Gardner Report

Eastern Washington Real Estate Market Update

Posted in Eastern Washington Real Estate Market Update by Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist, Windermere Real Estate

The following analysis of the Eastern 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.

ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

The Washington State economy continues to add jobs at an above-average rate, though the pace of growth is starting to slow as the business cycle matures. Over the past 12 months, the state added 96,600 new jobs, representing an annual growth rate of 2.9%—well above the national rate of 1.7%. Private sector employment gains continue to be quite strong, increasing at an annual rate of 3.6%. Public sector employment was down 0.3%. The strongest growth sectors were Real Estate Brokerage and Leasing (+11.4%), Employment Services (+10.3%), and Residential Construction (+10.2%). During fourth quarter, the state’s unemployment rate was 4.3%, down from 4.7% a year ago.

Eastern Washington added 4,984 jobs over the past 12 months, representing an annual growth rate of 1.1%. Although the region added jobs at a fairly healthy clip, the unemployment rate matched that seen a year ago at 5%.

HOME SALES ACTIVITY

  • Home sales throughout Eastern Washington slowed in the final quarter of the year, with total sales down 8.7% over the same quarter in 2017 to 3,211 units.
  • Sales rose fastest in the small Lincoln County area, which increased by a significant 42.1%. For perspective, that translates to only eight additional sales. Walla Walla County was again a laggard, with a drop of 21.8%. But it, too, is a small market that can be prone to significant swings.
  • Year-over-year, home sales rose in just two counties, with the balance of the market seeing some fairly significant drops.
  • Interestingly, the number of homes for sale dropped by 15.2% from the fourth quarter of 2017. Many Pacific Northwest markets saw significant increases in inventory levels last fall, but that was not the case in Eastern Washington. That said, I anticipate we will see more homes for sale as we move into the spring selling season.

HOME PRICES

  • Year-over-year, the average home price in Eastern Washington rose 9.5% to $264,231. However, price growth slowed somewhat between third and fourth quarter, reporting a 2.6% drop in the average sales price.
  • Low inventory in the region continues to be a significant hurdle to many home buyers. I had hoped more homes would come onto the market in the fall, but that was not the case. The spring market should provide more choice for buyers.
  • All the counties in this report saw prices rise compared to the fourth quarter of 2017. Whitman County took over the number one spot, with an annual price increase of 28.9%.
  • The takeaway here is that home-price growth has cooled a little but remains well above the long-term average.

DAYS ON MARKET

  • The average time it took to sell a home in Eastern Washington in the fourth quarter of 2018 was 63 days.
  • The average amount of time it took to sell a home in Eastern Washington dropped nine days compared to the fourth quarter of 2017.
  • Every county other that Lincoln (+2days) saw the time it took to sell a home drop compared to the same quarter in 2017.
  • Notably, it took 17 more days to sell a home in the fourth quarter than it did in the third quarter of last year, but I attribute that to seasonality.

CONCLUSIONS

The 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 number of homes for sale dropped off in recent months and housing markets throughout Eastern Washington remain very tight. The overall trend continues to favor home sellers, so I am moving the needle slightly more in their favor.

 

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 Governor’s 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.

Posted on February 6, 2019 at 9:25 pm
Heather Adkinson | Category: Buying a Home, Community, Moses Lake Relocation

Windermere Foundation

Windermere Foundation Surpasses $38 Million In Total Donations Raised

Posted in Windermere Foundation by Marilou Ubungen

 

2018 concluded with another great year of fundraising and giving for the Windermere Foundation, thanks to the continued support of Windermere franchise owners, agents, staff, and the community. Nearly $2.5 million was raised in 2018, bringing our grand total to over $38 million raised since the Foundation’s inception in 1989! During the past year, nearly $1.9 million was donated to non-profit organizations throughout the Western U.S. that provide much-needed services to low-income and homeless families. In 2018, the Windermere Foundation fulfilled 689 grant requests and served 507 non-profit organizations.

 

A portion of the money raised every year is due in part to our agents who each make a donation to the Windermere Foundation from every commission they earn. Additional donations from Windermere agents, the community, and fundraisers made up 68% of the money collected in 2018. Each Windermere office has their own Foundation funds, which enable them to support local non-profits in their communities.

 

One organization that received Windermere Foundation donations from several Windermere Real Estate offices in the Seattle area is Treehouse. Treehouse’s mission is to give foster kids a childhood and a future. Their goal that they have set to achieve by 2022, is to see youth in foster care graduate from high school at the same rate as their peers across Washington State. And to provide them with support and a plan to launch successfully into adulthood. Donations from the Windermere Foundation have helped Treehouse clients like Ashley, get the support she needed to turn her life around.

 

“I didn’t have a childhood that all kids should have–like making friends my age or playing sports. I changed the path that I was on because I wanted to give people a reason to believe in me. You have to want to change and speak your truth, but you can’t do it without people believing in you. You can get through the darkest situations, you just gotta look for a little crack of light. Treehouse is that crack of light for me,” ~Ashley

 

2018 also marked the third year of our #tacklehomelessness campaign with the Seattle Seahawks, in which Windermere committed to donating $100 for every Seahawks home game defensive tackle to YouthCare, a non-profit organization that provides critical services to homeless youth. While the Seahawks didn’t make it past the first round of the playoffs, they did help us raise $31,900. When added to previous seasons, the total donation for the past three years is $98,700! We are grateful for the opportunity to provide additional support to homeless youth thanks to the Seahawks, YouthCare, and the #tacklehomelessnesscampaign.

 

 

 

Thanks to our agents, offices, and everyone who supports the Windermere Foundation, we have been able to make a difference in the lives of many families in our local communities over the past 30 years. If you’d like to help support programs in your community, please click the Donate button.

 

To learn more about the Windermere Foundation, visit http://www.windermere.com/foundation.

Posted on January 23, 2019 at 8:17 pm
Heather Adkinson | Category: Community, Moses Lake Relocation

How to Price Your Home

  1.  

    When you put your home up for sale, one of the best ways to determine the asking price is to look at comparable sales. There’s rarely a perfect apples-to-apples comparison, so a pricing decision often relies on comparisons to several recent sales in the area. Here are five criteria to look for in a sales comparison.

    1. Location: Homes in the same neighborhood typically follow the same market trends. Comparing your home to another in the same neighborhood is a good start, but comparing it to homes on the same street or block is even better.
    2. Date of sale: It varies by location, but housing markets can see a ton of fluctuation in a short time period. It‘s best to use the most recent sales data available.
    3. Home build: Look for homes with similar architectural styles, numbers of bathrooms and bedrooms, square footage, and other basics.
    4. Features and upgrades: Remodeled bathrooms and kitchens can raise a home’s price, and so can less flashy upgrades like a new roof or HVAC system. Be sure to look for similar bells and whistles.
    5. Sale types: Homes that are sold as short sales or foreclosures are often in distress or sold at a lower price than they’d receive from a more typical sale. These homes are not as useful for comparisons.
Posted on March 22, 2018 at 7:05 pm
Heather Adkinson | Category: Community, Moses Lake Relocation | Tagged , ,

Modern Architecture in Moses Lake

I don’t know about you but the one thing that I wish Moses Lake had more of is Modern Architecture. There is something about the clean lines that speaks to my OCD. Looking through these articles and seeing all these beautiful homes make me wish we had a builder in town who did more modern homes. Are you a fan of clean lines or would you rather stick with the craftsman style?

Posted on January 3, 2018 at 4:47 pm
Windermere K-2 Realty, LLC | Category: Community, Home, Moses Lake Relocation | Tagged , ,

Moses Lake Agriculture Parade

The Moses Lake Ag parade has been a staple in this Agriculture town for over 20 years now.  Started in 1995 by Sue Tebow this year she will be honored with the title “Grand Marshall” of this yearly parade.

This parade, on December 1st, filled with lighted tractors, farm equipment, and community merchants, is a perfect accompaniment to the close ties that we share with Agriculture here in the Basin.  If you’ve lived here long enough we all know and have been helped in some way by the local farmers and their contribution to the community.  Just look towards the lighted corridor on I-90 through Grant County and you will see their willingness to make the holidays brighter even for those driving back and forth across the state.  Farm land ablaze with Christmas characters for miles keeps us all entertained in those long hours of driving.

This parade honoring our local farmers will begin in Sinkiuse square at 5:00 pm.  The local stores will remain open for shoppers and on the streets you will find toasted marshmallows, hot chocolate, fresh made mini doughnuts and best of all FREE french fries donated by Simplot.  In addition to the food there will be local dance and singing talent organized by Dale Roth in the square.  Lighted parade will begin at 7:00.

All of this is put on and hosted by the Moses Lake Business Association as they strive to supply this city with a thriving downtown community where local residents can enjoy the local food and fare.  Come join us, bundle up warm, as we pay tribute to the industry that keeps food on our table. We could not do it without all the help from this giving community.

Posted on November 29, 2017 at 6:55 pm
Heather Adkinson | Category: Great things about this little town, Moses Lake Relocation, Things to do, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

Which Down Payment Strategy is Right For You?

You’ve most likely heard the rule: Save for a 20-percent down payment before you buy a home. The logic behind saving 20 percent is solid, as it shows that you have the financial discipline and stability to save for a long-term goal. It also helps you get favorable rates from lenders.
But there can actually be financial benefits to putting down a small down payment—as low as three percent—rather than parting with so much cash up front, even if you have the money available.

THE DOWNSIDE

The downsides of a small down payment are pretty well known. You’ll have to pay Private Mortgage Insurance for years, and the lower your down payment, the more you’ll pay. You’ll also be offered a lesser loan amount than borrowers who have a 20-percent down payment, which will eliminate some homes from your search.

THE UPSIDE

The national average for home appreciation is about five percent. The appreciation is independent from your home payment, so whether you put down 20 percent or three percent, the increase in equity is the same. If you’re looking at your home as an investment, putting down a smaller amount can lead to a higher return on investment, while also leaving more of your savings free for home repairs, upgrades, or other investment opportunities.

THE HAPPY MEDIUM

Of course, your home payment options aren’t binary. Most borrowers can find some common ground between the security of a traditional 20 percent and an investment-focused, small down payment. Your trusted real estate professional can provide some answers as you explore your financing options.

 

Posted on November 16, 2017 at 5:35 pm
Windermere K-2 Realty, LLC | Category: Buying a Home, Moses Lake Relocation | Tagged , ,

5 Negotiating Tactics that Backfire

Negotiation is a subtle art in real estate, but skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties. On the other hand, using the wrong negotiation tactics can sink a deal pretty quickly. Here are some negotiation tactics buyers (and real estate professionals) should avoid:

1.      Lowball offers: Going far below market value when you make an offer damages your credibility as a buyer and can be insulting to the seller. The seller has a range in mind that they’ll accept, and if you’re not even approaching the low end of that range, they won’t even consider the offer.

2.     Incremental negotiations: Don’t continue to go back to the seller with small increases in your offer ($1,000 or less). The constant back-and-forth can grow tiresome and lead the seller to consider other opportunities.

3.     “Take it or leave it”: Try not to draw a line in the sand with your initial offer. The seller can get defensive and consider other offers if you immediately show that you’re unwilling to budge. Even if it’s true, don’t make a show of it.

4.     Nitpicking after inspection: Obviously if inspection reveals a major issue, it should be factored into the final sale price. But insisting on a lower price for every minor repair can put negotiations in a stalemate.

5.     Asking for more, more, more: Some buyers will request that the sellers throw in add-ons like furniture or appliances that weren’t included in the listing. Try to avoid giving the seller a reason to build up resentment and think that you’re being greedy.

 

Save

Posted on November 8, 2017 at 6:10 pm
Windermere K-2 Realty, LLC | Category: Buying a Home, Home, Moses Lake Relocation | Tagged , ,