•  U.S. weekly average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 6.09%
  •          The “new normal” for mortgage rates will likely be in the 5.5% to 6.5% range.
  •          While interest rates have tempered a bit, many buyers are moving forward to purchase with an intent to refinance once rates come down more.
  •          The unemployment rate fell to 3.4%, the lowest level since 1968.
  •          The spring real estate market is here early.

KIRKLAND, Washington (February 6, 2023) – Pending sales around Washington state reached the highest level since October and surged nearly 44% from December, according to the January report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Last month’s 5,776 mutually accepted offers were down about 9% from a year ago,…

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Weekly Review
Newsletter - 02/06/2023

Week of January 30, 2023 in Review

The Fed hiked its benchmark Fed Funds Rate, while there’s more to January’s job data than the headlines suggest. Plus, find out what the latest news on home price appreciation really means, all ahead in these stories:

  • Are More Fed Rate Hikes Ahead This Year?
  • January Job Growth Not as Strong as It Appears
  • Private Payrolls Disappoint in January
  • Jobless Claims Reflect Tight Labor Market
  • Talk of Housing Crash Not Supported by Appreciation Data

Are More Fed Rate Hikes Ahead This Year?

As expected, the Fed hiked its benchmark Fed Funds Rate by 25 basis points at its meeting last Wednesday. The Fed has now hikedthe Fed Funds Rate eight times since last…

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Mortgage Rates Just Hit a 4-Month Low, but Do Homebuyers Even Notice—or Care?

Recognize that media outlets and social media influencers are competing for scoops and eyeballs. As a result, their reports sometimes exaggerate issues, don’t tell the whole story, or get it wrong…. And the same thing can be said about the local housing market.

Mortgage rates are down again this week, which means things are looking up for homebuyers.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ticked down 2 basis points to 6.13%, according to Freddie Mac, continuing a pattern of rates seesawing lower since topping 7% in the fall. In fact, mortgage rates are at their lowest levels since mid-September 2022.

Yet, while lower borrowing costs are a boon for…

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Weekly Review
Newsletter - 1/30/2023

Week of January 23, 2023 in Review

Housing activity moved higher in December, inflation continues to cool, and more recession signals are flashing:

  • Inflation Turning the Corner
  • Pending Home Sales Rise for First Time in Six Months
  • New Home Sales Ticked Higher in December
  • Caveats to Positive Fourth Quarter GDP
  • Initial Jobless Claims Decline for Second Consecutive Week
  • Economic Slowdown and Recession Signs Continue

Inflation Turning the Corner

The Fed’s favorite measure of inflation, Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE), showed that headline inflation rose 0.1% in December, while the year-over-year reading declined from 5.5% to 5%. Core PCE, which strips out volatile food and energy…

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NOW is ABSOLUTELY the best time!

We all know that home sellers have had the upper hand for several years, but those days are behind us, and though the market has slowed, there are still buyers out there. The difference now is that higher mortgage rates and lower affordability are limiting how much buyers can pay for a home.

Because of this, I expect listing prices to pull back further in the coming year, which will make accurate pricing more important than ever when selling a home. 

In Seattle I expect somewhere between 9 and 15% continued drop. (That’s around 1% per month but still much less than we saw in many cases last year.)

“As a side note remember we saw some areas literally increase by 100% in a single year…

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Weekly Review
Newsletter - 1/23/2023

Week of January 16, 2023 in Review

Recent housing data brought some better than expected news, while wholesale inflation cooled in December. The contraction in manufacturing continued this month. Here are the details:

  • Sales of Existing Homes Higher Than Expectations
  • Two Sides to Housing Starts Data
  • Is the Uptick in Builder Confidence a Turning Point for Housing?
  • Wholesale Inflation Much Cooler Than Estimates
  • Jobless Claims Continue to Reflect Slower Pace of Hiring
  • Manufacturing and Retail Sales Data Point to Economic Slowdown

Sales of Existing Homes Higher Than Expectations

 

Existing Home Sales fell 1.5% from November to December to a 4.02 million unit annualized pace, per…

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35.4 percent: Home sales plummet

Sales of existing homes dropped 35.4 percent between November 2021 and November 2022, when the most recent data from the National Association of Realtors was available.

The rapid rise in mortgage rates has slowed homebuying activity dramatically across the country after it reached a fever pitch during 2021, with rates hovering around 7 percent at times during November.

$928 million: Opendoor’s stunning losses

 

The iBuyer Opendoor tallied jaw-dropping losses during the third quarter of 2022, racking up just shy of a billion dollars in losses at $928 million, finding itself a victim of the slowing housing market as it was forced to sell houses for less than it purchased them.

Shortly after its…

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Home Prices to Tumble Over 25% From Peak Levels in ‘Overheated’ Markets, Says Goldman

Credit researchers at Goldman Sachs now expect home prices in several “overheated” metro areas to fall over 25% from peak levels

Metro areas included in their forecast were Seattle, Denver, Phoenix and San Diego, according to a new home-price outlook from a Goldman research team led by Lotfi Karoui.

Some of the markets at risk for the biggest price drops this year already saw at least a 10% depreciation in home price growth, according to the Goldman team. 

Nationally, the Goldman team expects home prices to fall by roughly 10% this year from June 2022 levels, following their roughly 4% estimated decline in the second half of last year.

1. There is…

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Weekly Review
Newsletter - 1/17/2023

Week of January 9, 2023 in Review

Consumer inflation continued to cool in December, but there were also more signs of an economic slowdown. Here are last week’s key headlines:

  • Consumer Inflation Continues to Ease
  • Inflation Remains Top Problem for Many Small Businesses
  • Seasonal Factors Likely Impacted Latest Jobless Claims
  • Services Sector Shows Signs of Slowdown
  • Watching an Important Recession Indicator

Consumer Inflation Continues to Ease

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation on the consumer level, showed that inflation decreased by 0.1% in December. On an annual basis, inflation declined from 7.1% to 6.5%. Core CPI, which strips out volatile food and energy prices,…

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KIRKLAND, Washington (January 6, 2023) – Last year was a tale of two housing markets, suggested broker Dean Rebhuhn in commenting on the latest statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

  •          In the first half of the year, we had low interest rates, rising prices, and little inventory
  •          The second half of the year brought increasing interest rates, some lowering of prices, and increasing inventory
  •          The local housing market in 2022 ended with a whimper rather than a bang
  •          Overall, the housing market is going to continue falling off the artificial ‘sugar high’ that was a function of the artificially low mortgage rates during the pandemic
  •          Gardner, the Windermere economist, expects prices will…

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