Feb 28 2016

Gig Harbor waterfront best sales months are here—sellers should be on the market now!

Gig Harbor waterfront best sales months are here—sellers should be on the market now! My graph is a big part of this week’s blog. By choice, buyers of low and medium-low bank Gig Harbor waterfront buy in early spring for the ability to enjoy it starting in May or June. We are approaching March—traditionally one of the most active months for sales. Relocation, purchases of “tear-down homes” for rebuilding, and purchases where the primary interest is view, rather than accessibility, provide additional sales throughout the year. Sales made in March for Gig Harbor waterfront will likely close in April or May—45-60 days out.

BEST SALES MONTHS: March has been the #1 selling month in 4 of the last 18 years for Gig Harbor waterfront . March has actually ranked either #1, #2, or #3 40% of that period. Last year March was #2 in new sales. Aggregated over the years, the best months are July, September, May, June and August in that order. Those sales typically close 45 days later. But those months’ sales include more second home usage, Key Peninsula and generally under $1m price tag.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015 Waterfront roundup

MEDIAN SALES PRICE:  2006-08 were boom years for Gig Harbor waterfront  prices—$800-900,000 was the median. But the year just prior to the boom—2005—the median price was where it has been the past 2 years–$600,000.

TOP TIER: The over $1M category produced 1 of every 4 sales in 2015. At the market height 35% of sales were over $1M. That plummeted to 10%—then jumped to 24% last year. 2 of every 3 sales in the top tier were initiated before June, with half by March. Gig Harbor waterfront buyers want to be using the waterfront—either on land or by boat–in the summertime.

INVENTORY: With Gig Harbor waterfront  inventory even tighter this year, new listings, if priced right, disappear as fast as they are listed.  That should keep prices rising in 2016.   The median price of the 37 homes listed in Gig Harbor/Fox Island is $1,100,000 & in Key Peninsula $745,000 for 8 homes. That 45-house total is down from the past couple years. If, on the other hand, many of the 175 waterfront “pent-up sellers” enter the market, it could hold down prices. 175 is my take of the number of Gig Harbor waterfront sellers who would sell and move—if market conditions & prices permit.

I believe the earliest sellers of Gig Harbor waterfront  to the marketplace this year will get the benefit of low inventory, coupled with historic low interest.

 

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Feb 10 2016

Gig Harbor home prices catch up to “boom” years

Gig Harbor home prices catch up to “boom” years. Gig Harbor resale home prices have climbed back to 2006’s boom year $420,000…and just 6.6% off that year’s summer bubble.

So that is the resale market for Gig Harbor home prices. New construction is another matter. Off 35% from its 2007 high, the forces at work may not allow local prices to catch up for several reasons.  National and regional builders, rather than local small builders of 10 years ago, are building smaller on smaller lots (thank you Growth Management), with less detailing for the main part. Many of current lots, other than Harbor Hill, were picked up at rock bottom prices from banks who acquired them in the recession. Lot prices will increase as new inventory comes online…but the pipeline is slim and then in-fill lots will be the future. I believe Gig Harbor North will be built-out by 2017, considerably ahead of original plans.

 

Jan blog color graph 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Highlights for Gig Harbor home prices

  • It’s a seller’s market up to $750,000, with just a 3.8 month supply, even in the $500-750,000 category. Last year that range was working through a 13.4 month supply
  • It is averaging just 3 months market time in the $500-750,000 range, less below $500,000
  • 39% of the 228 listings, and 1 of 4 sales last month were new homes
  • Inventory is down 30% and contracts written are running about 20% higher than a year ago
  • Highlights for Key Peninsula home sales
  • Resale home prices are running $244,000 for last 3 quarters—same as 2007-2008 “best years”
  • Distressed sales still hover at 15%, but down from 35% 2 years ago
  • New construction has not returned in any measurable way

Here are my observations…and predictions for Gig Harbor home prices

Interest rates finally started their climb which will bring buyers to the buying table sooner than later, even though these are historically some of the lowest. I expect rates to remain under 5% for the year.

Lending requirements are beginning to loosen a bit which will particularly help first-time buyers.

Wages are still a drag on the economy. That will either slow the creep for Gig Harbor home prices or continue to magnify the difference of who can buy and who can’t.

Inventory will remain low for two reasons. Sellers are waiting to cash in more of their equity with higher Gig Harbor home prices. But more likely those same sellers can’t find a home to move into. There is a very large “supply” of sellers with “pent-up” selling desires.

Waterfront home sales are “behind” 150 or more that should have sold historically during the period of the recession. The 120+ sales in each of the last three years hasn’t caught up to the recession years with only 4-5 dozen home sales.

Year of the new house, with most buyers settling for less privacy, yard and trees. But new.

 

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Dec 05 2015

Gig Harbor home prices look healthy going into 2016

Gig Harbor home prices look healthy going into 2016, as we approach the end of the year.

A good gauge for Gig Harbor home prices (including Fox Island) is the quarterly figure of $434,000 — up a substantial 14.8% from a year ago, positioning Gig Harbor home prices very close to the peak years of 2006-07. The single quarter high was summer 2006.

New construction continues to produce one in four sales for Gig Harbor, while it creates one in three listings – typical for an area desirable to live and not yet built-out.

Key Peninsula’s improvement is more difficult to quantify. While Gig Harbor homes have gained value consistently all year, the Key has ranged from value increases as low as 2% to as high as 35%. Likely explanations include 1) the number of waterfront homes trading in a single month 2) a smaller number of sales in any single month 3) more distressed sales than Gig Harbor and 4) lack of new construction.

Nov blog color graph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Quartile of Sales Makes Comeback

The top quartile of sales…that is the top 25% of sales by price…is making a noticeable comeback. That quartile encompasses sales starting at $580,000 currently and everything above—a strong increase from the $500,000 a year ago.

And while sales over $1m will always be a relatively small number, the 36 sales this year to date are nearly double 2014 and represent the highest number since 2007. The $1m+ category for Gig Harbor home prices has languished at less than half that number for the past six years. In 2014 this category included only view or waterfront homes. 2015 sales include a horse farm, Canterwood homes, and waterfront land as well. Market days have dropped from 127 to 102. All of these sales occurred in the Gig Harbor/Fox Island area.

The stage should be set for a continuing robust market for the top quartile in 2016.

 

 

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Sep 18 2015

Gig Harbor August home prices up 13.8% over 2014–8% off 2006 quarterly peak

Gig Harbor August home prices up 13.8% over 2014–8% off 2006 quarterly peak. Both Gig Harbor and Key Peninsula markets are looking very healthy, as we approach the 4th quarter.

The year started a bit slow with the prices trending $75,000 lower in Gig Harbor.  But August’s median sales price of $470,000 is the single highest month since May 2007—and is reminiscent of roaring 2006. A better gauge though, in my opinion, is the quarterly figure of $442,000 which is up a solid 8.6% from a year ago and positions Gig Harbor to prices just 8% off that peak.

Key Peninsula’s improvement is more difficult to gauge. While Gig Harbor has been gaining consistently all year, the Key has fluctuated as much as 2-35% in a single month. This can be explained by many waterfront homes trade heavily in the spring and summer months, which can bounce prices around. The Key is still feeling the effect of more distressed sales than Gig Harbor (20% compared to 6%) as well as not receiving the number of new home sales. But overall the Key is looking healthy, with only a 3.9 month supply of homes for sale.

Noteworthy…

  • Gig Harbor MSP August–↑13.8%
  • Key Peninsula MSP August↑33%
  • Pierce Co MSP August ↑6% — $250k
  • King Co MSP August ↑13.2% — $451k
  • Kitsap Co MSP August ↑8% –-$260k
  • Inventory is building very slowly but new listings are barely staying ahead of pending sales
  • New home sales continue increase—20% of sales in Gig Harbor–26% of listings
  • Gig Harbor’s volume was third highest recorded, on the heels of 4 months of record setting numbers

 

 

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Jan 26 2015

Gig Harbor waterfront posts healthy price uptick

 Gig Harbor waterfront posts healthy price uptick

Gig Harbor waterfront 2014’s sales nearly equaled 2013’s record-breaking year. But the real news is the 18% increase in median sales price for Gig Harbor waterfront. Half of all sales were more than $600,000 and half less. Gig Harbor waterfront sales prices peaked at $900,000 in 2007–now at 2005 levels.

 

But the sales pattern for Gig Harbor waterfront was atypical—the market slowing precipitously 4th quarter 2013, continuing through the entire 1st half of 2014. By July Gig Harbor waterfront sales were markedly down–both price & number.

 

Not surprisingly, all 23 $1m plus sales occurred in Gig Harbor & Fox Island. But what was noticeable was the buying intensity 4th quarter in the upper end. Only 6 Gig Harbor waterfront  offers were accepted in the entire 1st half, 7 in the 3rd quarter & 9 in the 4th, mirroring consumer confidence. 10 of those 23 sales closed in November & December alone. $655,000 was the high sales price for Key Peninsula.

 

What a difference a year made in the over $1m tier for Gig Harbor waterfront. 2013’s record sales volume produced the smallest percentage (10%) of sales over $1m & the lowest median sales price ($490,000) since 2004. But 2014’s nearly equal numbers showed a healthy uptick of 17% high-end sales with 18% increase ($600,000) in median sales price.

 

Median Sales Price 2006-2014
Year Sales Price % Change # $1.5m+ # $1m+ # All Sales %  $1m+
‘06 850,000 13 10 66 35%
‘07 900,000 ↑6 6 17 64 36%
‘08 800,000 ↓11 3 11 40 35%
‘09 682,500 ↓15 3 6 52 17%
‘10 662,000 ↓3 2 15 67 25%
‘11 525,000 ↓20 2 7 70 13%
‘12 565,000 ↑8 4 10 101 14%
‘13 490,000 ↓13 5 9 135 10%
’14 600,000 ↑18 6 17 132 17%

 

 

The current slim inventory of Gig Harbor waterfront—coupled with historically low interest rates & easier financing should keep prices rising in 2015.  Median list price of the 38 homes in Gig Harbor/Fox Island is a shy $1m & in Key Peninsula $435,000 for the 18 homes listed. On the other hand, if an abundance of “pent-up sellers” list, it could hold down prices. I calculate a minimum of 250 Gig Harbor waterfront owners are ready to move—if market conditions (prices) permit.

 

Gig Harbor waterfront homes $1m plus sold on average for 150% of assessed value in 2014. Average frontage was 102 feet, considerably down from 170 feet the year before. Only 5 had more than 125 feet. 50% had docks or dock permits & 85% were low to medium-low…nothing unusual here. Homes $750,000-1,000,000 sold on average for 120% of assessed value.

 

Distressed Gig Harbor waterfront  home sales are becoming nearly a non-issue—just 2% of the sales last year were short-sales and 5% were bank-owned, down 9% & 13% 3 years ago.


 

Carole is a Broker at Windermere/Gig Harbor, specializing in Gig Harbor waterfront and view properties. She may be reached at 253.549.6611 or Carole@ISellGigHarbor.com

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Dec 21 2014

Gig Harbor home sales continue nicely in “recovery mode”

Gig Harbor home sales continue nicely in “recovery mode”

In a nutshell—Gig Harbor home sales prices are up, inventory & sales volume are flat, upper tier is appreciating, & new construction is impacting buyers. Here’s my take for the September-November quarter for Gig Harbor & Fox Island, compared to a year ago…

Sales prices ↑ 6.2%

A 6.2% increase in Gig Harbor home sales brings the median sales price (the mid-way point in sales prices) to $378,000 for the quarter. The single month of November was $432,000 — 31% over October and 44% from last November. Prices for Gig Harbor home sales have been gradually strengthening all year after a low of $303,000 in January. This increase should allow more sellers to list – gaining some of the equity lost during the housing bust – and adding to the inventory the market badly needs.

Prices are down 20% from the 2006 third-quarter peak — at summer 2005 prices. Important to note, at the peak, new homes made up a substantial number of sales at $600-750,000, elevating over-all prices. The 6.2% uptick is realistic appreciation I believe, after a stagnant 3 ½ years, ending with second quarter 2014.

Resale non-distressed homes appreciating

These are sales of existing homes – not short sales or bank-owned. Sales prices have steadily been gaining since March, except for October – at $384,000 — down 14% from the 2006 third-quarter peak. The single month of November was $448,000 –the highest single month’s sales price since August 2006 ($475,000) when prices for Gig Harbor home sales turned the corner. However, too much cannot be read into this single month.  22% –11 of the sales were waterfront homes over the median sales price – never before seen in November.

Sales Volume ↑ 1.4%

 

Pendings ↑15.9%

Contracts written but not yet closed are up with renewed consumer confidence, threat of future higher interest rates and easing of loan requirements.

Inventory “flat”

Inventory is still low, which can lead to multiple offers and homes selling above their list prices. Routine in the Seattle area but it happens here too. Local brokers point to the quality of some homes plus unrealistic pricing in Gig Harbor. They say buyers often will not even look at a house they perceive to be over-market but wait for a price reduction before even viewing it.

New home inventory 26% of the market

With a quarter of all inventory new homes the market is decidedly different for buyers than a year ago when it made up only 16%. With fewer resale homes – and more new homes –some buyers are having to change search parameters – especially when it comes to lot size. The Growth Management Act regulates density where utilities can service it, forcing smaller lots. Half of new homes currently are on smaller square footage than the traditional 12,500 – 35% are on 5000 or less –and half of those on less than 2300. This can provide more buyer interest for resale homes on larger sites.

Short-sales ↓50% – REO’s flat

The distressed market continues to retreat — just 10% of Gig Harbor home sales. It was 13% last year.

Waterfront sales on par with 2013

Sales volume on the two peninsulas looks to nearly equal the 135 sales last year. But the real story here is increasing prices – we could see a median sales price uptick of $100,000 when all the dust settles—bringing it to the $600,000 range.  And even bigger news is the $1m plus tier for Gig Harbor home sales . 2014 will end with the same number of sales over $1m as in 2006 and 2007—21. Over 90% of the $1m sales came in the last half of the year – again low interest, good values, and increased consumer confidence. (See Resale Non-Distressed Sales above)

 

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Dec 17 2014

2015 will be a strong year for Gig Harbor home sales

2015 will be a strong year for Gig Harbor home sales

I’m going out on a limb and predict 2015–even this winter–Gig Harbor home sales will be even more active than 2014. Here is why:

  • The volume of pending sales throughout the Puget Sound—including Gig Harbor & Key Peninsula– is at a 9-year high. That is a turn-around from the slow earlier 4th quarter and 1st quarter.
  • Interest rates are going to bump up, as much as 1% next year, according to Freddie Mac, encouraging buyers to make decisions sooner. A one point rate increase relates to 10% less purchasing power for the same payment. Credit is getting easier, with lower FICO scores being accepted and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are planning to offer 3% down loans.
  • Owners are regaining some equity lost over the past 8 years and many have been waiting to market their home until prices improved. Many of those are looking for a lifestyle change. I estimate there is a “pent-up demand” by more than 200 waterfront owners alone who would like to make a move. I believe more of those owners will put their homes on the market next year, based on recent figures showing a volume increase of 25% between $750-1M and 50% over $1M in the past 3 months.
  • Houses are sitting an average of only 75 days on the market, down from 108. Gig Harbor has just a 4.4 month supply of homes on the market, Pierce & Kitsap counties 3.3 months & King County less than 2 months. This puts pressure on Gig Harbor home sales.
  • The median sales price for Gig Harbor home sales increased around 4% for the past 3 months — for Gig Harbor at $379,000 but is still swinging widely in Key Peninsula from $165,000 to $245,000. The higher tier has shown more improvement—$750,000-1M is up 5.8% and even $1M+ is up .2%.

Here’s my advice for today’s sellers. Technology has put the buyer in the driver’s seat, in determining what a house should sell for—so sellers cannot add “fluff” to the listing price, hoping to find a buyer who isn’t knowledgeable about the market. Buyers are knowledgeable.

And for buyers—keep in mind that one point in interest rate increase will buy you 10% less house, at the same time that prices are going up.

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Sep 09 2014

July was good. August a little better for South Sound home sales.

July was good, August a little better for South Sound home sales

Here is the report from News Tribune writer about Pierce County home sales. The Gig Harbor and Key Peninsulas didn't fare quite as well for the median sales price uptick year-over-year but do show a solid 5% upgrade for year-to-date figures — just a tad lower than the county as a whole. BY ROLF BOONE Staff writerSeptember 4, 2014 Pierce County single-family residence data for August 2014/2013 -Sales rose 1.55 percent to 1,176 units from 1,158 units. -Median prices rose to $239,950 from $230,000. -Pending sales rose 4.5 percent to 1,454 units from 1,391 units. -Number of single-family residences for sale rose 12.5 percent to 3,967 units from 3,527 units. -New listings in August fell to 1,480 units from 1,505 units. Pierce County condo data for August 2014/2013 -Sales fell 4.3 percent to 88 units from 92 units -Median prices fell 5.3 percent to $154,500 from $163,200. -Pending sales rose to 96 units from 95 units. -Number of condos for sale rose 3.7 percent to 251 units from 242 units. -New condo listings in August rose to 111 units from 93 units. Source: Northwest Multiple Listing Service The South Sound housing market continued its upward trajectory in August, with monthly home sales rising to new highs for the year, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service data released Thursday. Pierce County home sales rose about 1 percent to 1,264 units in August from 1,250 units in the same month last year, while Thurston County home sales rose more than 3 percent to 373 units from 361 units in the same period, the combined single-family residence and condo data show. The number of homes sold in both counties were highs for the year, the data show. Median prices also rose in both counties, up slightly more than 4 percent in Pierce County to $235,000, while Thurston County rose nearly 2 percent to $239,000. King County's housing market, meanwhile, ran headlong into the realities of not having enough homes for sale. Home sales fell nearly 7 percent in August, while median prices inched up about 1 percent. The challenge? King County has only a two month's supply of homes for sale, the combined data show. And that's increasingly the challenge in Pierce and Thurston counties. Although the number of homes for sale rose nearly 12 percent in Pierce County and 5 percent in Thurston County, that still equates to less than a four month's supply of homes on the market at the current pace of sales. For August, the months of inventory was 3.34 months in Pierce County and 3.83 months in Thurston County, the combined data show. But Mike Larson, president and designated broker of Allen Realtors in Lakewood, wasn't too concerned about the lower inventory level in Pierce County because at one time a two-and-a-half month to three-and-a-half month's supply of homes was once considered the norm. "It's slow and steady and trending in the right direction," he said about the market. "Balanced and moderate is a lot better than the ups and downs we saw for years." But Steve Pust, a managing broker at Van Dorm Realty in west Olympia, has noticed the lower inventory level in Thurston County, saying buyers in the market are having trouble finding a home, he said. That has resulted in some multiple offer situations, Pust said. Low levels of inventory typically pushes median prices higher, but the county still has about 60 bank-owned home sales a month, and not every buyer can qualify to purchase such a property, he said. In that situation, banks get very particular about the type of buyer they want, shutting out contingency buyers — those selling a home while trying to buy another at the same time — or requiring that their financing be in order, Pust said. If inventories get leaner, sellers will drive median prices higher, he said.

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Sep 08 2014

Washington St foreclosure rate same as nation-wide figure

Foreclosures are down from a year ago–both state-wide and nationally. CoreLoic released figues recently with1.6% of the homes are in some state of foreclosure. That tracks closely with the national number of 1.7%.

Still the number of homes in the foreclosure process is four times as high as the early 2000's.

And nearly 35% of all homeowners are under–water on their mortgages–meaning they have less than 20% equity in their home or could not sell and have enough money for a down payment on another home.

Gig Harbor homes fared even better with foreclosures and short sales only 6.5% of sales for the month of July.

 

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Sep 04 2014

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http://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2014/08/29/nars-existing-home-sales-report-infographic-3/

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