How Zoning and Regulatory Costs Impact Housing Affordability

Posted on August 16, 2018 at 4:43 pm
Windermere Community Realty | Category: Finance, Market Trends, The Gardner Report | Tagged

Oregon and Southwest Washington Real Estate Market Update

Posted in Oregon and Southwest Washington Real Estate Market Update byMatthew Gardner, Chief Economist, Windermere Real Estate 

The following analysis of the Oregon and Southwest Washington real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact your Windermere agent.

ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

The State of Oregon has added 30,400 new jobs over the past 12 months, representing a reasonable annual growth rate of 1.6%. It is clear, however, that job growth in Oregon has started to taper, with the annual rate dropping below 2% in the early spring of this year. This is no great cause for concern as the state has essentially reached full employment, which tends to slow employment growth.

The Southwest Washington market area added 5,580 new jobs over the past 12 months, representing an annual growth rate of 2.7%.

Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.0% in June, marginally below the 4.1% rate seen a year ago. In Southwest Washington, the unemployment rate was measured at 5.3%, marginally lower than the year-ago rate of 5.4%.

 

HOME SALES ACTIVITY

  • Second quarter home sales dropped by a modest 2.8% compared to the same period last year, with a total of 17,156 transactions occurring.
  • Sales rose the most in Skamania County, which saw a 40% increase compared to the second quarter of 2017. There were also noticeable increases in Cowlitz, Klamath, and Linn counties. Home sales fell the most in Tillamook, Klickitat, Crook, Josephine, and Jefferson counties.
  • Year-over-year sales rose in 10 counties and dropped in the other 16 counties contained in this report.
  • Sales continue to be a mixed bag in the region. I am not overly concerned by the drop in sales in several counties as they are all small markets that are prone to substantial swings. Inventory remains tight and this can drag home sales lower.

 

HOME PRICES

  • The average home price in the region rose 7.9% year-over-year to $391,725. That number is 6.6% higher than the first quarter of 2018.
  • Clatsop County led the market with the strongest annual price growth. Homes there sold for 22.6% more than a year ago.
  • All but four counties saw price growth relative to the second quarter of 2017, with 10 of them experiencing double-digit increases.
  • The takeaway from this report is that, in aggregate, price growth has started to slow but remains above the long-term average.

 

DAYS ON MARKET

  • The average number of days it took to sell a home in the region dropped by four days compared to the second quarter of 2017 and was down by 17 days from the first quarter of 2018.
  • The average time it took to sell a home in the region last quarter was 71 days.
  • Nineteen counties saw the length of time it took to sell a home drop or remain static when compared to a year ago. Seven counties saw market time rise.
  • Homes again sold the fastest in Washington (20 days), Clark (26 days), and Multnomah (26 days) counties.

 

CONCLUSIONS

The speedometer reflects the state of the region’s housing market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors.

Housing markets throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington continue to benefit greatly from the healthy regional economy. Home sales remain solid; however, we are seeing some slowdown in prices, which I consider to be positive as affordability issues could start to taper. That said, housing inventory is still well below balanced-market levels. Sellers remain in the driver’s seat, but I am hopeful that inventory levels will start to increase, which will be a relief to home buyers. Because of this, the needle remains the same as last quarter.

 

 

Matthew Gardner is the Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, specializing in residentialmarket analysis, commercial/industrial market analysis, financial analysis, and land use and regional economics. He is the former Principal of Gardner Economics and has more than 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.

Posted on August 10, 2018 at 10:30 am
Windermere Community Realty | Category: City of Portland, Finance, Market Trends, The Gardner Report

How Will the Real Estate Market Respond to Rising Interest Rates?

How Will the Real Estate Market Respond to Rising Interest Rates?

Posted on July 18, 2018 at 4:51 pm
Windermere Community Realty | Category: Finance, Market Trends, The Gardner Report

Vancouver’s $1.5 Billion Waterfront Transformation

Vancouver’s $1.5 Billion Waterfront Transformation

downloadNo one has ever accused Windermere agents of being out of the loop. Last week’s Premier Breakfast presentation is a good example as to why. The event featured Matt Grady, Vice President-Director of Development for Gramor Development, the company that is the driving force behind Vancouver, Washington’s largest commercial, urban development to date, valued at more than $1.5 billion.

Before getting a glimpse of the property, we learned about the project’s challenging history. Matt joked that his team had to perform various “acts of craziness” in order to get the project off the ground. Without roads and with an active railway standing in the way, you couldn’t physically access the land, which delayed construction for at least 3 years.

However, nearly 32 acres and 20 city blocks of available property was eventually reclaimed. It is being transformed into a mix of retail, living and green spaces featuring 3,300 housing units, 10 park acres, 1.25 million feet of office space and 250,000 square feet of retail and hospitality space.

Matt speculated that half of the residential units being built will be condominiums, with two luxury condominium towers underway. Most likely be priced in the 1 – 3 million dollar range, the units will probably start at an average of $800 per square-foot, moving upwards to $1,000 per square-foot. More than 1,000 people have registered online showing their interest in purchasing a condominium. The first of the condominiums, 40 units within the “Residences at Kirkland Tower,” will be marketed in roughly 14 months.

Living spaces aside, the entire property is a homage to the Pacific Northwest outdoor way of life. “No project is complete without having a park,” Matt said of the picnic and sandy beach areas, trails and water features that will be highlighted throughout the project. But the triangular Grant Street Pier, dramatically jutting over the Columbia River, will be the showstopper. This project will undoubtedly succeed in meeting its tagline of being “where the city meets the river.”

Posted on July 10, 2018 at 4:06 pm
Windermere Community Realty | Category: Market Trends

What to Expect From Property Taxes in Washington State in 2018-19

Posted on June 27, 2018 at 1:18 pm
Windermere Community Realty | Category: Market Trends

How to Get Started in Real Estate Investing

How to Get Started in Real Estate Investing

Posted in Buying by John Trupin 

Investing in real estate is one of the world’s most venerable pathways to building wealth. When properly managed, income from renting or real estate investment trusts can provide you with the financial security to plan out the rest of your life. The conclusion is easy to envision, but knowing where to begin can be overwhelming, particularly for anyone who has never previously owned a home.

At Windermere our goal is always to improve and support our communities, so we’ve put together a few key things to keep in mind as you enter the world of real estate investment.

Know the right type of investment for you

Investing in real estate needn’t commit you to being a landlord. A Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) is a low-maintenance way to get involved in real estate with next to none of the day-to-day monitoring required of direct property management. REITs are trusts that typically own multiple properties, and investors may purchase shares within the REIT. Typically, as the value of the property rises, so too do the values of your shares. If you’d like to dip a toe into real estate investing before diving in fully, a REIT is a great place to start.

Start with your own home

Owning the roof over your head is a basic step towards investing success. Even better, when you plan to live in the home you’re buying (rather than renting it out), you will likely benefit from lower mortgage rates and a cheaper down payment. The reasoning is straightforward – lenders see a loan to people purchasing the home they live in as an investment in people highly committed to the property.

Once you’ve owned your own house for a few years, you can look to purchase a new home to move into. By purchasing the new home with the intent to move in, you’ll be eligible to receive more favorable financing once again. After you’ve secured your new home, your first home is primed to be transformed into a rental property, and you can continue to see a return on your investment. If you’re seeking further support with buying a first, second, or third home, our website and our agents are full of information.

Cast a wide net

The best investment opportunity isn’t always going to be right underneath your nose. While there are logistical benefits to focusing locally with your investment, you may miss more profitable opportunities in another burgeoning market. Real estate is a long game, and patience tends to be rewarded. There’s no cause to rush a decision of this magnitude, so investigating other states and regions to find the property that best fits your situation is a process worth considering.

Posted on May 21, 2018 at 5:00 pm
Windermere Community Realty | Category: Finance, Market Trends

Oregon & Southwest Washington Real Estate Update

Oregon & Southwest Washington Real Estate Update

Posted in Oregon and Southwest Washington Real Estate Market Update byMatthew Gardner, Chief Economist, Windermere Real Estate 

The following analysis of the Oregon and Southwest Washington real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

 

ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

The State of Oregon has added 43,700 new jobs over the past 12 months, representing a robust annual growth rate of 2.3%. Job growth picked up in the first quarter of 2018, with significant annual gains in Education & Health Services (+26,000), Leisure & Hospitality (+9,700), and Construction (+7,400). Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.1%, matching the number seen a year ago and remaining in record low territory.

 

HOME SALES ACTIVITY

  • First quarter home sales dropped by a modest 0.8% compared to the same period last year, with a total of 12,775 sales.
  • Sales rose the most in Tillamook County, which saw a 33% increase compared to the first quarter of 2017. There were also noticeable increases in Wasco, Hood River, Jefferson, and Crook Counties. Home sales fell the most in Columbia, Klickitat, Marion, and Yamhill Counties.
  • Year-over-year sales rose in 14 counties and dropped in the other 12 counties contained in this report.
  • Sales were a bit of a mixed bag in the first quarter, but I still believe that lower sales velocities are due to extremely low levels of inventory in the region and not a decline in demand.

 

HOME PRICES

  • The average home price in the region rose 9.9% year-over-year to $367,316. That number is 1.2% higher than the fourth quarter of 2017. 
  • Tillamook County again led the market with the strongest annual price growth. Homes there sold for 54.2% more than a year ago. That said, it’s worth noting that it is a very small market, making it prone to substantial swings in average sale prices.
  • All counties other than Hood River saw price growth over the first quarter of 2017. Half experienced significant, double-digit increases.
  • The takeaway from this report is that, in aggregate, price growth continues to trend well above historic averages.

 

 

DAYS ON MARKET

  • The average number of days it took to sell a home in the region dropped by 12 days when compared to the first quarter of 2017, but was up 9 days from the fourth quarter of 2017.
  • The average time it took to sell a home in the region last quarter was 88 days.
  • Twenty-one counties saw the length of time it took to sell a home drop when compared to a year ago. One remained the same while four saw market time rise.
  • Homes sold the fastest in Washington (36 days), Clark (41 days), and Multnomah (42 days) Counties.

 

CONCLUSIONS

The speedometer reflects the state of the region’s housing market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors. Housing markets throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington continue to benefit greatly from the healthy regional economy. Home sales remain very strong and, given that inventory levels are unlikely to increase substantially in the near term, sellers remain firmly in the driver’s seat. Even with rising interest rates, demand continues to outstrip supply, so I have moved the needle a little more in favor of sellers.

 

 

 

Matthew Gardner is the Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, specializing in residential market analysis, commercial/industrial market analysis, financial analysis, and land use and regional economics. He is the former Principal of Gardner Economics and has more than 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.

Posted on May 2, 2018 at 1:11 pm
Windermere Community Realty | Category: Finance, Market Trends, The Gardner Report

Windermere Real Estate Hits Refresh Button on Company Brand

Windermere Real Estate Hits Refresh Button on Company Brand

Posted in Windermere by Shelley Rossi 

 

When you’ve been in business for 46 years, you learn that one of the keys to being successful is knowing when it’s time to spruce things up – and that’s exactly what we’ve done with the Windermere brand. We knew we didn’t need an entire brand overhaul, but a little facelift was definitely in order.

It all started in the spring of 2017 when we launched Windermere’s ultra-luxury marketing brand, W Collection. The development of that program and its visual identity caused us to take a step back and look at how the primary Windermere brand and all of its sub-brands worked together as a cohesive unit.

The result was a 12-month process that saw every element of the Windermere brand updated to reflect a more modern look and feel. Everything from signage to business cards, marketing materials, and the Windermere website now features our new and improved brand. For a complete look, please visit windermererefresh.com.

May 1 marks the official launch of the refreshed Windermere brand; to commemorate this major company milestone, we produced a video that visually embodies our core values of professionalism, relationships, collaboration, and community.

We’re incredibly proud of the refreshed Windermere brand and thankful that we’ve been able to serve communities up and down the West Coast for the past 46 years.

Posted on May 1, 2018 at 12:39 pm
Windermere Community Realty | Category: Market Trends, Technology Trends

Oregonian Reports Spring Home Selling Prices Match Record High

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Spring home-selling season starts slow in Portland area; prices match record high

The Portland area’s housing market fell into in a familiar pattern in March, with strong demand undercut by a slim supply of homes on the market.

The resulting competition drove prices higher, sales numbers from the Regional Multiple Listing Service show, even as sales slowed.

The median sale price in March was $395,000, which matches Portland’s record high, set last July. It represents an increase of 6.8 percent from March 2017.

Map: Portland home sales by ZIP code 

The 2,371 homes sold during the month, however, represent a 4.9 percent decline. The number of pending sales — contracts for sales expected to close in coming months — also fell 4.9 percent to 2,894.

At the month’s sales rate, it would take just 1.6 months to sell every home on the market, suggesting a strong seller’s market. A balanced market usually has around six months of inventory, and Portland hasn’t cracked three months of inventory since 2015.

“I’ve been hard pressed to put together a tour for people,” said MJ Steen, a principal broker with Windermere Real Estate in Portland. “It’s tough. You really have to dig to find listings to show them.”

The slim supply of homes for sale means those on the market are typically spoken for quickly. Bidding wars remain common, particularly on Portland’s east side. The average home sold in March was on the market for just under eight weeks, from listing to closing.

That’s been especially hard on first-time buyers, who had already had to contend with rapidly rising prices. It’s forced buyers to look to far-out suburban and exurban communities, said real estate broker Javier Alomia of Re/Max Equity Group, who said he’s doing a lot more driving to serve those first-time buyers.

“One day I had inspections in Lafayette, then I was doing an inspection in deep Southeast Portland later that day,” he said. “I’m spending a lot of time in Sandy.”

Those areas are seeing prices spike amid the new demand. The Sandy area, for example, saw prices climb 13 percent in a year.

While prices across the metro area remain at record levels, they’ve settled into a slower rate of growth than a year ago, when they were climbing by more than 10 percent annually.

With that kind of growth, Steen said, “We’re going to close out too many people from our market, and that would bring it to a dead halt.”

One segment that’s doing well? The very high end of the market — above $2 million — has been busy in recent months, Steen said, with much of the activity coming from out-of-state arrivals.

— Elliot Njus

Posted on April 26, 2018 at 10:45 am
Windermere Community Realty | Category: Market Trends, Moving Tips

How Tax Reform Affects Homeowners

 

New tax legislation was signed into law at the end of 2017, and it included some significant changes for homeowners. These changes took effect in 2018 and do not influence your 2017 taxes.  Here’s a brief overview of this year’s tax changes and how they may affect you*.

 

The amount of mortgage interest you can deduct has decreased.

Under the old law, taxpayers could deduct the interest they paid on a mortgage of up to $1 million. The new law reduces the mortgage interest deduction from $1 million to $750,000. These changes do not affect mortgages taken out before December 15, 2017.

 

The home equity loan deduction has changed.

The IRS states that, despite newly-enacted restrictions on home mortgages, taxpayers can often still deduct interest on a home equity loan, home equity line of credit (HELOC) or second mortgage, regardless of how the loan is labeled. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, enacted December 22, suspends from 2018 until 2026 the deduction for interest paid on home equity loans and lines of credit, unless they are used to buy, build or substantially improve the taxpayer’s home that secures the loan.

 

The property tax deduction is capped at $10,000.

Previously taxpayers could deduct all the state, local and foreign real estate taxes they paid with no cap on the amount. The new law limits the deduction for all state and local taxes – including income, sales, real estate, and personal property taxes – to $10,000.

 

The casualty loss deduction has been repealed.

Homeowners previously could deduct unreimbursed casualty, disaster and theft losses on their property. That deduction has been repealed, with an exception for losses on property located in a federally declared disaster area.

 

The capital gains exclusion remains unchanged.

Homeowners can continue to exclude up to $500,000 for joint filers or $250,000 for single filers for capital gains when selling their primary residence as long as they have lived in the home for two of the past five years. An earlier proposal would have increased that requirement to five out of the last eight years and phase out the exclusion for high-income households, but it was struck down. Find out more about 2018 tax reform.

 

How does tax reform affect your plans for buying or selling a home?

The changes in real estate related taxes may change your strategy. Contact your Windermere agent to learn more. If you need help finding an agent, we’re happy to help.

 

*Please consult your tax advisor if you have any questions about how the new tax reform impacts you

Posted on March 30, 2018 at 11:59 am
Windermere Community Realty | Category: City of Portland, Finance, Home Improvement, Market Trends