Matthew Gardner’s Housing & Economic Update

This week Matthew Gardner, Windermere’s Chief Economist, shares his thoughts on the latest US home sales data.

Single family and multi family home values continue to rise while available inventory levels continue to decline. What’s the news for condos? Condo prices are trending higher nationwide, up 10% year-over-year. It’s difficult to know how long this trend can be sustained as we close 2020. What could impact values next year? We may hit an affordability issue, which could push some buyers out of the market, and increasing inventory levels may create more selection for buyers but more competition for sellers.

I specialize in Bellevue’s condo and townhome communities. If you have questions about the market or what’s been happening in your community, call, text or email.

Happy Thanksgiving. While this year may be very different from years past, if you have an opportunity to safely share the holiday with family, enjoy the day. Be safe and stay healthy.

Posted on November 25, 2020 at 11:44 AM
Robin Myers | Category: condominium speciaist, condominiums, housing market, real estate, Robin Myers, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Downtown Bellevue’s Condo Market is Doing Just Fine

downtown Bellevue skyline

Downtown Bellevue Skyline

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.

 

 

 

Posted on September 24, 2020 at 9:00 AM
Robin Myers | Category: Bellevue condominium, condominium speciaist, condominiums, Downtown Bellevue, real estate, Robin Myers, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Are You Eligible for a Property Tax Exemption or Deferral?

property taxes

courtesy flickr/401(K) 2012

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.

 

Posted on September 17, 2020 at 9:00 AM
Robin Myers | Category: condominiums, property tax exemptions, property taxes, real estate, Robin Myers, tax payer assistance, Windermere | Tagged , , , , , ,

Good News – Nationwide Mortgage Delinquency Rates are Down

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.

 

Posted on August 24, 2020 at 11:35 AM
Robin Myers | Category: economy, real estate, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , ,

Urban Pet Potty Solution – Perfect for Condo Living

Bellevue townhome courtyardI 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.

https://www.condopetpals.com

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on August 15, 2020 at 9:00 AM
Robin Myers | Category: Bellevue condominium, condominium speciaist, downsizing, lifestyle, pet services, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Selling Your Condo? Here’s Why the Condo Resale Certificate is Important

What is a Resale Certificate?

The condominium resale certificate is a critical part of every condo sale.  Condos  and homeowner associations are governed by documents that outline the duties and responsibilities of the homeowner and the community. When a buyer purchases a condo they are entitled to review those documents. The “resale certificate” is a 5-6 page summary supported by many other documents that contain information and disclosures that include the HOA’s governing documents (Declarations, ByLaws and Articles of Incorporation), budget and financial reports, assessments, reserves, reserve study, rules and regulations, pet and rental restrictions, meeting minutes, etc.

Why is a Resale Certificate Needed?

In Washington State the seller is required by law to deliver a current resale certificate to a buyer for review and approval. If not approved, the buyer may terminate the sale. The buyer’s lender will also review sections of the resale certificate as part of the buyer’s loan approval.

 

Who Prepares the Resale Certificate?

The documents are prepared by the HOA’s association manager (or a board member if the community is self-managed). The resale certificate is ordered by and paid for by the seller. Anticipate a fee of $275+.

In Washington State the seller is required to deliver the HOA resale certificate to the buyer per the terms of the Purchase and Sale contract (within 10 days unless otherwise specified). The buyer, once the package has been received, has five days to review the information and either approve or disapprove the resale certificate. If the buyer does not terminate within 5 days the resale certificate contingency is automatically waived.

I frequently review resale certificates and understand the importance these documents have for sellers, buyers and the successful sale of a condominium residence. If you have questions or need additional information, feel free to contact me.

 

 

Posted on August 13, 2020 at 8:00 AM
Robin Myers | Category: buying a home, condo resale disclosures, condominium speciaist, condominiums, selling a home | Tagged , , , , , , ,

How’s the Real Estate Market?

townhomesHow’s the Real Estate Market?

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?

 

 

 

 

Posted on July 29, 2020 at 9:00 AM
Robin Myers | Category: buying a home, condominium speciaist, property values, real estate, selling a home, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How Much Are Home Values Expected to Increase in 2020?

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.

 

Posted on July 28, 2020 at 2:29 PM
Robin Myers | Category: condominium speciaist, condominiums, economy, real estate, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

COVID-19 Impact on the Housing Market – You Might Be Surprised

Posted on July 13, 2020 at 2:09 PM
Robin Myers | Category: economy, home property values, real estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Homeowner Association Issues Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic

During the shelter-at-home order in Washington State, board or HOA meetings are currently prohibited. This may create complications for homeowner associations trying to conduct business that needs a majority vote regarding matters impacting the HOA and owners.

Homeowner/community associations are required to follow their governing documents when handling association matters. This includes owners and directors voting on association matters which is most often done in person. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home order, the Governor of Washington has amended the Emergency Proclamation to address issues relating to homeowner/community associations.

  • Owners and directors in homeowner/community associations are permitted to vote on association matters by mail, electronic mail and proxy, even if the association’s governing documents do not permit them to do so.
  • Owners and directors in homeowner/community associations may attend meetings by conference phone call or other similar communication that allows all participants to hear each other at the same time, even if the governing documents do not permit them to do so.
  • The Emergency Proclamation prohibits homeowner associations from charging owners late fees and interest on delinquent assessments and from imposing fines on owners for violating their governing documents.

This proclamation expires at 11:59 PM May 17, 2020.

 

 

 

 

Posted on April 22, 2020 at 2:36 PM
Robin Myers | Category: condominium speciaist, condominiums, Homeowner Associations, real estate | Tagged , , , ,