The Past, Present & Future of Home Prices


CoreLogic released their most current Home Price Index last week. In the report, they revealed home appreciation in three categories: percentage appreciation over the last year, over the last month and projected over the next twelve months.

Here are state maps for each category:

The Past – home appreciation over the last 12 months



The Present – home appreciation over the last month


The Future – home appreciation projected over the next 12 months


Bottom Line

Homes across the country are appreciating at different rates. If you plan on relocating to another state and are waiting for your home to appreciate more, you need to know that the home you will buy in another state may be appreciating even faster.

Meet with a local real estate professional who can help you determine your next steps.

NWMLS Market Report September 2016: Western Washington Housing Market Still Strong


KIRKLAND, Washington (Oct. 5, 2016) – It’s still a seller’s market, but some leaders from Northwest Multiple Listing Service think the imbalance may be easing in some areas, pointing to a slower pace of sales and moderating prices. Others aren’t convinced, citing mixed indicators.

Northwest MLS statistics summarizing September activity show year-over-year gains in the volumes of new listings (up 14.5%), pending sales (up 9.3%), closed sales (up 9.5%), and prices (up nearly 9%). Inventory for single family homes and condominiums across the 23 counties in the report dropped about 8 percent from a year ago.

Commenting on September’s activity, Northwest MLS director George Moorhead reported “rumblings on both sides of the fence” by buyers and sellers. “Buyers are getting antsy to make a move before interest rates rise and they’re looking harder at homes that have been on the market longer than 30 days.”

Sellers are considering remodeling instead of buying as they cannot find a suitable new home, according to Moorhead, the designated broker at Bentley Properties. He noted builders also face challenges in their searches for new development sites near metro areas.

MLS members continue to scramble to replenish inventory. Compared to a year ago, they added 1,275 more new listings during September, ending the month with 10,047 total new listings. Like most months this year, however, September’s pending sales of single family homes and condos exceeded the number of new listings. Brokers reported 10,463 pending sales (mutually accepted offers) last month for a 9.3 percent improvement over a year ago.

September’s new listings marked the lowest monthly total since February – but it may be an expected seasonal slowdown.

“We have one month until November when new listings coming on the market drop by 50 percent on a monthly basis compared to spring and summer months,” explained J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate. With the decrease typically lasting until the end of February, Scott said for selection, “the best opportunity for homebuyers to find a home will be in the next 30 days.”

The current selection includes 18,136 active listings, down about 8 percent from the year-ago inventory. Only two counties – King and Clallam – reported year-over-year gains in inventory during September.

Area-wide supply, as measured by months of inventory, improved slightly from August, rising from about 1.9 months to 2 months. Supply remained below two months in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties.

Demand for homes around Puget Sound remains strong, with the market showing “no marked change throughout the summer months,” remarked MLS director Dick Beeson, the principal managing broker at RE/MAX Professionals in Tacoma. Well-priced, well-conditioned homes continue to command attention and draw offers in record time, he noted.

September was “an interesting month for a few different reasons,” noted OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate. Among factors he cited were the modest increase in the number of new listings in the tri-county region (King, Pierce, and Snohomish) and the slowing pace of sales and prices. “The good news is that all of this points towards a market that is slowly beginning to rebalance itself.”

“The increase in listings is pretty unusual given that the number of listings usually declines between August and September,” Jacobi commented, adding, “Considering how desperate we are for inventory, I hope this trend continues as we head further into the fall months.”

MLS director Frank Wilson believes Kitsap County is moving into the fall cycle, evidenced in part by slowdowns in listings and sales when compared to mid-year activity. He also reported fewer people at open houses and fewer multiple offer situations. “We are still heavily weighted to a seller’s market, but a small shift might be telling – we’re seeing more price reductions than in the recent past,” said Wilson, the branch managing broker and Kitsap District manager for John L. Scott Real Estate in Poulsbo.

Sparse inventory in many close-in neighborhoods, a shortage of appraisers, and the likelihood of an interest rate hike before year-end are sources of concern, according to some MLS spokespersons.

“We continue to see a seller’s market expansion in peripheral counties, with absorption remaining high and prices continuing their relentless increases,” said Mike Grady, president and COO at Coldwell Banker Bain. Additionally, he cited reports on healthy job creation and single-family building permits, and increases in investments in the local market by foreign buyers. “We don’t expect things to moderate significantly any time soon,” he remarked.

A shortage of real estate appraisers is concerning to Grady and other MLS officials. “We are hearing concerns from brokers that closing times are increasing because appraisals are more difficult to get completed in a timely manner given the frenzied pace of activity,” Grady stated, adding, how rush fees can also slow down the process for those not paying a premium for expedited service.

“With the current shortage of appraisers and the lengthened time and increased costs it takes to get an appraisal, this market is even more challenging,” said Wilson. “We’ve gone from reductions in closing time over the past 20 years to now lengthening the process because of changes to our industry and the requirements to be an appraiser.”

Beeson agreed, saying “Appraisals continue to plague brokers and sellers.” The number of certified appraisers statewide has diminished by half from 5,000 to around 2,500 since Dodd/Frank regulations took effect. Longer appraisal time isn’t the only challenge, he noted. “Appraisers are struggling to establish values based on the continued rise in sales prices. Many buyers are faced with the prospect of paying above appraised values if they want to secure a home,” according to Beeson, who noted this difference must be paid in cash so the mortgage amount doesn’t exceed the valuation.

Median sales prices system-wide jumped nearly 9 percent from a year ago, from $312,000 to $340,000. Compared to August, prices dropped by $10,000.

“It is normal for median home prices to fluctuate the second half of the year,” stated Lennox Scott. He noted the median home price for single family homes that sold in King County dropped from $550,000 in August to $538,000 for September. Compared to 12 months ago, the countywide median rose 9.7 percent for single family homes and 16.4 percent for condos.

Condo prices area-wide rose 17.3 percent from a year ago, escalating from $260,000 to $305,000. Supplies are tight, with only 1.3 months of inventory. In King County, where last month’s median sales price was $355,000, there is only one month of supply. Similarly, Snohomish County has only a month of inventory; year-over-year prices there rose nearly 9.8 percent.

“We have had many conversations with sellers who wonder if they have missed the market as inventory levels slowly rise and the Feds signaling a desire to raise interest rates in December,” remarked Moorhead.

“The looming prospect of higher interest rates is fueling buyer interest and prompting many buyers to take the plunge now rather than wait for a reset in prices,” reported Beeson. “Knowledgeable brokers coach buyers that a 1% change in interest rates equates to a $200-plus increase in monthly payments on a $400,000 home and more than $160 a month on a $275,000 home. That means property values would have to decrease by over 12% to balance the increase in payment due to higher interest rates. That’s not happening anytime soon,” he stated.

In a recent report on actions consumers can take in anticipation of rising interest rates, Bankrate, an aggregator of financial rate information, suggested “considering your home first.” On a $200,000 mortgage, half of one percentage point of interest means a difference of $20,000 or more over 30 years. “If you are on the fence about buying or refinancing, now is the time to act,” the author of the Bankrate report wrote.

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership of nearly 2,100 member offices includes more than 25,000 real estate professionals. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 23 counties in Washington state.

US Housing Market Moving Further into ‘Buy Territory’


According to the latest Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent (BH&J) Index, the U.S. housing market has continued to move deeper into buy territory, supporting the belief that housing markets across the country remain a sound investment.

The BH&J Index is a quarterly report that attempts to answer the question:

In today’s housing market, is it better to rent or buy a home?

The index examines the entire US housing market and then isolates 23 major cities for comparison. The researchers “measure the relationship between purchasing property and building wealth through a buildup in equity versus renting a comparable property and investing in a portfolio of stocks and bonds.” 

Ken Johnson, Ph.D., Real Estate Economist & Professor at Florida Atlantic University, and one of the index’s authors explains that:

“Housing prices, in general, continue to slow and when considered in light of the recent trends in the Buy vs. Rent Index signal that ownership remains an excellent investment for the majority of Americans.”

While 15 of the 23 metropolitan markets examined moved further into buy territory since last quarter, Dallas, Denver, and Houston are three of the major cities that are currently deep into rent territory. In these three markets, it is estimated that renting will top homeownership 7 out of 10 times.

Eli Beracha, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the T&S Hollo School of Real Estate at FIU,believes that, in these three markets, the strong odds in favor of renting to create more wealth should begin to have an impact on the demand for home ownership and from that, impact property prices in these areas.”

Simply put, home prices in these areas will begin to return to more normal levels once residents realize that renting may be a better choice, therefore bringing home affordability back as well.

Bottom Line

The majority of the country is strongly in buy territory. Buying a home makes sense socially and financially. Rents are predicted to increase substantially in the next year. Protect yourself from rising rents by locking in your housing cost with a mortgage payment now.

Home Sales Expected to Increase Nicely in 2017


The National Association of Realtors, The Mortgage Bankers’ Association, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are all projecting that home sales will increase in 2017. Here is a chart showing what each entity is projecting in sales for this year and the next.


As we can see, each is projecting sizable increases in home sales next year. If you have considered selling your house recently, now may be the time to put it on the market.

4 Reasons to Buy This Fall


It’s that time of year; the seasons are changing and with them come thoughts of the upcoming holidays, family get-togethers, and planning for a new year. Those who are on the fence about whether or not now is the right time to buy don’t have to look much further to find four great reasons to consider buying a home now, instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 6% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 5.4% over the next year. The Home Price Expectation Survey polls a distinguished panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts. Their most recent report projects home values to appreciate by more than 3.5% a year for the next 5 years.

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Remain at Historic Lows

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have remained at or below 3.5% for 13 consecutive weeks. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Freddie Mac & the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase by this time next year.

Any increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, the percentage of your income that you spend on housing will increase substantially if you choose to wait.

3. Either Way You Are Paying a Mortgage

Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either your mortgage or your landlord’s. As a paper from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:

“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return. That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.”

4. It’s Time to Move on with Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide whether it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe now is the time to buy.

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

Strong Buyer Demand Continues to Outpace Inventory of Homes for Sale


The price of any item is determined by the supply of that item, as well as the market demand. The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions” for their monthly REALTORS Confidence Index.

Their latest edition sheds some light on the relationship between Seller Traffic (supply) and Buyer Traffic (demand).

Buyer Demand
The map below was created after asking the question: “How would your rate buyer traffic in your area?”


The darker the blue, the stronger the demand for homes in that area. Only four states came in with a weak or moderate demand level.

Seller Supply

The Index also asked: “How would your rate seller traffic in your area?”

As you can see from the map below, the majority of the country has weak Seller Traffic, meaning there are far fewer homes on the market than what is needed to satisfy the buyers who are out looking for their dream homes.


Bottom Line

Looking at the maps above, it is not hard to see why prices are appreciating in many areas of the country. Until the supply of homes for sale starts to meet the buyer demand, prices will continue to increase. If you are debating listing your home for sale, meet with a local real estate professional in your area who can help you capitalize on the demand in the market now!

Stunning remodel! Two story home near Sunrise Elementary on English Hill in Redmond

Listed at $650,000
Complete details here.

Completely renovated home in the desirable neighborhood of Coventry on English Hill. The open floorplan boasts 2,140 s.f. and features 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths on a lush lot. The list of recent and extensive updates include: Outside – high quality roof, updated windows and landscaping. Inside – rich hardwood floors, white millwork and doors, wrought iron stair railing, lighting, carpet, updated kitchen and remodeled baths!

The spacious formal living room with vaulted ceiling, gas fireplace, skylights and large windows overlooking the front gardens. The dining room is a great place to share a meal with friends. Updated kitchen with new cabinets, quartz counters, custom tile backsplash, under-cabinet lighting, breakfast bar, and a full compliment of stainless steel appliances included. Sunny nook adjoins the kitchen and family areas. Relaxing family room with gas fireplace and slider to deck & yard. Updated powder room with stone counters, new vanity and fixtures.

Generous master bedroom with walk-in closet. The attached bath is fully remodeled and includes double vanity, granite counter, new fixtures, heated tile floor, double shower and tub – all wrapped in tile. Three additional bedrooms are spacious. The hall bath has been remodeled with a new vanity, granite counter, new fixtures, tile floor and matching shower surround over the tub.

Lush yard with garden beds front and rear, deck and stone patio for relaxing, pathways for wandering – all with the backdrop and privacy of majestic trees. Outstanding Northshore schools – Sunrise Elementary, Timbercrest Jr High & Woodinville High.

Remodeled tri-level on expansive lot in Rosewood on English Hill in Redmond


Listed at $600,000
Complete details here

Wonderful tri-level home on a quiet street in Rosewood on English Hill. The open floorplan boasts 1,890 s.f. and features 3 bedrooms, 2.75 baths on an expansive lot. The list of recent updates include: Outside – freshly painted exterior. Inside – completely updated kitchen and lower bath.

The spacious formal living room has a vaulted ceiling, fireplace and large bay window overlooking the front gardens. The dining room has a slider to the patio – perfect for BBQing or entertaining. Updated kitchen with ample maple cabinets, stone counters, induction cooktop, instant hot water dispenser, stainless appliances and island. Relaxing family room with new carpet, brick wrapped fireplace and slider to the patio. The lower bath has been updated with heated tile floors and the adjacent laundry area includes front loading washer and dryer too!

Generous master bedroom with fireplace and a wall of closets. The attached 5 piece bath includes a new tile floor, double vanity, shower and an oversized soaking tub. Two additional bedrooms are spacious. The hall bath has an oak vanity, tile floor, updated countertop and fixtures.

The huge, flat yard is a wonderful place to entertain, relax or play. Two separate patios, ample room to garden, large lawn for play – all with beautiful trees as your backdrop. Two car garage attached with heat and technology panel.

Outstanding Northshore schools – Sunrise Elementary, Timbercrest Jr High & Woodinville High.

Burnstead Resale – Updated two story home on quiet cul-de-sac on English Hill in Redmond


Listed for $625,000
Complete details here

This Burnstead resale has been recently updated and located in the desirable neighborhood of Amberley on English Hill. The open floorplan boasts 1,970 s.f. and features 3 bedrooms, 2.25 baths on a lush lot. The list of recent updates include: Outside – high quality roof, extensive stamped concrete & updated windows. Inside – rich hardwood floors, travertine tile floors and an updated kitchen too!

The spacious formal living room has a large bay window overlooking the front gardens. The dining room is a great place to share a meal with friends. Updated kitchen with ample oak cabinets, concrete counters, black appliances, island – a pantry closet too. Relaxing family room with travertine floors, brick wrapped fireplace and slider to the patio – perfect for BBQing or entertaining. Nicely appointed powder room for your guests.

Generous master bedroom with separate sitting area/den and walk-in closet. The attached bath has an oversized double vanity and double shower – all finished in tile. Two additional bedrooms are spacious. The hall bath has an oak vanity, travertine tile floor and a shower over the tub.

The huge, stamped concrete patio features an outdoor kitchen and plenty of room to entertain. There are two custom ponds with waterfalls and ample room for gardening or play under a canopy of beautiful trees. Laundry room with extra storage cabinets. Attached two car garage with storage possibilities above.

Outstanding Northshore schools – Sunrise Elementary, Timbercrest Jr High and Woodinville High.

Sold for $202,550 Above the Seller’s List Price – Leads to Profitable Move Back Home!


Tony did an excellent job in marketing our home. The professional video home tour, photos, and brochures drew the attention of many potential buyers, resulting in 9 offers on our home, and a sale well above our asking price. Specializing in the English Hill neighborhood, Tony is quite knowledgeable, professional and a pleasure to deal with! I highly recommend Tony as your real estate expert.

Todd and Kim Lindstrom – Sold in Redmond