Greater Seattle Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

Here's where I like to write my monthly real estate market updates, give tips and tricks for selling real estate and advice for purchasing a home in King County. It's always best to reach out to me early in your thought process, so I can formulate the best plan for you.  I'm ready when you are. -Elizabeth

Oct. 11, 2019

More than 50% Say ‘Now Is a Good Time to Buy’

Is now a good time to buy? -Real estate blog by Elise Russo

Forty-eight percent of renters compared to 73% of owners think now is a good time to buy.

Posted in Tips and Tricks
Oct. 4, 2019

Pending Home Sales Snapshot

Pending Home Sales Snapshot

August 2019 - On the west coast our index was 101.7 and year over year up 0.2%

Posted in Tips and Tricks
Sept. 27, 2019

Existing-Home Sales Increase 1.3% in August

Visual Story: Existing-Home Sales

 

Remember, when you're looking to buy or sell your home, I want to be your only Realtor.  Make contact when you're ready?  I'm around! -Elise Russo

Posted in Tips and Tricks
Sept. 20, 2019

Market Update: August 2019

Seattle's Housing Market at a Glance

     Summer is coming to an end and there are many trends and opposing factors that are competing to change the direction of the real estate market.  Many of you now, the Federal Reserve lowered its benchmark interest rate on July 31.  Since then, the 30-year mortgage interest rates have continued to decline.  It's actually approaching the lowest we've seen since 2016!  Still, most economists agree that these interest rate reductions are not really likely to bring lasting relief for first-time home buyers.  There's just a lack of affordable homes currently for sale and the continued high housing prices just keep coming onto the market.  This is leading to lower than expected existing home sales at a national level.

     Many homeowners (including myself) have refinanced their homes to take advantage of the really low interest rates.  Consumer confidence in housing was reported to be at historically high levels.  Even with all of this good news, all of the powers that may be are telling us we should closely monitor the market for any changes in the ecosystem.  Just because the inventory of affordable homes is seemingly stable, it's stable at historically low levels.  This may continue to push prices higher and affect potential buyers across the U.S. 

For King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish Counties

  • Closed Sales decreased 3.4% for Residential homes and 8.5% for Condominium homes.
  • Pending Sales increased 22.4% for Residential homes and 5.0% for Condominium homes.
  • Inventory decreased 17.8% for Residential homes but increased 6.6% for Condominium homes.
  • The Median Sales Price increased 4.7% to $500,000 for Residential homes and 2.5% to $375,000 for Condominium homes.
  • Days on Market increased 21.7% for Residential homes and 61.1% for Condominium homes.
  • Months Supply of Inventory decreased 13.6% for Residential homes but increased 16.7% for Condominium homes.

Seattle Quick Year-Over-Year Housing Sale Facts August 2019

As you know, I like to look at all of the numbers every month, so I can give you a better idea of how the housing market is moving.  It's my hope that it'll give you the information needed to make a more informed decision.  When you're ready to buy or sell, remember I want to be your only Realtor. -Elizabeth "Elise" Russo

Posted in Market Updates
Sept. 13, 2019

Qualified Opportunity Zone Program

Qualified Opportunity Zone Program

Qualified Opportunity Zone Program

Investors' Timeline

Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZ) provide tax incentives for private investment into more than 8,700 under-served communities that have been designated as Opportunity Zones throughout the country.  To qualify, investors must go through Opportunity Funds specifically set up for investing in a QOZ, and comply with the timing requirements set by the legislation, the IRS and Department of Treasury.

Program Deadlines:

Within 180 Days

Within 180 days of realizing the gains of a sale, the investor must reinvest those gains into an Opportunity Fund

Before December 31, 2026

Unit the earlier of either December 31st 2026 or the date the investor pulls their interest in the Opportunity Fund, the investor can defer payment of capital gains tax on the reinvested gains.

Interest Held in A Fund for 5-7 Years by December 31, 2026

If the investor holds their interest in the fund for at least 5 years, the tax paid (by December 31st 2026 or when they pull their interest in the fund) is reduced by 105 (through an adjustment in basis); if held for 7 years, it is reduced by 15%.

Interest Held in A Fund for 10+ Years

After being held for at least 10 years, upon sale, there is no tax on any appreciation on reinvested gains that occur while in the Opportunity Fund

December 31, 2028

Opportunity Zone designations expire

December 31, 2047

The last date to sell interest in an Opportunity Fund.

 

Remember, when you're looking to buy or sell your home, I want to be your only Realtor.  Make contact when you're ready?  I'm around! -Elise Russo

Posted in Tips and Tricks
Sept. 6, 2019

Existing-Home Sales Housing Snapshot

Housing Snapshot for August 2019

Housing Snapshot - Pending Home Sales for August 2019

August 2019 brought 5.49 million in sales, a median sales price of $278,200, and 4.1 months of inventory. The median sales price is up 2.6% year over year, and inventory is down 0.2 months from August 2018.

 
Posted in Tips and Tricks
Aug. 30, 2019

How Does A Short Sale Work?

Will My Property Qualify?

Because of the changes in values, some have found themselves underwater on what they owe for their property vs what they could sell the home for.  If you're in this boat, this can leave you in a difficult position if you have to move or if you have had a change in income etc.  There are a lot of cases where the bank will agree to sell the home for less than you owe on the property.

There are a lot of moving parts to the short sale process and the qualifications differ with each lender.  If you'd like to talk about your specific situation, my contact info is above.  I'm happy to go more in depth.  For now, here's a general description of how a short sale works.

1. Receiving Offers

A short sale property is listed in the MLS like any other property with the proper disclosures and addendums.  Once an offer is received, it's reviewed by the listing agent and the owner to determine if it's acceptable to present to the lender for approval.

2. Lender Review

The lender will also complete a review of the seller's financial status to determine if they will approve the seller for a short sale.  Again, there are many factors that go into a banks decision in this part of the process as well.  They're going to look at your income debt, payment history, potential financial hardships in the future, etc. In the end, they may decide a refinance is your best option.

3. Bank Review

Once an offer has been accepted by the current owner, the bank will do their own independent review of the property itself and determine the value of the property according to their review.  Depending on the offer, they may counter the buyers offer price or they may accept that the offer is at market value.  It's rare that a bank will accept anything less than market value.  There are some situations where they will compromise, but it's a case by case situation.

Posted in Tips and Tricks
Aug. 23, 2019

Quality Discounted Properties: When is Buying a House a Good Investment?

is buying a house a good investmentAs a buyer, when is buying a house a good investment strategy? it’s important to recognize the difference between getting a great price and BUYING QUALITY PROPERTIES AT A DISCOUNT. Price is only part of the evaluation of a property. You do not have to look further than some of the bank owned foreclosures and short sales in your market to see the difference. There is a trap that many buyers fall into at some point, and that is leaning toward the best price vs. the best value.

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Posted in Tips and Tricks
Aug. 16, 2019

Market Update: July 2019

Seattle's Housing Market at a Glance

We started our recovery in June 2009 and this month it has become the longest economic expansion in the nation's history.  I mean, can you believe it's been 121 months of gross domestic product growth?!  This month, we surpassed the previous record that lasted from 1991 to 2001.  Of course, the average growth rate during this expansion hasn't been as aggressive.  This time around we grew 2.3% per year, as compared to 3.6% during the 1990s.  The crystal ball predictions (by economists) believe we will continue to preform very well for the rest of 2019 and most agree there will be a mild recession in the near future.

At the time we were setting our 121-month record for expansion, the unemployment rate dropped from 10.0% in 2009 to 3.7%.  Still, many still struggle to make ends meet financially.  The low mortgage interest rates have helped make home purchases more doable.  It's just the high home prices are still moving up in value, faster than the median household income growth.  The Federal Reserve has tried to combat this by reducing the benchmark interest rate by a quarter point to about 2.25%.  This is the first reduction in more than 10 years!

For King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish Counties

  • Closed Sales decreased 6.5% for Residential homes and 12.0% for Condominium homes.
  • Pending Sales increased 12.5% for Residential homes and 15.4% for Condominium homes.
  • Inventory decreased 5.2% for Residential homes but increased 23.8% for Condominium homes.
  • The Median Sales Price increased 1.6% percent to $508,000 for Residential homes and 1.8% to $373,500 for Condominium homes.
  • Days on Market increased 21.1% for Residential homes and 73.3% for Condominium homes.
  • Months Supply of Inventory decreased 5.0% for Residential homes but increased 40.0% for Condominium homes.

Seattle Quick Year-Over-Year Housing Sale Facts May 2019

As you know, I like to look at all of the numbers every month, so I can give you a better idea of how the housing market is moving.  It's my hope that it'll give you the information needed to make a more informed decision.  When you're ready to buy or sell, remember I want to be your only Realtor. -Elizabeth "Elise" Russo

Posted in Market Updates
Aug. 9, 2019

Tech-Smart Home Buyers

Tech-Smart Home Buyers

Posted in Tips and Tricks