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.
New Technology is great but it seems to be advancing so fast that the average person can’t keep up!! What good is all this “good” stuff if we don’t have the training, time or energy to learn what it’s all about?! We don’t really! Relax! We just need to do our best to keep up with what our own particular needs and environment request! Some of us need to know more than others and some of don’t need to know any at all. That is, we don’t all have to know the latest and the greatest but just those things that can keep “our” everyday business, life and families up-to-date and current with the technological world. The more I learn the more I see how it can benefit almost anyone in any profession. It does seem a little overwhelming with everything from: I-phone, X Box, Wii, W 7, QR codes, GPS, Blackberry, Droid, Web, Blog, Bluetooth, MP3 and things I can’t even imagine or comprehend! Windermere just updated all the personal agent websites last week! A majority of us don’t like change and the websites are a little more difficult than they were presented to be but we are figuring them out! Of course, at first we like to whine and complain a little but in the long run, these new sites are going to be great! Next Windermere will change their main Home Page and search Website to be more user friendly and combine some of the most popular attributes from other sites that clients are demanding. The best of all worlds! Before the end of the year our franchise Windermere/CIR for Camano Island and Stanwood will hopefully be reorganized with a type of “cloud” web sharing for our agents which will be another change! A lot of changes coming before the end of the year to get up and running for a great start to 2012! It seems like a lot of things all at once but we just have to take them as they come, do what we can, learn as much as we can in the time we have, move on and keep going. In addition to last week’s blog of staying positive, it is much easier to embrace the new ideas, technology and changes coming our way. Real Estate has and is changing as well. We can now be at home or any hot spot on our computers and look at every entire property For Sale in any State or City, we can use our I-phones, Blackberry’s or Droids and the QR codes to go to any listed property and shop for exactly what we want. We can drive around and use our GPS on our phones or handhelds and know where all the listings are located, then use the QR codes again to get either agent information and/or home information. We can get our I-Pads or Notebooks to go “On Line” as well and get all the information we are looking for from almost anywhere. Another reason why we as agents need to keep up with as much technology as possible to keep up with our technologically driven clients and the world!
Time flies! Isn’t that what we all say? It sure does! This weekend I celebrated my 30th High School Reunion! It certainly does not seem like that long. Where does it go? Most of us, as children don’t focus on work or a talent or the future paths we need to prepare for. Most kids just go to school, socialize, play and don’t think about much of anything until we reach high school. Most of us procrastinate; say we will do it tomorrow, etc. As we get older, week after week goes by and one day we turn around and 30 years have gone by. What have we done? What do we have to show for our work, our efforts for the past years? Do we have a plan? Do we have goals? Do we have time to do the things we want or need to get done? Time management may be one our most important skill sets. Carpe Diem! Seize the day! Being that “Type A” personality, I always want to work smarter and get more done. I feel like I am constantly working and never spending the time I want with my growing and aging family. I get a little frustrated with myself when it feels like I am constantly working and not getting any of my personal goals accomplished. As with life, families, personal, we especially need to time manage work. We need to work more efficiently in the fast paced world. Take assessment of those actions that we do each day and analyze if those actions are productive and contributing to our goals for the days, weeks, and months. There is no waiting as we need to make urgent, deliberate decisions to affect our work lives to give us more personal lives. Time is not waiting for us. We as Real Estate agents are also trying to communicate the urgency to our clients about their Real Estate decisions. We have clients every day that we feel or know like a particular property and then say things like “I need to think about it”, or “It has been on the market for a long time, I can wait”. Uncannily it seems every time we hear this, suddenly there are two or more others interested in the same property and it sells! Indecision and procrastination changes our clients and our choices, our direction. None of us knows what will happen a few months from now, next year or the year after. With the home prices low and the interest rates low, we need to communicate to our clients that it is a good time to buy. A property is only worth what someone is willing to pay. Of course, we all understand that the market has been in a huge decline but we hope that we are at the bottom of the downward trend and in a “leveling” out period before we start our recovery. We hope our fourth quarter for 2011 will be a good end to this year and in 2012 start our incline to a healthy housing market. Another reason to urge our clients to continue to purchase and not wait is to stimulate that recovery. Without continued sales there can be no turn around. We can’t wait! We can’t afford to think about it! We need to seize the day! We need to buy now! With our local expert Brokers, if you want to purchase any property, we can find it for you. Come in today and let us show you the inventory! Talk to our preferred lenders and see how and what you can do! Carpe Domus?
Well, the Stanwood/Camano Fair is over and what a great last week and weekend! Lots of fun, lots of people and great weather! The Fair itself had some pretty exciting landmarks and the Parade on Saturday went off beautifully. Hope you all had a chance to see our Antique Fire Truck Float. What a great time! Good memories for our families, children and community! I didn’t grow up on Camano but have been here now going on 20 years. I remember growing in my home town and some of the fondest memories were of our annual City Festival with their own Parade, Carnival and Events! Good times!
It seems to me like the Fair is the beginning of the end of summer. There are only a few more weeks to cram in everything you’ve wanted to accomplish before the Labor Day Holiday and the start of school.
So let’s get on with a new week! This week on Camano and at the Club Office we gear back up for a very busy one! The extended weather forecast for the week shows clear and sunny from high 60’s to low 70’s! That is perfect for all the coming Events! Stop on in any day for free coffee and water, Real Estate statistics, Free Comparative Market Analysis’s, Wednesdays Open Houses and winding up the end of this week with Club Friday and our sponsor WAVE Broadband!
Since we have had a couple weeks off from our “Club Friday” Community Open House, we are hoping and planning that it will be bigger and better than ever. Come see us this Friday August 12, 2011 from noon to 2 pm to meet the WAVE team headed up by Justin and see what’s new. Of course, Free lunch will also be provided and we’re planning the best one yet with Randy’s slow smoked BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, coleslaw, dessert and drinks! If that isn’t enough for everyone, we will have Live Music again by Ford and his acoustic guitar.
If you haven’t been to a Club Friday, this week would be a great time to mark your calendar and make a point to come by. Tell your friends, family, neighbors, business associates and everyone that may be in the area to come and see us and keep that summer fun going!! Hope to see you all “any day” at the Club!!