2018 Real Estate Forecast

What will the 2018 real estate market look like? Here’s our economist’s forecast.Matthew Gardner 2018 Forecast

Western Washington Real Estate Market Update

Great article on our Western Washington real estate market. You’ll notice a moderate increase in the number of homes sold in Skagit County, and a very large increase in the average home sale price locally. Low inventory and low interest rates are keeping buyers busy. content_16088_WWA_GardnerReportQ1_Masthead

How Hot is our Market?

Here’s a little secret: we just spent our last office meeting refreshing our “Multiple Offer” guidelines. We don’t just do that for fun. If the trend from this week continues, there will be no more homes for sale in Skagit County in just under 7 months. We lost more homes last week than we gained. Same thing happened the week before. If selling your home is a consideration, now might be the perfect time.

Here’s the math:

In the 7 days ending January 31st we have “lost” 78 available homes for sale. These include new pending sales, as well as expired and cancelled listings. There is a chance that some of these come back on the market in coming weeks, but many won’t. During that same 7 days, we “gained” 54 homes. These are new listings and homes that were previously pending or recently expired. So as you can see, even with new listing activity figured in, we’re losing 24 homes a week, or 104 homes per month (at the current rate). With 704 homes on the market on January 31st, that means if things don’t pick up on the listing side, or if purchase activity outpaces any gains on the listing side, we’ll be out of homes to sell in 6.7 months. This same trend holds true for the entire state, and if you did this math today (after lots of month end expired listings hit the market), you’ll find that we only have 3 months of inventory.

Historically we see an increase in listing activity as the weather warms up and Spring approaches, so logically we’ll see some shift in the current trend. But even in normal years, a quarter of all buyers for the year will have completed their purchase by May 1st. So don’t wait to list your home for sale, and if you are thinking about purchasing you might want to hurry (and make a competitive offer). There is a ton of action in our market right this minute. Don’t put off getting involved for too much longer.

Skagit Home Sales Heating Up

Wow, things have sure picked up in Skagit County this February! Pending sales (homes put under contract to sell) really jumped last month. There were 113 new contracts accepted, up 27% from the same time last year. The real jump came in the increase from January to February where we saw a 47% increase in pending activity! It looks like the buyers are really starting to take advantage of the historically low interest rates and rock-bottom pricing. The good news for sellers is that the inventory of homes for sale is still shrinking, down 18% from February of last year.

What does shrinking inventory and soaring pending activity mean for our market? It means an absorption rate of almost 15%! This means that 15% of the homes for sale in Skagit County were put under contract last month. To give you some perspective, we haven’t seen that level in over four years. It appears that we are entering into a more “balanced” market.

Buyers are still using every ounce of negotiation power to drive prices down a bit more, which are off 10% from last year. However, we did see a very modest median price increase over January’s level. Things are heading in the right direction!

Check out the full report (with pretty graphs) here.

Best Bookshelf Ever?

You’ve seen wooden bookcases, glass bookcases, hanging bookcases, milk crate bookcases, and cinder-block bookcases. But you have never, ever, seen a bookcase this cool. Repurposing old items for new uses isn’t new, but you have to have a certain amount of creativity to try this. And by “creativity”, we mean money. Lots and lots of money. Fast Company’s design website has lots of interesting ideas (we found this one there), take a look for yourself.

http://www.fastcodesign.com/1669208/ultra-green-house-has-a-vintage-jag-for-a-bookshelf

Welcome to Windermere!!

We’re excited to announce that Amie Mani has joined us at Windermere Mortgage Services in Skagit and Island County. Amie has been working hard in Skagit County since 2000 and has earned a stellar reputation. She has experience originating a wide variety of loans, including Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, HomePath, and more. She ranked in the North Sound Area’s top 10 in production in 2011.

At the end of every transaction we quiz our agents on the service their clients received from their loan officers, inspectors, and closing agents. Amie earned top marks each and every time, with glowing recommendations from our agents. We’re proud to have her, and proud that she will be on-hand to help our agents give first-class service to all of our clients.

Check out Amie’s contact information here, and let her know if you have any questions about financing a new home, or refinancing your existing home. You have our word she’ll earn your continued trust and business. Welcome to Windermere Amie!!

Put a Pretty Face on…Your House!

Spring is just around the corner and if you are thinking of listing your Skagit County home this year, you need to do some work on the yard. Trust us. Take a look at this article from This Old House and see what a little time, money, and creativity can do for your home. If you don’t take our advice on this one, you’ll watch prospective buyers slowly drive past your home without stopping to grab a flyer or call their agent to make a showing appointment. Curb appeal counts!!!

Award of Excellence

Congratulations to our 2011 Award of Excellence recipients. This award is given to Realtors that achieve a certain production volume and demonstrate a commitment to the Realtor organization, the recipient’s own personal real estate business, and the local community. We’re so proud to be so well represented in our industry.

Congratulations to:

Gold Level winners Colleen Craig (Windermere Anacortes), Bill Krieger, Elizabeth Miller, and Jannette Krieger (Windermere Skagit Valley).

Silver Level winners Debbie Macy (Windermere Anacortes) and Megan O’Bryan (Windermere Skagit Valley).

Bronze Level winners Cynthia Aanestad, Gina Davis, Tim Lemons, Jackie Stone, and Paul Weisz (Windermere Anacortes).

Tour a Frank Lloyd Wright Classic

Done with all this snow? Ready to get out and see something new? If you have been stuck inside YOUR house all week, the last thing on your list of fun is to go inside someone else’s, right? Think again. This is your chance to visit a classic Frank Lloyd Wright home. The tour is this Sunday and tickets are $35. Follow this link to learn more.

Welcome Back Cindy!!

We’re excited to have Cindy Sullivan back in our Mount Vernon office, ready to help you sell or buy a home. Cindy spent some time out of the state enjoying warmer weather, but thankfully she came back to us. Please visit her website to learn more about Cindy Sullivan!