eNewsletterReal Estate News August 11, 2017

August 2017 eNewsletter

I get asked this question often, and I can understand why. With the 2008 Great Recession not too far back in our rear-view mirror it is understandable that folks don’t want history to repeat itself, as that was a very painful time for many. Also, price appreciation has been rapid across the country, but especially in our region. The large price gains might seem familiar to the gains of the previous up market of 2004-2007, but the environment is much different, and that is why we are not headed toward a housing collapse.

Lending Requirements
As the graph shows, lending requirements are much more stringent now than what they were prior to the fall of the housing market.

Previous lending practices allowed people to get into homes with risky debt-to-income ratios, low credit scores and undocumented incomes. They called this sub-prime lending. A large part of why the housing bubble burst 10 years ago was due to people getting into mortgages they were not equipped to handle, which lend to the eventual fall of sub-prime lending. Currently, the average credit score over the last 12 months according to Ellie Mae was 724. During the days of sub-prime lending people were funding loans with scores as low as 560! This, coupled with many zero-down loan programs and the risky terms mentioned above left many new homeowners with little to no equity. When you have little or no equity it is very easy to just walk away.

The graph above shows the percentage of homes in our state with significant equity (20% or more) according to CoreLogic. Today many homeowners, especially in our region are making large down payments to begin with. Believe me, when reviewing multiple offers on a house, the size of down payment matters – hence many buyers landing homes are making large down payments. Unlike the market prior to the crash, when people have high equity levels they are not likely to abandon their home or miss payments.

Inventory Levels & Our Job Market
The biggest challenge in our market has been low inventory levels and high housing demand. It’s simply the concept of supply and demand. Our thriving job market has afforded folks already in our area the ability to make moves, and it is bringing people into our area from other parts of the country. Washington State’s net in-migration is 43% higher than it was 10 years ago. This has created increased demand, especially for homes closer to job centers resulting in shorter commutes. When you have increased demand and not enough homes to absorb the buyers, prices go up. Over the last three years we have easily seen a 10% increase in prices year-over-year. That is above the norm and should slow down as inventory increases. As inventory increases we anticipate a leveling out of appreciation rates to historical norms of 3-4% annually, but not decreasing home values like the 2008-2010 crash.

I understand that the recent increase in home prices has been big and that it might remind you of the previous up market before the crash. I hope that digging into the topics above has shed some light on how it is different. According to Matthew Gardner, Windermere’s Chief Economist and nationally sought after expert on all things real estate, buyers should not wait this market out, due to future price appreciation and today’s historically low interest rates. Check out his latest vlog (video blog) that addresses this topic.

As always, it is my goal to help keep my clients informed and empower strong decisions. Please let me know if I can answer any questions or help you or anyone you know with their real estate needs.

As a loyal 12, I am proud that Windermere is the Official Real Estate Company of the Seattle Seahawks. But I’m also proud of how this partnership is being used to help homeless youth in our community. For every Seahawks’ home game tackle, the Windermere Foundation donates $100 to YouthCare, which provides much-needed services to homeless youth.

Follow along as we #tacklehomelessness, cheer on the home team as only 12s can, and help make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.

Download the 2017 Seahawks schedule here

Sun, Aug 3: at LA Chargers @ 5:00 PM
Fri, Aug 8: Minnesota @ 7:00 PM
Fri, Aug 25: Kansas City @ 5:00 PM
Thu, Aug 31: at Oakland @ 7:00 PM

Sun, Sep 10: at Green Bay @ 1:25 PM
Sun, Sep 17: San Francisco @ 1:25 PM
Sun, Sep 24: at Tennessee @ 1:05 PM
Sun, Oct 1: Indianapolis @ 5:30 PM
Sun, Oct 8: at LA Rams @ 1:05 PM
Sun, Oct 22: at NY Giants @ 1:25 PM
Sun, Oct 29: Houston @ 1:05 PM
Sun, Nov 5: Washington @ 1:05 PM
Thu, Nov 9: at Arizona @ 5:25 PM
Mon, Nov 20: Atlanta @ 5:30 PM
Sun, Nov 26: at San Francisco @ 1:05 PM
Sun, Dec 3: Philadelphia @ 5:30 PM
Sun, Dec 10: at Jacksonville @ 10:00 AM
Sun, Dec 17: LA Rams @ 1:05 PM
Sun, Dec 24: at Dallas @ 1:25 PM
Sun, Dec 31: Arizona @ 1:25 PM

Home games are in bold. All times PST. Due to flexible scheduling, the kickoff times of games in the latter part of the season are subject to change.

As summer comes to a close, it is a great time to make a list of home maintenance items that are best accomplished before the weather turns colder. Inspecting some of the major systems in your house such as heating, gutters, roof, windows and insulation to name a few, will insure not being left in the cold should something suddenly break come winter.  Click here for a complete list of end of summer maintenance items. Routine maintenance and professional awareness of the major systems in your home can help keep you ahead of sudden breaks, which lowers your stress level and saves you money. If you are ever in need of a contractor contact, please reach out! I have a list of reputable service providers on my preferred contractors list that I’d be happy to share.
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