. That’s the biggest jump of any state in the nation for the third month in a row – and it’s happening everywhere, from Bellingham to Spokane. Some attribute this spike to the steady flow of transplants from the Puget Sound region looking to escape traffic and higher costs.

The Seattle Times notes that many of these cities tend to have lower wages and fewer job opportunities, making it difficult for long-term residents and potential home buyers to cope. For example, Grays Harbor has an unemployment rate of 8.3 percent, third worst in the state and nearly double that of King County. It is also among the cities experiencing soaring housing costs. Director of the University of Washington’s Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies Peter Orser says, “There’s no reason to believe that this is going to stop anytime soon.”

Read the full article here at The Seattle Times


VA Loan

Are you ready to buy a home and qualify for the VA loan? Let me help you out! As a local real estate broker in Bellevue, WA and a Veteran of foreign wars, I am committed to help you find the home you deserve through the VA loan.


Posted on June 23, 2016 at 2:04 pm
Steve Harwood | Posted in Home Buying, Veterans in Real Estate |

VAREP’s Third Annual Policy Conference

SharwoodLincolnEarlier this month I had the privilege of traveling to Washington, D.C. with the Veteran’s Association of Real Estate Professionals (VAREP) for the third annual policy conference. The conference gave me a chance to speak to Congress on behalf of Veterans to convince them to improve the VA loan because, while it is the best loan available to a Veteran, it hasn’t changed much since it was established in 1944. Additionally, our organization has made it so that in the near future, loan officers will be required to ask potential borrowers about their military service. This is significant because, to date, over 60 percent of Veterans were never asked, which led to many of them not being aware of their VA benefits and/or taking advantage of the loan.

As a former United States Marine and a Veteran of Foreign Wars, I have a deeply personal connection to the VAREP. I have the honor of being the president of The VAREP Seattle chapter, so I am incredibly proud of these accomplishments and the progress we’ve made in empowering Veterans to live their best lives upon returning home from service. For those of you who are less familiar with the organization, here’s some insight into what we do.

VAREP is a 501-C3 non-profit and a national organization that seeks to empower industry professionals such as realtors, lenders, title/escrow, etc., with the knowledge to serve and help Veterans while guiding them through the home buying process. This is important because as more servicemen and women come home, we need to recognize that one of the best ways to welcome them back is by making sure they receive the benefits that they earned through their valiant service to our country. Those benefits include VA loans, which enable Veterans who haven’t had the advantage of building credit or savings to more easily purchase a home. They are one of many ways VAREP makes a huge difference in the lives of Veterans.

If you’re interested in learning more about VAREP or the VA home loan, contact me or visit our website.

SharwoodVAREP


Posted on June 20, 2016 at 4:28 pm
Steve Harwood | Posted in Home Buying, Veterans in Real Estate |

Seattle Times Market Digest – June 2016

The Seattle Times has just released the June 2016 issue of the Seattle Market Digest that is full of current market information for our area. These areas include the Labor Market, Retail Market, Regional Development, Travel Market, Economy, and of course, the Real Estate Market.

The review features highlights of each with promising rankings for Washington and Seattle:

  • Labor Market: Seattle is the third-best city for job seekers
  • Retail Market: Third Place Books and sister restaurant open in Seattle
  • Regional Development: Swedish gets green light for Cherry Hill campus expansion
  • Travel: A direct path into the heart of China's tech industry
  • Economy: Boeing sells 100 planes worth $11.3B to Vietnam's VietJet

The Digest features a few statistics and articles on the Real Estate Market, including …

Million-dollar home count triples across Seattle area in 4 years

Seattle No. 11 on readiness for 'tech revolution'

Rumor has it, Valve leasing space in new Bellevue tower

To read the market digest in its entirety, click here.


VA Loan

Are you ready to buy a home and qualify for the VA loan? Let me help you out! As a local real estate broker in Bellevue, WA and a Veteran of foreign wars, I am committed to help you find the home you deserve through the VA loan.


Posted on June 8, 2016 at 4:46 pm
Steve Harwood | Posted in Seattle Market Digest, Veterans in Real Estate |

Seattle No. 3 in 25 Best Cities for Jobs

Most people consider a change in their job the main reason for relocating. Other factors may pay a critical role, but usually it's how you're able to pay for the move that helps seal the deal.

According to Glassdoor's latest job review list, and a ranking by 24/7 Wall St., Seattle placed No. 3 on their report of the 25 Best Cities for Jobs. Glassdoor measured four aspects of U.S. metro areas: job opportunities, affordability, job satisfaction, and work-life balance. Ahead of the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA metro were the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA and San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA.

Here's the breakdown we saw for our metro:

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

  • Job openings as of April: 103,124
  • Median salary: $85,000
  • Population: 3,733,580
  • Net migration 2010-2015: +176,382
  • Unemployment rate: 5.0%

High paying jobs certainly helped cities rank on this list, although those higher paying jobs don't necessarily make it easier for everyone to afford housing. Those cities with less expensive housing available also ranked well (our latest statistics can explain how our home prices may have bumped us out of the top spot). Population growth and country-wide migration also played a part in the ranking.

Read more and check out the full list from King5.com.


VA Loan

Are you ready to buy a home and qualify for the VA loan? Let me help you out! As a local real estate broker in Bellevue, WA and a Veteran of foreign wars, I am committed to help you find the home you deserve through the VA loan.


Posted on June 2, 2016 at 9:07 am
Steve Harwood | Posted in Local News, Veterans in Real Estate |

Seattle Times Market Digest – May 2016

The Seattle Times has just released the May 2016 issue of the Seattle Market Digest that is full of current market information for our area. These areas include the Labor Market, Retail Market, Regional Development, Travel Market, Economy, and of course, the Real Estate Market.

The review features highlights of each with promising rankings for Washington and Seattle:

  • Labor Market: Boeing job cuts this year could reach 10 percent
  • Retail Market: Financial troubles sink Spur Gastropub
  • Regional Development: $50B Sound Transit proposal; big spending; big plan
  • Travel: Alaska Air clinches Virgin America deal for $2.6B
  • Economy: More visitors, spending more money, lift hotel and convention biz

The Digest features a few statistics and articles on the Real Estate Market, including …

Homeownership continued to fall in the first quarter

Seattle second hottest apartment market in the U.S.

Squeeze on homes for sale extends to several counties

To read the market digest in its entirety, click here.


Posted on May 16, 2016 at 10:01 am
Steve Harwood | Posted in Seattle Market Digest |

We’re In “Silicon Seattle” Now

In a recently published article by the Wall Street Journal, we were labeled "Silicon Seattle" due to our booming technology scene, and of course, high home prices that are making it difficult for home buyers to purchase their dream home.

Our record high home prices combined with record low inventory and frequent bidding wars have turned the Seattle area into the new San Francisco, according to the online article. "Seattle still lags behind San Francisco, where the median home value is $781,600, but buyers in both cities—many in the tech industry—are competing for a limited pool of properties."

For comparison, home-sale prices in the metro Seattle area rose 9.5% from 2014 to 2015, putting the median home value at $385,300, according to the National Association of Realtors. That’s below the limit for government-backed loans for the area, which currently is $540,500. But Seattle buyers who want a dream home in a desirable neighborhood will probably need a jumbo mortgage.

Make sure you read the full article from the Wall Street Journal for more information on how a jumbo mortgage, creative bargaining, and even a pre-inspection can help you land your dream home.


VA Loan

Are you ready to buy a home and qualify for the VA loan? Let me help you out! As a local real estate broker in Bellevue, WA and a Veteran of foreign wars, I am committed to help you find the home you deserve through the VA loan.


Posted on April 28, 2016 at 4:34 pm
Steve Harwood | Posted in Home Buying, Local News, Veterans in Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

The Gardner Report – Q1 2016

Matthew Gardner, Windermere's Chief Economist, has just released his latest quarterly report for the real estate market in Western Washington. He breaks down the economic overview of the region as well as what happened in the housing market over the last three months.

Here are some highlights:

• "Washington State has seen very robust growth over the past 12 months with the addition of 102,600 new jobs, which is 224,000 more jobs than seen at the previous peak in 2008."

• Home sales are up 3.8 percent from the same quarter last year. Sales activity, however, "continues to slow as a function of inventory constraints."

• Home prices are up by an average of 10.1 percent year-over-year. This is up from the 9.3 percent average growth in prices reported in the fourth quarter of 2015.

• "The average number of days it took to sell a home dropped by sixteen days when compared to the first quarter of 2015."

You can read the full Gardner Report online on Windermere.com.


Posted on April 25, 2016 at 10:00 am
Steve Harwood | Posted in Housing Market Statistics |

Supply of Inventory Affects Housing Market

The supply of available homes remains at critical levels, with both King and Snohomish counties showing less than a month’s supply of inventory. With demand far outstripping supply, home prices increased by double-digits over last year throughout the Puget Sound area. The red hot market allows sellers to call the shots. Since some sellers are hesitant to put their home on the market for fear they won’t be able to find their next home quickly enough, many are negotiating with buyers to stay in their house for several months after the sale to ease the transition.

Eastside

Click image for full report. Click image for full report.

Eastside home prices were up 17 percent over last March to $739,440. That price was unchanged from February of this year. Inventory, which traditionally increases in the spring, continued to shrink. With under a month’s supply of properties on the market, homes at every price point are selling quickly and often with multiple offers.

King County

Click image for full report. Click image for full report.

After breaking records in February, home prices hit a new high in March. The median price of a single-family home soared to $531,250, a 21 percent increase over the same time last year. Homes are selling within days, and the area has only several weeks of available inventory. Frustrated buyers are waiting for more sellers to take advantage of the jump in prices and put their home on the market.

Seattle

Click image for full report. Click image for full report.

A booming economy has drawn many new residents to the Seattle area. The city has the lowest inventory in the region, and that is reflected in home prices. The median price of a single-family home was up 20 percent over last March to $640,000. That was down slightly from the high of $644,950 in February.

Snohomish County

Click image for full report. Click image for full report.

After posting more moderate gains than King County so far this year, Snohomish County home prices jumped 13 percent over last March. The median price for a single-family home climbed to $385,000. With buyers increasingly looking to the area for more affordable home options, inventory has shrunk to historic lows. Multiple offers are now the norm.


VA Loan

Are you ready to buy a home and qualify for the VA loan? Let me help you out! As a local real estate broker in Bellevue, WA and a Veteran of foreign wars, I am committed to help you find the home you deserve through the VA loan.


Posted on April 18, 2016 at 11:05 am
Steve Harwood | Posted in Housing Market Statistics | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Seattle Times Market Digest – April 2016

The Seattle Times has just released the April 2016 issue of the Seattle Market Digest that is full of current market information for our area. These areas include the Labor Market, Retail Market, Regional Development, Travel Market, Economy, and of course, the Real Estate Market.

The review features highlights of each with promising rankings for Washington and Seattle:

  • Labor Market: Seattle now part of Obama tech job-training
  • Retail Market: Expanded UberEATS app launches in Seattle with free delivery to start
  • Regional Development: Expedia lays out plan for airy, expansive waterfront campus
  • Travel: Capitol Hill, UW light-rail stations open to big crowds
  • Economy: Washington leaps ahead in patents granted

The Digest features a few statistics and articles on the Real Estate Market, including …

Scarce listings drive King County home prices to new highs

Seattle top 5 for super-rich millennials

To read the market digest in its entirety, click here.


Posted on April 7, 2016 at 2:47 pm
Steve Harwood | Posted in Seattle Market Digest |