Seattle Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

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Feb. 14, 2021

Housing Market Gains More Value In 2020

After a record-setting year of home sales in 2020, the housing market still shows no sign of cooling off.

U.S. housing gained about $2.5 trillion in value in 2020 — the most in a single year since 2005, according to a new Zillow analysis. The full stock of U.S. housing is now worth $36.2 trillion.

Strong demand drove intense competition among buyers, causing homes to fly off the market at the fastest pace Zillow has recorded and pushing prices higher.

Housing demand was already strong coming into the year with the large Millennial generation aging into prime first-time home-buying age and mortgage rates hovering near record lows. The widespread shift to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic prompted many buyers to re-evaluate their housing options and supercharged demand.

Find more information here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/brendarichardson/2021/01/26/housing-market-gains-more-value-in-2020-than-in-any-year-since-2005/?ss=real-estate&sh=300b356b4fe0

Posted in Real Estate
Feb. 12, 2021

New home sales moderating and what that data means

For first-time homebuyers looking to buy in 2021, a new survey from realtor.com indicates that getting finances in order is a critical place to start. Almost half (47%) of those who bought their first home last year — successfully making it through the most competitive market in recent history — turned to their finances before they did anything else.

More than two-thirds of recent buyers were surprised by what they could actually afford

According to a survey of 1,000 recent and prospective first-time homebuyers in the U.S., more than two-thirds (68%) of shoppers were surprised by what they could afford for their first home. Forty-seven percent were surprised because their budget was larger than they thought, and 21% were surprised because it was less.

“The dramatic decline of mortgage rates in 2020 was a pleasant surprise for many buyers,” said realtor.com senior economist George Ratiu. “For first-time buyers, especially, the drop in the 30-year mortgage rate from 3.65% in March 2020 to a record-low of 2.65% in January has provided unexpected leverage. Lower rates allowed many buyers to stretch and buy more expensive homes while keeping their monthly budget the same.”

Find more information here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/brendarichardson/2021/02/03/putting-the-brakes-on-spending-compromising-on-wish-list-are-common-with-first-time-buyers/?ss=real-estate&sh=403fdfc432da

Posted in Real Estate
Feb. 11, 2021

5 tips for buying a home in a seller’s housing market

There’s no doubt we’re in a seller’s housing market. With inventory at record lows, demand surging and prices on the rise, buying — even just finding — a home in today’s market is quite the challenge.

Of course, nothing’s impossible. If buying a home is on your radar for 2021, there are still ways to do it. You’ll just need a little forethought and some good old creativity, and the American Dream could very well be within reach.

Are you hoping to buy a home in 2021’s hot housing market? These five tips can help you see success.

Qualify for the lowest mortgage rate you can

Home prices have been on a tear in recent months, and according to Realtor.com, they’ll rise another 5.7% just this year. Fortunately, record-low mortgage rates can help offset those rising prices — that is, if you can snag them.

Find more information here: https://www.housingwire.com/articles/5-tips-for-buying-a-home-in-2021s-sellers-market/

Posted in Real Estate
Feb. 3, 2021

Study ranks Seattle as second most transient large

Seattle ranked as the second most transient large city across the U.S., according to a new study.

The study, from Construction Coverage, found 23.4% of the population moved throughout the year, a total of 175,193 movers. This includes the 113,430 people who moved within the same county, 13,772 who moved from a different county in the same state, 36,926 who moved from a different state and 11,065 who moved from abroad.

According to the study, the rate at which people move around has been declining since the early 2000s.

"According to U.S. Census data, geographic mobility peaked in the late 1980s, then held steady through the 1990s before entering a slow decline at the beginning of this century," the study said.

Find more information here: https://www.seattlepi.com/realestate/article/seattle-ranked-2nd-most-transient-large-city-15882258.php

Posted in News
Feb. 2, 2021

Initial work on the Seattle Bridge is complete

The initial emergency stabilization of the West Seattle Bridge is complete, paving the way for the next phase of repairs expected to occur later this year.

Stabilization work included installing nearly 10 miles of steel cable inside hollow areas of the bridge to reinforce it's tension system along with additional measures to strengthen the bridge. A system was installed to monitor any future crack growth.

The high-rise bridge closed in March 2020 after engineers discovered cracks had grown quickly in just a few weeks. Emergency work began immediately to prevent further cracking while city leaders worked to determine whether the aging bridge would be repaired or replaced.

Ultimately, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced the city would repair the bridge. It is expected to reopen to traffic as early as mid-2022.

Find more information here: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/initial-stabilization-of-west-seattle-bridge-completed/ar-BB1d1XkO

Posted in News
Feb. 1, 2021

Three retirement risks and how to beat them

There are three risks that are most likely to derail retirement plans. The risks are real and substantial, almost regardless of an individual’s net worth. Fortunately, the potential damage from the risks can be reduced.

Longevity risk is talked about a lot by economists and financial advisors but not by many retirees and pre-retirees. While there are a lot of benefits to living a long time, longevity increases financial risk. You need to pay the living expenses for all those extra years. Also, your annual expenses might increase, because people generally need more medical and long-term care as they age.

Many people underestimate their life expectancy, and that’s why they don’t carefully consider longevity risk. A man who is 65 years old today has a 22-year life expectancy. That means he has a fifty percent probability of living to age 87 or longer, according to the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute. One in four men age 65 today are expected to live to age 93. Among women aged 65 today, one in four will live to age 96 or longer. Despite a narrowing of the gap in recent years, women still are likely to live several years longer than men in their age group.

Click here for more information: https://www.forbes.com/sites/bobcarlson/2021/01/19/how-to-beat-the-three-greatest-retirement-risks/?ss=personalfinance&sh=324245df64c8

Posted in Finance
Jan. 30, 2021

Mortgage rates hold steady at 2.77%

The average mortgage rate for a 30-year fixed loan fell two basis points last week to 2.77%, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Now 12 basis points above the record low set Jan. 7, rates more closely resemble those seen over two months ago.

The 15-year fixed mortgage rate also shifted downward to 2.21 from 2.23 the week prior.

With last week’s data in, mortgage rates have now managed to hover below 3% for nearly six months and have fueled purchase and refinance activity to record-setting levels amid a global health crisis.

But political and economic factors are causing some fluctuation in those rates, putting upward pressure on Treasury yields, said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

Find more information here: https://www.housingwire.com/articles/mortgage-rates-hold-steady-at-2-77/

Posted in Finance
Jan. 29, 2021

3 Things You Should Be Doing To Sell A Home In 2021

Depending on where you live, selling a home this year might be more challenging than usual. You may be in a time crunch to sell your current home and liquidate that asset. You may be in a buyer’s market with plenty of competition. You may live in an area where open houses and broker events are not possible due to the pandemic. Agents and sellers alike are dealing with a host of issues that make closing deals more difficult. But there’s good news: Homes are being sold. The market is picking up, and getting a deal you can be happy about is possible. If you want to get your home sold for the best possible price in 2021, these three tactics will make your listing stand out among the rest.

1. Make Your Home Instagram-Ready.

Video tours and social media are selling homes right now. Many people are relocating across the country and are unable to view homes in person; Others are avoiding in-person meetings out of caution and prefer to do virtual tours. In fact, many agents are finding buyers through Facebook ads now that magazines are no longer the best way to show off a listing. What does that mean for you? Make sure that you and your agent understand this market and are catering your listing to it. Use vertical listing photos (which display best on mobile phones).

Find more information here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ryanserhant/2021/01/19/3-things-you-should-be-doing-to-sell-a-home-in-2021/?ss=real-estate&sh=552ee2ae54bc

Posted in Real Estate
Jan. 28, 2021

Existing home sales in 2020 hit highest point since 2006

Pandemic-driven demand sent total 2020 home sales to the highest level since 2006.

Still, even the most avid buyers are bumping up against barriers in today’s housing market. Record low supply and record high prices are limiting the exceptionally high demand.

Closed sales of existing homes in December increased just 0.7% from November to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 6.76 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors. Sales were 22% stronger than in December 2019.

As unexpected as a global pandemic was, so too was the reaction of homebuyers. After plummeting in March and April, sales suddenly began to climb. Total year-end sales volume ended at 5.64 million units, the highest level since 2006 and far stronger than predicted before the pandemic. Buyers were driven by a desire for larger, suburban homes with dedicated spaces for working and schooling.

Find more information here: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/22/existing-home-sales-in-2020-were-highest-since-in-over-a-decade.html

Jan. 27, 2021

Seattle-area housing market remains strong into holiday season

The Seattle-area housing market remained strong in November, even as the holiday season kicked off, normally signaling a slower market.

According to the latest report from Northwest Multiple Listings Service, inventory is still down compared to the same time last year, while closed and pending sales are up over last year.

“The holiday rush is on for housing,” said J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO at John L. Scott Real Estate. “Though real estate activity typically chills down in alignment with the dropping temperatures, the housing market is anything but calm this winter given the historically low interest rates."

Compared to last month, the market has shown some indicators it is slowing. In King County there were 2,867 total active listings, down from 3,806 last month and down about 18% over the same time last year. Compared to 2019, King County saw a nearly 6% increase in pending sales in November. But compared to last month, King County saw a more than 20% decrease in pending sales.

Find more information here: https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/realestate/seattle-area-housing-market-remains-strong-into-holiday-season/ar-BB1bKP3i

Posted in Real Estate