Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy 4/6/15

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots,

Industry News

"If you want the flowers in your garden to be glorious and to smell good, you must risk an occasional stink." Lord Harewood. The Jobs Report for March was a stinker, but hopefully not a sign of more bad reports to come from the labor sector.

Employers added 126,000 new jobs in March, well below the 250,000 expected. This was the slowest pace of job creations since December 2013, and it ended 12 straight months of job gains above 200,000. The lower-than-expected number could be partly due to the now-ended port strike on the West Coast, along with harsh winter weather.

The number of job gains for January and February were also revised lower by 69,000, which added to the sour tone of the report. However, the Unemployment Rate did remain steady at 5.5 percent. It will be important to see if the March report was just an anomaly, or a sign of more struggles ahead for the labor sector.

In housing news, the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index rose by 4.6 percent from January 2014 to January 2015. This is the biggest gain since September and up from the 4.4 percent annual rate recorded in December. The lofty price gains seen in 2013 and early 2014 may have cooled, but home price gains continue to be steady at what is considered normal levels. Also, February Pending Home Sales came in better than expected, up 3.1 percent from January and up 12 percent from this time last year.

The bottom line is that home loan rates remain attractive compared to historical levels, and now remains a great time to consider a home purchase or refinance. Let me know if I can answer any questions at all for you or your clients.

 Real Estate Miscellaneous Stats

Seattle Area January Values Up: Home values in the Seattle area were up in January but at a slower rate than in December. King, Snohomish and Pierce County values were up .7% from December. Annual appreciation rates are running at 6.8%. That pace is slighty below the national average for January of .9%. While appreciation rates have slowed they are still running two time higher than wage increases. This is cause for concern as affordability is already a factor for many buyers. Average Seattle area homes values are at Spring 2006 levels but have not yet rebounded to peak levels in 2007. The slowing pace of appreciation is reassuring to market experts as robust price increases are a danger to a sustainable recovery. 

Rent Increases Outpace Income Gains:    A study by the NAR shows that wages rates are not keeping up with rent increases. The NAR looked at data from metropolitan statistical areas across the country including income growth, housing costs and the share of rental households. Homeownership rates have declined since the Real Estate Market peaks thus driving up demand for rental residences. The lagging buying activity among Millenials and slow growth of new construction are putting pressure on rental demand. Cities where rent increases are outpacing wage increases included Seattle along with New York and San Jose. Homeowners are experiencing the benefits of wealth increase while renters are feeling the pinch and a sense of falling behind. With the recent rise in home values there is difficulty for first timers to save enough for down payment. The study shows rent increases in Seattle since 2009 at 32.38%. NAR Chief Economist, Yun, points to relieve needed in the form of new construction for first time buyers.

King County Home Values Up Over 6% from 1 Year Ago: Record low inventory in King County put pressure on home values across King County. The ratio of listings to pending sales was the lowest level for any February going back to 2003. Brokers and agents are in the uncomfortable position of wanting to discourage their clients from joining the frenzy and yet wanting to help them secure purchase contracts. Long time Real Estate veterans are concerned that this not lead to another bubble condition in the market. Southeast King prices jumped up 16% to a median value of $310000.00. North King rose 15% with a median value of $419000.00 with sales up 74% in that area. Seattle values rose 13% to $520000.00 for median value. Eastside median values are up to $617,645.00. Snohomish county values are up 5% compared to last year.

 Loan Program Of The Month. 1 Year Out of Bankruptcy and Foreclosure: One of our Portfolio options is offering up to 75% financing for those just 1 year out of major credit events of bankruptcy and foreclosure. Interest rates are reasonable and the loan amount will go up to $1.5 million. We are starting to see more of these options come back. Underwriting will  be rigorous as lenders confirm the temporary nature of the event surrounding the recent derogatory history.

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots,