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?
Social distancing restrictions are going to limit traditional Halloween activities this year. If you’re looking for a fun family event, check out Bellevue’s Vasa Park Resort Drive-In Theatre. Classic Halloween movies will be shown this weekend and again the weekend of October 23rd/24th.
Some dates are already sold out . . . visit Vasa Park’s website (https://www.vasaparkresorteventcenter.com) for the movie schedule, tickets and concessions menu.
Friday, October 9th Hocus Pocus sold out
Saturday, October 10th Coco: Day of the Dead sold out
Friday, October 23rd Addams Family
It looks like fall weather and rain are the new normal. I can’t remember the last time our morning walk required rain gear for both me and the dog. Fall arrived this week leaving no doubt there has been a change in seasons. Fortunately Duffy loves wearing his rain and winter coats. He’s built pretty low to the ground, so the rain coat only keeps the upper half of his body dry. Love that wet dog fragrance.
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.
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.
I like to support local businesses, especially these days, and this one has special importance as a townhome owner with a pet. Condo Pet Pals has been a lifesaver. I live downtown and while I walk my dog several times a day, sometimes there isn’t enough time between business appointments to fit in a walk. It’s also not nearly as much fun to walk in the wind and rain and there’s a safety issue when nature calls at odd hours of the night. I’ve worked with Condo Pet Pals for nearly four years – this is a great solution for urban pet owners and coping with foul weather and late night potty trips.
Condo Pet Pals provides a tray and fresh grass delivered to your deck, patio, courtyard or garage. (Not “fake” grass that can retain odor.) Tray size options are available as well as a bi-weekly or weekly delivery schedule depending on the size or number of dogs. The crew is efficient, always on time and quickly remove soiled sod and replace it with fresh new grass. The soiled grass is taken back to their facility and composted or used as fill. Its an ecologically friendly and sanitary alternative for keeping your pet’s potty area fresh and clean. (Keep poop bags handy for clean-up of solid waste.) It took no time for my dog to figure out this was his personal potty space – even bought a little fire hydrant to improve his aim.
Love the convenience and the sanitary, odor-free, safe alternative for both my dog and me – makes those occasional midnight potty trips a lot easier and safer too.
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.