Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater WA Real Estate Market Update for Summer 2017

The end of summer is upon us, and the real estate market has been just as hot as the summer weather.

Here is the summer 2017 real estate market update for the Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater areas of Washington.

Click here to watch the 1-minute update:


Supply is LOW, Demand is HIGH, which is driving up SALES PRICES

Supply is VERY LOW with just 1.7 months of supply.  As you can see by this chart, the last time our market was anywhere near this low of supply within the last 17 years was in 2004.

This market has been in a Seller’s Market for a consecutive 35 months.

The buyer activity is going strong.  For August 2017, the market saw the most sales in the last 17 years with 594 sales.

The average sales price in Thurston County for August was $317,763.  That is up from $291,034 in August of last year.


Is a real estate housing bubble coming?

This is certainly debatable, but the current market doesn’t look like the market ten years ago.  Ten years ago, reckless lending was a major factor to the bursting of the housing bubble.  Buyers today are more financially solid than the buyers ten years ago.  Today’s buyers have more cash to put down, have solid credit scores, and are still enjoying low interest rates extending their buying power.

Most sellers today are profiting from the sale of their home, whereas ten years ago, many sellers were equity-poor. These sellers are now buyers and have the financial means to make their next move.

What do buyers do in a low-inventory market?

The good news for buyers is that there are A LOT of new listings coming on to the market.  Just because STANDING inventory is low, doesn’t mean there are not any homes available.  Check out our record-setting chart with the number of new listings entering the market:

Year-to-date, Thurston County added 4,571 new listings to the market.  Between 2006-2008, there were many new construction listings that bumped up those numbers.  This was also when the market started its decline, and the market became saturated with listings.

Today, buyers are snapping up these listings, keeping the standing inventory of homes very low.

Have questions?  Not sure if you should buy or sell?  

Contact me today and let’s have a conversation!  My job is to help buyers and sellers like yourself make their next move.  Call me today!

Olympia WA real estate market update for August 2017

Like our August weather, the Olympia WA real estate market is continuing to be smokin’ hot!

This update is short and sweet, but please contact me for customized information about how your home fits into the market.

Check out my video update here about the real estate market in Olympia WA.

As an Olympia WA seller, here is what to love about this year’s real estate market:

Buyers competing for your home – driving up the price

You may have heard that inventory levels are down.  They are but we are also adding new listings at a record pace.  Even with all the new listings coming on the market, buyers are snapping up the well-positioned and well-presented homes, and are competing with other motivated buyers.  Buyers are looking to buy your home!

Sellers are making higher profits

The simple principle of supply and demand is just one of the reasons why home prices have increased – there are more buyers than homes available for sale.  Buyers are also enjoying low interest rates, which is making home ownership attractive.  And buyers are finding that their potential mortgage payment on a house is cheaper than rent, which is also driving more people to become homeowners rather than home renters.

Homeowners waiting to sell can now sell – and for a profit

Since the top of the market in 2006 and 2007, where home prices were at their peak in Thurston County WA, those homeowners are now, on average, able to see a profit.  Many of these owners have had to wait until the market turned in order for them to sell at a profit.  And many became unintentional landlords.  But the time is here for most sellers to successfully sell!

For more details about your home and how it fits into the current market, please contact me.  With no obligation, I’m more than happy to sit down with you and tell you the facts so that you can make the best decision for you and your family.

Have a great rest of the summer!



Thinking of selling your Olympia or Lacey WA home in 2017?

Thinking of selling your home in Olympia, WA or Lacey, WA this year?  Now could be the time.

Here is just a sample of the sellers I represented who took advantage of the 2017 market.  The Olympia and Lacey WA inventory of homes for sale remains at an all-time LOW, while buyer activity remains at an all-time HIGH.

Think you missed out on the spring/summer market to list your home?

You didn’t.  This market is going strong and is not showing any signs of slowing down. (In fact, our ratios for buyer activity and sales was actually higher in December than in July of 2016.)

Talk is cheap – and free!

Gathering information is the first step in deciding if selling your home now is the right move.  Please contact me and we can talk about different options, with no obligation or pressure.  (Read what my clients have said about me here, and you’ll see that my clients appreciate that I keep it real!).

And if you email me, I can email you my pre-listing packet with the top strategies to get your home sold and you can see marketing examples of what I do for my seller clients.

I look forward to talking with you soon!

Why all the negativity in such a great real estate market?

Why all the negativity in such a great real estate market?

The real estate market for 2017 has been a good year.

After years of short-sales, bank-owned properties, an unstable economy and low buyer confidence, 2017 is a breath of fresh air.  But sometimes, you just can’t make people happy, especially the media.

Last week, The Olympian, our local newspaper headlined an article, “Buying a home in Thurston County continues to be an exercise in frustration.”

The first two paragraphs read:

“If you’re a prospective home-buyer looking for a little relief in a market that favors sellers, you didn’t find it in June, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service data released Thursday.


The inventory of single-family homes remains low and few listings were added in June. In fact, the number of new listings increased by only 10 units last month compared to June 2016. Meanwhile, existing inventory fell nearly 25 percent over the same period, the data show.”


Whoa-there Negative Nelly!

What a sour view in just the first sentence!  Buyers are actually finding much success in this market.  (If they weren’t, how is it we are having record sales?!)  New listings are coming on the market, offering buyers many choices.  The only caveat is they need to act quickly.  But buyers are finding and buying newly-listed homes that meet their needs, and if the right home isn’t there today, it will probably be there tomorrow.

The second paragraph makes it sound like we only added 10 new listings in June.

Here’s what really happened in June in Thurston County

In June 2017, 697 new listings came on the market.

In June 2016, 687 new listings came on the market.

So the reporter was correct by stating we only added 10 more listings than we did in June 2016.  However he really had to dig for this negative spin on a market where we have added close to what we did at the height of the downturn in 2006 and 2007.

High-quality new listings

The Thurston County market not only is adding many new listings but these listings are of better quality than in the past, meaning there are less distressed (short-sales and bank-owned) properties.

Few buyers can tolerate the extended timelines for a short-sale to close, and just as few buyers can tolerate a neglected home in need of major repairs like as typically seen in distressed properties.

As of now, only 9% of our market is made up of short-sales and bank-owned properties compared to 34% in 2012.

Too bad good news doesn’t sell newspapers

Record number of buyers and sellers are having success in the 2017 market.  Every month we are breaking records that are good not just for sellers, but buyers, too. Buyers are more financially sound with responsible lending practices, are mindful of staying within budget and not buying more than what they can afford.  It’s just too bad good news doesn’t sell.


If I purchased my home at the height of the market, can I finally sell now?

Get ready to do the happy dance, Olympia, WA homeowners!  

If you purchased your home at the height of the market in 2006 and 2007, you probably have been watching and waiting for the market to correct itself in order to sell.  That time has come!

April 2017 was the first month that we saw gains for homeowners who purchased in 2006/2007.  Although a modest gain, it’s the first time this number has been in the positive.

The data consists of non-distressed sales (no short-sales or bank-owned properties), grouped by length of ownership where there was no significant remodeling.  The original price paid and what the home sold for in April was then factored to determine the average compounded annual gains.

Year Purchased / Average Compounded Gain for April 2017

2007:  +0.3%

2008:  +0.5%

2009: +0.5%

2010: +2.0%

2011: +2.9%

2012: +4.0%

2013: +4.2%

2014: +9.6%

2015: +7.7%

2016: +9.6%


If you are looking to move, to upsize, to downsize or to get a change of scenery, call me to find out where your home fits into today’s ever-changing market. This year may be the year to stop waiting and get your home listed to sell!


How to be smart buyers in a sellers’ market – a lesson from my first-time home buyers

Just sold a great house in Lacey, WA to a great family this past month!

These first-time home buyers learned lessons that are good for ALL buyers in this busy sellers’ market.

When the perfect home came up, it was also the perfect home for about 10 other buyers. My first-time home buyers were nervous but confidently submitted their first offer, hoping to beat out the other buyers.  Unfortunately, they didn’t get the house, but what they did get were valuable lessons about being buyers in a sellers’ market.  And they were smart to learn from this what they needed to do on the next house they found.

First, they had all their finances in order and submitted everything the lender needed quickly.  They knew what their budget was, what their monthly payments would look like, so making an offer on that next home didn’t require time-consuming number-crunching.  They were ready to go!

Second, they learned that making decisions quickly would pay off for them.  If the house they liked came up, they did not hesitate to submit an offer.  They knew that waiting could give time for another buyer to come in and swoop up the house.

Third, they wrote a smart yet strong offer where they were still able to get concessions from the seller.  And with their home inspection, they focused on the bigger repair issues instead of the minor issues that would shut any seller down.  In the end, the seller agreed to fix ALL of their requested issues because of smart negotiating.

These buyers were smart in this fast-paced market.  Here are the kind words they wrote after their experience:

“We cannot say enough good things about Francine! As first time home buyers it was a bit nerve racking, but she was incredibly helpful with every step we had take. She really listened to what we wanted in a house/ neighborhood and found us the perfect home for our family. Even with our two small children and busy schedules she was more than happy to show us as many houses as we needed. We highly recommend her to both novice and expert home buyers. 5 STARS!”


You can read this and more reviews from my past customers on my Google page.

If I can help you have a success story, like these buyers, don’t be shy, contact me today!  I’d love to hear from you!




The Olympia WA real estate market needs SELLERS!

The real estate market in Olympia WA and surrounding areas is in need of sellers!

In January 2017, we are breaking records.  This January is the best start of any year!  Here’s a quick recap in this video below.  Check it out!

In January 2017, we closed more sales than ever with 308 sales.  And you wouldn’t consider January to be the peak of any real estate market.  Neither do we, and we are expecting much higher numbers in the coming months.

Buyers: buckle up and hang on!
Seller: get your homes ready to list!

This high number of sales is a combination effect of sellers who have been waiting to sell, can now sell.  And buyers who are experiencing continued low interest rates, strong buying power and the confidence to invest in real estate.

Sellers are realizing strong gains and healthy prices due to the lack of inventory available for buyers.  We are at record lows for inventory in Thurston County with just 1.5 months of supply (a balanced market is 4-6 months of supply).  Many sellers are receiving multiple offers, which is putting buyers in a bidding war.

As you can see from this chart, we are at a historic low for inventory since 2000.

Advice for Buyers

Buyers, as always but this is even more important now, you must be ready to buy.  That means you must be pre-qualified with a strong, local lender or you must have your cash funds ready and available.

Gone are the days where you can expect a seller to pay for your closing costs.  Be prepare to pay your own costs.  Also be prepared to be in a bidding situation where you may offer over the asking price, eliminate contingencies or offer other terms and conditions.  If you are looking to invest in real estate, start saving now for your closing costs and down payment.

Advice for Sellers

All the basics of listing and selling your home still apply:

  • Price appropriately – an over-priced listing will sit on the market just like it did in the worst of the market.
  • Present a clean and organized home – if you don’t care to present your home well, how can you expect a buyer to offer you top dollar?  Unprepared homes will only get you low-ball offers or none at all.
  • Professional representation  – now more than ever, Realtors’ experience is needed. Some of the issues we are seeing in this fast-paced market are dealing properly and legally with multiple offers.  Some buyers get caught up in the bidding process and then end up backing out.  Make sure you have a qualified Realtor on your side (such as myself!) who can help sort out the stronger buyers, and keep buyers on track to close the deal.
  • Professional presentation – enough said on this topic but we are still seeing very poor and sloppy marketing.  Don’t let your listing be one of these – call me to represent you!

Call me today and I can advise you on how you can be a successful buyer or seller in this very fast-paced market.


Ramblers for sale in Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater WA

Ramblers for sale in Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater WA are hot properties and are desired homes for residents in the Thurston County, WA area.

Search here for the current ramblers for sale in Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater and surrounding areas of Thurston County. 

What is a rambler?

A rambler is a single-story home.  Some may call it a ranch.  Others call it the perfect floor plan!


Why are ramblers desirable?

No stairs!   The convenience of not having to navigate stairs is appealing to a wide range of buyers.  Young, old, single, married with kids, empty-nesters and multi-generational buyers all find value in ramblers over 2-story homes.


Why are new construction ramblers hard to find?

In our Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater areas, brand new ramblers are available but not as many as buyers would like.  Many of the new subdivisions have lots that are too narrow and small to fit a rambler. Therefore, many of the ramblers for sale will be older homes on larger lots (10,000 SF+ lots).


Do ramblers have good re-sale value?

In my opinion, absolutely!  With an aging population who is living longer and who is more apt to modify their home than to move to some type of an assisted-living facility, ramblers will continue to have a very strong appeal for buyers.  Every day in my own real estate practice, most of my buyers want ramblers.


If you are looking specifically for a brand new rambler, contact me today and I can easily find those for you and set up that search.  Or if you’d like to narrow down the rambler search by price, location, size, etc., I can help with that, too.  Contact me today to find your next rambler home!



How do Buyer’s Find Success in Today’s Olympia WA Real Estate Market?

How do Buyer’s Find Success in Today’s Olympia WA Real Estate Market?

Olympia WA real estateFrom a buyer’s point of view, this is an interesting market.  On one hand, there are many more homes coming on the market.  On the other hand, there are more buyers competing for these homes.  The challenge for buyers isn’t so much lack of choice as it is the market’s fast pace.

With quality homes selling in record time, successful buyers need a good plan.  This way they can act quickly when the right home comes on the market, and still have complete confidence in the decision to buy.

Here are a few tips for buyers in this market:

  1.  Know the market better than the competition.
  2. Work with great professionals with a proven track record in our market.
  3. Be tuned in to the market everyday – the best home may not be on the market yet.
  4. Make an offer that is attractive but still protects the buyer’s interests.

With many years’ worth of pent-up demand still to be unleashed, values should continue to rise in 2016 and beyond, which will make today’s buyers happy they purchased when they did.

Why This Seller’s Market is Different This Time

(Post provided by Ken Anderson, Managing Broker, Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Inc.)

Why this Seller’s Market is Different this Time Around in Olympia, WA

Why this Seller’s Market is Different this Time Around in Olympia, WA

Olympia WA real estateToday, the Olympia, WA real estate market has more buyers entering the market than sellers. The demand from buyers is overwhelming the lesser supply of sellers listing their homes, creating a market that favors sellers.

In the last 20 years in this Olympia, WA real estate market, there has been only ONE other year that started off better for sellers, and that was 2005.  However 2005 was a different kind of market that started the decline of the market for the next several years.

First Big Difference

In 2005, the demand from buyers abruptly stopped.  Notorious lenders had been artificially stimulating the demand by granting loans to many people who couldn’t afford them.  This put more buyers into the market (that shouldn’t have been) and created a false seller’s market.  Once this problem came to light, the demand dropped off overnight.  This did not favor sellers and the market was headed into a deep recession.

Today, lenders are offering mortgages that are properly underwritten.  This means lenders are working more diligently to qualify buyers, asking for more documentation, and in my opinion, are acting more responsibly.

These qualified buyers are purchasing homes at an increasingly swift pace.  In January 2016, the Olympia, WA area logged a record number of sales for that month.  This is a continuation of a positive pattern that started a year ago.  There is significant pent-up demand in the Olympia, WA real estate market, and it is finally unleashing.

Second Big Difference

In 2005, the national builders had an insatiable appetite to build.  They were about to put an unprecedented amount of new homes on the market.  Money from investors and commercial lenders was pouring in to home builders and little attention was paid to a market’s sustainability and its limits.  That led to overdeveloping throughout 2005 and 2006.  The market turned south before most of these could be sold.  The result put too much inventory on the market.

Today, we have absorbed the excess inventory from those days.  Foreclosed new construction neighborhoods are nearly built-out, and new projects are not keeping up with demand.  In 2014, there were less than 1,000 permits issued for new home construction.  We need nearly 1,700 new homes built each year just to keep up with the Olympia, WA area’s population growth.  Competition for sellers should remain low for some time to come.

The net effect

This sets up to be the best year ever for Olympia, WA area sellers looking to make their next move.

How do Buyer’s Find Success in Today’s Olympia WA Real Estate Market?