Right now, the 10-year treasury bond is jumping up. With the rise in the 10-year bump, consumers will most likely see another rise in mortgage rates. That is because most loans are sold on the secondary market and they share the same demographic as the investors who buy bonds. So, when one goes up, lenders have to increase interest rates so they can sell the loan to investors who are willing to take on a bit more risk. Interest rates on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage are around 4.625%, which is still relatively low on an historic scale.
From September 26th to 28th, I joined Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty brokers Blake Ruud-Johnson, Katherine Hansen and Jason Gibbons at the 2018 Washington REALTORS® Fall Business Conference, working on issues that impact real estate brokers and current and future homeowners in Washington State.
At just over 12 percent year-over-year, residential prices in Seattle in July 2018 sustained their rate of increase from June, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index. The Index showed Las Vegas, Nevada widening its lead nationwide with a twelve-month increase of 13.68 percent. Seattle remained second in the nation at 12.05 percent growth. Competing Pacific Coast gateway cities Los Angeles and San Diego were neck-and-neck, with home price increases of 6.37 percent and 6.18 percent, respectively, while prices in San Francisco rose by 10.8 percent.
Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC today announced that Tera Realty Limited in Shanghai, China is the newest member of its global network and will now operate as Tera Sotheby’s International Realty. Owned and operated by Ted Fang, the firm was established in 2016 and serves the residential real estate market in Greater Shanghai.
On Wednesday, September 19th, Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty brokers Jay Kipp, Brad Vancour and I were invited to Vancouver to visit Westbank, a world class developer, as they set the stage for the unveiling of the condominium buildings in Seattle. The first that is set to come onto the market is named First Light and will soon stand at the corner of 3rd and Virginia. In a recent visit to our affiliates at Canada Sotheby’s International Realty, Shaz Karim raved about how Westbank dares to do things differently and builds things no one else thinks possible, so excitement was mounting as we boarded a seaplane on Wednesday evening at Lake Union and visited one of their projects, the Fairmont Pacific Rim.
The University of Washington proposed its latest growth plan to the Seattle City Council Committee earlier this week and it will now advance with stricter requirements to driving and housing, as it works to massively expand its Seattle campus and construct the highly anticipated Innovation District. As Seattle Times reports, the master plan “calls for the campus to swell by 6 million square feet of academic, athletic, research and office space over the next 10 years and beyond.”
After 20 months of leading the nation in home price growth, Seattle Times reports that the Evergreen state now trails behind Nevada in year-over-year price gains, though—to the chagrin of buyers everywhere—it’s not “because homes here have suddenly become cheap.” As of June 2018, prices across the state as a whole grew 12.1% compared to this same time last year, down slightly from the 12.8 percent increases reported in May. Many of the region’s markets saw a deceleration of at least 1 percent from May to June, including Seattle, Bellingham, Mount Vernon/Anacortes and Bremerton/Silverdale, among others.
Though the Seattle-area real estate market has decidedly been in favor of sellers for the past couple of years, buyers felt a bit of relief in July, as inventory increased for the third consecutive month. As Puget Sound Business Journal reports, the median sales price for July 2018 was up just 5-percent on a year-over-year basis, a stark decline from the 18-percent surge from the spring sales season. The root cause comes down to inventory, as there were just over 5,000 homes and condominiums available for sale last month, marking “a remarkable 48 percent more than July 2017.” After three months of inventory gains, supply is now higher than it’s been since early 2015.
Many of us on the Eastside have slowly noticed the influx of Limebike and Ofo bicycles for rent on the Eastside, a product of the dockless bike share programs that have cropped up throughout the city of Seattle and now on the Eastside, with Bothell implementing a program, and Bellevue and Redmond close behind. Now, as Kirkland Reporter outlines, the city of Kirkland is the latest Eastside enclave to consider starting a bike share pilot, as it was the topic of City Council debate in early July.
As a recent Seattle Times article proclaims, “Sound Transit rail stations could help solve our housing crisis,” as each new LINK light rail station will afford the opportunity “to create vibrant, walkable mixed-use communities with significant amounts of new housing and reduced dependence on automobiles.” The $60 billion investment in improving transit and building new infrastructure to support the expanding light rail system marks the largest transit investment in the history of our region, and as the Times points out, “by 2040 we will have light rail connecting Everett to Tacoma and Seattle to Redmond and Issaquah,” which will provide unprecedented and seamless connections around the Seattle metro region.
The Seattle area real estate market is in dire need of home inventory and some relief has come for buyers, as the Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported that real estate brokers added 14,524 new listings to the market in May, which was the first time this figure has topped 14,000 since May 2008.
The Northwest Multiple Listing Service released statistics from May 2018 and revealed that for the first time since 2008, over 14,000 new listings came onto the market, revealing a rare inventory increase in an area increasingly marked by a lack of inventory amidst rising demand. As the report reads, “total active listings snapped a streak of 44 months of negative numbers during May when the year-over-year comparison showed an increase of 3.8 percent.”
A recent feature published by New York Times outlined the challenges many first-time buyers are facing in real estate markets around the nation, as starter home supply dwindles and prices increase. In areas beyond the Puget Sound, homes are selling quickly, especially when they are smaller and lower-priced, and “seasonal demand is increasing as usual, but buyers are finding that there is a lack of new listings.”
On Friday, April 27th, I joined a collective of Realogics Sotheby's International Realty (RSIR) brokers and members of the firm's executive team to support the Bellevue School District at the Bellevue Schools Foundation's 30th annual Spring for Schools Luncheon. Held at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue, we were thrilled to raise $825,000 to support our local students. In addition to raising funds, attendees were treated to inspiring stories from students who have been impacted by community members.
In our current real estate cycle, in which we have a completely tilted supply and demand curve (where 80,000 people are moving into King County annually with only 8,000 new units being built) the bidding wars have gotten a little out of hand. Given Seattle’s hot real estate market, I have met with sellers who have posed the following question: Why go with a full-service broker when there will be multiple offers anyway? Does marketing matter?
Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty’s acclaimed Research Editor and Data Analyst, William Hillis, has assembled a year-over-year review of eight key counties and 29 regional markets around the Puget Sound. In addition to in-depth market analysis, the report includes the “Condominium Conundrum,” Seattle’s stellar performance on the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index, the effects of Chinese capital controls and Canada’s restrictions on foreign buyers, landmark sales on the Eastside, and more. I have compiled a selection of key highlights including trends to watch, to spark a conversation so we may outline the implication for homes in your city.
Indeed.com recently released their 2018 report on “The Best Jobs in the United States” and in a set of results unsurprising to Seattleites who have become accustomed to the influence of two particular industries in recent years, the technology and construction industries dominated the list. Though Indeed recognizes that there is a confluence of factors that contribute to what makes a job ideal, they narrowed categories down to two factors: 1) jobs with a minimum baseline salary of $75K and 2) jobs that have seen significant growth on Indeed.com within the past few years.
llowing the announcement that British Columbia is increasing their foreign buyer tax on home purchases from the current rate of 15-percent up to 20-percent, King 5 News reported that the move “may create more demand from wealthy Chinese investors and homebuyers who are looking to purchase property in Washington state.” Adding to demand amidst anemic inventory supply, particularly in downtown Seattle condominium stock, however, is causing some worry.
Weeks before the Lunar New Year celebrations began, the Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty Asia Services Group held a Town Hall meeting to review best practices when working with overseas buyers. The meeting was also attended by China Daily reporter Linda Deng, who covered the findings in a recent China Daily cover story, and was moderated by Marc Berger from Nyhus Communications.
With sixteen school districts in King County asking voters to approve levies in the election on February 13th, many residents are asking questions about why the districts need additional funding, and whether the levies are necessary. This special election will mark the first since the McCleary educational funding ruling, which has caused many voters reason to question whether the levies need support.
New luxury home on a quiet street by D Mitchell Homes. 3342 sq ft. 4 bedrooms, den, and bonus room. Stamped concrete driveway surrounded by award winning landscaping that features irrigation, and a fully fenced backyard with a 350 square foot covered patio with skylights and a gas BBQ connection.
Signing the final paperwork and receiving the keys to your new home marks an exciting transition from the end of the transaction process into homeownership, and can often be accompanied by a sense of uncertainty at what to do next. For many, it’s difficult to know where to start and what to address first, so the Times put together 6 tips that all new homeowners should consider in order to save money and make the most of their investment.
As Seattle Times reports, a recent home sale in Tukwila likely marked the first purchase in the Seattle area to utilize Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency in the transaction. The Tukwila home sold for $415,000 to a young investor who “used a combination of bitcoin cash (a new type of bitcoin) and several other cryptocurrencies for the 10 percent down payment and to help secure a conventional mortgage for the remaining cost of the house.”
We are just weeks from the start of 2018 and as we move closer to the start of the New Year, experts are making their predictions about what to expect in the next twelve months. In anticipation of their upcoming “Seattle Forecast Event” in January, Bisnow outlined a few Seattle trends we’ll expect to see in the coming year.
As a recent Seattle Times article proclaims, “Seattle’s changing so fast it could make your head spin.” This comes in response to the release of the Atlantic Media/Allstate Regional Renewal poll, which surveyed 400 Seattle residents to gain their insights about what it’s like to live in the Emerald City.
Earlier this week, Seattle Times connected with a delegation of 15 real estate agents from mainland China to discuss why so many Chinese foreign nationals are purchasing homes in the Seattle area, and whether they expect the trend to continue. As the Times reports, some of the main factors drawing Chinese buyers to the Emerald City include “good schools, clean air, proximity to China, beautiful natural resources with lakes and mountains and the growing economy.”
As a recent article in The Street declares, “you wouldn’t leave a $10 bill lying on the sidewalk, so why would you leave $10,000 on the table when selling your home?” And though it is common for emotions to run high when making a move, it is key to remember that “selling your home is a business transaction and should be treated as one.”
According to a recent Bellevue Reporter article, the city of Bellevue was recognized by SolSmart, a national energy efficiency program that launched in 2016, with a Bronze Designation “for making it faster, easier and more affordable for homes and businesses to go solar.”