Seattle Real Estate Market Update: Balance

Balance is the word I would use to describe our 2018 Seattle real estate market.  Here’s a quick update/forecast on the housing market in Seattle.  _MG_8918_20Balanced
Seattle Market
Well, we have reached our peak Seattle home prices as of approximately March 2018.  Sometimes in real estate, the data is more of a tailwind than a headwind.  The trend for the last six + months is sellers are having to take 5-10% less for their homes and it is taking twice as long to get offers in place.  We can contribute some of this to the S&P 500 (down 20%) and Big Tech stocks (down 30-50%) plus another 3 or 4 more interest rate hikes in 2019.  Another expected Fed Interest Rate hike is forecasted for December 19th.  Unfortunately we aren’t seeing inflation accelerate as much as we’d like since corporate profits are slower than expected.
We also look to new construction trends.  When the Big Recession hit, it was harder for banks to loan money.  New construction of homes and condos virtually were at a standstill for long enough to affect the lack of inventory we have experienced for the last few years.  Basically new construction hadn’t kept up with the demand once we got the demand back.  So new homes and condos couldn’t be built fast enough…until now.  Now there are arguably too many which weakens the rental market.  The Seattle rental market for a two bedroom decreased 5.7% from a year ago.  It was $2,650 now it is $2,500 per month for the same two bedroom.  Whenever we see rental markets flatline, it typically means sellers reevaluate their cost to sell.
 
What’s the Bottom Line?
Pricing becomes under pressure when there is more inventory, like we see today.  If we continue this trend, we will have the inventory of homes like we saw in 2012 in several months.  Inventory is up 4% from year to date.  In 2017 we saw 24.7% homes on market.  Today it is 47.2%.
It’s too late to sell for top dollar in Seattle.  However our downturns generally last 2 to 5 years before it gets worse.  Keep in mind Seattle saw such a generous appreciation of home values since 2008 (when Amazon landed in Sea-town) that it has set a new standard for the median Seattle home.  Still if you are a seller, look to sell within the next couple of years.
Buying in Seattle ?
If you can withstand a 20% + correction over the next 5 to 7 years, then buy.  In other words, if you want to buy a home because you’re not a flipper, then by all means buy a piece of real estate.  It’s all about your EXIT PLAN.  If you plan on being in your home for 7 years (maybe 5 years in Seattle’s market) then it’s a good time to buy without worrying about the stock market, taxes breaks, and especially market ups and downs.  But what about interest rates you say. Higher interest rates do affect your borrowing/purchasing power.  But interest rates change, purchase price does not.  You can always refinance.  Keep in mind, however, the average income only increases roughly 2% a year.  So if interest rates increase significantly, then the harder it takes to recoup your cost of home ownership/purchasing.  Everyone’s situation is unique.  It’s best to have a personal conversation with a trusted financial planner, realtor, and lender to understand what’s best for you.
The Amazon Question – will it hurt Seattle’s market?
The short answer is no.  HQ2/3 will not change the landscape of Seattle’s real estate market.  Seattle is still numero uno for Amazon’s headquarters. It took Amazon ten years to gain the 45,000 to 50,000 “Amazon” population in Seattle.  We will certainly not see any developments that will rock our real estate world as quick as people think, if at all.  Amazon helped bring our Seattle home median values up 84%… 55% in the broader Seattle area (think Everett).  The numbers constantly change but in 2010 the median home value was $373,000 now we are around $690,000 +/-.  This is the new reality; Seattle is forever on the map as a major contender for high paying tech jobs, aerospace, and innovators alike from around the world.
And Finally
We are in the business to personally guide you.  Let’s talk about your scenarios and options.  Maybe it’s time to remodel or upgrade an existing Seattle area house to list in 2019?  Maybe you’re ready to buy more investment properties.
Perhaps you have specific questions – a unique home? an estate sale? Seattle neighborhood specific home values? Buying to add to your portfolio?  Let us know so we can work together on your goals.  We are your source for Seattle real estate expert advice.
You can reach us a number of ways.  Call/Text Molly Cartwright at 206-841-6800 or Courtney Cooper at 206-850-8841 email:  molly or courtney @cooperjacobs.com

Seattle Pent Up Pendings for Core Seattle Real Estate Market

Appraisers should be catching up to our fast Seattle real estate market… Seattle Pent Up Pendings for Core Seattle Real Estate Marketseattle homes for sale
In looking at just the “pending” status for Seattle listings in NWMLS areas 705 and 710 between $700-915 (a current core Seattle real estate market price range):
36 pendings in 705
20 pendings in 710
These are all pent up Seattle homes for sale pendings waiting to close and add value (and therefore higher price points for all with the same competition of a pool of buyers) to each new home that comes on the market from now until summer (at least).  And we personally know that nearly 100% of these pending Seattle homes for sale had multiple offers to the tune of 20 or more of them.
The appraisal world is playing catch up.  Not everyone is lucky enough to have the cash to make up the difference between the purchase price after a multiple offer and a low appraisal from an appraiser who may not be aware of the true market.
We recently had a sale at $910 and an appraisal that came in at $850 even though there were close to  twenty other buyers willing to pay above that number and one willing to pay more than us. It’s the current state of the Seattle real estate market and they are lucky to have found a solid house now because when those pendings change to sold people are going to play more chase with the market.   Appraisers who are not paying attention will need to get on board or find themselves being left behind.
Want to learn more about what’s going on in the Seattle market?
Molly Cartwright 206-841-6800/Courtney Cooper 206-850-8841

West Seattle Charmer Just Listed!

Looking for about the happiest and cutest home in Seattle?

5635 35th Ave SW

5635 35th Ave SW

  • 3 Bedrooms
  • 1.5 Baths
  • 1700 Sq Ft
  • Built in 1941

This home brings so much happiness. Cheery and bright, the natural sunlight filters through the main floor. Smart finishes like hardwoods, granite kitchen counter tops, new roof and updated plumbing. Completely finished basement offers another guest room and powder room. Every inch of this house is used to its maximum. Plus loads of storage in the basement, detached garage or shed. Additional two parking spots in the alley. With a walk score of 77, it’s an easy walk to the local shops!

$615,000

Call/Text Molly Cartwright and Courtney Cooper 206-841-6800 for more information or your own private showing.

Seattle Real Estate: What Are People Looking For?

Seattle real estate seller  and curious about how hot your market is?Web01

I always like to start with the internet search data to see what it is people are looking for compared to other segments of the market. For instance, Seattle floating homes  and Seattle waterfront homes are a particularly hot market, but when you look at it overall compared to other segments of the Seattle real estate market, you get an idea of how truly hot Seattle’s market is.  Here is a comparison of searches  over the last 90 days using just a few keywords or key phrases so you can get an idea of how often people are searching for certain types of Seattle properties….

If you want to see what is for sale in these categories, you can look at Seattle properties for sale here:

Seattle homes for sale | Seattle condos for sale | Seattle Houseboats

Call/Text Molly or me if you would like to learn more or drill down to some additional numbers. We are happy to help 206-841-6800 or homes@cooperjacobs.com

Queen Anne Condo On Olympic Place 98109

Queen Anne CondosQueen Anne Condos:

Just closed in escrow yesterday!

500 W Olympic Place

Seattle, WA 98109

Seattle Realtor Molly Cartwright did a fabulous job representing the seller of this Queen Anne Condo.  We received more than one offer and the property did sell for 101.97% over  list.  This is a good rate for a condo in that price range.  Please let us know if you have a Queen Anne condo for sale.  We have other buyers interested and Seattle real estate inventory is extremely low.

Queen Anne condos sell quickly so if you are a buyer looking for a home and want to learn more information about buying a condo, please let us know – we are happy to help and have been quite successful in representing our buyers in multiple offers.  We can help you with Queen Anne condos or other Seattle condos and have a great grasp on the current market and what it takes to buy a home in this environment.  We also have fun finding the cool view condos if that is what you are interested in.  The Space Needle views from Queen Anne never grow old and it is an amazing city to live in. Queen Anne is rich with history, but also extremely “with it” when it comes to what people want in their community. It’s an exciting place and we look forward to sharing our favorite Queen Anne spots with you.

Here is how you can reach us:

Molly Cartwright 206-841-6800 (call/text)

Courtney Cooper 206-850-8841 (call/text)

You can also email us at QA@CooperJacobs.com  We look forward to hearing from you.

Just Listed in Maple Leaf!

Maple Leaf Homes For Sale:  Just Listed By Cooper Jacobs! (SOLD)maple leaf home for sale

Situated high above the street to capture the best views, take in Greenlake, the Seattle skyline and the Olympic Mountains. 3 bedrooms/1.5 baths with a finished non-comforming 4th bedroom/office in the basement, a perfect place to hide away for quiet. Modern kitchen with granite counters and stainless appliances. Full height ceilings in the basement. 1 car attached garage and fully fenced yard.  $629,950

More info:  502 NE 82nd St

Please email us for more info on this Maple Leaf home or others:

realestate@cooperjacobs.com

maple leaf home for sale

Seattle Real Estate: Interest Rates, Affordability, And What’s Next

Looking At Seattle Homes For Sale, Interest rates, and Affordability – Should You Buy Now?  Or Wait?

The fact is that interest rates on 30-year, 20-year and 15-year fixed rate mortgages are some of the lowest in history.  We don’t know how they will increase over the next two years.

In discussions with friends about their plans to purchase a home I often hear them say that they would like to purchase in a year or two.  This is great news for everyone.  However, I usually try to educate them on the current advantages of low mortgage interest rates. – Cooper Jacobs Real Estate

Taking advantage of a 4% or lower loan rate can save prospective homebuyers thousands, if not over $100,000 in the amount of interest paid on the life of a loan.[1] Currently, interest rates on a 30-year fixed loan are setting at 4.02%.  That is the lowest since June 2013.[2] With the economy on track for a solid 3.5% annual growth and inflation rising, investors are beginning to dump bonds for stocks.[3] This, in turn forces financial institutions to raise the interest rates on loan products to keep a profit.

Seattle homes

The economy is no doubt on an upward trajectory.  Baring another economic disaster, the economy will continually improve and force interest rates up.  Can we predict whether interest rates will be significantly higher in 2016?  The answer is no.  However, we can say with confidence that they will be higher and when it comes to your money every dollar matters.

Current homeowners are taking advantage of these low interest rates by refinancing.  They understand the significant savings to be had by leaving their 30-year fixed rate mortgage for a new 20-year or 15-year fixed loan instead.  In fact, 44% of people who refinanced in the third quarter “ditched their existing 30-year fixed rate loan in favor of a shorter-termed 15-year or 20-year loan.  It’s the second quickest exodus from the 30-year fixed rate mortgage in recorded history…”[4]

So, instead of putting off the home buying process for another year or more, people should begin to get their feet wet.

  • Build a relationship with a local Seattle Realtor
  • Ask your Realtor for their trusted resources such as a referral for a lender.
  • Find out what kind of loan options you can qualify for and what is available.

By taking advantage of these resources you can be prepared to pull the trigger when you find a home that you love.  It should also be noted that using a Realtor that is from your neighborhood is a service that will cost you, as a potential home buyer, nothing out of pocket.  So, let a professional help you do the searching and narrow down the choices for you.  In the end, it is all about making things smooth and easy while saving money.


[1] Lisa Ward, “The Steep Cost of Not Refinancing,” The Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2014.

[2] Average 30 Year Fixed Mortgage rates, http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/data/30-year-mortgage-rates.aspx

[3] The Detroit News, “U.S. 30-Year Mortgage Rate up to 4.02%,” http://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/personal-finance/2014/11/10/mortgage-rates-rise/18779027/

[4] Dan Green, Today’s Low Mortgage Rates Push Borrowers Away From 30- Year Loans, http://themortgagereports.com/16858/freddie-mac-refinance-report-transition-15-year-30-year-mortgage-loan

Cooper Jacobs Real Estate  realestate@cooperjacobs.com

 

 

Seattle Houseboats: 2014 Floating Homes Show Was A Hit!

Seattle Houseboats Brokers

Thank you to all the amazing volunteers who showed up in full force to make the 2014 Seattle Floating Homes Tour a success!

floating homes tour poster

Cooper Jacobs Brokers were on site to volunteer as well!

Thank you to all the members of Cooper Jacobs Real Estate.  This tour is a way for our office to give back to a phenomenal community! The Seattle floating homes neighborhood is very near and dear to our hearts and all proceeds of this tour go to the Floating Homes Association.

floating homes tour map

There were twelve Seattle floating homes on the tour this year in both Eastlake and Westlake.  We had 6 electric boats going back and forth across Lake Union as well as buses for ticket holders to go back and forth.

The theme this year was Wonderful Water Colors and co-chair Sue Jostrom was responsible for the beautiful pieces of art in the ticket/brochure. Courtney and Molly coordinated roughly 100 volunteers over two different shifts.  Jann , Melissa, and LeAnne were at Will Call passing out tickets to the purchasers of the sold out tour.  There were 1200 tickets sold this year and it was a success all the way around.

seattle realtors

Thanks to Brian Olsen and Jim Dougherty for being two of the twelve Captains crossing Lake Union on what was a very busy day on the lake! Thanks to Rick and Joyce Miner for providing the signage for us and thank you to Tricia Rendina and Joyce Black for being co-chairs and organizing sponsors, etc. This was a huge collaborative effort which goes back many months.

Additional reading if you are interested in this lifestyle or other Seattle neighborhoods:

Blog with lots of info about Seattle Houseboats

Seattle Floating Homes for sale

Seattle waterfront homes

Seattle neighborhoods

Greenwood Townhome For Sale

Welcome home to Greenwood:

10222 1st Ave NW #C (SOLD)

greenwood homes

Great in-city townhouse has it all!

Light & spacious day rooms, open floor plan. Cook’s kitchen w/gas range, stainless appliances, granite counters & rich cabinetry. It opens to light filled living & dining room w/hardwood floors & gas fireplace. End unit for added light on all levels. 2 bedrooms, 2 baths plus utility closet up. Vaulted ceilings & walk-in closet too! Entry level has secure access from garage, covered entry, tile floor, closet & 3rd bdrm + 3rd full bath for a thoughtful design.

greenwood homes for sale

$395,000

Close to Carkeek Park, too…..

Features…

Bath Off Master, Double Pane Storm Windows, Dining Room, High Tech Cabling, Vaulted Ceilings, Walk-in Closet

  • 3 Bedrooms
  • 3.5 Baths
  • 1530 Square Feet
  • Built 2007

SEattle townhomes

More info:

This Greenwood home is listed by Seattle Realtors at Cooper Jacobs Real Estate

Additional Seattle Real Estate Information:

10222 1st Ave NW #C, Seattle, WA

Greenwood homes for sale

Seattle Townhomes

9600 Roosevelt Way NE

seattle townhomes

Central to Maple Leaf amenities. Exceptional town home.

Details include crown molding, Brazilian Cherry hardwood floor, maple inlays, vaulted ceilings, cherry kitchen cabinets & granite counters. Abundant use of natural stone. Spacious living room & dining room area w/fireplace. Oversized 1 car garage, ample storage and workspace.

Sought after end unit, light filled southern exposure. New interior paint. Home qualifies as “Built Green” certificate provided. No homeowner dues!

This is a great opportunity to own a 3 bedroom townhome in a fabulous location!SEattle townhomes

  • 3 bedrooms
  • 1.5 baths
  • 1540 sq ft
  • year built 2007
  • Built Green
  • NO Dues
  • taxes $3255
  • 1 car garage

Features

Ceiling Fan(s), Double Pane Storm Windows, High Tech Cabling, Vaulted Ceilings, Walk-in Closetseattle homes for sale

Listed with Realtor Therese Byrne at Cooper Jacobs Real Estate

More info:  9600 Roosevelt Way NE 206-660-9698  or tbyrne@tmbyrne.com