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Posted on January 11, 2017 at 9:19 pm
Leah Pham | Category: Market News

The Trump effect. How will it impact the US economy and housing?

Posted November 9 2016, 3:30 PM PST by Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist, Windermere Real Estate

Posted in Market News by Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist, Windermere Real Estate

The American people have spoken and they have elected Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States. Change was clearly demanded, and change is what we will have.

The election was a shock for many, especially on the West Coast where we have not been overly affected by the long-term loss in US manufacturing or stagnant wage growth of the past decade. But the votes are in and a new era is ahead of us. So, what does this mean for the housing market?

First and foremost I would say that we should all take a deep breath. In a similar fashion to the UK’s “Brexit”, there will be a “whiplash” effect, as was seen in overnight trading across the globe. However, at least in the US, equity markets have calmed as they start to take a closer look at what a Trump presidency will mean.

On a macro level, I would start by stating that political rhetoric and hyperbole do not necessarily translate into policy. That is the most important message that I want to get across. I consider it highly unlikely that many of the statements regarding trade protectionism will actually go into effect. It will be very important for President Trump to tone down his platform on renegotiating trade agreements and imposing tariffs on China. I also deem it highly unlikely that a 1,000-mile wall will actually get built.

It is crucial that some of the more inflammatory statements that President-Elect Trump has made be toned down or markets will react negatively. However, what is of greater concern to me is that neither candidate really approached questions regarding housing with any granularity. There was little-to-no-discussion regarding housing finance reform, so I will be watching this topic very closely over the coming months.

As far as the housing market is concerned, it is really too early to make any definitive comment. That said, Trump ran on a platform of deregulation and this could actually bode well for real estate. It might allow banks the freedom to lend more, which in turn, could further energize the market as more buyers may qualify for home loans.

Concerns over rising interest rates may also be overstated. As history tells us, during times of uncertainty we tend to put more money into bonds. If this holds true, then we may see a longer-than-expected period of below-average rates. Today’s uptick in bond yields is likely just temporary.

Proposed infrastructure spending could boost employment and wages, which again, would be a positive for housing markets. Furthermore, easing land use regulations has the potential to begin addressing the problem of housing affordability across many of our nation’s housing markets – specifically on the West Coast.

Economies do not like uncertainty. In the near-term we may see a temporary lull in the US economy, as well as the housing market, as we analyze what a Trump presidency really means. But at the present time, I do not see any substantive cause for panic in the housing sector.

We are a resilient nation, and as long as we continue to have checks-and balances, I have confidence that we will endure any period of uncertainty and come out stronger.




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 over 25 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.

Posted on November 10, 2016 at 1:09 am
Leah Pham | Category: Market News, Real Estate

Seattle Times: Seattle home prices still raging despite extra inventory, slow fall season (2016)

Seattle home prices still raging despite extra inventory, slow fall season

After a punishing year for anyone looking to buy a home in and around Seattle, the fall price cool-down that many buyers have been waiting for hasn’t arrived with much force.

The good news for buyers is that Seattle isn’t setting any more home-price records like it did this spring. And the rate of home-price increases has slowed to about half of what it was earlier in the year.

But the bad news is that home costs are still growing much faster than normal, and exceed recent pay hikes. The market remains one of the hottest in the country, even though the region is finally starting to see more houses come on the market.

Real-estate agents are mixed on the new data released Wednesday by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Some say it’s a blip on the radar — prices have slowed before, only to rocket back up soon after — while others say it’s a sign of a return to normalcy after four years of price growth.

“There’s still high demand, but instead of 10 offers, we’re seeing two or three,” for lower-priced houses, said Edward Krigsman, a Seattle broker with Windermere. “I don’t think it’s merely seasonal. I feel like we’re in a bit of a structural correction.” READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Posted on October 6, 2016 at 8:25 pm
Leah Pham | Category: Market News, Real Estate

Spring 2016 Neighborhood Stats

Year over Year comparison of neighborhood pricing and appreciation


April 2016 MLS Stats – King County

Posted on May 7, 2016 at 5:58 am
Leah Pham | Category: Market News, Real Estate

Q2 2015 Gardner Report Economic Update

The Gardner Report  | WWA Q2 2015


The following analysis of the Western 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.


Read Full Report Here

Posted on July 29, 2015 at 10:05 pm
Leah Pham | Category: Market News, Real Estate

The Mayors new HALA Proposal



HALA Proposal Drives 'Grand Bargain' for Affordable Housing


Last week, the Seattle Times got their hands on a draft of the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) report and everyone freaked out about the prospect of Seattle bulldozing residential neighborhoods to make way for a city of microhousing complex (or something like that). Now, the final report is out and Mayor Ed Murray presented the recommendations on Monday. Let's find out what it calls for.

Included in the report are approximately sixty-five recommendations on housing and livability in Seattle. The one getting the most traction? A proposal that would link mandatory affordable housing development in residential areas with linkage fees for commercial development. In other words, if developers agree to include affordable homes as part of their plans, or pay a fee into the affordable housing fund if they choose not to, then the city will relax certain zoning restrictions (though not in residential areas, says Murray). Fees would be based on square-footage.

The "grand bargain" seems to have split the city council already, with only five of the nine members standing with Murray as he introduced the idea. The city council will have to approve the recommendations for them to take affect.

The most noticeable difference from the leaked version to the final version is the change in wording when it comes to single-family zoning. That terminology is removed but recommendations that bring more density to tradition residential neighborhoods remain. Under the recommendation, 5 to 7 percent of units in residential projects would have to be affordable to lower-income families. The plan also calls for tax breaks for landlords who restrict large rent rises, easier access to housing for those with criminal records and a reduction in residential parking quotas.

Ultimately, the goal is for Seattle to introduce at least 6,000 affordable-housing units to the market over ten years. If approved, the plan would start taking effect in September 2017.


See full article: http://seattle.curbed.com/archives/2015/07/so-what-does-the-hala-committee-plan.php

Posted on July 25, 2015 at 2:43 pm
Leah Pham | Category: Market News, Real Estate

OBAMA: Making Our Communities Stronger through Fair Housing

WEEKLY ADDRESS: Making Our Communities Stronger through Fair Housing

" In this country, of all countries, a person’s zip code shouldn’t decide their destiny.  We don’t guarantee equal outcomes, but we do strive to guarantee an equal shot at opportunity – in every neighborhood, for every American."



Posted on July 12, 2015 at 2:10 am
Leah Pham | Category: Market News, Real Estate

Upzoning Seattle?

Single-family homes such as this one in Greenwood could be rezoned to become a multi-family dwelling should draft proposals by Seattle's affordable housing task force come to fruition.

Single-family homes such as this one in Greenwood could be rezoned to become a multi-family dwelling should draft proposals by Seattle's affordable housing task force come to fruition.

READ FULL ARTICLE : http://kuow.org/post/do-we-need-so-many-single-family-homes-asks-seattle-housing-task-force

Posted on July 11, 2015 at 3:57 am
Leah Pham | Category: Market News, Real Estate

Why is Seattle the fastest-growing city in the US?

Why is Seattle the fastest-growing city in the U.S.?

Apr 27, 2015, 6:58am PDT
Business Journal | Steve Wilhelm

What's driving Seattle's growth?


Digital Managing Editor-Puget Sound Business Journal
Email  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn  |  Google+

Is Seattle Silicon Valley's next favorite stop? That was the headline in the national blog TechCrunch over the weekend for a story penned by Seattle's own Hadi Partovi, founder of Code.org.

In it, Partovi argued that the Seattle region has changed dramatically in the last 10 years, and that it has become a powerhouse for technology development. Not only does the region have the big guys – Microsoft and Amazon – it has filled out in the middle with companies such as Zillow,Zulily, Tableau and Expedia, and has a vibrant startup community.

The PSBJ is also in the midst of looking backward at the past while we contemplate the region's future for our 35th anniversary edition. We asked readers why they thought Seattle was the fastest-growing city in the U.S. Technology, they responded, was the biggest driver of growth. So far 54 percent of respondents have said the region's designation as a technology mecca has the largest impact.

But it's not just the tech scene: 32 percent of respondents said the region's quality of life and natural beauty were major drivers of the growth as well.

Despite the tight housing market, homes are still cheaper here than in many other tech-centric cities, such as San Francisco and New York, which is likely also a factor.

What do you think is driving the region's growth? Take our poll or let us know in the comments.

Emily Parkhurst oversees all digital content for the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Posted on April 27, 2015 at 3:49 pm
Leah Pham | Category: Market News

Surging Puget Sound-area home prices give sellers all the power – Puget Sound Business Journal

Surging Puget Sound-area home prices give sellers all the power – Puget Sound Business Journal.

Posted on April 22, 2015 at 6:52 pm
Leah Pham | Category: Market News, Real Estate