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!

 

March 26, 2020

Weekly mortgage applications soar

It was a seriously strong start to 2020 in the mortgage business for new home loans and refinances.

Total mortgage application volume surged 30.2% last week from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index.

Refinancing led the surge, thanks to a drop in mortgage rates. Those applications jumped 43% for the week and were 109% higher than a year ago. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 62.9% of total applications from 58.9% the previous week.

Find more information here: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/15/weekly-mortgage-applications-surge-30percent.html

Posted in Finance
March 25, 2020

Why you should sell your home in 2020

Few people are predicting that 2020 will be a record-breaking year for home sale prices.

But relatively speaking, 2020 might be the best time to put your house on the market. Especially if you’re on the fence about selling this year or next, it may be better to sell in an environment that's more predictable rather than wait for time to pass and circumstances to change.

Ryan Gorman, the president and CEO of Coldwell Banker NRT, predicts that the housing market will be increasingly healthy in 2020 – meaning home prices will continue to rise, but at a moderate pace. This means homebuyers are less likely to face affordability issues, and there will be a better balance between supply and demand for housing than in previous years when supply was limited.

Find more information here: https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/realestate/why-you-should-sell-your-home-in-2020/ar-BBUuwZu

Posted in News
March 24, 2020

U.S. homebuilding hits 13-year high

U.S. homebuilding activity increased across the board to a 13-year high in December, showing that an apparent recovery in the housing market could gain momentum in 2020 and help support further economic growth.

New housing starts surged nearly 17% in December, to an annual rate of 1.61 million units—the highest level since December 2006 (economists polled by Reuters were expecting an increase of only 1.38 million units).

The housing market appears to be making a comeback, supported by a solid job market and growing optimism among home buyers and builders.
Demand for new homes has recently been fueled by mortgage rates hovering near a three-year low, not to mention a solid labor market which has led to wage gains that give potential homebuyers more money to spend.

Find more information here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/sergeiklebnikov/2020/01/17/us-homebuilding-hits-13-year-high-showing-some-recovery-in-housing-market/#2b86ba8c5890

Posted in Real Estate
March 23, 2020

Another 40-story tower going up in Bellevue

A 42-story tower is under construction in Bellevue, anticipating mixed-use offices and more than 960 parking spaces.

The tower, which will be located at 555 108th Ave. Northeast, will contain nearly 700,000 square feet of office space and some 24,700 square feet of “active uses” space according to city documents. It also will have a two-story pavillion.

The project was listed as “under-construction” in the city of Bellevue’s first quarter Major Projects list for 2020. The city did not release a Major Projects list for the fourth quarter of 2019, and did not immediately answer whether the project would have been considered under construction in that quarter. According to the Bellevue Downtown Association, the developers are targeting early 2023 for completion of the building.

Find more information here: https://www.bellevuereporter.com/news/another-40-plus-story-tower-going-up-in-bellevue/

Posted in News
March 22, 2020

15000 new Amazon jobs coming to Bellevue

Amazon is continuing to expand its Bellevue reach.

On Thursday, Feb. 6, the company announced it was on track to create more than 15,000 new jobs in the city within the next few years. Currently, there are about 2,000 Amazon employees in Bellevue.

Amazon’s first Bellevue office opened in 2017. However, when CEO Jeff Bezos started the company some 25 years ago, it was in a home in West Bellevue.

Many of Amazon’s incoming employees will be working out of an in-the-works 43-story building, which is known as Bellevue 600. The building, which will be Bellevue’s tallest, takes up 1 million square feet of office space.

It is anticipated that the tower will be open within the next four years.

Find more information here: https://www.mi-reporter.com/business/amazon-15000-new-jobs-coming-to-bellevue/

Posted in News
March 21, 2020

Low interest rates may spark an already warming housing market

A sharp drop in mortgage interest rates had borrowers rushing to their lenders last week.

Refinance volume spiked, sending total mortgage application volume up 15.1% for the week from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index. 

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($510,400 or less) decreased to 3.57% from 3.73%, with points decreasing to 0.26 from 0.27 (including the origination fee) for loans with a 20% down payment. Rates are even lower now. One year ago, the average rate was 4.67%, 110 basis points higher.

Find more information here: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/04/weekly-mortgage-refinances-spike-26percent-with-help-from-coronavirus.html

Posted in Finance
March 20, 2020

US mortgage rates decline; 30-year loan at 3.45%

U.S. long-term mortgage rates declined this week as growing concern over the economic impact of China's viral outbreak spurred a steep downturn in global stock markets.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.45% from 3.49% last week. Rates are far below year-ago levels: the benchmark 30-year loan averaged 4.35% a year ago.

The average rate on a 15-year fixed mortgage slipped to 2.95% from 2.99% last week. The slide in stock prices pushed investors to buy up U.S. Treasury securities, viewed as a safe haven in the event of an economic downturn.

The rush of investors toward U.S. government securities pushed the yield on the 10-year Treasury note sharply lower. It marked a record low of 1.28% Thursday morning. Long-term mortgage rates usually follow the yield on the 10-year note.

Find more information here: https://www.seattlepi.com/business/article/US-mortgage-rates-decline-30-year-loan-at-3-45-15089295.php

 

Posted in Finance
March 19, 2020

Is now the time to refinance?

The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell to a record low of 3.29%, Freddie Mac reported this week.

That’s down from the previous low of 3.31% in November 2012, in the wake of the financial crisis. Fears of the coronavirus hitting financial markets have pushed bond yields down, yields which mortgage rates general track.

That drop means that now nearly 13 million borrowers can save money by refinancing their home loans and lowering their current rates by at least 75 basis points, according to Black Knight, a mortgage data and analytics company.

That is the highest number of potential refinance candidates on record. It is also an increase of 1.7 million eligible borrowers in just the last week and a 60% jump year to date.

Find more information here: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/06/record-number-of-borrowers-can-save-on-mortgage-refinancing.html

Posted in Finance
March 18, 2020

Another 40-plus story tower going up in Bellevue

A 42-story tower is under construction in Bellevue, anticipating mixed-use offices and more than 960 parking spaces.

The tower, which will be located at 555 108th Ave. Northeast, will contain nearly 700,000 square feet of office space and some 24,700 square feet of “active uses” space according to city documents. It also will have a two-story pavillion.

The project was listed as “under-construction” in the city of Bellevue’s first quarter Major Projects list for 2020. The city did not release a Major Projects list for the fourth quarter of 2019, and did not immediately answer whether the project would have been considered under construction in that quarter. According to the Bellevue Downtown Association, the developers are targeting early 2023 for completion of the building.

Find more information here: https://www.bellevuereporter.com/news/another-40-plus-story-tower-going-up-in-bellevue/

Posted in News
March 17, 2020

Some priced out of Seattle find home in Tacoma

In pioneer days, Tacoma and Seattle vied with each other to be the dominant city on Puget Sound. Seattle won that contest long ago, but now Tacoma has found a new role for itself: Seattle’s bedroom community.

As Seattle housing prices have rocketed toward San Francisco-level absurdity, prices in Tacoma have stayed much closer to affordable for middle-class homebuyers. According to Zillow, the median home price in the Emerald City is currently $750,000 while the median in the City of Destiny is less than half that, just $337,940.

About 18,000 people moved south from King County to Pierce County in 2017, many, if not most, because of the cheaper price of a house. And Tacoma has plenty of nice houses, especially in the lovely and quiet north end of the city. Of course, now that this stock of attractive and affordable real estate has been discovered, prices are ballooning and so is the traffic.

Find more information here: https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/seattles-real-estate-refugees-flee-to-affordable-tacoma/