Updated 2020 Forecast

As we head into the second half of 2020, we are starting to see the makings of a housing market recovery. There was a steep dive down in closed sales in April and May, but a quick snap back in June. This trajectory illustrates a “V” shaped change from the beginning of the COVID-19 health crisis until now.

Nationally, sales are down year-to-date but they were up 21% from May to June, the largest month-over-month increase ever recorded by the National Association of Realtors. According to Matthew Gardner, Windermere’s Chief Economist and sought after expert across the nation, he sees our position as a “glass half full” reality. He just released his updated 2020 housing market forecast and believes that sales will be down year-over-year, but that prices will be up!

He believes that the strongest influence on the reduction in sales is the lack of inventory, not lack of demand. In fact, inventory levels are the lowest they have been in two decades. Currently, national prices are up 3.5% year-over-year and he anticipates that prices will end the year up 4.3%. Currently in King County, prices are up 2% year-over-year and in Snohomish County 4% year-over-year.

Eight out of the last nine weeks of pending sales in King and Snohomish counties have outperformed the pending sales for the same weeks in 2019. Historically low interest rates are driving demand, as well as many people making big lifestyle moves due to remote working, the Millennials expanding their families, and Baby Boomers retiring.

He does not anticipate a huge flood of foreclosures despite some of the noise out there. He believes the mortgage forbearance programs are providing great relief for those out of work and that this will enable those in need to hold on to their homes until their jobs return. The sizable equity position many homeowners are in across the country is also ensuring that fewer homes will be foreclosed upon.

Housing is performing very well despite the health crisis and it will be a key leading factor for the recovery of the economy overall. Unlike the 2008 Great Recession, housing is the cornerstone of economic fortitude right now. If you would like additional information or if you’re curious how the market relates to your lifestyle and bottom line, please reach out. It is my goal to help keep my clients informed and empower strong decisions.

On July 18th our office managed to pull off our annual paper shredding event. We were able to follow the proper protocols and made it a no-contact event. Guests stayed in their cars and we unloaded their trunks and sent them safely on their way. It was a relief to be able to provide this service, as it has been a long-time tradition that provides a meaningful service.

Even better is we equally billed the event this year as a food drive. The results were heartwarming, outstanding, and successful. The generosity of our guests was overwhelming and impressive! Mike from Concern For Neighbors Food Bank was thrilled when he walked in and saw all the food piled up. He mentioned that actual food donations are very low this year due to the pandemic and that this would help greatly over the coming weeks. In addition to the 2,123 lbs of food we also collected $4,122 dollars! Mike and his team will use those funds to purchase food to provide to the community in need over the next several weeks.

If you’d like to donate, please visit their website (above) to see their COVID-19 schedule and how you can help.


Posted on August 5, 2020 at 6:42 pm
Brian Hayter | Posted in Community Info |

South King County Quarterly Market Trends – Q2 2020

The real estate market performed very well in the second quarter despite the changing and challenging environment due to the COVID-19 health crisis. Our industry has been considered essential and required to operate with strict protocols in place to help protect the safety of buyers, sellers, brokers, and service providers. The ability to still do business helped sales churn during what would have been our busiest season, spring market.

 

Interest rates remain at the lowest levels we have ever seen, creating strong buyer demand and providing plentiful audiences for listings. The biggest challenge we saw in the second quarter was a lack of sufficient housing inventory for buyers to choose from, especially in the lower to medium price ranges. Understandably, would-be sellers were delayed in coming to market and some even stepped aside to survey their safety and motivation. This led to a 27% decrease in new listings in the second quarter vs. the same quarter last year. All the while, pending sales were only down 12%, illustrating the demand in comparison to supply.

 

This classic supply and demand scenario has helped maintain price appreciation. With only 0.7 months of available inventory based on pending sales, the median price is up 7% year-over-year. As we head into summer, we are looking to see more inventory come to market. Summer will be the new spring market as supply starts to catch up with demand while taking advantage of the longer, lighter days.

 

These are unprecedented times and there are many questions and concerns. It is my goal to help keep my clients informed and empower strong decisions, now more than ever. Please reach out if you’d like to discuss your real estate goals and how they relate to your lifestyle and bottom line. Be well!


Posted on July 31, 2020 at 12:28 am
Brian Hayter | Posted in Community Info |

North Snohomish County Quarterly Market Trends – Q2 2020

The real estate market performed very well in the second quarter despite the changing and challenging environment due to the COVID-19 health crisis. Our industry has been considered essential and required to operate with strict protocols in place to help protect the safety of buyers, sellers, brokers, and service providers. The ability to still do business helped sales churn during what would have been our busiest season, spring market.

 

Interest rates remain at the lowest levels we have ever seen, creating strong buyer demand and providing plentiful audiences for listings. The biggest challenge we saw in the second quarter was a lack of sufficient housing inventory for buyers to choose from, especially in the lower to medium price ranges. Understandably, would-be sellers were delayed in coming to market and some even stepped aside to survey their safety and motivation. This led to a 21% decrease in new listings in the second quarter vs. the same quarter last year. All the while, pending sales were only down 1%, illustrating the demand in comparison to supply.

 

This classic supply and demand scenario has helped maintain price appreciation. With only 0.7 months of available inventory based on pending sales, the median price is up 7% complete year-over-year. As we head into summer, we are looking to see more inventory come to market. Summer will be the new spring market as supply starts to catch up with demand while taking advantage of the longer, lighter days.

 

These are unprecedented times and there are many questions and concerns. It is my goal to help keep my clients informed and empower strong decisions, now more than ever. Please reach out if you’d like to discuss your real estate goals and how they relate to your lifestyle and bottom line. Be well!


Posted on July 28, 2020 at 3:58 am
Brian Hayter | Posted in Community Info |

Seattle Metro Quarterly Market Trends – Q2 2020

The real estate market performed very well in the second quarter despite the changing and challenging environment due to the COVID-19 health crisis. Our industry has been considered essential and required to operate with strict protocols in place to help protect the safety of buyers, sellers, brokers, and service providers. The ability to still do business helped sales churn during what would have been our busiest season, spring market. 

 

Interest rates remain at the lowest levels we have ever seen, creating strong buyer demand and providing plentiful audiences for listings. The biggest challenge we saw in the second quarter was a lack of sufficient housing inventory for buyers to choose from, especially in the lower to medium price ranges. Understandably, would-be sellers were delayed in coming to market and some even stepped aside to survey their safety and motivation. This led to a 25% decrease in new listings in the second quarter vs. the same quarter last year. All the while, pending sales were only down 10%, illustrating the demand in comparison to supply. 

 

This classic supply and demand scenario has helped maintain price appreciation. With only 0.9 months of available inventory based on pending sales, the median price remained even year-over-year. As we head into summer, we are looking to see more inventory come to market. Summer will be the new spring market as supply starts to catch up with demand while taking advantage of the longer, lighter days. 

 

These are unprecedented times and there are many questions and concerns. It is my goal to help keep my clients informed and empower strong decisions, now more than ever. Please reach out if you’d like to discuss your real estate goals and how they relate to your lifestyle and bottom line. Be well! 


Posted on July 24, 2020 at 11:41 pm
Brian Hayter | Posted in Community Info |

Eastside Quarterly Market Trends – Q2 2020

The real estate market performed very well in the second quarter despite the changing and challenging environment due to the COVID-19 health crisis. Our industry has been considered essential and required to operate with strict protocols in place to help protect the safety of buyers, sellers, brokers, and service providers. The ability to still do business helped sales churn during what would have been our busiest season, spring market.

 

Interest rates remain at the lowest levels we have ever seen, creating strong buyer demand and providing plentiful audiences for listings. The biggest challenge we saw in the second quarter was a lack of sufficient housing inventory for buyers to choose from, especially in the lower to medium price ranges. Understandably, would-be sellers were delayed in coming to market and some even stepped aside to survey their safety and motivation. This led to a 31% decrease in new listings in the second quarter vs. the same quarter last year. All the while, pending sales were only down 20%, illustrating the demand in comparison to supply.

 

This classic supply and demand scenario has helped maintain price appreciation. With only 1 month of available inventory based on pending sales, the median price is up 2% year-over-year. As we head into summer, we are looking to see more inventory come to market. Summer will be the new spring market as supply starts to catch up with demand while taking advantage of the longer, lighter days.

 

These are unprecedented times and there are many questions and concerns. It is my goal to help keep my clients informed and empower strong decisions, now more than ever. Please reach out if you’d like to discuss your real estate goals and how they relate to your lifestyle and bottom line. Be well!


Posted on July 23, 2020 at 11:57 pm
Brian Hayter | Posted in Community Info |

Western Washington Real Estate Market Update

 

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 reach out.

 

REGIONAL ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

It appears as if the massive COVID-19 induced contraction in employment that Washington State — along with the rest of the nation — experienced this spring is behind us (at least for now). Statewide employment started to drop in March, but April was the real shock: total employment dropped almost 460,000 between March and April, a decline of 13.1%. However, this turned around remarkably quickly, with a solid increase of 52,500 jobs in May. Worthy of note is that, in May alone, Western Washington recovered 43,500 of the 320,000 jobs that were lost in the region the prior month. Although it is certainly too early to categorically state that we are out of the woods, the direction is positive and, assuming we respect the state’s mandates regarding social distancing and mask wearing, I remain hopeful that Washington will not have to re-enter any form of lockdown.

 

HOME SALES

  • There were 17,465 home sales during the second quarter of 2020, representing a drop of 22.2% from the same period in 2019, but 30.6% higher than in the first quarter of this year.
  • The number of homes for sale was 37% lower than a year ago, but was up 32% compared to the first quarter of the year.
  • Given COVID-19’s impacts, it’s not surprising that sales declined across the board. The greatest drops were in Whatcom and King counties. The smallest declines were in Grays Harbor and Cowlitz counties.
  • Pending sales — a good gauge of future closings — rose 35.7% compared to the first quarter of the year, suggesting that third quarter closings will grow as well.

 

 

 

HOME PRICES

  • Home-price growth in Western Washington rose by a relatively modest 3.5% compared to a year ago. The average sale price in the second quarter was $559,194.
  • Compared to the same period a year ago, price growth was strongest in Grays Harbor County, where home prices were up 14.3%. Clallam County also saw a double-digit price increase.
  • It was interesting to note that prices were up a significant 6.6% compared to the first quarter. This suggests that any concern regarding negative impacts to home values as a function of ​    COVID-19 may be overblown.
  • I will be watching for significant price growth in less urbanized areas going forward. If there is, it may be an indication that      COVID-19 is affecting where buyers are choosing to live.

 

 

 

DAYS ON MARKET

  • The average number of days it took to sell a home in the second quarter of this year matched the second quarter of 2019.
  • Across the entire region, it took an average of 40 days to sell a home in the second quarter. I would also note that it took an average of 14 fewer days to sell a home than in the first quarter of this year.
  • Thurston, King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties were the tightest markets in Western Washington, with homes taking an average of only 17 days to sell. All but two counties, Grays Harbor and Cowlitz, saw the length of time it took to sell a home drop compared to the same period a year ago.
  • Market time remains well below the long-term average across the region. This is due to significant increases in demand along with the remarkably low level of inventory available.

 

 

 

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.

What a difference a quarter makes! Given that demand has reappeared remarkably quickly and interest rates remain historically low, it certainly remains a seller’s market and I don’t expect this to change in the foreseeable future.

The overall housing market has exhibited remarkable resilience and housing demand has rebounded faster than most would have expected. I anticipate demand to remain robust, but this will cause affordability issues to remain as long as the new construction housing market remains muted.

 

 

ABOUT MATTHEW GARDNER

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.


Posted on July 23, 2020 at 3:25 am
Brian Hayter | Posted in Community Info |

North King County Quarterly Market Trends – Q2 2020

The real estate market performed very well in the second quarter despite the changing and challenging environment due to the COVID-19 health crisis. Our industry has been considered essential and required to operate with strict protocols in place to help protect the safety of buyers, sellers, brokers, and service providers. The ability to still do business helped sales churn during what would have been our busiest season, spring market.

 

Interest rates remain at the lowest levels we have ever seen, creating strong buyer demand and providing plentiful audiences for listings. The biggest challenge we saw in the second quarter was a lack of sufficient housing inventory for buyers to choose from, especially in the lower to medium price ranges. Understandably, would-be sellers were delayed in coming to market and some even stepped aside to survey their safety and motivation. This led to a 51% decrease in new listings in the second quarter vs. the same quarter last year. All the while, pending sales were only down 15%, illustrating the demand in comparison to supply.

 

This classic supply and demand scenario has helped maintain price appreciation. With only 0.8 months of available inventory based on pending sales, the median price remained even year-over-year. As we head into summer, we are looking to see more inventory come to market. Summer will be the new spring market as supply starts to catch up with demand while taking advantage of the longer, lighter days.

 

These are unprecedented times and there are many questions and concerns. It is my goal to help keep my clients informed and empower strong decisions, now more than ever. Please reach out if you’d like to discuss your real estate goals and how they relate to your lifestyle and bottom line. Be well!


Posted on July 22, 2020 at 5:44 pm
Brian Hayter | Posted in Community Info |

South Snohomish County Quarterly Market Trends – Q2 2020

The real estate market performed very well in the second quarter despite the changing and challenging environment due to the COVID-19 health crisis. Our industry has been considered essential and required to operate with strict protocols in place to help protect the safety of buyers, sellers, brokers, and service providers. The ability to still do business helped sales churn during what would have been our busiest season, spring market.

 

Interest rates remain at the lowest levels we have ever seen, creating strong buyer demand and providing plentiful audiences for listings. The biggest challenge we saw in the second quarter was a lack of sufficient housing inventory for buyers to choose from, especially in the lower to medium price ranges. Understandably, would-be sellers were delayed in coming to market and some even stepped aside to survey their safety and motivation. This led to a 26% decrease in new listings in the second quarter vs. the same quarter last year. All the while, pending sales were only down 7%, illustrating the demand in comparison to supply.

 

This classic supply and demand scenario has helped maintain price appreciation. With only 0.6 months of available inventory based on pending sales, the median price is up 5% complete year-over-year. As we head into summer, we are looking to see more inventory come to market. Summer will be the new spring market as supply starts to catch up with demand while taking advantage of the longer, lighter days.

 

These are unprecedented times and there are many questions and concerns. It is my goal to help keep my clients informed and empower strong decisions, now more than ever. Please reach out if you’d like to discuss your real estate goals and how they relate to your lifestyle and bottom line. Be well!


Posted on July 20, 2020 at 10:59 pm
Brian Hayter | Posted in Community Info |

No Contact Shred Event/Food Drive

SHRED EVENT

NEW DATE! We are partnering with Confidential Data Disposal for our 9th year; providing you with a safe, eco-friendly way to reduce your paper trail and help prevent identity theft.

 Saturday, July 18th, 10AM to 2PM
4211 Alderwood Mall Blvd, Lynnwood
Bring your sensitive documents to be professionally destroyed on-site. Limit 20 file boxes per visitor.

 We will also be collecting non-perishable food and cash donations to benefit Concern for Neighbors food bank. Donations are not required, but are appreciated. Hope to see you there!

 This is a no-contact, drive-through event. We ask that you stay in your vehicle and unlock your trunk or car door so that we can unload your boxes. We will be taking all proper precautions to keep everyone safe, including wearing PPE, maintaining distance, and using CDC-recommended disinfectants.

**This is a Paper-Only event. No x-rays, electronics, recyclables, or any other materials.


Posted on July 8, 2020 at 7:03 pm
Brian Hayter | Posted in Community Info |

Currently Gathered Micro-Data Illustrating Summer is the New Spring Market

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic reaching our region, I quickly shifted to updating you more frequently with information to help you stay informed on the real estate market. Since mid-March, I have been committed to gathering high-frequency data (micro-data) to help illustrate “Where We Are Now” and have provided this newsletter bi-monthly vs. monthly. I felt this was important as real estate is typically our biggest investment and the pandemic has certainly had its economic impact.

I have also closely followed Windermere’s Chief Economist Matthew Gardner, and Economist Steve Harney of Keeping Current Matters. They have both been knowledgeable guides and source their micro-data from various credible sources to help determine their conclusions. Check out Matthew’s latest video update below about the real estate market in relation to COVID-19.

The graphs below are a new data set I’ve been studying on a weekly basis. They compare the number of pending sales reported each week to the same week in 2019, which was another stellar year for our local real estate market. 2020 was outpacing 2019 when the National Emergency was declared and then dropped significantly once the Stay Home Orders were put in place in late March.

April stalled, and rightfully so: pending sales were down as people retreated into their homes and started new routines, such as working from home. As we ventured into May however, things changed. From mid-May until now, pending sales activity in both counties has started to reach or outpace 2019 numbers.

Spring is typically our peak season for real estate sales, and what is being made clear is that the historically-active spring market has now shifted to summer. As we come off the Summer Solstice and head into the warmer months, we are seeing tons of buyers out in the marketplace and a limited supply of available inventory. This combination has helped prices maintain, and in some areas appreciate.

One set of micro-data that is illustrating increased buyer demand is the uptick in mortgage applications. Last week, mortgage applications were up 20% over the same week last year. Note this is for purchase loans, not refinances. With the lowest rates we have ever seen in history it is no surprise that buyers are motivated to go secure a home with the lowest debt service ever!

Last week, the micro-data set of the recorded home-showing appointments displayed a 51% increase in showings over 2019! This is measured by comparing key box access compared to the same week last year. Demand certainly paused in the spring, but was not eliminated; it was being deferred to the summer. As we have reported from the beginning, this is a health crisis, not a housing crisis.

Our biggest challenge as we head into the peak summer months is the available inventory. We entered into 2020 with tight inventory to begin with, and COVID-19 has had a profound impact on the number of homes coming to market. We are expecting some homes to wait until the health crisis has passed, and others will be delayed by 45-60 days. Homes take time to prepare for market, and contractors and handy-persons were all at home in April, pushing prep time out to later spring/early summer for those ready to come to market.

We expect to see an increase in new listings as we head into July and August, which will be welcomed after a 40% deficit compared to 2019. Mortgage applications, historical interest rates, industries in our region that are thriving, and entering into Phase 2 are all micro-data sets that indicate strong buyer demand for the second half of 2020.

Unemployment numbers are also an important micro-data point to keep an eye on. Since the Stay Home Orders, initial unemployment claims have dropped significantly, but continued claims are maintaining. We anticipate the continued claims to reduce as more and more people return to work after being furloughed. Not all of those jobs will be recovered, indicating our greatest need for recovery.

The last three months have been an incredible journey helping people safely navigate the real estate market. Some folks just want to know that their nest egg is safe, and some are making actual moves. When COVID-19 hit there was a ton of uncertainty, we weren’t sure how this would play out in regards to housing. Since we went into this with a very formidable economy and housing values, we have sustained, and in some areas we are thriving. It has been remarkable to watch and be a part of. I am grateful every day that this is not the housing crash of 2008 all over again.

If you are curious about the value of your home in today’s market or are considering a move, please reach out. The interest rates are unbelievable and will greatly benefit those who take advantage of them. I am committed to safe business practices and follow all of the protocols put in place, which include mask-wearing, proper social distancing, and sanitizing. It is my goal to help keep my clients informed and empower strong, safe decisions, especially during unprecedented times. Thank you for your trust; I am honored to be your trusted advisor.

SHRED EVENT

NEW DATE! We are partnering with Confidential Data Disposal for our 9th year; providing you with a safe, eco-friendly way to reduce your paper trail and help prevent identity theft.

 Saturday, July 18th, 10AM to 2PM
4211 Alderwood Mall Blvd, Lynnwood
Bring your sensitive documents to be professionally destroyed on-site. Limit 20 file boxes per visitor.

 We will also be collecting non-perishable food and cash donations to benefit Concern for Neighbors food bank. Donations are not required, but are appreciated. Hope to see you there!

 This is a no-contact, drive-through event. We ask that you stay in your vehicle and unlock your trunk or car door so that we can unload your boxes. We will be taking all proper precautions to keep everyone safe, including wearing PPE, maintaining distance, and using CDC-recommended disinfectants.

**This is a Paper-Only event. No x-rays, electronics, recyclables, or any other materials.


Posted on July 1, 2020 at 5:23 pm
Brian Hayter | Posted in Community Info |