This week Matthew Gardner, Windermere Real Estate’s Chief Economist, discusses current mortgage interest rates. Interest rates are currently right around 3% and mortgage applications, driven by those historically low rates, are up 25% over the same period last year. It’s amazing to look back to the early 1980s when mortgage interest rates were in the high teens. But, how long will interest rates stay this low and what impact are these interest rates having on home prices?
As we enter the seventh month of pandemic survival all indications are the downtown Bellevue condo market has remained strong. Media articles predicted homeowners, driven by pandemic concerns, might choose to abandon the city for suburban homes offering more indoor and outdoor space. Homeowners may be departing Manhattan and San Francisco, but Bellevue’s urban condo marketplace is doing just fine. There was a slight and not unexpected decline in real estate activity in the early weeks of the pandemic – we all had to learn how to move about safely – but recent NWMLS data shows condo sales in downtown Bellevue have rebounded. Fifty condos in the central business district sold in the last 3 months and half of those sold at or over the list price. Those homes were on the market an average of 34 days and had a median sales price of $865,100. (An increase of just over 6% over last year.) Currently 68 condos are listed for sale with a median list price of $874,975.
While many are still working remotely, it’s unlikely that will continue either full time or permanently. Half a dozen office projects are under construction downtown, most of which are already leased. Amazon, along with many other companies, are continuing to expand or relocate to downtown Bellevue and the Spring District. Employees are expected to start returning to downtown office buildings next year which is likely to add to the demand for housing near workplaces, amenities and light rail.
Bellevue is a great example of a desirable live/work/play community. It has a vibrant central business district with an active arts and entertainment scene supported by world class dining and shopping options. Easy freeway access and the completion of light rail will add convenience and speed to getting around Bellevue and the Eastside.
Is everyone rushing to the suburbs? No. The pandemic may have inspired some to seek a permanent, more remote lifestyle. As the city returns to normal and continues to grow, urban living will continue to be in demand.
Did you know . . . there are King County real estate property tax relief programs for qualified senior citizens, disabled persons and veterans. It is estimated that many qualified seniors and disabled persons are not registered for available exemptions and only 1 in 100 of those eligible for deferrals are enrolled.
The application process is fairly easy. There are income, age, disability and ownership/occupancy guidelines that must be met. Details can be found on the King County Assessor’s Office website.
There is also a tax relief program that may assist those who own property damaged in the recent wildfires. The program assists homeowners of properties damaged or destroyed by flood, storm or something beyond the property owner’s control. Owners may be eligible for a reduction of assessed value resulting in lower property taxes. Information and forms for the destroyed property tax relief program are on the King County Assessor’s site.
Detailed information, forms and instructions for applying for all tax exempt or tax deferral programs are available from the King County Assessor’s Office. Applications for the 2021 tax year may be submitted starting in January 2021. Contact the King County Assessor’s Office at 206-296-3920 or on line at www.kingcounty.gov/depts/assessor/taxrelief.
Robin Myers is a Realtor® with Windermere Real Estate/East, Inc. specializing in Bellevue’s urban condominiums and townhomes.
Matthew Gardner, Windermere Real Estate’s Chief Economist, is back from vacation (sporting a new look) and talks about the relatively unknown U.S. Household Debt and Credit Report. While this may not sound very sexy, it actually contains interesting information. The report provides insights and data on national housing finance. Not surprising, mortgages and student debt represent the largest debt numbers, but the good news is that mortgage delinquency rates are down. Take a quick look, and have a great week.
This week with Matthew Gardner – interesting information on historical data regarding US home ownership rates. Millennials still represent the greatest increase in home ownership in the last year.
This week Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist with Windermere Real Estate, explains the Case Shiller Home Price Index which has accumulated data over the last 130 years of home prices in 20 major cities in the United States.
This is a question I hear a lot. Real estate was dormant this spring due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since mid-May the housing market has made a robust and positive rebound.
The number of buyers currently in the market far exceeds the available inventory of homes for sale. Why are so many buyers searching for homes? Record low interest rates give buyers more purchasing power. They’re taking advantage of those low interest rates to purchase a first home, move up to a larger home or, since we’ll be working from home/learning from home for many months to come, find a home that is a better fit for changing live/work/learn lifestyles. We are fortunate to live in an area with a strong economy. Local and national companies continue to grow and recruit employees, but that growth is bringing more home buyers to the area who want to purchase a home.
Lifestyle needs change . . . job and workspace needs change . . . housing needs change. Right now housing inventory is the biggest challenge for buyers looking to purchase a home. It’s a competitive market. The shortage of homes is definitely tipping the scale in favor of sellers, and that trend is expected to continue through the end of the year.
If there’s a change or a move in your future . . . how can I help?
This week Matthew Gardner, Windermere Real Estate’s Chief Economist, provides an update to his 2020 housing forecast. Interesting economic information relating to the local and nationwide real estate market.
Started in 2010, the information in the National Housing Survey contains information about consumer attitude, intentions and financial confidence as it relates specifically to housing.