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 , , , , , , , , , ,

Post Election Housing Thoughts

How could a Biden administration impact real estate? Matthew Gardner, Windermere Real Estate’s Chief Economist, shares his thoughts.

 

Posted on November 13, 2020 at 9:00 AM
Robin Myers | Category: buying a home, economy, ELECTION, first time buyers, real estate, Robin Myers, selling a home, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Changes Planned for the Marketplace at Factoria

Factoria Mall Bellevue

flickr/William Forney

 

Its been rumored for years that Factoria Mall would be redeveloped to make better use of the large parcel. The mall and several free standing buildings currently occupy the 43 acre site. An application for design review has been submitted to the City of Bellevue for redevelopment of the Marketplace at Factoria. Eight phases are planned which will include expanding current retail space, adding a multi-family residential building, 150 room hotel, office  buildings and renovation of the existing mall to increase the size and create an open-air shopping mall. Current retail tenants may need to be relocated throughout the redevelopment process that will add 151,000 square feet of retail to the mall’s current 525,948 square feet. The project will be completed in 8 phases.

Improvements include pedestrian improvements to create a safer walking environment, enhanced landscaping, an extension of the bike/pedestrian path and a new crosswalk across SE 38th Street.

Later phases of the project will add a large gathering plaza to connect to two new office buildings to be constructed on the current Walmart site, which will be moved to a new location within the project.

 

 

Posted on November 12, 2020 at 9:00 AM
Robin Myers | Category: Bellevue, community, neighborhoods, real estate, Robin Myers, Windermere | Tagged , , , , , , ,

New Construction, Existing Home Sales, Condos & Vacation/Resort Homes

Tight supply and increasing land/material/labor continue to contribute to rising home prices.

Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, shares his thoughts on builder confidence nationwide, evidenced by a dramatic increase in sales of new construction homes and permit applications.  That continued buyer demand along with increasing construction costs are driving prices up. Sales of existing single family homes is also increasing, but even tighter supply is impacting prices in that market as well. Condo sales are up 9% nationwide (year-over-year) but there is a higher level of available condo inventory. That could be the result of condo owners taking advantage of low interest rates to make the move up to a larger home. The good news, that could free up condo inventory for first time or downsizing buyers. A surprise observation – sales of vacation and resort homes are up 30% nationwide.

 

 

 

 

Posted on October 26, 2020 at 12:08 PM
Robin Myers | Category: buying a home, condominium speciaist, condominiums, first time buyers, real estate, Robin Myers, Windermere | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

How Long Will Mortgage Rates Stay this Low?

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?

 

 

 

Posted on October 13, 2020 at 9:00 AM
Robin Myers | Category: buying a home, mortgage interest rates, real estate, Robin Myers, selling a home, 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 , , , , , , ,

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 , , , , , , ,

Interesting Look at Historical Data Regarding US Home Ownership

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.

 

 

Posted on August 11, 2020 at 12:44 PM
Robin Myers | Category: condominium speciaist, housing market, real estate, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , ,