Matthew Gardner – Will There Be A Recession in 2020?

Windermere Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, answers the most pressing question on everyone’s minds: Will there be a recession in 2020? Here’s what he expects to see.


This post originally appeared on the Windermere.com Blog


Posted on January 27, 2020 at 1:31 pm
Ashley Abolafia | Posted in Buying a Home, Local Market Update, Selling a Home | Tagged , , , ,

Local Happenings – January & February 2020

WA State Parks Free Day

January 20th

Explore the natural winter wonderland of one of our state’s many expansive parks with free admission (no Discover Pass required) in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Learn more about State Parks Free Days here.

FIND A PARK HERE

MLK Day Celebration

January 20th

This year marks the 38th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! The day will begin at 8:30 AM at Garfield High School with an Opportunity Fair and Workshops, developed to inspire us to affect change in ourselves and our community. Our Rally Program starting at 11 AM, followed by the March to City Hall at 12:30, demands that our politicians and civic leaders use their 20/20 vision to see us and to make change in our city.

LEARN MORE HERE

Tacoma Home & Garden Show

January 23rd, 24th, 25th & 26th

It’s never too early to begin planning your home refresh or gardening! A vibrant marketplace with 250+ booths to explore and several unique feature displays to enjoy, the Home & Garden Show at the Tacoma Dome is the perfect place to shop for home-related products and services, get inspired for your next home project, connect with industry experts, and enjoy informative presentations from renowned local and international home professionals.

LEARN MORE HERE

11th Annual Belgian Beer Fest

January 25th

The Washington Beer Commission’s 11th Annual Belgian Fest will take place at Seattle Center’s Fisher Pavilion highlighting Belgian-style beers crafted by Washington breweries. Featured beer styles include Tripels, Dubbels, Saisons, Wits, Abbeys and Lambics. In keeping with this unique style, all of the beers are brewed with Belgian yeast.

LEARN MORE HERE

Lunar New Year Celebration in Bellevue

February 1st

The Bellevue Collection, Seattle Chinese Culture and Arts Association, and the Overseas Community Affairs Council – Republic of China (Taiwan) welcomes in the 2020 Lunar New Year with a celebration featuring numerous traditional and contemporary cultural demonstrations including martial arts, music, dance, visual arts and food sampling. The festival is open to audiences of all ages and includes fun, complimentary activities for all to participate in.

LEARN MORE HERE

A Night Like This! at Teatro Zinzanni

Now through February 16th

A Night Like This is filled with classic elegance, show stopping entertainment, and mouthwatering bites wrapped in an evening so enchanting you may never want to leave!  Christine Deaver as Penelope Wilde spins tall tales from her exotic travels to the Seven Seas. The staff dreams big, two star-crossed lovers find magic in the air, hoops spin, ballerinas dance, the chef longs for a 5 star review, and Master of the House, Cunio pulls you in with his powerhouse vocals.

GET TICKETS HERE

Pike Brewing Chocofest 2020

February 9th

Fall in love with sips, sweets, and savory bites at Pike Brewing Company’s Chocofest! This culinary adventure celebrates Valentine’s Day with unlimited bites from premiere local restaurants and talented chocolatiers alongside delicious sips from Pike Brewing, local cidermakers, craft wineries, and distilleries. Chocofest benefits local nonprofit Long Live the Kings, who work to restore wild salmon and support sustainable fishing in the Pacific Northwest.

LEARN MORE HERE

More Valentine’s Day Events

Warm up your winter with a fun run for charity, romantic cruise, hearty laughs or indulgent wine and chocolate pairings, all in the name of love.

February 8: Dash through the streets of Fremont in your most festive undergarments to support a good cause in Cupid’s Undie Run. (Seattle)

February 13-15: Come aboard the love boat and gaze upon our gorgeous city from the water while enjoying a delicious 4-course meal during this Valentine’s Day cruise. (Seattle and Kirkland)

February 14-15:  Though Shakespeare said that music is the food of love, we think it may actually be laughter, as proven by this Comedy of Love Improv where spontaneous scenes rife with passion, lust, heartbreak and everything in between will be created based on audience suggestions. (Seattle)

February 15-16: Whisk away to Bainbridge Island for a quick weekend getaway-meets-staycation. Indulge in elegant wine and chocolate pairings while visiting 5 island wineries.

 


This post originally appeared on GettheWReport.com


Posted on January 24, 2020 at 8:09 am
Ashley Abolafia | Posted in Local Community | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

The Gardner Report – Q4 2019 Western Washington

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 us!



ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

Employment in Washington State continues to soften; it is currently at an annual growth rate of 1.7%. I believe that is a temporary slowdown and we will see the pace of employment growth improve as we move further into the new year. It’s clear that businesses are continuing to feel the effects of the trade war with China and this is impacting hiring practices. This is, of course, in addition to the issues that Boeing currently faces regarding the 737 MAX.

In the fourth quarter of 2019 the state unemployment rate was 4.4%, marginally lower than the 4.5% level of a year ago. My most recent economic forecast suggests that statewide job growth in 2020 will rise 2.2%, with a total of 76,300 new jobs created.

HOME SALES

  • There were 18,322 home sales registered during the final quarter of 2019, representing an impressive increase of 4.7% from the same period in 2018.
  • Readers may remember that listing activity spiked in the summer of 2018 but could not be sustained, with the average number of listings continuing to fall. Year-over-year, the number of homes for sale in Western Washington dropped 31.7%.
  • Compared to the fourth quarter of 2018, sales rose in nine counties and dropped in six. The greatest growth was in Whatcom County. San Juan County had significant declines, but this is a very small market which makes it prone to extreme swings.
  • Pending home sales — a barometer for future closings — dropped 31% between the third and fourth quarters of 2019, suggesting that we may well see a dip in the number of closed sales in the first quarter of 2020.

HOME PRICES

  • Home price growth in Western Washington spiked during fourth quarter, with average prices 8.3% higher than a year ago. The average sale price in Western Washington was $526,564, 0.7% higher than in the third quarter of 2019.
  • It’s worth noting that above-average price growth is happening in markets some distance from the primary job centers. I strongly feel this is due to affordability issues, which are forcing buyers farther out.
  • Compared to the same period a year ago, price growth was strongest in San Juan County, where home prices were up 41.7%. Six additional counties also saw double-digit price increases.
  • Home prices were higher in every county contained in this report. I expect this trend to continue in 2020, but we may see a softening in the pace of growth in some of the more expensive urban areas.

DAYS ON MARKET

  • The average number of days it took to sell a home dropped four days compared to the third quarter of 2019.
  • For the second quarter in a row, Thurston County was the tightest market in Western Washington, with homes taking an average of 29 days to sell. In nine counties, the length of time it took to sell a home dropped compared to the same period a year ago. Market time rose in four counties and two were unchanged.
  • Across the entire region, it took an average of 47 days to sell a home in the fourth quarter. This was up nine days over the third quarter of this year.
  • Market time remains below the long-term average across the region, a trend that will likely continue until we see more inventory come to market — possibly as we move through the spring.

CONCLUSIONS

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.

The housing market ended the year on a high note, with transactions and prices picking up steam. I believe the uncertainty of 2018 (when we saw significant inventory enter the market) has passed and home buyers are back in the market. Unfortunately, buyers’ desire for more inventory is not being met and I do not see any significant increase in listing activity on the horizon. As such, I have moved the needle more in favor of home sellers.

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.


Posted on January 23, 2020 at 6:58 pm
Ashley Abolafia | Posted in The Gardner Report | Tagged , , , , ,

Local Market Update – January 2020

2019 ended with too many buyers chasing too few homes. December marked the sixth straight month of declining supply. The severe shortage of homes, historically low interest rates, and strong job growth are predicted to keep the local housing market strong in 2020. In a region starved for inventory, sellers can expect significant interest in new listings.

EASTSIDE

Homes sold briskly on the Eastside in December in all categories, including the luxury market. The number of listings were down nearly 50% from a year ago and the area had under a month of available inventory. That lack of inventory helped bump the median price of a single-family home up 4% from a year ago to $949,000, which is a $49,000 increase from November.  New large scale developments and a strong economic forecast indicate that the housing market will remain healthy.

VIEW FULL EASTSIDE REPORT

KING COUNTY

King County continues to be a seller’s market. Inventory in December was down nearly 40% compared to a year ago and ended the month with below one month supply. The median price of a single-family home rose 6% over the prior year to $675,000, up slightly from November. More affordable areas saw much higher increases. Southeast King County – which includes Auburn, Kent and Renton – saw home prices jump 16% over the previous year.

VIEW FULL KING COUNTY REPORT

SEATTLE

Numbers tell the story in Seattle. Inventory was down 25%, while the number of closed sales increased 19%. Strong demand here has kept the housing market solid, with prices fluctuating slightly month-to-month for much of 2019. The median price of a single-family home sold in December increased 2% from a year ago to $727,000. That was slightly down from $735,000 in November.

VIEW FULL SEATTLE REPORT

SNOHOMISH COUNTY

While the median home price in Snohomish County is less than that in King County, the gap continues to close. Buyers willing to trade a longer commute for a lower mortgage have kept demand and prices strong. Inventory here was off 36% in December as compared to a year ago. The median price of a single-family home rose 9% over a year ago to $510,000, an increase of $15,000 from November.

VIEW FULL SNOHOMISH COUNTY REPORT


This post originally appeared on GetTheWReport.com


Posted on January 14, 2020 at 1:22 pm
Ashley Abolafia | Posted in Buying a Home, Local Market Update, Selling a Home | Tagged , , , , , ,

WINDERMERE FOUNDATION DONATES $100,000 TO SEATTLE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

The Windermere Foundation’s recent contribution to Seattle Children’s Hospital‘s Homelessness Prevention Fund and Children’s Emergency Patient Fund will help 40 families secure stable housing and retain ownership of their homes this holiday season.

“No parent should have to choose between having a place to live and having a healthy child,” said Christine Wood, Executive Director of the Windermere Foundation. “Our goal is to help take on some of the financial burden of housing and
living expenses so they can focus on their child’s health.”

The Homelessness Prevention Fund provides low-income families with financial support to help cover imminent expenses, repairs, and other needed services. The one-time payment can spare a family from eviction or other hardships triggered by shelter insecurity.

“There are 104 children and 74 parents and guardians who will be able to stay in their homes during the holidays thanks to the Windermere Foundation’s generous donation,” said Roosevelt Travis, Director of the Department of Social Work at Seattle Children’s. “It is truly life changing.”

Additionally, a portion of the donation was directed to the Children’s Emergency Patient Fund which provides modest sums to cover food, utilities, transportation and other essentials to more than 2,000 families each year.

Over the years, Windermere donations to this fund have been used to pay for hotel vouchers, gas cards, and, in the saddest cases, funeral expenses.

“When I am contacted by Children’s seeking funding, I know not every situation is going to have a happy ending,” said Christine Wood. “We’re just grateful that we have the opportunity to relieve some of the burden for these families during what is a very difficult time in their lives.”

Since its establishment 30 years ago, the Windermere Foundation has raised over $40 million to support local low-income and homeless families, and Windermere has donated a total of $318,000 directly to Seattle Children’s Hospital since 2006. The Foundation is currently the 17th largest corporate philanthropist in the Puget Sound, as ranged by the Puget Sound Business Journal.

To learn more about the Windermere Foundation, please visit www.windermerefoundation.com


Read the full Windermere Foundation press release here.

A version of this story was first published on Inman.com (Note: subscription required)


Posted on January 9, 2020 at 2:51 pm
Ashley Abolafia | Posted in Local Community, Windermere Foundation | Tagged , ,

Local Market Update – December 2019

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Favorable interest rates and soaring rents boosted activity in the housing market in November. More buyers competing for less inventory kept home prices strong. With the supply of homes far short of demand, sellers can expect well-priced properties to sell quickly this winter.

EASTSIDE

With just over a month of available inventory, demand on Eastside remains very strong. Sales are brisk, with 45% of single-family homes selling in 15 days or less and 20% of homes selling for over list price. The median single-family home price in November rose 2% from a year ago to $900,000 and was unchanged from October.

VIEW FULL EASTSIDE REPORT

KING COUNTY

With more buyers vying for fewer homes, King County remains a solid seller’s market. While inventory traditionally shrinks in the winter, this November saw the number of new listings at historic lows. Demand was strong, with the number of closed sales up 12% over the same time last year. The median home price ticked up 3% over the prior year to $661,000 and was unchanged from October. The strong market sent prices higher in the more affordable price ranges, with some areas in South King County seeing double-digit increases.

VIEW FULL KING COUNTY REPORT

SEATTLE

Activity in Seattle was very strong in November. The number of closed sales was up 29% over the same time last year. With just over one month of homes available for sale, the city is starved for inventory. Seattle homes prices have ebbed and flowed slightly from month to month for much of this year. The median price of a single-family home sold in November was off 3% from a year ago to $735,000.

VIEW FULL SEATTLE REPORT

SNOHOMISH COUNTY

With an increasing number of buyers driving to affordability, the Snohomish County housing market remains robust. Inventory is very tight and continues to fall. The county finished November with just over one month of supply. The median price of a single-family home rose 5% over a year ago to $495,000. That figure is unchanged from October.

VIEW FULL SNOHOMISH COUNTY REPORT


This post originally appeared on GetTheWReport.com


Posted on December 17, 2019 at 7:12 am
Ashley Abolafia | Posted in Buying a Home, Local Market Update, Selling a Home | Tagged , , , , ,

Four Holiday Décor Trends to Inspire You This Season

The holiday season is here and for many of us, that means it’s time to deck the halls. If you’re looking for some inspiration and a place to start, here are some ideas that are certain to get everyone in the spirit.

 

A Tree of a Different Color

Photo Credit: Left – Lushome, Center – HGTV, Right – Christmas365

For many, there’s nothing more quintessential during the holidays than a Christmas tree decked out in ornaments. But acquiring a tree can be challenging and expensive. Moreover, housing a tree consumes time and space. That’s why we love the idea of an alternative tree. There are plenty of options you can buy online or create yourself using things you probably already have around the house. And if you miss the smell of a real tree, try a scented candle or essential oils.

 

The Season of Lights

Photo Credit: Amara

There’s something perpetually charming about twinkling lights. Whether you’re wrapping them around your front porch or adorning your fireplace mantle, extra lights deliver a warm glow during the holiday season. Getting creative and adding light to otherwise unexpected places, including bookcases, around headboards, or even in glassware, is a great way to keep everything looking merry and bright.

 

Act Natural

Photo Credit: Better Homes & Gardens

Not all holiday climates are built alike. If you’re expecting a white Christmas, you’re probably used to pine trees and winter brush, but for those of you located in regions where the mercury doesn’t drop, sprinkling in natural elements can transform your home into a wintery oasis. Holly and pine needles add a traditional touch, or consider a wreath of olive branches with some sleigh bells interspersed.

 

Bring it All Home at Dinner

Photo Credit: Amara

When decorating for the holidays, don’t forget the table! A sprig of holly adds a festive touch to your place settings. And instead of the traditional centerpiece, try placing candles in glass vases or mason jars to give your tablescape that added touch of holiday pizzazz.

 


This post originally appeared on the Windermere.com Blog


Posted on December 4, 2019 at 3:36 pm
Ashley Abolafia | Posted in For Your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

So You Bought an Investment Property – Now What?

Image Source: Christopher Harris on Unspash

Investing in a home is a great way to build passive income but earning from your investment will take a little groundwork to become a well-oiled machine. This is your beginner’s guide to owning an investment property so you can set up that foundation properly to avoid future headaches.

 

Make sure it’s livable

It’s important to start with your home inspection before you start making plans. Use the inspection report to prioritize the maintenance issues.

Before a tenant moves in, make sure the home is livable. Handle the important items that affect the livability of the property, either now or in the near future. If the inspector noticed a leak in the roof or holes that could lead to infestation, take care of those first. Other maintenance issues to prioritize are the fuel and the hot water source.

If your city has inspection and registration requirements, be sure to cross check those inspection checklists with your current property. If the property wouldn’t pass now, make sure it will pass by the time the city sees it.

 

Upgrade the space

Once your property is in livable condition, it’s time to upgrade. If you have any left-over budget after the necessities are handled, consider adding a bedroom or a bathroom where you can find the space. These rooms heavily impact the rental price, and the more you have the higher the price. If there’s no space for another bed or bath, think about finishing the basement or upgrading some of the appliances to make the property more attractive to potential tenants.

Use similar properties in your neighborhood as your inspiration. These units are your competition, think about what you can add, or even take away, that would help you compete. Ask yourself what about your home is unique and in what ways does that affect your rentability? If every unit in your area has hardwoods, how can you make your carpeted home appealing? Maybe new carpet? Or is switching to hardwoods, or vinyl laminate that looks like wood, worth it?

 

Market it to future tenants

You need two things in your listing: 1) Great Photos 2) An Amazing Description

After you’ve perfected the property, it’s time to tell potential tenants that it’s available. Creating the listing is essential in drawing eyes on the unit so you can show it to as many people as possible.

Renters looking to move are quick to make their first impression of a property with thumbnail photos on a map. So, take lots of great, bright, photos of the entire place to showcase the amenities and show potential tenants what it looks like, then choose the best photo to be the first in the lineup. Remember to get the lighting is just right to show every corner of the listing. Dark photos scare tenants away, making them think the unit is dingy and dirty. Light and bright photos show a clean home that’s move-in ready. They can imagine themselves living there a lot easier than in dark and cramped looking units.

Next, they’ll read the description. This is again where other listings in your area can help you.

Read other listings to structure your description and to draw inspiration on what tenants might think is important. Find the selling points and emphasize those above the unique features, especially if those unique features are obvious in the photos.


This post originally appeared on the Windermere.com Blog


Posted on November 25, 2019 at 7:00 am
Ashley Abolafia | Posted in Buying a Home | Tagged , , , , ,

Local Happenings – November & December 2019

NOVEMBER EVENTS:

Seattle’s Beaujolais Nouveau Wine Festival

November 22nd

Beaujolais Nouveau wine is released at midnight each year on the third Thursday of November. Its arrival as the first wine of the harvest sparks worldwide celebrations. We host simultaneous events in Seattle and in Portland on the third Friday of November to commemorate this special tradition. Both events take place on November 22, 2019 this year.

LEARN MORE HERE

Enchant Mischievous

November 22nd – 29th

A world of Christmas wonder awaits as Enchant, The World’s Largest Christmas Light Maze & Market moves inside T-Mobile Park, November 22 – December 29, 2019.

Surrounded by millions of dazzling lights, the memories you make will last well beyond the holiday season. Get lost in the world’s largest light maze. Take photos around the largest Christmas tree the surrounding area. Glide around the ice-skating trail or waltz through the Enchant Christmas Market.

Free admission for children ages 3 and under.

LEARN MORE HERE

Seattle Musicians Access to Sustainable Healthcare

November 22nd – 29th

Seattle, WA., October 1, 2019, Seattle Area non-profit SMASH – Seattle Musicians Access to Sustainable Healthcare – announced their second annual benefit concert, a tribute to the music of Neil Young. SMASH is a nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping the Northwest’s music community healthy by providing health education, advocacy, and access to preventative healthcare. SMASH’s 2018 benefit was a great success and featured the first reunion by Seattle legends Mother Love Bone in over 8 years. The event received kudos from publications like Rolling Stone and Stereogum.

LEARN MORE HERE

GeekCraft Expo Seattle

November 29th

GeekCraft Expo Seattle is a 2-day event being held from 29th November to 1st December 2019 at the Hangar 30 in Seattle, United States. This is a handmade crafts market specializing in handmade, geek-themed crafts of all kinds such as clothing, accessories, toys, home decoration, furniture, art.

LEARN MORE HERE

DECEMBER EVENTS:

Where to see holiday lights in and around Seattle

Throughout December

If you’ve lived around Seattle for a while, you know that, between our high longitude and endless cloud cover, our winters are extremely dark. But there’s an upside: We put up twinkle lights early and often, with many a street tree glowing by the end of October, even before the holiday lights season.

LEARN MORE HERE

76 Seafair Holiday Cruise

December 8th

This heartwarming event takes to the water as independent boaters and charter operators volunteer their boats, crews and time to host approximately 1,500 intellectually disabled guests on a special holiday cruise on Lakes Union & Washington. Over 200 boats will be decked out in lights and holiday cheer at various docks and yacht clubs. Once on board, guests are treated to a snack and beverages provided by Safeway – Albertsons and participating boat owners and skippers. Guest also enjoy entertainment, gifts and visits from Santa Claus as they cruise for two hours through the Montlake Cut to Lake Washington. Simultaneous cruises take place in Bremerton, Tacoma and Olympia.

LEARN MORE HERE


This post originally appeared on GetTheWReport.com


Posted on November 20, 2019 at 3:58 pm
Ashley Abolafia | Posted in Local Community | Tagged , , , , , , ,

LOCAL MARKET UPDATE – NOVEMBER 2019

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.

EASTSIDE

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.

VIEW FULL EASTSIDE REPORT

KING COUNTY

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.

VIEW FULL KING COUNTY REPORT

SEATTLE

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.

VIEW FULL SEATTLE REPORT

SNOHOMISH COUNTY

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.

VIEW FULL SNOHOMISH COUNTY REPORT


This post originally appeared on GetTheWReport.com


Posted on November 15, 2019 at 11:56 am
Ashley Abolafia | Posted in Buying a Home, Local Market Update, Selling a Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,