RE/MAX National Housing Report for January 2020

Last month’s home sales posted the highest year-over-year gain for January in 11 years, increasing an average of 10.5% in the 54 metro areas covered by the report. Meanwhile, the 15.6% year-over-year drop in inventory was the largest decline since May 2017 and marked the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year shrinkage in the number of U.S. homes for sale.

Despite very low inventory, January and December (+13.5%) marked the first back-to-back months with double-digit year-over-year growth in home sales since June and July of 2015.

January’s Median Sales Price of $256,000 – though 3.4% below December – was 8.9% higher than January 2019 and extended the string of year-over-year price increases to 13 months.

In the nearly 12-year history of the report, three January records were set or tied last month:

·         Fewest Months Supply of Inventory: 3.1

·         Fewest Days on Market: 59 (tied with January 2019)

·         Highest Median Sales Price: $256,000

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Washington REALTORS® 2020 Legislative Day Recap

Almost 500 REALTORS® and Affiliates showed up for the WR Legislative Day event on January 22-23rd in Olympia. The sheer number of REALTORS® who came from all over our state to represent members and property owners is a statement to our Legislators in itself!

REALTORS® met with Legislators throughout the afternoon to discuss Washington REALTOR® priorities, including the following:

  • EXPAND LOCAL HOUSING SUPPLY EFFORTS Last session, the Legislature passed HB 1923 that incentivized cities to adopt regulations and plans to increase housing supply and affordability. This bill was part of REALTORS® Unlock the Door housing supply campaign, and now over 50 cities are implementing the law. In 2020, will expand this program by extending the deadlines for local governments, including additional types of housing ordinances, and increase the number of cities that are eligible to participate. A range of aggressive and sustained action on housing supply is needed from addressing homelessness and low-income affordability, to stopping the alarming trend of decreased of homeownership.
  • EXTEND MULTI-FAMILY TAX EXEMPTION The state’s Multifamily Tax Exemption (MFTE) has been successful in helping create thousands of new units of privately-owned affordable housing. This program has been central to urban redevelopment and housing supply efforts in both small and large cities. These bills extend the authorization for the MFTE and provide additional flexibility so the use of the MFTE can be tailored to meet the variety of needs at the local level.
  • PROTECT REALTORS® INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR & AGENCY LAW PROVISIONS Recently, the Legislature passed bills clarifying independent contractor status for real estate brokers and reaffirmed the state’s real estate agency laws; to include the statutory duties of brokers and dual agency requirements. Despite this, conflicting employment legislation has been proposed that would negatively impact the real estate industry by altering the status of real estate brokers as independent contractors and real estate agency laws. The unique structure of the real estate industry should be acknowledged and protected in future employment legislation.

Washington State NWMLS Market Snapshot for January 2020

Northwest MLS brokers added 6,517 new listings during January, a year-over-year decline of more than 8%. Pending sales (mutually accepted offers) topped new listing activity by 871 units. Brokers reported 7,388 pending sales last month, a 2.3% decline from the same month a year ago.

At the end of January, the MLS database totaled only 7,791 active listings of single family homes and condos, well-below the year-ago figure of 11,687 (down 33.3%). A check of records dating to 2005 shows the selection is at a new low level, shrinking below the previous low of 7,921 reported for February 2018. In fact, for the 15 year span from 2005-2019 (180 months), inventory has dipped below 10,000 listings during only eight of those months.

Measured by months of supply (the ratio of active listings to closed sales), there was 1.54 months of inventory system-wide at the end of January. The selection was even more meager around Puget Sound, ranging from 1.1 months in Pierce County to about 1.3 months in King County.

Northwest MLS members tallied 5,074 closed sales during January for a 4.3% increase from the year-ago total of 4,865. Median prices jumped 10.7% from a year ago. Last month’s sales of single family homes and condominiums area-wide had a median price of $422,750. That compares to a price of $381,900 for the same month a year ago.

King County, where January’s median selling price was $589,950, reported one of the more modest year-over-year gains at 4.4%. Other counties around Puget Sound reported double-digit increases, ranging from 11.8% in Kitsap County to 15.3% in Mason County.

Source: NWMLS 2/6/20

8420 204th St Ct E, Spanaway, WA 98387

$379,999

4 bedrooms + den; 2.5 bathrooms; 2204 square feet

Absolutely Stunning! All of the updates & beautiful custom touches make this home truly one of a kind! Fresh paint & stylish throughout w/ crown molding & new floors. Gorgeous new kitchen w/ 1st class stainless apps & elegant marble floor. Luxurious master bath w/ custom counter, shower & floor. This unforgettable home offers a variety of entertaining options, including a large patio w/ gazebo that stays, a fully fenced large lot & RV parking. It also features a new roof & water heater, and A/C.

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A Dozen Home and Design Ideas for 2020

Almost everyone enjoys making predictions for a new year—and certainly for a new decade. How about cooking appliances that tell you how to roast and broil to perfection? Or, better yet, new homes that come with a personal chef?

REALTOR® Magazine asked their favorite real estate trend watchers and influencers what to expect in 2020 and beyond. For starters, most agree that gray is on its way out, while deep hues are becoming the stars in interior paint. And more homeowners are following the craze of decluttering and tidying up popularized by Marie Kondo so they can focus on experiencing joy in their home.

While some fads are natural evolutions and others are more far-fetched, they’ve whittled it down to a dozen that are sure to inspire buyers and sellers alike. Plus, don’t miss five up-and-coming kitchen trends that are bound to spark interest and maybe a remodel.

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Home Maintenance Resolutions for 2020

Homes need continuous maintenance to keep them in good condition. Plan to invest one to four percent of your home’s value in maintenance costs each year to avoid losing home value!

1. Interior
If you invest time in some simple maintenance, you can keep the inside of your home looking like new. Some tasks your home may need include repainting the walls, restripping and resealing wood, or restaining trim and built-ins. Some more complicated repairs may involve replacing worn or outdated floors or rebuilding fixtures.

2. Exterior
Taking time each year to maintain the exterior of your home will help ensure your home doesn’t take in excessive damage-causing moisture. Some tasks you should complete each year include cleaning and repairing your gutters/downspouts, inspecting and repairing your roof, and repainting, cleaning, and repairing your home’s siding.

3. Systems
Part of keeping your home in good condition is ensuring your systems are running safely. Cleaning your chimney flue, replacing air filters, and other inspection and cleaning projects can keep your home and family safe by helping to prevent floods and fires caused by poorly maintained systems.

4. Landscaping
Keeping your outdoor structures and landscaping in good condition is also important. Keep an eye out for erosion issues, rodent infestations, and dangerous trees. You should also refinish your deck, fence, and other wood structures semi-annually.

RE/MAX National Housing Report for December 2019

December posted a record finish to a year and a decade, with a year-over-year increase in home sales of 13.5% in the 54 metro areas covered by the report. That was the highest increase of any month in 2019, and the highest for the month of December since 2009.

Also posting a record for 2019 was the inventory decline of 14.5% year-over-year, accompanied by corresponding drops in Months Supply of Inventory – 3.3 vs. 4.8 a year earlier – and Days on Market – 54 compared to 55 a year ago.

Year-over-year, sales were up five months in 2019, with the majority occurring in the back half of the year. Inventory, meanwhile, grew year-over-year in each of the first six months, then shrunk in each of the last six months.

The Median Sales Price of $266,000 was 11.1% higher than December 2018 and the highest year-over-year increase for any month of 2019.

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