Your Queen Anne Market Report for June 2020

We’re almost back from the lag in activity that occurred in April. Prices are resuming their upward rise. Demand is very high and the Fed just declared that interest rates will remain low through 2022. To do that, the Fed is buying enormous amounts of Treasury bonds and mortgage -backed securities, among other things, to keep the economy flush with liquidity and the rates low. If we did not have the Fed, we would all be in serious economic trouble.

 

There is nothing unusual with Queen Anne real estate except we have a lower than normal listing inventory, especially for the Spring time of year when many of our homes go on the market. Out of curiosity, I took a look back through the Queen Anne MLS data for the period from March 1-June 1 of last year to see how that compares to this year. During that period in 2019, we had 66 sales with an average time on market of 37 days and an average sale price of $1.426M. For the same period this year, we had 37 sales with an average market time of only 11 days and an average sales price of $1.525M. Of those 37 sales, 27 are pending sales in the last three weeks so I think that shows demand has recovered since April. Whenever you have significantly more pendings than actives, you have a strong seller’s market. I look forward to this price increasing trend to continue (although not at the same rate as years passed) and so does our Windermere economist Matthew Gardner. Please take a minute to listen to his latest post regarding prices(see below).

 

It certainly is more challenging selling homes amidst the restrictions and precautions we have to take now with the Covid-19 virus, but buyers want to buy and are not hesitant to view homes even with masks, gloves and booties. I have noticed that a very popular price point for homes runs between $850K-$1.35M. Then there are fewer sales until you hit $2M-$2.4M which is also quite active with market times under 10 days! Once again, demand is there. We are so lucky in Seattle to have buyers for $1M+ homes that are still employed. That is certainly not the case in most of the country at the moment. BTW, we currently have 31 homes for sale on the Hill.

In this report, I have included two attachments: the usual one with the specifics of the previous 30 day period for Queen Anne home sales and a graph of King County sales since the first of the year that indicates we are nearly back to where we were before Covid-19 hit. A cause to celebrate I think!

 

And that’s the way Steve sees it…

Make it another great month and stay safe!


Posted on June 11, 2020 at 9:05 pm
Stephen Hicks | Posted in Market News | Tagged , , , , , ,

Your Queen Anne Market Report for May 2020

What a roller coaster time we are in! Major events seem to be happening daily. In every spring market I have been in for years, May is usually the hottest month of the year ie., the most sales and multiple offers driving prices up. We were going gangbusters in February and before March 24 and then we hit a bump in the road. 30 QA homes have been listed since then, but only 9 of them have sold; however, 15 more homes closed since March 24, but they were listed before the shelter in place, indicative of a slowdown. I think we are very lucky that these numbers are not a lot lower as they are in most areas of the country. My observation is that most Queen Anne buyers have solid jobs in the Tech industry, so without those companies(especially Amazon) we would see much lower numbers and declining prices. I am not seeing a large number of multiple offers driving prices above list BTW. At the moment, we have 33 homes for sale on the Hill and that number has increased in the last two weeks, a good sign. Please see the attachments if you are interested in specific home sales during this period.

I have to mention a little about financing. Since many borrowers have lost their jobs or may be laid off soon, banks have tightened up their criteria for lending. For instance, loans over $741,000(jumbo loans) are more challenging to obtain. Wells Fargo is no longer offering them unless you have investments with them. Loans below that number are government secured so they are still obtainable. The gold standard for a buyer credit score is now 760+ allowing you to get the best rate. In addition, banks are now calling employers a few days before closing to verify the continued employment prospects for the borrower. I have heard of several cases where the bank refused to fund the loan two days before closing which is very disappointing for everyone. Since most sales involve financing, this adds an extra wrinkle in the process and gives more emphasis to the adage “It’s never over until it closes”.

I’m going out on a limb here and predicting that we will not see significant reductions in home values. We had very strong sales before Covid-19 hit, and I think that will resume as we move through the next few months. Below is a video to our Windermere economist discussing his take on that subject.  

Incidentally, the home that sold for most over list in the last 30 days was 3423 13th West, listed for $965,000 and sold for $1.045M. It was a renovated smaller home with 3 bedrooms, two baths and large backyard.

And that’s the way Steve sees it…

Be careful and safe!


Posted on May 13, 2020 at 7:40 pm
Stephen Hicks | Posted in Market News | Tagged , , , , , ,

Are You A Homeowner Seeking Forbearance On Your Mortgage? Watch Out For These Red Flags.

Homeowners have access to assistance with their mortgage if they’ve encountered financial difficulties as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

These are the questions to ask if you apply for mortgage assistance

Homeowners are asking for breaks on their mortgage payments in droves, as millions of Americans face the prospect of unemployment or reduced income because of the coronanvirus pandemic. But requesting forbearance on your mortgage isn’t foolproof.

The $2.2 trillion CARES Act stimulus package requires servicers to provide forbearance — a temporary postponement of payments — to any homeowner with a federally-backed mortgage. Americans with other mortgages may also be able to receive forbearance at their servicers’ discretion.

Requests for forbearance have poured in. Forbearance requests grew by 1,896% between March 16 and March 30, according to a recent report from the Mortgage Bankers Association, a trade group that represents the mortgage industry. And before that, forbearance requests had increased some 1,270% between March 2 and March 16.

As consumers have rushed to call their servicer in search of assistance, call centers have been overwhelmed, leading to longer wait times to speak with a representative.

“If you are eligible for this and you need the help, take full advantage of the program,” said Rick Sharga, a mortgage industry veteran and founder of CJ Patrick Company, a real-estate consulting firm. “But similarly, if you don’t need the help, and if you can pay your mortgage, don’t try and game the system and make it harder for people who really do need the benefits to access.”

For those who have yet to get a forbearance agreement in place, here’s what you need to know:

‘Forbearance is not forgiveness’

To be clear, mortgage borrowers will still need to pay off their loan eventually if they receive forbearance.

“Forbearance is not forgiveness,” said Karan Kaul, a research associate at the Urban Institute, a left-of-center nonprofit policy group. “You still owe the money that you were paying, it’s just that there’s a temporary pause on making your monthly payments.”

‘Forbearance is not forgiveness. You still owe the money that you were paying, it’s just that there’s a temporary pause on making your monthly payments.’

— Karan Kaul, a research associate at the Urban Institute

Under a forbearance agreement, a borrower can pause payments entirely or make reduced payments on their mortgage. Homeowners with federally-backed mortgages are eligible for up to 180 days of forbearance initially under the CARES Act. At that point, if they’re still facing financial difficulty, they can request an extension of up to another 180 days of forbearance.

The provisions in the stimulus package stipulate that during the forbearance period, mortgage servicers cannot make negative reports about the borrower in question to credit bureaus, including the three main ones, Experian EXPGY, -1.44% , Equifax EFX, -2.08% and TransUnion TRU, -3.34% . Borrowers also will not owe any late fees or penalties if they are granted forbearance.

You need to know who your servicer is

Struggling homeowners won’t automatically receive forbearance. You need to request it from your servicer.

Mortgage servicers are the companies who receive your monthly payments. A homeowner’s mortgage servicer isn’t necessarily the same as their lender — many lenders sell the servicing rights for mortgages to other companies.

The first step to figure out who your servicer is would be to check your mortgage statement. If for some reason the information isn’t there, you can look it up by searching the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems website. Alternatively, you can check with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, if your loan is backed by one of them.

How do you know if you qualify?

To qualify for forbearance, a borrower must have a mortgage backed by one of the following federal agencies:

• Fannie Mae

• Freddie Mac

• The Federal Housing Administration (FHA)

• The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

• The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Borrowers should avoid calling their servicers to find out if they’re eligible, Sharga said.

“Find out what you can before you try and reach your mortgage servicer, because they are overwhelmed with call volume right now,” Sharga said.

Fannie Mae FNMA, -3.01% and Freddie Mac FMCC, -4.13% both have websites where you can check whether your loan is backed by one of them. You can access those websites here and here. Almost half of all mortgages in the U.S. are backed by Fannie and Freddie.

To find out if your loan is backed by the FHA, check the original closing documents or your most recent mortgage statement. If you pay for FHA Insurance, then that agency is backing your loan. Alternatively, your closing documents should include a HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) statement and a 13-digit HUD number.

Because the VA and USDA loan programs target specific borrowers, those borrowers should already know if they have loans backed by those agencies. In the event you are still unsure, you can call your servicer.

Those who aren’t eligible aren’t necessarily out of luck, though. Servicers for non-federally-backed mortgages may still be willing to provide forbearance to borrowers facing financial trouble right now.

Also see:More than half of renters say they lost jobs due to coronavirus: ‘They could face housing situations that spiral out of control’

Be prepared to answer some questions

You don’t need to provide documentation to prove your financial hardship at this time, but your servicer may have some questions to determine how much assistance they will offer you.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau suggests being prepared to answer the following:

• Why you can’t make your payments?

• Is the problem you are facing temporary or permanent?

• What is the current state of your income, expenses and other assets, including money in the bank?

• Are you a service member with permanent change of station orders?

“Consumers should indicate they have had a hardship due to COVID-19 and ask about their forbearance options with the company servicing the mortgage loan,” said Chris Diamond, director of financial products at online mortgage lender Better.com. “They should ask how long of a forbearance they can qualify for as well as what their options are at the end of that forbearance period.”

Get your forbearance agreement in writing

The CFPB stresses that any borrower who has received a reprieve on mortgage payments should get their agreement in writing.

“Once you’re able to secure forbearance or another mortgage relief option, ask your servicer to provide written documentation that confirms the details of your agreement and that you’re clear on what the terms are,” the agency said on its website.

Having the agreement in writing will protect you if there are errors in your mortgage statement or your credit report.

Watch out for balloon payments

After a borrower has secured a forbearance agreement from their servicer, they should discuss repayment options.

“You don’t want a surprise like finding out that six months of deferred loan payments are all due immediately upon the end of the forbearance,” Sharga said. “Most people simply won’t have six months’ worth of mortgage payments available.”

Some borrowers have expressed concerns after being offered a balloon payment option like the one Sharga described. With a balloon payment, a borrower would pay back the entire amount owed for the forbearance period at once.

While a lender may offer a balloon payment as an option, there is no mandate that a borrower must repay in this manner, Kaul said.

Read more:America’s housing market is showing the first signs of trouble from the coronavirus pandemic

Homeowners can and should aim to negotiate the best possible repayment options for them. “All those terms are negotiable,” Sharga said. “Be diligent, be steadfast and try and stand your ground.”

Beyond a balloon payment, servicers may offer to extend the term of the mortgage and tack on the missed payments at the end, so a 30-year mortgage would be extended by 4 months if that’s how much forbearance a borrower received.

There is no mandate that a borrower must repay what they owe in missed payments in one balloon payment after forbearance.

Alternatively, a borrower may also be offered the option to amortize the balance they owe over the life of the loan. This means they would repay a portion of the balance owed in addition to their usual monthly payments.

A borrower can request information on who owns their mortgage note, since the owner might be able to provide more relief options. Servicers must respond to these requests within 10 business days, said Andrea Bopp Stark, an attorney with the National Consumer Law Center.

“If the servicer does not respond, the borrower should send another letter and seek legal assistance,” Bopp Stark said. “The servicer could be held liable for actual damages and up to $2,000 statutory damages for a failure to respond.”

If you’re still in financial trouble after forbearance, consider a loan modification

It’s too soon to tell whether 12 months of forbearance will be enough assistance for those who are among the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs in recent weeks.

“The most beneficial option if the borrower might be out of work or impacted for an extended period is to request to modify the loan at the end of forbearance,” Diamond said.

Unlike forbearance, a loan modification involves a permanent change to the details of the mortgage. This can include adjusting the interest rate, extending the duration of the loan or deferring the amount owed until the end of the loan as a separate lien.

A servicer will determine whether or not a borrower qualifies for the modification.

SOURCE: MarketWatch

 


Posted on April 28, 2020 at 7:34 pm
Stephen Hicks | Posted in Market News | Tagged , , , , ,

Matthew Gardner Weekly COVID-19 Housing & Economic Update

Every Monday Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner provides an update regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the US economy and housing market.

Update #1 – 3/23/2020

Update #2 – 3/30/2020

This week he discusses what it really means for the economy and housing to be in a COVID-19 induced recession (hint: it’s not all bad news).

Update #3 – 4/6/2020

In the latest episode of “Mondays with Matthew”, Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner dives into part one of his two-part series analyzing the mortgage market. Today’s focus is on the substantial impact COVID-19 has had on jumbo mortgages. Check back next week when he’ll discuss conventional mortgages and provide his latest interest rate forecast.

Update #4 – 4/13/2020

This week on “Mondays with Matthew” Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner discusses the impact of COVID-19 on 30-year-mortgages and gives an updated 2020 interest rate forecast.

Update #5 – 4/13/2020

This week on “Mondays with Matthew” Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner analyzes the past two decades of the new home construction market and then discusses his predictions for this segment of the market going forward.

 


Posted on April 21, 2020 at 10:11 pm
Stephen Hicks | Posted in Market News, Monday's with Matthew | Tagged , , , , ,

THE GARDNER REPORT – FIRST QUARTER 2020

The following analysis of the Western 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 reach out.

A MESSAGE FROM MATTHEW GARDNER

Needless to say, any discussion about the U.S. economy, state economy, or housing markets in the first quarter of this year is almost meaningless given events surrounding the COVID-19 virus.

Although you will see below data regarding housing activity in the region, many markets came close to halting transactions in March and many remain in some level of paralysis. As such, drawing conclusions from the data is almost a futile effort. I would say, though, it is my belief that the national and state housing markets were in good shape before the virus hit and will be in good shape again, once we come out on the other side. In a similar fashion, I anticipate the national and regional economies will start to thaw, and that many of the jobs lost will return with relative speed. Of course, all of these statements are wholly dependent on the country seeing a peak in new infections in the relatively near future. I stand by my contention that the housing market will survive the current economic crisis and it is likely we will resume a more normalized pattern of home sales in the second half of the year.

HOME SALES

  • There were 13,378 home sales during the first quarter of 2020, a drop of only 0.2% from the same period in 2019, but 27% lower than in the final quarter of 2019.
  • The number of homes for sale was 32% lower than a year ago and was also 32% lower than in the fourth quarter of 2019.
  • When compared to the first quarter of 2019 sales rose in eight counties and dropped in seven. The greatest growth was in Cowlitz and Lewis counties. The largest declines were in Island and Snohomish counties.
  • Pending sales — a good gauge of future closings — rose 0.7% compared to the final quarter of 2019. We can be assured that closed sales in the second quarter of this year will be lower due to COVID-19.

HOME PRICES

  • Home-price growth in Western Washington rose compared to a year ago, with average prices up 8.7%. The average sale price in Western Washington was $524,392, and prices were 0.4% higher than in the fourth quarter of 2019.
  • Home prices were higher in every county except San Juan, which is prone to significant swings in average sale prices because of its size.
  • When compared to the same period a year ago, price growth was strongest in Clallam County, where home prices were up 21.7%. Double-digit price increases were also seen in Kitsap, Skagit, Mason, Thurston, and Snohomish counties.
  • Affordability issues remain and, even given the current uncertain environment, I believe it is highly unlikely we will see any form of downward price pressures once the region reopens.

DAYS ON MARKET

  • The average number of days it took to sell a home in the first quarter of this year dropped seven days compared to the first quarter of 2019.
  • Pierce County was the tightest market in Western Washington, with homes taking an average of only 29 days to sell. All but two counties — San Juan and Clallam — saw the length of time it took to sell a home drop compared to the same period a year ago.
  • Across the entire region, it took an average of 54 days to sell a home in the first quarter of the year — up 8 days compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.
  • Market time remains below the long-term average across the region. This is likely to change, albeit temporarily, in the second quarter due to COVID-19.

CONCLUSIONS

This speedometer reflects the state of the region’s real estate market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors.

Given the current economic environment, I have decided to freeze the needle in place until we see a restart in the economy. Once we have resumed “normal” economic activity, there will be a period of adjustment with regard to housing. Therefore, it is appropriate to wait until later in the year to offer my opinions about any quantitative impact the pandemic will have on the housing market.


Posted on April 19, 2020 at 7:29 pm
Stephen Hicks | Posted in Market News, Matthew Gardner Report | Tagged , , , , ,

Your Queen Anne Market Report for April 2020

Strange times. As I stated in last month’s newsletter, the real estate market was showing earlier than normal signs of a coming spring market that was going to be gangbusters. That was true until March 25 when non-essential services were ordered to stay at home. As a small personal example, I sold a home in Magnolia on March 12 that was listed for $975K. There were nine offers on it with nine pre-inspections. My clients and I were very fortunate to have been the winner at a sold price of $1.205M. We were also very lucky that we were able to fast track the closing to March 27th because since then, several lenders, led by Wells Fargo, have temporarily suspended granting “jumbo” loans(loans over $741K that are not government secured). These larger loans, if available, face tightening qualifications for buyers. Until that restriction is lifted, it is going to have a negative effect on Queen Anne listings since nearly all of the homes on the Hill are well over $1M. Out of curiosity, I just searched SFD on QA that have sold since being listed after March 24.There were two. Normally by now, we would be in a very active spring market with homes up to $1.5M flying off the shelves and being driven up in price. As an  example, of the 15 homes that have sold in the last 30 days since my last report, 8 have sold for more than list, but these all went into contract before March 25th. Incidentally, the winner in that group for this month was 3603 13thWest, listed for $1.295M and sold for $1.615M! Until the restrictions, the average sold price/square foot was steadily rising and reached $575.00.

My prediction for where the market will be, once we have people going back to work, is that the pent up demand for QA homes will be very strong and when we get listings coming on the market(that I suspect are currently being held off the market) we will have a gangbusters market once again. My best guess is that will start to happen in mid-June. I don’t see our economy getting back to strength until October or so. Because of low interest rates continuing as well as low inventory, I do not see prices coming down. I do see only vacant homes come onto the market until the all-clear is issued since most sellers will not want strangers in their home if they are still  living there. Actually , for the past year, about 65% of the homes coming on market have been vacant anyway(my observation looking at the data over the last year).

 

QA Pendings and Solds for April 2020 Report the active and sold data for the preceding 30 days as usual and have added a link to Bill Gates discussing the pandemic and what he sees needs to happen before we are in the clear.

 

And that’s the way Steve sees it…

Stay safe


Posted on April 16, 2020 at 12:14 am
Stephen Hicks | Posted in Market News | Tagged , , , , , ,

Your Queen Anne Market Report for March 2020

“As the economic storm clouds on the horizon in early 2019 cleared up, we saw buyers return in droves, taking advantage of ultra-low mortgage rates,” said Zillow economist Jeff Tucker. “Our first look at 2020 data suggests that we could see the most competitive home shopping season in years, as buyers are already competing over near-record-low numbers of homes for sale. That is likely to mean more multiple-offer situations, and that buyers will have a harder time finding the perfect fit for their families. The good news for buyers is that low mortgage rates are helping to make home ownership more affordable, and home builders are responding to the hot housing market by starting construction on more homes than at any time since 2007.”-Zillow

I could not agree more and I liked the way the above was concisely written so I thought I would pass it along. So far this year, what I am seeing on the Hill is much more demand than last year at this time. While January and February are always low inventory months, this year the demand is much greater and as a result, I think this spring is going to be gangbusters again as I said in last month’s newsletter. Homes priced under $1M sell especially fast. As an example, 1916 11th West, a busy section of 11th going down to 15th West, listed for $900K, sold in less than a week. It had 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, unfinished basement, no yard and the back of the home was next to a new condominium project. It was so close that if you wanted to borrow some mustard from the neighbor, you wouldn’t even have to leave your home to do it.

Insanely low interest rates are a major part of this demand as they are at their lowest in 50 years. This is mainly due to the stock market suffering from corona virus fears and investment money flowing into 10-year Treasuries for safety. I see these low interest rates staying around probably through the rest of the year. Mortgage brokers are swamped with requests for re-financing which is what happens when rates go this low. Also, first time buyers are getting into the market now with larger numbers because rents are not going down and at a certain point, they can buy a home for not much more per month than the rent they are currently paying (if they have the down payment). In short, I am predicting that this spring will be crazier than last spring, so great for sellers (and buyers if they can get into contract on a home).

I have posted a video below that shows you a short video on the current Seattle market from our Windermere economist, Matthew Gardener. He addresses the virus outbreak and his prediction on how it will affect our market. 

The winner of last month’s home that went most over list price is 2900 1st North, a beautiful Craftsman, listed for $1.395M and selling for $1.685M! The demand is back in force!

Read the full report by clicking here.

And that’s the way Steve sees it…

Make it a great month and stay healthy!


Posted on March 11, 2020 at 10:35 pm
Stephen Hicks | Posted in Market News | Tagged , , , , , ,

Your Queen Anne Market Report for February 2020

Well we have gone from only 5 active listings last month to 15 currently. Looking at the last 30 days of sales on the Hill, it looks like we are going to have another great spring market due to how quickly new listings coming on the market have gone into escrow. We have had 10 sales in the last 30 days with an average market time of only 8 days. This certainly demonstrates that demand is alive and well for Queen Anne homes. The low inventory is the only factor that is keeping the sales from going even higher. The most popular price ranges for these sales is under $1.5M and especially active is anything listed under $1M. This makes sense of course because there are more buyers in this range than in price ranges over $1.5M. You can look at the data in the attachment if you like.

The national and local economy is very strong which is also underpinning this activity. Interest rates have been declining for the last six weeks or so due to all the money going into safe haven 10 year Treasury bonds. The more money that flows into those bonds, the lower their yields and consequently mortgage rates which stand around 3.5% (for a conforming loan amount for buyers with at least a 760 credit score and sufficient income). As long as tariffs are an issue and the corona virus, I see rates staying at this level. With rents skyrocketing and with mortgage rates this low, more younger buyers are moving into the market place instead of renting. The problem is usually lack of down payment, so I have started to see some banks offering zero down loans again. I do hope we have learned from our mistakes in 2007! Frankly, looking at the big picture, as long as unemployment stays low(3.6%), inflation remains under control(1.6%) and interest rates stay low, business and employment will continue to be profitable and consumers will continue to spend money which accounts for about 67% of our national GDP. As a small example of how optimistic I am about this spring, the home that sold for the most over list price in the last 30 days was 112 West McGraw, listed for $1.15M and selling for $1.345M! This is very positive considering it was in the dead of winter and on a very busy street!

As an side, I want you to know that this year, I will be offering a $2,000 credit towards staging, plus a custom movie and colorized floor plans in addition to professional high resolution photos for any new listings. I am trying to give you as much value as possible to help you sell your home for maximum dollar.

And that’s the way Steve sees it…
Make it a great month!

Click here to view the full report


Posted on February 17, 2020 at 11:40 pm
Stephen Hicks | Posted in Market News | Tagged , , , , , ,

THE GARDNER REPORT – FOURTH QUARTER 2019



ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

Employment in Washington State continues to soften; it is currently at an annual growth rate of 1.7%. I believe that is a temporary slowdown and we will see the pace of employment growth improve as we move further into the new year. It’s clear that businesses are continuing to feel the effects of the trade war with China and this is impacting hiring practices. This is, of course, in addition to the issues that Boeing currently faces regarding the 737 MAX.

In the fourth quarter of 2019 the state unemployment rate was 4.4%, marginally lower than the 4.5% level of a year ago. My most recent economic forecast suggests that statewide job growth in 2020 will rise 2.2%, with a total of 76,300 new jobs created.

HOME SALES

  • There were 18,322 home sales registered during the final quarter of 2019, representing an impressive increase of 4.7% from the same period in 2018.
  • Readers may remember that listing activity spiked in the summer of 2018 but could not be sustained, with the average number of listings continuing to fall. Year-over-year, the number of homes for sale in Western Washington dropped 31.7%.
  • Compared to the fourth quarter of 2018, sales rose in nine counties and dropped in six. The greatest growth was in Whatcom County. San Juan County had significant declines, but this is a very small market which makes it prone to extreme swings.
  • Pending home sales — a barometer for future closings — dropped 31% between the third and fourth quarters of 2019, suggesting that we may well see a dip in the number of closed sales in the first quarter of 2020.

This 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 housing market ended the year on a high note, with transactions and prices picking up steam. I believe the uncertainty of 2018 (when we saw significant inventory enter the market) has passed and home buyers are back in the market. Unfortunately, buyers’ desire for more inventory is not being met and I do not see any significant increase in listing activity on the horizon. As such, I have moved the needle more in favor of home sellers.

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 Governors 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 January 22, 2020 at 7:32 pm
Stephen Hicks | Posted in Market News, Matthew Gardner Report | Tagged

MATTHEW GARDNER – WILL THERE BE A RECESSION IN 2020?

Windermere Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, answers the most pressing question on everyone’s minds: Will there be a recession in 2020? Here’s what he expects to see.


Posted on January 19, 2020 at 2:35 am
Stephen Hicks | Posted in Market News, Matthew Gardner Report | Tagged , , , , ,