By Evan Caldwell | Jan. 29, 2019
Stanwood, Wash. – Economic growth doesn’t come without some burden.
“We are suffering from our own successes,” said economist Matthew Gardner. “We have a robust economy, and that means growing pains.”
The solid economy equates to more jobs — and more people — moving to the region, putting continued pressure on infrastructure and housing markets, he said. Gardner spoke about the national, state and local economic past, present and future to about 250 people at an economic forum Friday, Jan. 24, at the Camano Center.
“If you want a job, you can certainly find a job,” said Gardner, citing Snohomish County’s low 2.5% unemployment rate. “And jobs and income growth should increase this year.”
Snohomish County continues to be one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation. By 2025, an estimated 250,000 people are predicted to join the 800,000 already living in the county, according to estimates by the state Office of Financial Management.
However, finding affordable places to live is the current challenge, said Gardner,
Gardner is the chief economist for Seattle-based Windermere Real Estate and also sits on the Washington Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors. He 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 UW, where he also lectures in real estate economics.
“People are coming, that’s for sure, you can see it in the housing demand,” he said. “We need to be building more homes.”
In the Stanwood and Camano ZIP codes of 98292 and 98292, the number of new listings per month continued a steady downward trend in 2019, according to Northwest MLS data. In December 2019, there were 129 homes for sale in the area, down from 148 in December 2018.
Prices have climbed. The average median price for a home in Stanwood increased to $443,000 in 2019 from $430,000 in 2018 and $389,995 in 2017, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service data. On Camano Island, the median cost of a home rose to $434,000 in 2019 from $410,000 in 2018 and $394,975 in 2017.
“Because inventory is so tight, housing prices will continue to rise in 2020 .. and it could be a very tight market for a very long time,” Gardner said. “So, why aren’t there more homes for sale? They’re living in them longer and moving less frequently for jobs.”
Americans nowadays are staying in their homes for about eight years before moving – up from four years from 2000-09, according to Attom Data Solutions, a real-estate data firm.
In addition to newcomers, millennials are starting to enter the housing market, adding increased pressure in the first-time homebuyer category, Gardner said. Even the few hundred new homes and about 150 new apartment units planned to be built in Stanwood in the next few years are insufficient to meet demand, Gardner said.
“To better compete, we need to create housing people can afford to live in — the teachers, the firefighters,” he said. “And certainly cities will need to address infrastructure needs, and governments will need to work on mass transit options.”
However, several factors can stymie new home construction, such as cost of land and materials, permitting constraints and an expensive construction workforce. In Snohomish County in 2019, there were 2,221 permits to build new single-family homes, down from 5,719 permits in 2005. On Camano in 2018, there were 375 permits for new home construction, down from a high of 752 in 2005.
Gardner said the U.S. economy is due for a minor recession in the coming years. The U.S. was last in recession from 2007-09.
“We might have a recession in 2021 in some segment of the economy, but it’ll be OK; it’ll be modest,” Gardner predicted, citing data showing major companies slowing the pace of hiring in the run up to the presidential election. “What do companies do when they’re worried? Nothing. Like a deer in headlights, they freeze, they’re being cautious.”
This article was originally published on goskagit.com.
By Evan Caldwell | Jan. 15, 2019
Stanwood, Wash. – Matthew Gardner returns with his crystal ball to peek at what 2020 holds for the local economy and housing market.
Gardner, the chief economist for Seattle-based Windermere Real Estate, is the keynote speaker for the 2020 Economic and Housing Forecast community forum 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, at the Camano Center, 606 Arrowhead Rd. on Camano Island. The forum will take a macro and micro look at the economy, the economic forecast and housing.
“In 2020, I expect payrolls to continue growing, but the rate of growth will slow as the country adds fewer than 1.7 million new jobs,” Gardner wrote in his 2020 forecast last month. “Due to this hiring slow down, the unemployment rate will start to rise, but still end the year at a very respectable 4.1%.”
Gardner, who spoke to a packed house at last year’s event, wrote “many economists, including me, spent much of 2019 worried about the specter of a looming recession in 2020. Thankfully, such fears have started to wane.”
The forum is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. Call 360-387-4663 or visit windermerestanwoodcamano.com/2020-forecast. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for a cocktail and appetizer hour, followed by Gardner’s presentation and then a question-answer session with the audience.
This article was originally published on goskagit.com.
Nationally Recognized Economist, Matthew Gardner, Secured as Keynote Speaker for Community Forum in January
Windermere Real Estate Camano Island & Stanwood has secured nationally-recognized, expert chief economist, Matthew Gardner, as keynote speaker for Real Estate Forecast 2019, a community forum scheduled for Friday, January 25, 2019 at the Camano Center. The forum, which will take a macro and micro look at economy, housing, and the economic forecast, is open to the public at no cost. Reservations are required. Doors will open at 6PM; the presentation will begin at 6:30 PM.
“This past year, our office has been inundated with questions about the economy and whether or not it’s still a good time to buy or sell,” said Marla Heagle, owner/broker of Windermere Real Estate Camano Island & Stanwood. “We encourage our neighbors to attend the forum to get a broader understanding of the current and anticipated state of the real estate market, locally and beyond. We are privileged to have a recognized expert in Mr. Gardner at this year’s event who will, undoubtedly, shine new light on the topic for us all.”
As the Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, Matthew Gardner offers more than three decades of professional experience analyzing and interpreting economic data and its impact on the real estate market. As this year’s keynote speaker, Gardner will provide insight into the real estate landscape through a macro lense, looking at it on a global, national, and then regional scale, followed by a more micro concentration of our local market. Attendees will garner real-time knowledge of current market trends in relation to the economy, and how these factors could impact overall buying and selling behaviors in the coming year.
Doors will open at the Camano Center at 6PM for a cocktail and heavy appetizer hour, followed by a 45-minute presentation by Gardner. Attendees will have an opportunity, immediately following the presentation, for an extended Q&A session lasting until 9PM. The Camano Center is located at 606 Arrowhead Road on Camano Island. Reservations are required. Call (360) 387-4663 to reserve your seat, or click the link below.
Palmer’s chili won Best Chili for the third time in the past four years at the Chili & Chowder Cook-Off on Camano Island. The contest marked its 23rd year Nov. 10.
Twenty-four contestants competed for the titles of Best Chili and Best Chowder on Camano. A record-breaking 1,761 people — including this reporter — voted for their favorites. The top three chilis and chowders were awarded trophies. The Camano Chamber of Commerce hosts the annual cook-off.
Best Chowder went to the Tulalip Resort Casino and YMCA Stanwood-Camano. The team also won for its chowder in 2017. Chef Perry Mascitti’s Pacific Northwest Seafood Chowder is made with crab and lobster stock, crushed tomatoes and five kinds of seafood.
Palmer, who named her recipe after a Statue of Liberty on her Camano Island property, was the only contestant not tied to a local business. Her tried-and-true spicy stew is mostly meat — sirloin, bacon, pork, sausage — with a healthy dose of hot peppers that are charred to add a smoky flavor.
A special thanks to Evan Thompson and The Herald.
Windermere Stanwood and Camano Island Prepares “We Are Stanwood Camano Giving Tree” to Support Neighbors in Need During Holiday Season
CAMANO ISLAND, WA (November 16, 2018) – Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Windermere Real Estate has put up its “We Are Stanwood Camano Giving Tree” at its Terry’s Corner office located on Camano Island to benefit local people who need a little bit of help this year. Strung throughout the Christmas tree, anonymous tags noting an individual’s age, gender and interests will be hung for people to choose from and fulfill with an appropriate gift. All donated items are to be turned into the Windermere office by December 15 so that Santa’s Elves (ie. Windermere brokers) can wrap and deliver the gifts before Christmas arrives.
“This is a project that all of us at Windermere look forward to each year,” said Marla Heagle, owner/broker of Windermere Real Estate Stanwood Camano Island. “Our tree is loaded with names of people right here in our community who just need a little help. We’re encouraging the community to stop by our office, grab a tag, and take advantage of this weekend’s Black Friday sales to fulfill someone’s Christmas wish. It’s a small way to give back and elevate your spirit during this season of gratitude.”
The individual’s profiles that fill each tree tag were submitted by the faculty of local schools. It’s a process that affords families with the anonymity, but also the holiday joy, they deserve to experience this time of year.
Donated items will be accepted at the Windermere office on Terry’s Corner between Friday, November 23rd and Friday, December 15. All donations (ie. toys, books, stuffed animals, etc.) must be brand new at the time of drop off. The Terry’s Corner office is located at 818 North Sunrise Boulevard on Camano Island. Office hours for drop off are between 9AM and 5PM Monday through Saturday, and 10AM to 5PM on Sundays.
About Windermere Real Estate Stanwood and Camano Island
With an extensive network of over 50 agents serving Island, Skagit and Snohomish County, Windermere Real Estate Stanwood and Camano Island provides decades of combined experience and local knowledge. The Camano Island Windermere office was started in 1991 and purchased, along with the Stanwood office, in 2005 by Randy and Marla Heagle. The Heagles work hard every day to bring value and positive change to the Stanwood and Camano Island community.
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Students are gleefully diving into a new effort to teach water safety — one third-grade class at a time.
The Make a Splash program, in its first year in the Stanwood-Camano area, provides a week of free swimming lessons to all third-grade students in the district.
Twenty-three boys and girls in Sandi Meier’s class at Twin City Elementary were the first to jump in last month, learning about water safety techniques, understanding their limits around water and experiencing what to do in emergency situations, in addition to swim lessons.
Each class of third-graders is in the pool for 45 minutes for five days. Students are divided into groups depending on skill level and coached by several aquatics instructors in the pool.
The program is made possible by local Windermere agents and owners. Randy and Marla Heagle, owners of Windermere Real Estate Stanwood/Camano, kicked off the fundraising mission. Windermere agents raised more than $2,500, which the Heagle’s matched and then the Windermere Foundation matched that total to raise $10,000.
A special thanks to Evan Caldwell and Stanwood Camano News.
Camano Law Enforcement Support Foundation last week awarded Randy and Marla Heagle with its inaugural Citizens of the Year award.
The Heagles have supported the group’s efforts for several years in a row, along with providing a space for the organization’s main annual fundraising event.
The foundation raises money to help Island County deputies and state park rangers by buying items such as a gun safe for the sheriff’s precinct, a speed radar trailer, trail cameras and money for the Shop with a Cop holiday program.
The award was presented by Foundation President Ram Prasad, who said that with help from people such as the Heagles, the group can continue helping people through efforts such as their “Be Safe, Be Visible” program.
For more information or to donate, visit clesfoundation.org or attend a regular meeting, held at 7 p.m. the first Monday each month at the Camano Country Club fire station.