Scarce Listings Drive Up Home Prices

"Low inventory" has been the phrase describing our real estate market for months now, and it doesn't look like that will be changing any time soon.

The median price of single-family homes sold in King County last month hit a new high of $514,975, up about 20 percent over the median price a year ago, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) said Monday. This all-time high comes at the same time as the region experiences record-low inventory, creating a hot and active market well before the typically busy spring home-buying season.

The widely-watched gauge of supply (the ratio of active listings to pending sales) hit its lowest level since at least 2003 in all three counties in February, according to The Seattle Times' analysis. Normal is about six months of supply, and last month King and Snohomish counties each had less than a month's supply, while Pierce County had just over a month's supply.

According to The Seattle Times, the historic shortage of homes for sale combined with a recent drop in interest rates, has caused the dramatic run-up in prices, experts say. In February, King County had 1,923 homes listed for sale, the MLS reported, but a greater number of pending sales that hadn't closed yet: 2,299.

"We cannot continue to sell more homes than we list," said Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate. "When are we going to start seeing some listings? That scares me more than anything else."

The current run-up in prices isn't like the 2006-2007 bubble, Gardner said, because buyers have more skin in the game and lenders are vetting borrowers more closely. Still, Gardner expects price gains to slow down eventually.

The Seattle Times stated the Eastside remains the most expensive submarket: It's median price, $739,975, was about 20 percent higher than a year ago. Southwest King County and North King County also saw median prices rise roughly 20 percent to $320,500 and $497,500, respectively.

So if you're still waiting for a sign to sell your home, and you haven't jumped into this profitable sellers' market yet, give me a call and we can get your home listed to sell for top dollar.

For more information, read the original article from 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 March 11, 2016 at 9:23 am
Steve Harwood | Category: Home Selling, Local News

Kirkland And Bellevue Named Most Livable Cities in US

 

The Fiscal Times recently released their list of the top 25 "most livable" cities in the U.S. and Washington State was well represented with three cities making this list! Olympia came in at No. 20 while Kirkland and Bellevue came in at No. 25 and No. 2, respectively.

With a strong economy and a housing market beginning to balance out, it is so exciting to see our Eastside cities making national news! We all know how fun the cities are and it's great to see others agree.

Here's why Kirkland made the cut: On the coast of Lake Washington, Kirkland offers a host of enviable features from a charming downtown to an abundance of trails and a dynamic economy. Residents enjoy pools, community centers, nearby wineries and fine restaurants.

According to The Fiscal Times, Bellevue ranked high on this list due to boasting some of the best schools in the country along with Bellevue College and City University of Seattle. The city offers a small-town environment but many entertainment options and events, such as the annual Bellevue Arts and Crafts Fair. It often hosts technology companies which has helped develop its downtown.

Make sure you read the full list from The Fiscal 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 February 29, 2016 at 1:31 pm
Steve Harwood | Category: Home Buying, Home Selling, Local News | Tagged , , , ,

Sell Your Home For A Profit In King County

According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, people who sold their home in King County in October reaped an average 48 percent gain over their original purchase price, a new report shows.

That profit point puts King near the top of the 127 U.S. counties analyzed by RealtyTrac, a California-based housing data provider.

Only six other counties surpassed King County in the average increase between what homeowners bought and sold their homes for.

“The Seattle housing market remains remarkably tight and very competitive. Buyers are still fighting over any new listing which is well priced and this has led to rapid price escalation,” said Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate, covering the Seattle market.

Are you thinking about selling soon?

December and January are the quiet months before the spring real estate frenzy. And with an anticipated hot 2016, this is the perfect time to start your prepping and planning for getting your home on the market. Set up a meeting with me and I can help you plan and get ready to sell!

For more information, make sure you read the full list from Puget Sound Business Journal.

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 December 10, 2015 at 3:05 pm
Steve Harwood | Category: Home Selling, Veterans in Real Estate | Tagged , , , ,

Seattle Home Prices on the Rise

The S&P/Case Shiller 20 City index was released earlier this week and the results were very positive for home prices in our region. 

The Seattle area's seasonally adjusted home prices increased 0.7 percent in August, compared to 0.1 percent across all 20 cities in the index and 0.4 percent nationally.

We usually expect the number of home sales to slow down as we head into the cooler months. However, a steady demand and a decline in available homes could continue to drive up prices. Seattle-area home prices are up 7.6 percent for the year, compared to 5.1 percent across all 20 cities in the index and 4.7 percent nationally.

While that's a significant increase, San Francisco home prices are up 10.7 percent. That could help continue the migration of tech workers from the Bay Area to the Puget Sound region, where home prices are much more affordable.

The promise of a thriving tech talent force moving to our area is driving companies to expand in the region. This is great news if you're considering putting your home on the market. The fall temperatures may be cooling down, but our home prices keep getting hotter.

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.

 

Source: Puget Sound Business Journal

Posted on October 30, 2015 at 8:39 am
Steve Harwood | Category: Home Selling, Local News, Veterans in Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Is the Market Really Cooling?

We've all seen the headlines claiming the market is finally starting to cool down, but is it really starting to normalize? Median home sales prices decreased by about 3 percent in King County, but other indicators are showing that our housing market isn't ready to cool off just yet.

New statistics from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) show the median sales price of single-family homes had a month-over-month decrease in both King and Pierce counties. However, it was still the best July on record. Realtors in the four-county region logged nearly 8,250 pending sales, up 15 percent over a year ago. According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, that was the fifth straight month that pending sales exceeded 8,000, something that hasn't happened since 2005.

Signs that the market is still hot are represented by the still increasing year-over-year median sales prices. In King County, these were up 3.6 percent to $485,000. Even Snohomish County median home sales price was $363,000 – that's an increase of 8.35 percent from July 2014 to July 2015.

Further proof of the continued heated market is the continuing decline of inventory. In Seattle, it dropped to a staggering 1.1 months of inventory (anywhere between 3 and 6 months is balanced). Additionally, the majority of closed sales on the Eastside sold over list price last month.

A few statistics may have pointed downward last month, but the majority are still reflecting a very busy, very hot real estate market. Image and statistical data via Puget Sound Business Journal.

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 August 14, 2015 at 10:08 am
Steve Harwood | Category: Home Buying, Home Selling, Housing Market Statistics | Tagged , , , , ,

Existing Home Sales at Highest Level Since 2009

Numbers of sales continue to rise and the real estate market is getting stronger. The number of existing home sales jumped to their highest level in nearly six years last month, according to the National Association of Realtors. We're finally starting to see some of the strong impact first-time home buyers are having on the market.

The 5.1 percent increase in May brought sales to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million. That’s 9 percent above the pace a year ago. Included in this total are sales of single-family homes, townhomes, condominums and co-ops.

"Solid sales gains were seen throughout the country in May as more homeowners listed their home for sale and therefore provided greater choices for buyers," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

"However, overall supply still remains tight,” he said. “Without solid gains in new home construction, prices will likely stay elevated – even with higher mortgage rates above 4 percent."

In Seattle's Eastside, the median price for a single-family home was $655,000. That's up 6 percent from a year ago. 

The number of first-time buyers rose to 32 percent, the highest level since September 2012. That’s an “encouraging sign,” Yun said.

Read the original article on Puget Sound Business Journal.

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 26, 2015 at 9:06 am
Steve Harwood | Category: Home Selling | Tagged , , , ,

Seattle’s Housing Market Gets Even Tighter

It's certainly an odd market as inventory remains low while pending sales and closed sales have continued to climb. This is an incredible seller's market if you're thinking of selling your property!

The number of home and condo sales have jumped 15 percent last month over the previous year. According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS), home prices have also jumped 9 percent.

In a balanced market, there is a four- to six-month supply of inventory. But in King County there was only 1.2 months of inventory last month, and several neighborhoods near Seattle's job centers had less than a month of supply. 

As inventory has fallen, sales activity is at record high. During the first five months of the year, the number of pending sales in the four-county metro outpaced the previous record set in 2005.

The irony of our current housing market situation is there are plenty of people who want to sell, which would fix the Puget Sound's need for inventory. However, some are feeling they may not be able to buy something new until there are more homes on the market.

This may be what we see in the near future, but this is no housing bubble. I have no doubt the market will find a way to balance itself out.

Check out the original article on Puget Sound Business Journal for more information.

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 12, 2015 at 9:03 am
Steve Harwood | Category: Home Selling | Tagged , , , ,

New Home Sales and Prices Jump in April

With the sellers’ market being so strong with low inventory, I've been keeping my lookout for new and existing home sales at the forefront for any of you who may be thinking of buying in the near future. It seems that new homes might just be the booming business right now in home sales.

There's good news for home builders and maybe for the economy as a whole: Sales of new homes increased nearly 7 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 517,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

That’s still a below-average rate historically, but it’s up 26 percent compared with April 2014. Plus, home builders were relieved that sales bounced back in April after slumping in March.

“Today’s numbers are consistent with other data we’ve seen recently and indicate a continuing, gradual improvement in the housing market,” said David Crowe, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders.

Nationally, the median sales price for a new home rose to $297,300 in April, up from $285,500 in March.

New homes, however, represent only a fraction of the housing market. The good news is that existing home sales topped 5 million for the second consecutive month. Sales could be higher if more homes were on the market, Realtors said. But that doesn't mean it won't turn around, and relatively soon…

This supply shortage, plus higher home prices, could spur demand for more home construction.

Check out the original article on Puget Sound Business Journal for more information.

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 May 29, 2015 at 9:04 am
Steve Harwood | Category: Home Selling, Veterans in Real Estate | Tagged , , , ,

Why is Seattle the Fastest Growing City in the US?

Is Seattle Silicon Valley's next favorite stop? That was the headline in the national blog TechCrunch over the weekend for a story penned by Seattle's own Hadi Partovi, founder of Code.org.

We've seen some pretty dramatic changes over the last ten years and since then we've become a powerhouse for the technology industry. Besides the major companies like Microsoft and Amazon, other well-known startups gaining traction are Zulily, Tableau and Expedia.

The Puget Sound Business Journal asked readers why they thought Seattle was the fastest-growing city in the U.S. Technology, they responded, was the biggest driver of growth. So far 54 percent of respondents have said the region's designation as a technology mecca has the largest impact.

However, it's not just the tech scene that makes Seattle so desirable. Thirty-two percent of respondents said the regions quality of life and natural beauty were major drivers of the growth as well.

Additionally, we may all be talking about the lack of inventory and huge jumps in home prices, but homes are still less expensive here than they are in other tech cities like San Francisco and New York.

Read the full story from Puget Sound Business Journal for more information.

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 May 1, 2015 at 9:00 am
Steve Harwood | Category: Home Buying, Home Selling, Veterans in Real Estate | Tagged , , , ,

Historic Spike in Puget Sound Home Prices

Home prices in some Puget Sound areas are higher than ever before, and real estate experts say buyers are willing to spend more and more to get their dream home.

Local homes are now more expensive, on average, than during the housing boom of 2007.

As we've been hearing for a few weeks, we're still in the middle of an all-time inventory low for five straight months. This is having potential homebuyers struggling through many multiple offer situations.

"The cities of Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond, Issaquah, home values are actually more expensive than they have ever been," said Svenja Gudell, Zillow's director of economic research.

The median price for a home sold last month in Seattle was $535,000, which is 19 percent more than the same month last year and the biggest year-to-year jump in five years.

Prices are even up in Snohomish and Pierce counties, but not nearly as much as King County.

We probably won't see a slowdown in the rising prices for few months while the market caters to sellers in the Puget Sound. At least not until we see an increase in inventory.

Read the full article from KOMO News for more information.

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 helping you find the home you deserve through the VA loan.

Posted on April 17, 2015 at 9:05 am
Steve Harwood | Category: Home Buying, Home Selling | Tagged , , , , , ,