Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – Smart Cities; Transportation and Tech

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com


Smart cities
Smart-city initiatives are transforming urban transportation and infrastructure. (U.S. Department of Commerce Illustration)
The political landscape may be shifting in Washington, D.C., but when it comes to building the high-tech infrastructure for data and transportation, urban planners are thinking globally and acting locally.
That message came through loud and clear at “Connecting Cities, Data and Citizens,” an event presented Wednesday night at Town Hall Seattle by MIT Enterprise Forum Northwest.
Loreana Marciante, project manager for Vulcan’s Smart City Challenge program, said civic leaders shouldn’t wait for the federal government to come up with grand solutions to the infrastructure challenges they face.
“Just like everyone else, we’re watching what’s happening in Washington, D.C., and I don’t think anyone has real answers,” Marciante said. “Anything is possible in the next four years. But we do look at cities as the solution. … Those are where the new frontiers are going to come from.”
Some of those new frontiers were pioneered by the Smart City Challenge, which was backed by the U.S. Department of Transportation as well as the philanthropic arm of Seattle billionaire Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc. Seattle and 76 other U.S. cities competed for $50 million in grants by laying out their visions for high-tech transportation systems.
The winning city was Columbus, Ohio – but Seattle is no slouch when it comes to infrastructure technology. The city’s chief technology officer, Michael Mattmiller, pointed to several current and future initiatives:
  • Data.Seattle.gov, which offers open data on subjects ranging from crime statistics to building permits to traffic snags.
  • Seattle RainWatch, which serves as an early warning system for downpours that can tax the city’s storm drains.
  • MetroLab Network, a nationwide smart-city consortium that the City of Seattle and the University of Washington joined in 2015.
  • The Array of Things, another nationwide initiative that uses advanced sensors to monitor urban air quality, noise and traffic.
Mattmiller noted that the rise of “Big Data” in urban settings can raise privacy concerns. He pointed to past brouhahas over security cameras installed along the city’s shoreline and a cellphone tracking system that helps the city monitor downtown traffic.
The data flow could become even bigger with the rise of 5G data networks, which are expected to be at least 10 times faster than today’s 4G networks. Last month, Verizon announced that it would start phasing in 5G service in Seattle over the coming year.
To address the coming challenges, and to keep Seattleites clued in about the implications of smart cities for privacy and cybersecurity, Mattmiller said he’s planning a smart-city forum for citizens this fall. (The city is also planning to hire a smart-city coordinator.)
Urban development geeks needn’t wait until the fall to join the movement: This weekend there’ll be an AEC Hackathon at UW’s Center for Research and Education in Construction. (AEC stands for Architecture, Engineering and Construction). The event is aimed at developing data-based solutions to the problems facing “built environments.”

Transportation is another challenge facing the region, and on that issue, one of the leading cities happens to be Portland, our neighbor on the Oregon side of the Columbia River. Portland was one of the seven finalists in the Smart City Challenge, and the host city for last month’s NIST Global City Teams Challenge Super Action Cluster Summit. (Which sounds like the title of a superhero meet-up.)
Marciante said switching from gasoline-fueled vehicles to electric vehicles is a big part of Vulcan’s vision for addressing global transportation needs as well as the challenge of climate change. “The only way we will reach our climate stabilization objective is to electrify our transportation system,” she said.
Once again, Portland is one of the cities leading the way: Last December, Portland’s city council approved a broad strategy to boost electric cars as well as electric bikes.
Is Portland outpacing Seattle when it comes to smart-city initiatives? Marciante’s answer was suitably diplomatic, considering that her boss owns the Seattle Seahawks as well as the Portland Trail Blazers.
“I would never get in the middle of those two cities,” she said. “They are both leading cities, in my estimation.”







Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – Smart Cities; Transportation and Tech

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com


Smart cities
Smart-city initiatives are transforming urban transportation and infrastructure. (U.S. Department of Commerce Illustration)
The political landscape may be shifting in Washington, D.C., but when it comes to building the high-tech infrastructure for data and transportation, urban planners are thinking globally and acting locally.
That message came through loud and clear at “Connecting Cities, Data and Citizens,” an event presented Wednesday night at Town Hall Seattle by MIT Enterprise Forum Northwest.
Loreana Marciante, project manager for Vulcan’s Smart City Challenge program, said civic leaders shouldn’t wait for the federal government to come up with grand solutions to the infrastructure challenges they face.
“Just like everyone else, we’re watching what’s happening in Washington, D.C., and I don’t think anyone has real answers,” Marciante said. “Anything is possible in the next four years. But we do look at cities as the solution. … Those are where the new frontiers are going to come from.”
Some of those new frontiers were pioneered by the Smart City Challenge, which was backed by the U.S. Department of Transportation as well as the philanthropic arm of Seattle billionaire Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc. Seattle and 76 other U.S. cities competed for $50 million in grants by laying out their visions for high-tech transportation systems.
The winning city was Columbus, Ohio – but Seattle is no slouch when it comes to infrastructure technology. The city’s chief technology officer, Michael Mattmiller, pointed to several current and future initiatives:
  • Data.Seattle.gov, which offers open data on subjects ranging from crime statistics to building permits to traffic snags.
  • Seattle RainWatch, which serves as an early warning system for downpours that can tax the city’s storm drains.
  • MetroLab Network, a nationwide smart-city consortium that the City of Seattle and the University of Washington joined in 2015.
  • The Array of Things, another nationwide initiative that uses advanced sensors to monitor urban air quality, noise and traffic.
Mattmiller noted that the rise of “Big Data” in urban settings can raise privacy concerns. He pointed to past brouhahas over security cameras installed along the city’s shoreline and a cellphone tracking system that helps the city monitor downtown traffic.
The data flow could become even bigger with the rise of 5G data networks, which are expected to be at least 10 times faster than today’s 4G networks. Last month, Verizon announced that it would start phasing in 5G service in Seattle over the coming year.
To address the coming challenges, and to keep Seattleites clued in about the implications of smart cities for privacy and cybersecurity, Mattmiller said he’s planning a smart-city forum for citizens this fall. (The city is also planning to hire a smart-city coordinator.)
Urban development geeks needn’t wait until the fall to join the movement: This weekend there’ll be an AEC Hackathon at UW’s Center for Research and Education in Construction. (AEC stands for Architecture, Engineering and Construction). The event is aimed at developing data-based solutions to the problems facing “built environments.”

Transportation is another challenge facing the region, and on that issue, one of the leading cities happens to be Portland, our neighbor on the Oregon side of the Columbia River. Portland was one of the seven finalists in the Smart City Challenge, and the host city for last month’s NIST Global City Teams Challenge Super Action Cluster Summit. (Which sounds like the title of a superhero meet-up.)
Marciante said switching from gasoline-fueled vehicles to electric vehicles is a big part of Vulcan’s vision for addressing global transportation needs as well as the challenge of climate change. “The only way we will reach our climate stabilization objective is to electrify our transportation system,” she said.
Once again, Portland is one of the cities leading the way: Last December, Portland’s city council approved a broad strategy to boost electric cars as well as electric bikes.
Is Portland outpacing Seattle when it comes to smart-city initiatives? Marciante’s answer was suitably diplomatic, considering that her boss owns the Seattle Seahawks as well as the Portland Trail Blazers.
“I would never get in the middle of those two cities,” she said. “They are both leading cities, in my estimation.”







Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – Seattle Among Fastest Rise In US

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Seattle
Houses dot the hillside in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle, with the city skyline in the distance. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)
Home values and rents are rising in Seattle faster than almost any other place in the United States according to new data released Thursday by Zillow.
The Seattle-based real estate media company’s February Market Report put the median home value in the Seattle metro area at $420,200 — up 11.2 percent over last year. Tampa, Fla. (11.6 percent increase) and Dallas (11.1 percent) are the other markets in the top three.
Home values across the country as a whole are up 6.9 percent year over year. The median home value in the U.S. is now $195,700, the highest mark since June 2007.
Seattle is also leading the way when it comes to the rate at which rents are rising. The median payment is now $2,100 a month, up 7.2 percent over the past year. Portland saw a jump of 5.4 percent and Sacramento, Calif., rents rose 5.2 percent.
Rent figures across the U.S. rose 1.2 percent over the past year to $1,406 per month, according to the Zillow Rent Index.
With no apparent slowdown in the number of newcomers looking for places to live in Seattle, along with millennials aging into ownership ranks, housing inventory will be a concern during the home shopping season. With 10.5 percent fewer homes on the market than a year ago, Zillow predicts a very competitive market.
“Low inventory, strong demand and tough competition will be the defining characteristics of this year’s home shopping season,” Zillow chief economist Dr. Svenja Gudell said in a news release. “Even though interest rates are rising, buyers are eager to start their home search. If you’re a prospective buyer about to enter the market, keep in mind that it’s rare to get the first home you make an offer on, and homes in particularly hot markets frequently sell for over asking price. Buyers should give themselves enough time to get their finances in order and find a real estate agent they know and trust before jumping into the market.”











Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – Seattle Among Fastest Rise In US

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Seattle
Houses dot the hillside in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle, with the city skyline in the distance. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)
Home values and rents are rising in Seattle faster than almost any other place in the United States according to new data released Thursday by Zillow.
The Seattle-based real estate media company’s February Market Report put the median home value in the Seattle metro area at $420,200 — up 11.2 percent over last year. Tampa, Fla. (11.6 percent increase) and Dallas (11.1 percent) are the other markets in the top three.
Home values across the country as a whole are up 6.9 percent year over year. The median home value in the U.S. is now $195,700, the highest mark since June 2007.
Seattle is also leading the way when it comes to the rate at which rents are rising. The median payment is now $2,100 a month, up 7.2 percent over the past year. Portland saw a jump of 5.4 percent and Sacramento, Calif., rents rose 5.2 percent.
Rent figures across the U.S. rose 1.2 percent over the past year to $1,406 per month, according to the Zillow Rent Index.
With no apparent slowdown in the number of newcomers looking for places to live in Seattle, along with millennials aging into ownership ranks, housing inventory will be a concern during the home shopping season. With 10.5 percent fewer homes on the market than a year ago, Zillow predicts a very competitive market.
“Low inventory, strong demand and tough competition will be the defining characteristics of this year’s home shopping season,” Zillow chief economist Dr. Svenja Gudell said in a news release. “Even though interest rates are rising, buyers are eager to start their home search. If you’re a prospective buyer about to enter the market, keep in mind that it’s rare to get the first home you make an offer on, and homes in particularly hot markets frequently sell for over asking price. Buyers should give themselves enough time to get their finances in order and find a real estate agent they know and trust before jumping into the market.”











Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – Seattle Among Fastest Rise In US

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Seattle
Houses dot the hillside in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle, with the city skyline in the distance. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)
Home values and rents are rising in Seattle faster than almost any other place in the United States according to new data released Thursday by Zillow.
The Seattle-based real estate media company’s February Market Report put the median home value in the Seattle metro area at $420,200 — up 11.2 percent over last year. Tampa, Fla. (11.6 percent increase) and Dallas (11.1 percent) are the other markets in the top three.
Home values across the country as a whole are up 6.9 percent year over year. The median home value in the U.S. is now $195,700, the highest mark since June 2007.
Seattle is also leading the way when it comes to the rate at which rents are rising. The median payment is now $2,100 a month, up 7.2 percent over the past year. Portland saw a jump of 5.4 percent and Sacramento, Calif., rents rose 5.2 percent.
Rent figures across the U.S. rose 1.2 percent over the past year to $1,406 per month, according to the Zillow Rent Index.
With no apparent slowdown in the number of newcomers looking for places to live in Seattle, along with millennials aging into ownership ranks, housing inventory will be a concern during the home shopping season. With 10.5 percent fewer homes on the market than a year ago, Zillow predicts a very competitive market.
“Low inventory, strong demand and tough competition will be the defining characteristics of this year’s home shopping season,” Zillow chief economist Dr. Svenja Gudell said in a news release. “Even though interest rates are rising, buyers are eager to start their home search. If you’re a prospective buyer about to enter the market, keep in mind that it’s rare to get the first home you make an offer on, and homes in particularly hot markets frequently sell for over asking price. Buyers should give themselves enough time to get their finances in order and find a real estate agent they know and trust before jumping into the market.”











Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – Real Estate Frenzy

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com
Homebuyers Face Bidding Wars on Scarcer-Than-Ever U.S. Listings
  • Real estate frenzy spreads to ‘unlikely’ cities in heartland
  • Rising mortgage rates and prices add sense of urgency
llustrat
The winning bidder of a Grand Rapids, Michigan, house has been offered almost $20,000 to hand his purchase contract to another buyer. An agent in Nashville, Tennessee, got a property for his client by cold-calling local homeowners. Near Columbus, Ohio, it took a teacher five tries to secure a deal.
It’s the 2017 U.S. spring home-selling season, and listings are scarcer than they’ve ever been. Bidding wars common in perennially hot markets like the San Francisco Bay area, Denver and Boston are now also prevalent in the once slow-and-steady heartland, sending prices higher and sparking desperation among buyers across the country.
“Homebuyers are going to find this spring that, in a lot of markets, the inventory of homes priced and sized at price levels they were hoping for will be very limited,” said Thomas Lawler, a former Fannie Mae economist who’s now a housing consultant in Leesburg, Virginia. “Unlikely places are getting significantly tighter.”
Buyers are clamoring as an improved job market and growing confidence in the economy collide with rising mortgage rates -- yet there’s little new inventory for them to purchase. Housing starts remain well below levels before the last recession, and builders have focused on higher-end properties out of reach for many people. Homeowners have become even more reluctant to sell because, after all, where are they going to move?
The three months through January had the fewest homes on the market on record, according to an analysis by Trulia. Prices jumped 6.9 percent in January from a year earlier, the biggest increase for any month since May 2014, data from CoreLogic Inc. show. And homes sold faster in the first two months of 2017 -- spending an average 58 days on the market -- than at the start of any year since at least 2010, according to brokerage Redfin.
Homes are moving fastest in DenverSeattle and Oakland, California -- areas where heated competition have become status quo in recent years because of soaring job growth, particularly in the technology industry. But fourth on Redfin’s list is Grand Rapids, Michigan’s second-largest city, in a reflection of strengthening employment across even the slower-growing center of the country. Buyers are also struggling in cities such as Boise, Idaho; Madison, Wisconsin; and Omaha, Nebraska.

Cash Offer

Grand Rapids -- a diverse economy underpinned by health-care, technology and manufacturing companies, with a 3 percent unemployment rate -- has seen a 27 percent drop in homes for sale in the past year. One listing recently attracted 40 bids.
Competition is so extreme that real estate agent Tanya Craig, working with an out-of-town couple six months into a search for a home near their grandchildren, had to get creative. She called an agent representing a buyer who just signed a contract for a $350,000 house and offered about $18,000 in cash if her clients could purchase it instead. Craig, an associate broker with the Katie K team at Keller Williams, is waiting to hear back.
“People need to get their houses on the market, but they’re gun-shy,” Craig said. “Unless they know where they want to go, everyone is hesitant.”
While sellers are losing their nerve, buyer confidence has climbed since the November election, hitting a new high in February, according to Fannie Mae, which began its sentiment index in 2011. The unemployment rate is at 4.7 percent and business confidence has soared amid President Donald Trump’s vows to lower taxes, increase infrastructure spending and trim regulations. Rents are also at a record, making ownership more attractive.

Rising Costs

Would-be purchasers have a reason to rush as rising borrowing costs -- and prices -- close off opportunities. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate has jumped by more than half a percentage point since the election. The Federal Reserve this week increased its benchmark interest rate by a quarter point and signaled it will do so two more times this year, boosting borrowing costs from low levels that have been in place for almost a decade.
The average 30-year rate probably will climb to 4.7 percent by the end of 2017, from 4.3 percent this week, and could reach 5.5 percent next year, said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors.
Higher mortgage costs could eventually shrink the pool of buyers able to qualify, but it may also discourage homeowners from selling because they might have to take out a more expensive loan to purchase something else.
“In today’s market, many buyers think the trough in rates is over,” said Sam Khater, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic. “If you don’t get in now, it’s just going to be worse later. Rates will be higher, prices will be higher and maybe inventory selection will be lower.”
Older people who may typically move are choosing to stay where they are, Chris Herbert, managing director for Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, said in an interview Friday.
“One factor is that you have the baby boom generation on its way to being 65-plus,” Herbert said. “They’re moving less so you have fewer homes on the market. That could be part of the glue keeping the market stuck.”

Price Gains

There are are pockets of the country, such as Miami and Manhattan, where inventory has climbed amid new construction and less interest from foreigners, and some regions have yet to experience the job gains that fuel housing demand. Yet other cities that haven’t had strong price gains in recent years are now seeing a big jump.
In Philadelphia, prices for single-family houses jumped 11 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, compared with a gain of less than 5 percent at the end of 2015, according to Kevin Gillen, a senior research fellow at Drexel University.
Buyers are making full-price offers before properties have even been listed, said Mike McCann, associate broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach.
“We might end up with fewer transactions in 2017 because we don’t have inventory," McCann said. “Thirty-five percent of my properties are selling within the first week or two of hitting the market.”

Calling Owners

Rich Ramsey, an agent with the Helton Group at Keller Williams in Nashville, has been knocking on doors and working the phones. When he heard from a family frustrated after losing out on two homes they liked in a townhouse development in the city’s Midtown neighborhood, Ramsey started calling owners in the area.
“I found someone who had considered selling,” Ramsey said. “I asked if they had a price in mind and we started negotiating.”
The family purchased the three-bedroom property in January for a price in the low $400,000s, Ramsey said.  For some buyers, patience and persistence can pay off. Jessica Streit, a 42-year-old teacher and mother of two, has been searching for months for a home in Sunbury, Ohio, north of Columbus. She lost three bidding wars and even went into contract on a home, only to back out after an inspection revealed some expensive problems. Last week, her fortunes changed -- she signed a $136,000 deal for a two-bedroom condominium with a finished basement.
Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – Real Estate Frenzy

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com
Homebuyers Face Bidding Wars on Scarcer-Than-Ever U.S. Listings
  • Real estate frenzy spreads to ‘unlikely’ cities in heartland
  • Rising mortgage rates and prices add sense of urgency
llustrat
The winning bidder of a Grand Rapids, Michigan, house has been offered almost $20,000 to hand his purchase contract to another buyer. An agent in Nashville, Tennessee, got a property for his client by cold-calling local homeowners. Near Columbus, Ohio, it took a teacher five tries to secure a deal.
It’s the 2017 U.S. spring home-selling season, and listings are scarcer than they’ve ever been. Bidding wars common in perennially hot markets like the San Francisco Bay area, Denver and Boston are now also prevalent in the once slow-and-steady heartland, sending prices higher and sparking desperation among buyers across the country.
“Homebuyers are going to find this spring that, in a lot of markets, the inventory of homes priced and sized at price levels they were hoping for will be very limited,” said Thomas Lawler, a former Fannie Mae economist who’s now a housing consultant in Leesburg, Virginia. “Unlikely places are getting significantly tighter.”
Buyers are clamoring as an improved job market and growing confidence in the economy collide with rising mortgage rates -- yet there’s little new inventory for them to purchase. Housing starts remain well below levels before the last recession, and builders have focused on higher-end properties out of reach for many people. Homeowners have become even more reluctant to sell because, after all, where are they going to move?
The three months through January had the fewest homes on the market on record, according to an analysis by Trulia. Prices jumped 6.9 percent in January from a year earlier, the biggest increase for any month since May 2014, data from CoreLogic Inc. show. And homes sold faster in the first two months of 2017 -- spending an average 58 days on the market -- than at the start of any year since at least 2010, according to brokerage Redfin.
Homes are moving fastest in DenverSeattle and Oakland, California -- areas where heated competition have become status quo in recent years because of soaring job growth, particularly in the technology industry. But fourth on Redfin’s list is Grand Rapids, Michigan’s second-largest city, in a reflection of strengthening employment across even the slower-growing center of the country. Buyers are also struggling in cities such as Boise, Idaho; Madison, Wisconsin; and Omaha, Nebraska.

Cash Offer

Grand Rapids -- a diverse economy underpinned by health-care, technology and manufacturing companies, with a 3 percent unemployment rate -- has seen a 27 percent drop in homes for sale in the past year. One listing recently attracted 40 bids.
Competition is so extreme that real estate agent Tanya Craig, working with an out-of-town couple six months into a search for a home near their grandchildren, had to get creative. She called an agent representing a buyer who just signed a contract for a $350,000 house and offered about $18,000 in cash if her clients could purchase it instead. Craig, an associate broker with the Katie K team at Keller Williams, is waiting to hear back.
“People need to get their houses on the market, but they’re gun-shy,” Craig said. “Unless they know where they want to go, everyone is hesitant.”
While sellers are losing their nerve, buyer confidence has climbed since the November election, hitting a new high in February, according to Fannie Mae, which began its sentiment index in 2011. The unemployment rate is at 4.7 percent and business confidence has soared amid President Donald Trump’s vows to lower taxes, increase infrastructure spending and trim regulations. Rents are also at a record, making ownership more attractive.

Rising Costs

Would-be purchasers have a reason to rush as rising borrowing costs -- and prices -- close off opportunities. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate has jumped by more than half a percentage point since the election. The Federal Reserve this week increased its benchmark interest rate by a quarter point and signaled it will do so two more times this year, boosting borrowing costs from low levels that have been in place for almost a decade.
The average 30-year rate probably will climb to 4.7 percent by the end of 2017, from 4.3 percent this week, and could reach 5.5 percent next year, said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors.
Higher mortgage costs could eventually shrink the pool of buyers able to qualify, but it may also discourage homeowners from selling because they might have to take out a more expensive loan to purchase something else.
“In today’s market, many buyers think the trough in rates is over,” said Sam Khater, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic. “If you don’t get in now, it’s just going to be worse later. Rates will be higher, prices will be higher and maybe inventory selection will be lower.”
Older people who may typically move are choosing to stay where they are, Chris Herbert, managing director for Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, said in an interview Friday.
“One factor is that you have the baby boom generation on its way to being 65-plus,” Herbert said. “They’re moving less so you have fewer homes on the market. That could be part of the glue keeping the market stuck.”

Price Gains

There are are pockets of the country, such as Miami and Manhattan, where inventory has climbed amid new construction and less interest from foreigners, and some regions have yet to experience the job gains that fuel housing demand. Yet other cities that haven’t had strong price gains in recent years are now seeing a big jump.
In Philadelphia, prices for single-family houses jumped 11 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, compared with a gain of less than 5 percent at the end of 2015, according to Kevin Gillen, a senior research fellow at Drexel University.
Buyers are making full-price offers before properties have even been listed, said Mike McCann, associate broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach.
“We might end up with fewer transactions in 2017 because we don’t have inventory," McCann said. “Thirty-five percent of my properties are selling within the first week or two of hitting the market.”

Calling Owners

Rich Ramsey, an agent with the Helton Group at Keller Williams in Nashville, has been knocking on doors and working the phones. When he heard from a family frustrated after losing out on two homes they liked in a townhouse development in the city’s Midtown neighborhood, Ramsey started calling owners in the area.
“I found someone who had considered selling,” Ramsey said. “I asked if they had a price in mind and we started negotiating.”
The family purchased the three-bedroom property in January for a price in the low $400,000s, Ramsey said.  For some buyers, patience and persistence can pay off. Jessica Streit, a 42-year-old teacher and mother of two, has been searching for months for a home in Sunbury, Ohio, north of Columbus. She lost three bidding wars and even went into contract on a home, only to back out after an inspection revealed some expensive problems. Last week, her fortunes changed -- she signed a $136,000 deal for a two-bedroom condominium with a finished basement.
Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – Real Estate Frenzy

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com
Homebuyers Face Bidding Wars on Scarcer-Than-Ever U.S. Listings
  • Real estate frenzy spreads to ‘unlikely’ cities in heartland
  • Rising mortgage rates and prices add sense of urgency
llustrat
The winning bidder of a Grand Rapids, Michigan, house has been offered almost $20,000 to hand his purchase contract to another buyer. An agent in Nashville, Tennessee, got a property for his client by cold-calling local homeowners. Near Columbus, Ohio, it took a teacher five tries to secure a deal.
It’s the 2017 U.S. spring home-selling season, and listings are scarcer than they’ve ever been. Bidding wars common in perennially hot markets like the San Francisco Bay area, Denver and Boston are now also prevalent in the once slow-and-steady heartland, sending prices higher and sparking desperation among buyers across the country.
“Homebuyers are going to find this spring that, in a lot of markets, the inventory of homes priced and sized at price levels they were hoping for will be very limited,” said Thomas Lawler, a former Fannie Mae economist who’s now a housing consultant in Leesburg, Virginia. “Unlikely places are getting significantly tighter.”
Buyers are clamoring as an improved job market and growing confidence in the economy collide with rising mortgage rates -- yet there’s little new inventory for them to purchase. Housing starts remain well below levels before the last recession, and builders have focused on higher-end properties out of reach for many people. Homeowners have become even more reluctant to sell because, after all, where are they going to move?
The three months through January had the fewest homes on the market on record, according to an analysis by Trulia. Prices jumped 6.9 percent in January from a year earlier, the biggest increase for any month since May 2014, data from CoreLogic Inc. show. And homes sold faster in the first two months of 2017 -- spending an average 58 days on the market -- than at the start of any year since at least 2010, according to brokerage Redfin.
Homes are moving fastest in DenverSeattle and Oakland, California -- areas where heated competition have become status quo in recent years because of soaring job growth, particularly in the technology industry. But fourth on Redfin’s list is Grand Rapids, Michigan’s second-largest city, in a reflection of strengthening employment across even the slower-growing center of the country. Buyers are also struggling in cities such as Boise, Idaho; Madison, Wisconsin; and Omaha, Nebraska.

Cash Offer

Grand Rapids -- a diverse economy underpinned by health-care, technology and manufacturing companies, with a 3 percent unemployment rate -- has seen a 27 percent drop in homes for sale in the past year. One listing recently attracted 40 bids.
Competition is so extreme that real estate agent Tanya Craig, working with an out-of-town couple six months into a search for a home near their grandchildren, had to get creative. She called an agent representing a buyer who just signed a contract for a $350,000 house and offered about $18,000 in cash if her clients could purchase it instead. Craig, an associate broker with the Katie K team at Keller Williams, is waiting to hear back.
“People need to get their houses on the market, but they’re gun-shy,” Craig said. “Unless they know where they want to go, everyone is hesitant.”
While sellers are losing their nerve, buyer confidence has climbed since the November election, hitting a new high in February, according to Fannie Mae, which began its sentiment index in 2011. The unemployment rate is at 4.7 percent and business confidence has soared amid President Donald Trump’s vows to lower taxes, increase infrastructure spending and trim regulations. Rents are also at a record, making ownership more attractive.

Rising Costs

Would-be purchasers have a reason to rush as rising borrowing costs -- and prices -- close off opportunities. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate has jumped by more than half a percentage point since the election. The Federal Reserve this week increased its benchmark interest rate by a quarter point and signaled it will do so two more times this year, boosting borrowing costs from low levels that have been in place for almost a decade.
The average 30-year rate probably will climb to 4.7 percent by the end of 2017, from 4.3 percent this week, and could reach 5.5 percent next year, said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors.
Higher mortgage costs could eventually shrink the pool of buyers able to qualify, but it may also discourage homeowners from selling because they might have to take out a more expensive loan to purchase something else.
“In today’s market, many buyers think the trough in rates is over,” said Sam Khater, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic. “If you don’t get in now, it’s just going to be worse later. Rates will be higher, prices will be higher and maybe inventory selection will be lower.”
Older people who may typically move are choosing to stay where they are, Chris Herbert, managing director for Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, said in an interview Friday.
“One factor is that you have the baby boom generation on its way to being 65-plus,” Herbert said. “They’re moving less so you have fewer homes on the market. That could be part of the glue keeping the market stuck.”

Price Gains

There are are pockets of the country, such as Miami and Manhattan, where inventory has climbed amid new construction and less interest from foreigners, and some regions have yet to experience the job gains that fuel housing demand. Yet other cities that haven’t had strong price gains in recent years are now seeing a big jump.
In Philadelphia, prices for single-family houses jumped 11 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, compared with a gain of less than 5 percent at the end of 2015, according to Kevin Gillen, a senior research fellow at Drexel University.
Buyers are making full-price offers before properties have even been listed, said Mike McCann, associate broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach.
“We might end up with fewer transactions in 2017 because we don’t have inventory," McCann said. “Thirty-five percent of my properties are selling within the first week or two of hitting the market.”

Calling Owners

Rich Ramsey, an agent with the Helton Group at Keller Williams in Nashville, has been knocking on doors and working the phones. When he heard from a family frustrated after losing out on two homes they liked in a townhouse development in the city’s Midtown neighborhood, Ramsey started calling owners in the area.
“I found someone who had considered selling,” Ramsey said. “I asked if they had a price in mind and we started negotiating.”
The family purchased the three-bedroom property in January for a price in the low $400,000s, Ramsey said.  For some buyers, patience and persistence can pay off. Jessica Streit, a 42-year-old teacher and mother of two, has been searching for months for a home in Sunbury, Ohio, north of Columbus. She lost three bidding wars and even went into contract on a home, only to back out after an inspection revealed some expensive problems. Last week, her fortunes changed -- she signed a $136,000 deal for a two-bedroom condominium with a finished basement.
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Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – Rising Home Equity

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Rising home equity lifts many underwater homeowners


The numbers of homeowners that owe more on their homes than they are worth are falling as home equity continues to rise in many real estate markets.
Research firm CoreLogic estimates that, in 2016, 1 million fewer homes had what’s known as negative equity, also called being underwater and upside down. As of last year’s fourth quarter, there were 3.17 million residential properties where owners owed more than the homes were worth -- a 25 percent decrease from 4.23 million during the same period a year earlier. 
Negative equity peaked in 2009 at 26 percent of all properties. The figure now stands at 6.2 percent.  Homeowners in this predicament are often in low-income neighborhoods.

underwater-line.png
 CBS MONEYWATCH/IRINA IVANOVA

In the 10 most populous U.S. metropolitan areas, the San Francisco region had the highest percentage of properties where homeowners owe less than they are worth. (99.4 percent), followed by Houston (98.5 percent), Denver (98.5 percent), Los Angeles (97 percent) and Boston (95.3 percent). 
The Miami area, whose real estate market was hit hard during the recent recession, had the highest percentage of properties that were upside down, followed by Las Vegas (15.5 percent), Chicago (12.6 percent),  Washington, D.C. (8.4 percent) and New York City (5.1 percent).

Tighter credit standards will make it more difficult for borrowers to turn their home equity into quick cash as they did during the financial crisis.  According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, balances on home equity lines of credit were $1 billion as of the end of last year, little changed from 2015. Debt payments as a percentage of total disposable income are at a 35-year low, while consumer confidence is at a 15-year high.
Homeowners saw their net equity rise 11.7 percent,  or $78 billion, to $7.5 trillion, in 2016, CoreLogic indicated. On average, home equity rose on a year-over-year basis by $13,700,  fueled by home price increases. Helping this trend: One-fourth of all outstanding mortgages have terms of 20 years or less, which obviously amortize quicker than standard 30-year home loans.
Gains in home equity were strongest in high-end markets where prices posted double-digit increases, such as Washington and Oregon. These two states saw home equity gains of $31,000 and $27,000 respectively, double the overall U.S. rate, noted CoreLogic’s chief executive, Frank Martell.

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – Rising Home Equity

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com



Rising home equity lifts many underwater homeowners


The numbers of homeowners that owe more on their homes than they are worth are falling as home equity continues to rise in many real estate markets.
Research firm CoreLogic estimates that, in 2016, 1 million fewer homes had what’s known as negative equity, also called being underwater and upside down. As of last year’s fourth quarter, there were 3.17 million residential properties where owners owed more than the homes were worth -- a 25 percent decrease from 4.23 million during the same period a year earlier. 
Negative equity peaked in 2009 at 26 percent of all properties. The figure now stands at 6.2 percent.  Homeowners in this predicament are often in low-income neighborhoods.

underwater-line.png
 CBS MONEYWATCH/IRINA IVANOVA

In the 10 most populous U.S. metropolitan areas, the San Francisco region had the highest percentage of properties where homeowners owe less than they are worth. (99.4 percent), followed by Houston (98.5 percent), Denver (98.5 percent), Los Angeles (97 percent) and Boston (95.3 percent). 
The Miami area, whose real estate market was hit hard during the recent recession, had the highest percentage of properties that were upside down, followed by Las Vegas (15.5 percent), Chicago (12.6 percent),  Washington, D.C. (8.4 percent) and New York City (5.1 percent).

Tighter credit standards will make it more difficult for borrowers to turn their home equity into quick cash as they did during the financial crisis.  According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, balances on home equity lines of credit were $1 billion as of the end of last year, little changed from 2015. Debt payments as a percentage of total disposable income are at a 35-year low, while consumer confidence is at a 15-year high.
Homeowners saw their net equity rise 11.7 percent,  or $78 billion, to $7.5 trillion, in 2016, CoreLogic indicated. On average, home equity rose on a year-over-year basis by $13,700,  fueled by home price increases. Helping this trend: One-fourth of all outstanding mortgages have terms of 20 years or less, which obviously amortize quicker than standard 30-year home loans.
Gains in home equity were strongest in high-end markets where prices posted double-digit increases, such as Washington and Oregon. These two states saw home equity gains of $31,000 and $27,000 respectively, double the overall U.S. rate, noted CoreLogic’s chief executive, Frank Martell.

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com