Insight to the local market – things are still moving quickly for both buyers and sellers. I am here to safely help you buy a home, or sell your current home – or both!
If you would like to chat more about what these market stats mean for you, or receive a comparative market analysis on your home now, please reach out!
Glassquesters your clue ball can be found where “Old Glory” flies high! I will have a ball hidden at the North, Middle and South end of the Island where you find the Red, White and Blue. You will also be able to see the beauty of Camano Island and why you may want to move here!
For the official rules of The Great Northwest Glass Quest visit the website https://thegreatnwglassquest.com or stop into either Windermere office and pick up an Official Glass Quest booklet.
Good Luck Questers!
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 your Windermere agent.
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.
- 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 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.
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.
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.
Popular rooms in your home should feel warm and welcoming, but over time they can feel the exact opposite. If you find that your home isn’t as cozy as it used to be, or if there are interior design issues you’re unsure of how to fix, there are ways to revamp your living space with color. By utilizing color in home renovations and decor, you can recreate an inviting space in your home.
While the sound of renovations may be off-putting, you don’t have to scrap an entire room to start fresh. In high traffic rooms like the kitchen, minor improvements and changes in color scheme can transform the space. If this sounds like something your kitchen needs, first look into the cost of an average kitchen remodel, so that you can develop a plan. By researching the costs of kitchen remodeling materials and elements, you can decide which aspects you want to change.
A great way to refresh your kitchen without breaking the bank is to refinish the cabinets. This is an excellent opportunity to incorporate some color into the room to increase its inviting feel. A few colors that can transform your kitchen are: yellow, red, blue, white, green, and gray.
Yellow (a cheerful color) and red (an intense color) are warm tones which are thought to stimulate an appetite. This can create a welcoming atmosphere when it comes time to entertain guests. On the other hand, blue, white, green, and grey are all cool-toned, which creates a calming and inviting atmosphere.
Just be sure that whatever color you decide to use, it complements your other design elements. White cabinets, for example, will partner with most other colors you choose, whereas wood finishes will go with colors based on the tones in the wood. It’s also important to note that should you decide to go for bold colored cabinets, balance the space with neutral walls. Too much color can create chaos instead of warmth.
Other renovation projects you can tackle to make your space more inviting are upgrading fixtures, appliances, and flooring. Mixing and matching finishes are a great way to add depth, as well as feature any accent colors you use throughout the space. Keep in mind that these renovations are not limited to just your kitchen. You can perform updates to any room you feel needs updating.
It may sound too easy, but utilizing decor as a way to incorporate color is a surefire way to make a space inviting. When decorating, it’s essential to consider the feelings you want a room to evoke. You also need to keep in mind what colors pair well together to prevent chaos and a look that’s displeasing to the eye.
Inviting colors to keep in mind when decorating are lighter shades of yellow, blue, purple, and green, and darker tones of burgundy or mustard. Incorporating these colors as accents in your decor can make your space warm and cozy. If you’re unsure of which colors partner well with each other, or maybe need some inspiration, look into cozy color schemes to give you some ideas.
A few decor pieces you should consider using as accents are area rugs, throw pillows, and blankets. Mixing and matching colors and textiles with these pieces will draw the viewer’s eye and make them feel welcome to relax. You can even incorporate color into the candles you choose. Find inviting scents such as vanilla or cinnamon, and choose ones with colored wax for a subtle pop.
If you prefer a neutral color scheme with only pops of color throughout, try adding an accent wall. Find a wall in your room that you want to be the main focus and paint it a pop of color that complements your existing color scheme. If you want a more bold design, try peel and stick wallpaper murals to incorporate unique designs and patterns.
By incorporating color into your home through renovations and decor elements, your home will surely transform into an inviting space.
Written By: Beth Newton in partnership with HomeAdvisor
Sustainable homes have become increasingly in demand over the past several years. Having eco-friendly, energy and water efficient features added to your home will not only help to sustain a more mindful lifestyle but will additionally increase the value of your home while improving the environment overall. Consider these tips for creating a more sustainable home and make this year of homeownership your most eco-friendly one yet!
Use sustainable materials when remodeling
Relying on eco-friendly construction materials during your next home project will help to minimize the amount of long-term waste. Opt for recycled materials or reclaimed wood in order to prevent the emission of greenhouse gases or destruction of trees required to produce new materials. When replacing plumbing, utilize recycled steel that can be reused should the house be torn down or plumbing be changed down the road. If remodeling floors, turn to bamboo, which is a highly durable substance. Additionally, bamboo is an incredibly sustainable material as it grows quickly, unlike trees which take decades to reforest.
Upgrade gadgets to conserve water
If you’re looking to make a difference in your water bill, consider upgrading your home with water conscious features. Currently, 88 gallons of water is used per day by a single person. Making water saving upgrades can help achieve a 30 percent savings in household water use. Switching out your faucets with high-tech touchless versions will help you have better control over water waste while simultaneously giving your home a sleek, modern feel. In the bathroom, call in a local plumber to install a low flow showerhead and toilet in order to further minimize water use- the toilet alone accounts for 27 percent of household water use!
Take care of your IAQ
The air surrounding and inside your house is referred to as Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), and understanding how to prevent your air supply from becoming contaminated or polluted is vital in preserving your health. One way you can clean your IAQ is by switching over to natural, more sustainable household cleaners. Forgoing chemical heavy cleaners will prevent toxic substances from lingering on your surfaces and in the air. Exposure to polluted IAQ can lead to various health concerns such as short-term cold-like symptoms or longer-term respiratory issues. Turn to eco-friendly household cleaners in order to clear the air in your home.
Conserve energy by upgrading your water heater
While you’re already making strides to save on your water bill, upgrade to a tankless water heater, too, in order to cut your energy bill by 40 percent! Older, traditional water heaters require significant energy in order to provide your home with hot water. Tankless water heaters may be more expensive to install up front, but have double the lifespan of a traditional heater and are cheaper to repair when problems arise. Additionally, because these eco-friendly heaters don’t need as much energy to function, less greenhouse gas is emitted into the air supply when used.
Bring life into your decor
Spring is the perfect time to revive your home decor, but bringing actual life into your design will be sure to integrate sustainability as a true lifestyle. Incorporate plants that will clean up your indoor air quality like Peace Lilies or English Ivy- not only will the added green bring a calming earthiness into your home, but your lungs will thank you for the newly purified air! When bringing style into other aspects of your home, rely on eco-friendly home decor brands to ensure you’re only using the most sustainable materials.
With only so many natural resources available on Earth, it is important to take measures to ensure the environment is as healthy as can be. Although stopping global warming all together may be a tremendous feat for one person, you’d be surprised by the impact you can make right from your home!