Broker’s Perspective – Love it or List it?

Windermere Stanwood-Camano Real Estate Brokers are deeply connected to the issues that face local home-buyers and sellers. In this series of blogs, The Broker’s Perspective, Windermere Stanwood-Camano Brokers provide insight into current Real Estate market trends and topics.

This week we take a look at the popular topic of “Should I move or remodel?” Nancy McClure, a broker from our Camano Island office gives us her perspective on this hot topic.

Original Windermere blog;  Should I Move Or Remodel?


Windermere Broker Nancy McClure gives us her perspective –

Windermere Broker, Nancy McClure

What are the most important factors to consider when trying to make the decision to move or remodel?  

Most decisions with Real Estate ultimately come down to decisions based on Cost or Location.   If you are located in Seattle and accept a job in Spokane, most likely you will move instead of remodeling, basing the decision on your location.

If you love the neighborhood you live in, but would like an updated home, remodeling or moving is generally considered based upon the cost.

If you are looking at remodeling with the intent to move,  the remodeling decisions are usually based upon remodeling costs vs. possible returns.

 

What home renovation projects deliver the best return on investment?

Paint!  Something this small can make a big difference and does not cost a ton.   When you start tearing things apart and renovating large parts of the home, it can be challenging to recoup your investment dollar for dollar.   However, this is probably not the case with a “fixer – upper” that is purchased at a lower price point.  Fixer upper homes generally have more flexibility on larger renovation projects based on the fact that these homes are purchased with the intent to remodel and sell.  In the case of a fixer-upper,  here are a few things that can add good value to the home,

Remodeling the kitchen and bathroom – Kitchen remodels can change the entire feel of a home.  If the kitchen is outdated there is a good chance the bathroom is too!

Adding a bedroom – This can be done by finishing basements and attics or putting a closet in a spare room and can definitely raise the value of the home.

Replacing doors and windows, installing new heating or cooling systems – Energy efficient homes are in demand.

Adding a deck or putting on a new roof – These are just a sample of some exterior projects that will give you an immediately improved look and a higher home value.

Other projects that may add value include replacing siding, adding a garage or carport, repairing front porch, landscaping and resurfacing the driveway.

 

Could your renovations possibly decrease the sale price of your home?

It sure could.  When making the decision to remodel with the intent to sell the home it is important to choose timeless, classic details.  Choosing a color that is not popular, or a layout that is not functional could definitely be detrimental.   Contractors, Interior Designers, and Real Estate professionals can help you with the most sought after details in homes today.

 

Do we have good resources in our local Stanwood – Camano area such as custom builders, licensed contractors, and interior designers?

We do. Both of the Windermere offices have information on local resources. Also, our brokers are deeply connected to the community, so many have personal connections with contractors, builders and much more.  Stop by and we’ll give you a referral, or two!

 

Any parting tips you may want to leave us with?

If you end up selling, don’t forget curb appeal!  Homes that have great curb appeal tend to sell quicker and generally for a better price.

Remodeling a home isn’t quite as easy as HGTV makes it look!  Start with a good support network, know when to hire a professional, do your research and don’t forget to ask your contractors for references before hiring them!  And then go have some fun!

Posted on April 16, 2019 at 3:46 pm
Windermere Stanwood Camano | Category: Buying, DIY, Selling, We Are Stanwood Camano

Market Stats February 2019

Every month, Windermere Stanwood-Camano publishes a snapshot of the local real estate market. Our Brokers use this data to help determine listing prices, realistic offers, and tailored advice for their clients. We also like to make this information public, to help you with your real estate journey. Market Stats are provided courtesy of Marla Heagle. 


February 2019 Stanwood – Camano Area Market Stats

If you have any questions about our local statistics, please contact our office and we will put you in touch with an experienced professional broker from one our offices.

Terry’s Corner office 360-387-4663

Stanwood office 360-629-8233

 

View Full Stats – Camano Island       View Full Stats – Stanwood


To read in-depth statistics from January 2019, click on the links below.

View Full Stats – Camano Island  View Full Stats – Stanwood


Matthew Gardner’s Real Estate Forecast for 2019

Year End Market Stats 2018 and MSI

 

Posted on April 3, 2019 at 2:43 pm
Windermere Stanwood Camano | Category: Buying, Selling

Should I Move or Remodel?

There are a number of things that can trigger the decision to remodel or move to a new home. Perhaps you have outgrown your current space, you might be tired of struggling with ancient plumbing or wiring systems, or maybe your home just feels out of date. The question is: Should you stay or should you go? Choosing whether to remodel or move involves looking at a number of factors. Here are some things to consider when making your decision.

 

Five reasons to move:

1. Your current location just isn’t working.

Unruly neighbors, a miserable commute, or a less-than-desirable school district—these are factors you cannot change. If your current location is detracting from your overall quality of life, it’s time to consider moving. If you’re just ready for a change, that’s a good reason, too. Some people are simply tired of their old homes and want to move on.

2. Your home is already one of the nicest in the neighborhood.

Regardless of the improvements you might make, location largely limits the amount of money you can get for your home when you sell. A general rule of thumb for remodeling is to make sure that you don’t over-improve your home for the neighborhood. If your property is already the most valuable house on the block, additional upgrades usually won’t pay off in return on investment at selling time.

3. There is a good chance you will move soon anyway.

If your likelihood of moving in the next two years is high, remodeling probably isn’t your best choice. There’s no reason to go through the hassle and expense of remodeling and not be able to enjoy it. It may be better to move now to get the house you want.

4. You need to make too many improvements to meet your needs.

This is particularly an issue with growing families. What was cozy for a young couple may be totally inadequate when you add small children. Increasing the space to make your home workable may cost more than moving to another house. In addition, lot size, building codes, and neighborhood covenants may restrict what you can do. Once you’ve outlined the remodeling upgrades that you’d like, a real estate agent can help you determine what kind of home you could buy for the same investment.

5. You don’t like remodeling.

Remodeling is disruptive. It may be the inconvenience of loosing the use of a bathroom for a week, or it can mean moving out altogether for a couple of months. Remodeling also requires making a lot of decisions. You have to be able to visualize new walls and floor plans, decide how large you want windows to be, and where to situate doors. Then there is choosing from hundreds of flooring, countertop, and fixture options. Some people love this. If you’re not one of them, it is probably easier to buy a house that has the features you want already in place.

 

Five reasons to remodel:

1. You love your neighborhood.

You can walk to the park, you have lots of close friends nearby, and the guy at the espresso stand knows you by name. There are features of a neighborhood, whether it’s tree-lined streets or annual community celebrations, that you just can’t re-create somewhere else. If you love where you live, that’s a good reason to stay.

2. You like your current home’s floor plan.

The general layout of your home either works for you or it doesn’t. If you enjoy the configuration and overall feeling of your current home, there’s a good chance it can be turned into a dream home. The combination of special features you really value, such as morning sun or a special view, may be hard to replicate in a new home.

3. You’ve got a great yard.

Yards in older neighborhoods often have features you cannot find in newer developments, including large lots, mature trees, and established landscaping. Even if you find a new home with a large lot, it takes considerable time and expense to create a fully landscaped yard.

4. You can get exactly the home you want.

Remodeling allows you to create a home tailored exactly to your lifestyle. You have control over the look and feel of everything, from the color of the walls to the finish on the cabinets. Consider also that most people who buy a new home spend up to 30 percent of the value of their new house fixing it up the way they want.

5. It may make better financial sense.

In some cases, remodeling might be cheaper than selling. A contractor can give you an estimate of what it would cost to make the improvements you’re considering. A real estate agent can give you prices of comparable homes with those same features. But remember that while remodeling projects add to the value of your home, most don’t fully recover their costs when you sell.

 

Remodel or move checklist:

Here are some questions to ask when deciding whether to move or remodel.

1.      How much money can you afford to spend?

2.      How long do you plan to live in your current home?

3.      How do you feel about your current location?

4.      Do you like the general floor plan of your current house?

5.      Will the remodeling you’re considering offer a good return on investment?

6.      Can you get more house for the money in another location that you like?

7.      Are you willing to live in your house during a remodeling project?

8.      If not, do you have the resources to live elsewhere while you’re remodeling?

 

If you have questions about whether remodeling or selling is a wise investment, or are looking for an agent in your area, we have professionals that can help you. Contact us today!

Posted on March 19, 2019 at 10:45 am
Windermere Stanwood Camano | Category: Buying, Living, Selling

Market Stats January 2019

Every month, Windermere Stanwood-Camano publishes a snapshot of the local real estate market. Our Brokers use this data to help determine listing prices, realistic offers, and tailored advice for their clients. We also like to make this information public, to help you with your real estate journey. Here are Marla Heagle’s key takeaways from January 2019.


Continued Evidence of a Balanced Real Estate

Market in Our Local Area

 

As we dive into 2019 in Stanwood and Camano Island, we are continuing to see signs of a balanced real estate market. These three points were taken from Matthew Gardner’s economic forecast last month, and are ringing true in our local market:

1.  Single Family home prices will rise in 2019, but the rate of growth is trending lower.

Area 2019 Price Forecast
Camano Island +5.7%
Stanwood +7.5%
Snohomish County +5.6%

In January 2019 compared to January 2018, we have seen year over year price growth of .5% on Camano island and 2% in Stanwood. As the year continues, that number is likely to increase.

2. Regional economic growth will still drive housing demand.

3.  The big story for 2019 will be the ongoing move towards a balanced market.

We have seen this move towards a balanced market in our January numbers for Stanwood and Camano Island.  As we reported last month, Camano Island had 2.6 months supply of inventory (MSI) at year end and at the end of January it rose to 3.4 months.  Stanwood had 3.7 MSI at year end and is now 5.1. A true balanced market.

To read in-depth statistics from January 2019, click on the links below.

View Full Stats – Camano Island       View Full Stats – Stanwood


To read in-depth statistics from December 2018, click on the links below.

View Full Stats – Camano Island  View Full Stats – Stanwood


Matthew Gardner’s Real Estate Forecast for 2019

Year End Market Stats 2018 and MSI

 

Posted on February 21, 2019 at 12:29 pm
Windermere Stanwood Camano | Category: Buying, Selling

Year End Market Stats 2018

Every month, Windermere Stanwood-Camano publishes a snapshot of the local real estate market. Our Brokers use this data to help determine listing prices, realistic offers, and tailored advice for their clients. We also like to make this information public, to help you with your real estate journey. Here are Marla Heagle’s key takeaways from December 2018.


Are Camano Island and Stanwood

Heading for a Balanced Housing Market?

 

How do we determine if we are in a seller’s, buyer’s, or balanced housing market? It comes down to something called Months Supply of Inventory (MSI). MSI quantifies how many months it would take the market in its current condition to absorb all the active listings. So, we’re easily able to see if the market is favoring buyers or sellers. Generally, a balanced market will have somewhere between four and six months of supply. If supply is less than four months, sellers have gained asking power. If it’s above six months, buyers have gained negotiating power.

MSI is calculated by dividing the current month’s inventory figure by a rolling 12-month calculation of pending sales.

Here’s a glimpse at our local MSI.

 

At the end of December 2018:

  • Camano Island had 2.6 MSI, which is a seller’s market.
  • Stanwood had 3.7 MSI, which is a seller’s market heading towards a balanced market.

 

Let’s look at the difference 10 years ago, at the end of December 2008:

  • Camano Island had 29.1 MSI, which was a buyer’s market.
  • Stanwood had 10.9 MSI, which was also a buyer’s market.

 

If new homes stop entering the market today, MSI equals how many months would it take to sell all the homes currently available for sale. It would take 2.6 months on Camano Island today but would have taken 29.1 months 10 years ago. Times have changed.

 

The chart below shows the Stanwood/Camano Island combined MSI over the past 10 years.

 

Steve Harney, Founder of Keeping Current Matters, said this in a recent blog post:

“Returning to a normal market is a good thing. However, after the zaniness of the last eleven years, it might feel strange. If you are going 85 miles per hour on a road with a 60 MPH speed limit and you see a police car ahead, you’re going to slow down quickly. But, after going 85 MPH, 60 MPH will feel like you’re crawling. It is the normal speed limit, yet, it will feel strange.

That’s what is about to happen in real estate. The housing market is not falling apart. We are just returning to a more normal market which, in the long run, will be much healthier for you whether you are a buyer or a seller.”

 

To read in-depth statistics from last month, click on the links below.

View Full Stats – Camano Island  View Full Stats – Stanwood

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on January 29, 2019 at 11:29 am
Windermere Stanwood Camano | Category: Buying, Selling

Investing In a Green Home Will Pay Dividends In 2019

As we step forward into 2019, eco-friendly “green homes” are more popular than ever. Upgrading your home’s sustainability improves quality of life for those residing in it, but it is also a savvy long-term investment. As green homes become more popular, properties boasting sustainable features have become increasingly desirable targets for homebuyers. Whether designing a new home from scratch or preparing your current home for sale, accentuating a house with environmentally-friendly features can pay big dividends for everyone.

While the added value depends on the location of the home, its age, and whether it’s certified or not, three separate studies all found that newly constructed, Energy Star, or LEED-certified homes typically sell for about nine percent more than comparable, non-certified new homes. Plus, one of those studies discovered that existing homes retrofitted with green technologies, and certified as such, can command a whopping 30-percent sales-price boost.

There are dozens of eco-friendly features that can provide extra value for you as a seller. To name a few:

 

Cool roof

Cool roofs keep the houses they’re covering as much as 50 to 60 degrees cooler by reflecting the heat of the sun away from the interior, allowing the occupants to stay cooler and save on air-conditioning costs. The most common form is metal roofing. Other options include roof membranes and reflective asphalt shingles.

 

Fuel cells

Fuel cells may soon offer an all-new source of electricity that would allow you to completely disconnect your home from all other sources of electricity. About the size of a dishwasher, a fuel cell connects to your home’s natural gas line and electrochemically converts methane to electricity. One unit would pack more than enough energy to power your whole home.

For many years, fuel cells have been far too expensive or unreliable. But as technology has improved, so too has reliability. Companies like Home Power Solutions and Redbox Power Systems have increased the reliability of these fuel sources while reducing their size. Much like we’ve seen computers and cell phones shrink in size while improving reliability and power, fuel cells continue to be refined.

 

Wind turbine

A wind turbine (essentially a propeller spinning atop an 80- to 100-foot pole) collects kinetic energy from the wind and converts it to electricity for your home. And according to the Department of Energy, a small version can slash your electrical bill by 50 to 90 percent.

But before you get too excited, you need to know that the zoning laws in most urban areas don’t allow wind turbines. They’re too tall. The best prospects for this technology are homes located on at least an acre of land, well outside the city limits.

 

Green roof

Another way to keep the interior of your house cooler—and save on air-conditioning costs—is to replace your traditional roof with a layer of vegetation (typically hardy groundcovers). This is more expensive than a cool roof and requires regular maintenance, but young, environmentally conscious homeowners are very attracted to the concept.

 

Hybrid heating

Combining a heat pump with a standard furnace to create what’s known as a “hybrid heating system” can save you somewhere between 15 and 35 percent on your heating and cooling bills.

Unlike a gas or oil furnace, a heat pump doesn’t use any fuel. Instead, the coils inside the unit absorb whatever heat exists naturally in the outside air, and distributes it via the same ductwork used by your furnace. When the outside air temperature gets too cold for the heat pump to work, the system switches over to your traditional furnace.

 

Geothermal heating

Geothermal heating units are like heat pumps, except instead of absorbing heat from the outside air, they absorb the heat in the soil next to your house via coils buried in the ground. The coils can be buried horizontally or, if you don’t have a wide enough yard, they can be buried vertically. While the installation price of a geothermal system can be several times that of a hybrid, air-sourced system, the cost savings on your energy bills can cover the installation costs in five to 10 years.

 

Solar power

Solar panels capture light energy from the sun and convert it directly into electricity. Similarly to wind turbines, your geographical location may determine the feasibility of these installments. Even on cloudy days, however, solar panels typically produce 10-25% of their maximum energy output. For decades, you may have seen these panels sitting on sunny rooftops all across America. But it’s only recently that this energy-saving option has become truly affordable.

In 2010, installing a solar system on a typical mid-sized house would have set the homeowner back $30,000. But as of December 2018, the average cost after tax credits for solar panel installation was just $13,188! Plus, some companies are now offering to rent solar panels to homeowners (the company retains ownership of the panels and sells the homeowner access to the power at roughly 10 to 15 percent less than they would pay their local utility).

 

Solar water heaters

Rooftop solar panels can also be used to heat your home’s water. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the average homeowner who makes this switch should see their water bills shrink by 50 to 80 percent.

 

Tax credits/rebates

Many of the innovative solutions summarized above come with big price tags attached. However, federal, state and local rebates/tax credits can often slash those expenses by as much as 50 percent. So before ruling any of these ideas out, take some time to see which incentives you may qualify for at dsireusa.org and the “tax incentives” pages at Energy.Gov

Regardless of which option you choose, these technologies will help to conserve valuable resources and reduce your monthly utility expenses. Just as importantly, they will also add resale value that you can leverage whenever you decide it’s time to sell and move on to a new home.

Posted on January 3, 2019 at 3:07 pm
Windermere Stanwood Camano | Category: Buying, Housing Trends, Selling

2019 Economic and Housing Forecast

What a year it has been for both the U.S. economy and the national housing market. After several years of above-average economic and home price growth, 2018 marked the start of a slowdown in the residential real estate market. As the year comes to a close, it’s time for me to dust off my crystal ball to see what we can expect in 2019.

 

The U.S. Economy

Despite the turbulence that the ongoing trade wars with China are causing, I still expect the U.S. economy to have one more year of relatively solid growth before we likely enter a recession in 2020. Yes, it’s the dreaded “R” word, but before you panic, there are some things to bear in mind.

Firstly, any cyclical downturn will not be driven by housing. Although it is almost impossible to predict exactly what will be the “straw that breaks the camel’s back”, I believe it will likely be caused by one of the following three things: an ongoing trade war, the Federal Reserve raising interest rates too quickly, or excessive corporate debt levels. That said, we still have another year of solid growth ahead of us, so I think it’s more important to focus on 2019 for now.

 

The U.S. Housing Market

Existing Home Sales

This paper is being written well before the year-end numbers come out, but I expect 2018 home sales will be about 3.5% lower than the prior year. Sales started to slow last spring as we breached affordability limits and more homes came on the market. In 2019, I anticipate that home sales will rebound modestly and rise by 1.9% to a little over 5.4 million units.

Existing Home Prices

We will likely end 2018 with a median home price of about $260,000 – up 5.4% from 2017. In 2019 I expect prices to continue rising, but at a slower rate as we move toward a more balanced housing market. I’m forecasting the median home price to increase by 4.4% as rising mortgage rates continue to act as a headwind to home price growth.

New Home Sales

In a somewhat similar manner to existing home sales, new home sales started to slow in the spring of 2018, but the overall trend has been positive since 2011. I expect that to continue in 2019 with sales increasing by 6.9% to 695,000 units – the highest level seen since 2007.

That being said, the level of new construction remains well below the long-term average. Builders continue to struggle with land, labor, and material costs, and this is an issue that is not likely to be solved in 2019. Furthermore, these constraints are forcing developers to primarily build higher-priced homes, which does little to meet the substantial demand by first-time buyers.

Mortgage Rates

In last year’s forecast, I suggested that 5% interest rates would be a 2019 story, not a 2018 story. This prediction has proven accurate with the average 30-year conforming rates measured at 4.87% in November, and highly unlikely to breach the 5% barrier before the end of the year.

In 2019, I expect interest rates to continue trending higher, but we may see periods of modest contraction or levelling. We will likely end the year with the 30-year fixed rate at around 5.7%, which means that 6% interest rates are more apt to be a 2020 story.

I also believe that non-conforming (or jumbo) rates will remain remarkably competitive. Banks appear to be comfortable with the risk and ultimately, the return, that this product offers, so expect jumbo loan yields to track conforming loans quite closely.

 

Conclusions

There are still voices out there that seem to suggest the housing market is headed for calamity and that another housing bubble is forming, or in some cases, is already deflating. In all the data that I review, I just don’t see this happening. Credit quality for new mortgage holders remains very high and the median down payment (as a percentage of home price) is at its highest level since 2004.

That is not to say that there aren’t several markets around the country that are overpriced, but just because a market is overvalued, does not mean that a bubble is in place. It simply means that forward price growth in these markets will be lower to allow income levels to rise sufficiently.

Finally, if there is a big story for 2019, I believe it will be the ongoing resurgence of first-time buyers. While these buyers face challenges regarding student debt and the ability to save for a down payment, they are definitely on the comeback and likely to purchase more homes next year than any other buyer demographic.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to hear more about the market forecast join us and Matthew Gardner Jan. 25 at 6 PM at the Camano Center on Camano Island. Space is limited, reserve your seat here!

Posted on December 30, 2018 at 12:08 pm
Windermere Stanwood Camano | Category: Buying, Community, Housing Trends, News, Selling

Broker’s Perspective: Buyers Beware of Haunted Houses

Windermere Stanwood-Camano brokers are deeply connected to the issues that face local home-buyers and sellers. In this series of blogs, The Broker’s Perspective, Windermere Stanwood-Camano brokers provide insight into current market trends and topics.

This week we take a look at excerpts from the Windermere Corporate Blog about Haunted Houses. Tina Stoner, a broker from our Terry’s Corner office, gives us her thoughts on this topic.

 

Don’t Get Spooked! These Are a Buyer’s Warning Signs of a Haunted House

 

By: John Trupin, Windermere Blog

 

Here are some ways to identify – and avoid – ending up with a haunted house.

Something doesn’t feel right. When it comes to finding a home, we talk a lot about how a home feels. People generally feel it in their gut when they have found “the one”. If you feel like something is off, but you just can’t put your finger on it, you probably want to investigate a little further.

Follow the history of the home. Hit the interwebs and do a little online investigation to find out if the home has any skeletons in its closets (literally). Did anyone die in the house? Was it built on an ancient burial gravesite? Both of these could be DEAD giveaways for paranormal activity. Public records can be helpful for basic information, or you can check out this handy website: www.diedinhouse.com. If you don’t mind the house’s sordid past, use it as leverage to knock some zeros off the asking price.

Meet the neighbors. It’s always a good idea to get to know the neighborhood before moving in. Learn about the schools, check out the local shops and amenities, and take a good look at who your neighbors will be.  If you walk next door and the equivalent of the Adams family is staring you in the face, it might be a good time to look at other options.

Follow the paperwork. When selling a home, homeowners are required to fill out a “Self Disclosure Form” to reveal any known issues. In some states, this includes revealing if the home has any paranormal activity. In fact, if a home is known to be haunted, it can be deemed a “stigmatized home” which can impact the sale. But keep in mind, self-disclosure of paranormal activity is hard to qualify and prove, so buyers beware.

 


Tina Stoner, Broker & Realtor at Terry’s Corner Windermere

Tina’s Perspective

Is it common for buyers to ask about haunted homes?

If there is something that prompts a client to ask – a feeling of being uneasy, unusual noises, rumors of hauntings – they may ask about a home being haunted. Under regular circumstances, it is not very often that a buyer asks about a home being haunted.

 

Have you had any personal experience with a home that might have been haunted?

I have had one experience; my client and I were viewing a home and the home gave us an uneasy feeling. We both noticed what we thought to be a shadow that had no explanation and there was a feeling that something wasn’t right with the home. Who knows what we saw and felt in the home but we left promptly.

 

In this fast-paced seller’s market with lower numbers of homes on the market, do you find buyers un-swayed when considering a home that has reports of paranormal activity?

Not necessarily, but I think it really depends on the home. The home mentioned in the last question, I believe, was a foreclosure at the time.  It was on the market for over a year and sold several times after that as well. It was purchased then sold again immediately repeatedly and nobody actually moved into the home for quite some time. In 2017, the home sold for over twice the sales price that it sold for in 2016 – seemingly in this seller’s market whoever bought this home was not swayed by any stigmas or rumors, but every home is different.

 

Every State has it’s own Real Estate Law; what do buyers in Washington State need to be aware of? Do sellers need to disclose a possible haunted home?

There is no law requiring disclosure of possible paranormal activity in a home in Washington State. Seller’s Form 17 gives the seller the legally required information that must be disclosed. Form 17 is the statutory state minimum disclosure a seller must make and any other disclosures are not required by law. A few other States require “emotional” and “psychologically impacted” disclosures, Washington does not.

Did you know that our very own Stanwood Hotel claims to be haunted, the Stanwood Hotel website gives you a little insight and some descriptions on their thought to be friendly spirits right here.

 

 Original Windermere Blog Post can be found here.

 

Posted on October 27, 2018 at 9:39 pm
Windermere Stanwood Camano | Category: Buying, Housing Trends, Selling

Broker’s Perspective: Seattle Market Slows, Stanwood-Camano Area Market Holds Its Own

Windermere Stanwood-Camano brokers are deeply connected to the issues that face local home-buyers and sellers. In this series of blogs, The Broker’s Perspective, Windermere Stanwood-Camano brokers provide insight into current market trends and topics. Below is an excerpt from an article by Seattle Times columnist, Jon Talton, followed by a Q&A with Managing Broker of Camano Country Club, Beth Newton.

 

Slowing real estate might let us catch our breath — or knock the wind out of us

 

By: Jon Talton, Seattle Times Columnist

 

If you read my colleague Mike Rosenberg, you already know that segments of the Seattle real-estate market are slowing.

We have an apartment glut thanks to heavy investment in multifamily housing coming out of the Great Recession. Sales and inventory numbers for homes in King County are back to 2012 levels. Prices are dropping many places after record leaps in recent years.

Last week came further evidence: For the first time in about a decade, Seattle wasn’t among the top 10 markets for the coming year in the “Emerging Trends in Real Estate” report by the Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Last year, we were No. 1.

The report focuses on the Seattle-Bellevue area, setting Tacoma (No. 53) out separately. And it doesn’t directly correlate with livability. Rather, it assesses investment and development trends, and for several years has chronicled the rise of high-quality urban centers.

Many people will see this as all good news, a pause from explosive growth that has also been blamed for lower affordability, rising inequality and social ills. I would add that markets go down as well as up, and every swing creates winners and losers.

Still, while Seattle’s growth isn’t stopping, going from the equivalent of 90 miles per hour to 50 would be felt, and in some unpleasant ways, too.

“Emerging Trends” is the gold standard in real-estate forecasts, based on interviews and surveys of hundreds of leading developers, investors and lenders.

It provides a deep analysis of the outlook for residential, retail, office, hotel and industrial properties, as well as the wider economic environment.

For next year, the top overall markets according to the ULI study are Dallas-Fort Worth, Brooklyn, Raleigh-Durham, Orlando, Nashville, Austin, Boston, Denver, Charlotte and Tampa-St. Petersburg.

At No. 16, Seattle still shows a decent outlook among the 79 markets surveyed. We rank No. 20 in homebuilding prospects. And second, behind Boston, in local market attractiveness for investors. Office demand is expected to continue doing well in the central business district.

Being No. 1 isn’t everything. I’d take Seattle over almost any city among the top 10. But Seattle dropping off might mark an inflection point — emphasis on “might.”

The report also offers this caution about Seattle’s drop: “Seattle is still viewed as an attractive place in which to invest, but did media coverage of potential new supply being delivered and increased regulatory discussions sway the opinion of survey respondents?”

Hard as it is to process, Seattle also gets relatively good marks for housing affordability within the context of the Pacific Coast (Tacoma does even better). Demand remains strong for distribution space, too.

The report points to a local economy operating near capacity (e.g. employment) as a constraint on real-estate investment next year.

“This is evidenced by the comments from focus group participants in Seattle and Portland that attracting qualified labor is getting more difficult and could be hurting employment growth,” it reads.

The unemployment rate for Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue was 3.6 percent in August.

Assuming the larger economic climate is stable, we can expect Seattle to go from “hot” to “warm.”

(article continues…)


Beth Newton, Managing Broker Camano Country Club

Beth’s Perspective

Our local market is not quite the same as the Seattle Market, how much of a change have you felt in the local Stanwood–Camano market, if any?   

The local Stanwood-Camano market is definitely not the same as the Seattle market, so we have not necessarily felt any change other than the normal back to school slow-down in the September and early October market.

 

Some are saying that right now is the best the market has been for buyers since 2015 – do you see any indications of that holding true in the Stanwood – Camano market?

Not necessarily, though it is a dual market where the upper end high priced Real Estate prices may be coming down a little, the majority of the median priced market activity is still showing as a strong seller’s market.

 

The Stock market dropped, interest rates went up and Real Estate statewide seems to be slowing a little bit – do you see this as a simple market correction or a sign of something more?

This looks like a simple market correction for this time of year, or a normal flattening of the market for back to school, which is quite normal and expected.  I look forward to seeing this year finishing strong. And 2019 will be the best market to come!

 

Read full article from The Seattle Times

Posted on October 21, 2018 at 10:29 am
Windermere Stanwood Camano | Category: Buying, Housing Trends, Selling

Local Market Stats For August

 

Marla Heagle, Windermere Stanwood Camano Island Owner

 

Every month, Windermere Stanwood-Camano publishes a snapshot of the local real estate market. Our Brokers use this data to help determine listing prices, realistic offers, and tailored advice for their clients. We also like to make this information public, to help you with your real estate journey. Here are our key takeaways from August 2018.


 Stanwood & Camano Island 

If you look at the pie charts below, Windermere has the largest market share with 26% of Stanwood and 46% of Camano Island. This means if you want to sell or buy a house in the area, we’ve got you covered with our talented, knowledgeable agents.

For Camano Island, the average number of days a home stays on the market is just 42, compared to 57 days last year. Last month, the average for Stanwood homes on the market dropped from 47 to 45 days, which is basically unchanged from the average in 2017 during the same months. Sellers can rest assured that in these particular areas, the fall season doesn’t have a negative effect on how fast a home sells.

Stanwood

Camano Island

The average sale price of each home has increased dramatically over the past year–around $40,000 more per home for Stanwood and $50,000 more per home for Camano Island. This, of course, depends on a variety of factors and doesn’t necessarily mean your home’s value jumped that much, but the good news is that the list price compared to the sale price is just about 100% for Stanwood and Camano Island. This means there’s a good chance that if you price your home right to begin with (which we are experts at!) the price you ask for is likely what you’ll get offered.

Stanwood

Camano Island

Stanwood

Camano Island

Camano Island’s largest chunk of active and pending listings falls within the 350-399K price range. The highest number of homes sold within the last year falls within the same price range, too. If you think your home is valued 350-399K, it may be a good time to sell, as there is lots of activity in this price range.

Stanwood has a slight increase in this department, with the largest number of active listings in the 400-449K price range and pending transactions in the 650-699K price range. However, most homes sold in Stanwood this year fall within the 350-399K range, which is the same as Camano Island.

Stanwood

Camano Island

The bottom line is that if you’re interested in selling your home, don’t let the changing of the season deter you. Buyers will appreciate having more options and you’ll likely get the price you ask for. The good news for buyers is the market hasn’t gotten worse in terms of the number of listings and prices as summer has transitioned into fall.

View Full Stats – Stanwood
View Full Stats – Camano Island

 

 

Posted on October 14, 2018 at 2:02 pm
Windermere Stanwood Camano | Category: Buying, Housing Trends, Selling, Uncategorized