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!

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.

 

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!

 

 

Fireplaces – the secret to a better Thanksgiving and other winter holidays

It’s getting cold outside!  I just took this photo this morning of my frosty willow.

C_crystals on willow

This time of year makes me feel like staying inside and starting up the fireplace.  And with Thanksgiving just around the corner, even more so.

But even though Thanksgiving and other winter holidays are something I look forward to, there is also that innate dread that washes over me at times, and that dread is usually spelled R-E-L-A-T-I-V-E-S.  We all have THOSE relatives.  You know, the ones that love to start family drama at the table, or the ones laying drunk under the table, or the ones dancing on top of the table?

So how can  fireplace end the table antics and other bad behaviors?

  1. Fireplaces create instant ambiance.  It sets the tone for a quiet and relaxing celebration.
  2. Fireplaces keep people calm.  The soothing waves of the flames can be mesmerizing.  Sit your rowdy relatives in front of the fire for a few minutes and watch the magic happen as they become glued to the fireplace.
  3. Fireplaces, especially combined with turkey, makes people sleepy and less likely to start a fuss.  Think of it as the natural way to tranquilize your relatives.

Wait, what?!  You don’t have a fireplace?  

But what if you don’t have a fireplace in your home?  Not all homes have fireplaces here in Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater, Washington.  (You’d think with our rainy weather, it would be a building code to have a fireplace!)

If you are fireplace-less but want to have sane winter holidays, search here for homes that DO have fireplaces.  Maybe it’s time for you to enjoy this winter with a home that has your own cozy fireplace.

If I can be of service to you in finding your next home with a fireplace or whatever feature is important to you, I’m just a click away!

Move already! Why it’s okay to finally list and sell your home!

Have you heard?  The real estate market is improving!  Move already – now is the time to list and sell your home today!

For home owners who purchased at the height of the market in 2005 to 2007, many felt stuck in their homes and that they could not sell.  If you’ve been waiting for the market to improve so you could sell your home, wait no more, and here’s why:  Absorption Rate.

 

What is Absorption Rate?

This is perhaps the single best statistic in real estate to gauge the market’s health.  The absorption rate takes into consideration both supply and demand.  In measures the amount of time needed to sell out the current inventory at the current sales pace.

In other words, if we took all the homes in Olympia, WA and didn’t add any new listings, how long would it take to sell ALL of the homes with the current amount of buyers?  That’s absorption rate – measuring supply and demand in a single statistic.

 

What is a Seller’s Market?

A seller’s market is when the absorption rate is less than 4 months.  This shows that with the current pace of sales, there isn’t enough inventory to keep up with the busy buyers.  Therefore sellers are favored in this type of environment to be able to sell quickly and sell for a competitive price.

In 2015, homes sales between $1 to $350,000 were all in a seller’s market, and home sales between $350,000 to $500,000 were all under 4.6 months.  Home sales up to $500,000 made up over 96% of all sales in Thurston County, WA year-to-date.

(A balanced market is when the absorption rate is 4 to 6 months, and a buyer’s market is over 6 months. A buyer’s market is when we see slow buyer activity combined with an over-supply of listings on the market.)

Absorption Rate in WA

 

From 2007 to 2015, here is an animation showing the sales prices between $1 to $500,000 and their absorption rates.  As you can see, in 2015, all the columns but the last three are in green, which is a seller’s market!

Let’s talk about what your home is worth and how the market has improved your home value.  I’m here to provide you with the information you need to make the best decision for you and your family.  You’ll be provided with more market statistics, market analysis for how your home fits into the market, and my 20+ years of real estate experience at your service!  Feel free to call, text or email me at your convenience.  Looking forward to talking with you soon!

 

 

 

 

 

Tumwater WA real estate market update for September 2015

Here is the Tumwater WA real estate market update for September 2015.

Tumwater Real Estate Market Snapshot.  As fall approaches, the market is still going strong.  These market stats are not SCARY at all!

Tumwater WA real estate market update September 2015

All the numbers look great for the Tumwater area!

  • Sales Prices are up.
  • Number of home sales are up.
  • Inventory numbers and number of homes listed for sale are improved.  This is great news for sellers.  Sellers have less competition but buyers have less inventory to choose from.
  • With 2 months of inventory, Tumwater area sellers are in a seller’s market.  (A sellers’ market is 0-3 months of inventory.)

 

What does all this mean? In a nutshell, the market has improved and is still improving for sellers, who are able to sell their home and in many cases, seeing a profit.

Buyers should be prepared to make decisions quickly, be willing and able to write a compelling offer, and be financially qualified with a reputable local lender.

Prices are still below what they should be, and there is still pent up demand.  That means there are still buyers and sellers waiting on the sidelines to make their next move.

Why live in Tumwater?

Tumwater is a great middle point for Olympia and Lewis County employment centers with easy access to I-5. Tumwater is close to many State and Federal buildings, the Olympia Airport, parks, and shopping centers.

Tumwater Falls Tumwater is probably most famous for being the home of the Olympia Brewery, which claimed it was the water that made its beer so good. Although the brewery closed in 2003, the Old Brewery still stands along the Deschutes River. You can walk along the river and enjoy the Tumwater Falls in the heart of the city.

Residents, especially on Tumwater Hill, enjoy sweeping views of Mount Rainier and even Mt. St. Helens on a clear day, and views of the Capitol. Plus they have a very quick commute to the freeway, usually less than 5 minutes and they are close to the shopping mall in West Olympia.

Schools: Most residents are in the Tumwater School District.

What kind of homes:
Tumwater offers a mix of new construction, condos/townhomes and vintage homes. Neighborhoods in Tumwater include Black Lake, Bush Prairie, Goldcreek and Tumwater Hill.

Search Tumwater homes for sale.

Curious to know what your home is worth? Click here to learn more.

Find homes for sale in Tumwater WA.

Visit my website to search Tumwater, WA homes for sale, or sign up and get notified when homes that meet your criteria come up on the market. Be the first to know of a new listing!

If you’d like to learn more about how your home fits into this market and would like a personalized home evaluation, feel free to email me (francine.viola@cbolympia.com) or call me today at (360) 359-0689. With no obligation, I can give you straight-forward, fact-based information so you can decide if the time is right to make your next real estate move.

Click here to see the market updates for other areas of Thurston County.

Local statistics compiled by Francine Viola from NWMLS data. Statistics not compiled or published by NWMLS (Northwest Multiple Listing Service).

Originally posted and written by Francine Viola at her blog site: www.InTuneRealEstate.com, where you can learn more about the real estate market in Thurston County and get tips and advice for a smooth real estate transaction!

Tumwater WA real estate market update for June 2015

Here is the Tumwater WA real estate market update for June 2015.

Why live in Tumwater?

Tumwater is a great middle point for Olympia and Lewis County employment centers with easy access to I-5. Tumwater is close to many State and Federal buildings, the Olympia Airport, parks, and shopping centers.

Tumwater Falls Tumwater is probably most famous for being the home of the Olympia Brewery, which claimed it was the water that made its beer so good. Although the brewery closed in 2003, the Old Brewery still stands along the Deschutes River. You can walk along the river and enjoy the Tumwater Falls in the heart of the city.

Residents, especially on Tumwater Hill, enjoy sweeping views of Mount Rainier and even Mt. St. Helens on a clear day, and views of the Capitol. Plus they have a very quick commute to the freeway, usually less than 5 minutes and they are close to the shopping mall in West Olympia.

Schools: Most residents are in the Tumwater School District.

What kind of homes:
Tumwater offers a mix of new construction, condos/townhomes and vintage homes. Neighborhoods in Tumwater include Black Lake, Bush Prairie, Goldcreek and Tumwater Hill.

Search Tumwater homes for sale.

Tumwater Real Estate Market Snapshot

Tumwater WA real estate market update for June 2015

Sales Prices continue to rise at a steady pace over the last two years. This is due to several factors including continued low interest rates, low inventory, and strong buyer activity.  Buyers are back in the market and ready and able to buy.

With 2 months of inventory, Tumwater is in a hot sellers’ market.  (A sellers’ market is 0-3 months of inventory.)  And it’s no wonder – Tumwater is a great location for commuting, amenities, schools, mountain views, and recreational activities.

The number of homes for sale is at a steady clip.  What new listings are added, buyers are snapping up those listings that are priced right.  (Overpriced listings will still sit on the market, untouched by buyers, no matter the market.)

 

What does all this mean?

Because sales prices have increased and the market has willing and able buyers, the market is seeing fewer distressed properties (short-sales, bank-owned homes, and foreclosures), which has helped heal the market.  This has led to two years of solid home sales and home prices.

Buyers are still enjoying historically low interest rates, even when it was predicted interest rates were going to rise by the end of 2014.  That prediction didn’t materialize, and buyers still have time to lock in to a great rate.  Current rates are at about 4% with VA and FHA buyers enjoying even lower rates.

Sellers who have been waiting to sell, can now be confident they CAN sell and in some cases, see a profit.

Sellers who purchased in 2005-2009 (the height of sales prices) are still waiting to see gains on average.  The market has not yet recovered fully to recoup the fall of the market during those years.  (To emphasize, these are county-wide averages.)

Total Gains During Ownership June 2015

Curious to know what your home is worth? Click here to learn more.

Find homes for sale in Tumwater WA.

Visit my website to search Tumwater, WA homes for sale, or sign up and get notified when homes that meet your criteria come up on the market. Be the first to know of a new listing! Also click here to learn what NOT to do when buying a Tumwater, WA home.

If you’d like to learn more about how your home fits into this market and would like a personalized home evaluation, feel free to email me (francine.viola@cbolympia.com) or call me today at (360) 359-0689. With no obligation, I can give you straight-forward, fact-based information so you can decide if the time is right to make your next real estate move.

Click here to see the market updates for other areas of Thurston County.

Local statistics compiled by Francine Viola from NWMLS data. Statistics not compiled or published by NWMLS (Northwest Multiple Listing Service).

Originally posted and written by Francine Viola at her blog site: www.InTuneRealEstate.com, where you can learn more about the real estate market in Thurston County and get tips and advice for a smooth real estate transaction!

1661 Anthem Ln SW, Tumwater WA – Off the market

This home is currently off the market as of July 2, 2015.  If you are interested in other homes for sale in this area, contact me today!

 

Commuters rejoice with this Tumwater Hill location at 1661 Anthem Lane SW offering a few short minutes to the freeway yet very quiet!

This 4-bedroom home offers a welcoming, oversized front porch, great for socializing  or showing off your great holiday decorating!  (I think Halloween would be so much fun with this great porch!)

The hardwood floor entry leads into the generous dining room, large enough for entertaining. The kitchen features modern granite tile countertops, stainless steel appliances, and it opens up into the breakfast nook and family room.

Upstairs are 4 bedrooms, a tech nook, and the convenience of an upstairs laundry room. Fully fenced and move-in ready!

All of the appliances stay – refrigerator, dishwasher, stove, microwave, washer and dryer!

Check out the video of 1661 Anthem Lane SW in Tumwater.

For more information and to see the entire listing, click here.

This home is listed for sale by Francine Viola, Realtor with Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Inc. in Olympia, WA.

#TumwaterHill

How to Win a Real Estate Bidding War without Being the Highest Bidder

How to Win a Real Estate Bidding War without Being the Highest Bidder

With the real estate market in the Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater, WA areas shifting to a seller’s market, buyers are finding themselves in a bidding war.  But buyers can win without being the highest bidder and here are the two key points buyers should know when preparing an offer:

  1. Understand the Seller’s Wants and Needs
  2. Understand What Your Competition is Doing

Sellers want to be guaranteed the buyer will go through with the purchase.

Buyers must get approved by a local, reputable lender.  The key words to point out here are “approved,” “local,” and “reputable.”  Approved means handing over to your lender all your financial statements, tax returns, pay stubs and making an application for a loan.  A quick phone call telling your lender your income and maybe some of your debt does not APPROVE you for a loan.  Talk to your agent about finding good local and reputable lenders.

What Your Competition is Doing – Paying cash.  A cash buyer is tough to beat but in the end, a mortgage is cash, too, to a seller.  A cash buyer tends to offer less in exchange for a shorter close period and typically no financing contingencies (like an appraisal contingency).  But a seller may want the higher offer in the end, so buyers who are financing have a shot but this isn’t the time to low-ball on the offer price.

Sellers want to minimize their risk when they take their listing off the market while the buyer does their due diligence.

Eliminate as many contingencies as possible.  In Olympia, WA, our contracts are very pro-buyer where buyers are given every opportunity to do their due diligence and then gives them the opportunity to back out of the agreement quite easily.  Examples to strengthen the offer could be shortening the timelines for contingencies or removing contingencies altogether, but buyers, make sure you understand the consequences of taking this action.

What Your Competition is Doing – Removing as many contingencies as possible including the big ones like the home inspection contingency and even the financing contingency.

Sellers want to work with a buyer that seems reasonable.

Buyers, pay your own closing costs.  This one will cost a buyer money, but also closing costs are generated by a buyer using a lender.  So buyers, don’t think any seller is obligated to pay your closing costs.  Many times a buyer can win the war by showing the seller that they have ownership over their own expenses and are not asking the seller for help with their finances.

What Your Competition is Doing – Either paying their own costs or raising the purchase price to cover their closing costs.  Buyers are also offering to cover some of the seller’s closing costs such as title and escrow fees.

In the end, understand that sellers want and need a guarantee that a buyer will go through with the purchase.  Many issues can come up that brings the transaction to a halt, and sellers want to minimize that risk as much as possible.  If buyers can make themselves as solid as possible, buyers can beat their competition without being the highest bidder.

You might also be interested in reading, How savvy homebuyers can negotiate successfully in a seller’s market

Originally posted on my blog site www.InTuneRealEstate.com where buyers and sellers can get more tips and learn about the Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater and DuPont real estate markets.

Capitol Lake, Olympia WA Winning the bidding war

#OlympiaWA, #RealEstate, #TumwaterWA, #LaceyWA, #DuPontWA, #WinningBiddingWar

Tumwater WA real estate market update for March 2015

Here is the Tumwater WA real estate market update for March 2015.

Why live in Tumwater?

Tumwater is a great middle point for Olympia and Lewis County employment centers with easy access to I-5. Tumwater is close to many State and Federal buildings, the Olympia Airport, parks, and shopping centers.

Tumwater Falls Tumwater is probably most famous for being the home of the Olympia Brewery, which claimed it was the water that made its beer so good. Although the brewery closed in 2003, the Old Brewery still stands along the Deschutes River. You can walk along the river and enjoy the Tumwater Falls in the heart of the city.

Residents, especially on Tumwater Hill, enjoy sweeping views of Mount Rainier and even Mt. St. Helens on a clear day, and views of the Capitol. Plus they have a very quick commute to the freeway, usually less than 5 minutes and they are close to the shopping mall in West Olympia.

Schools: Most residents are in the Tumwater School District.

What kind of homes:
Tumwater offers a mix of new construction, condos/townhomes and vintage homes. Neighborhoods in Tumwater include Black Lake, Bush Prairie, Goldcreek and Tumwater Hill.

Search Tumwater homes for sale.

Tumwater Real Estate Market Snapshot

Tumwater real estate march 2015 stats

Curious to know what your home is worth? Click here to learn more.

Find homes for sale in Tumwater WA.

Visit my website to search Tumwater, WA homes for sale, or sign up and get notified when homes that meet your criteria come up on the market. Be the first to know of a new listing! Also click here to learn what NOT to do when buying a Tumwater, WA home.

If you’d like to learn more about how your home fits into this market and would like a personalized home evaluation, feel free to email me (francine.viola@cbolympia.com) or call me today at (360) 359-0689. With no obligation, I can give you straight-forward, fact-based information so you can decide if the time is right to make your next real estate move.

Click here to see the market updates for other areas of Thurston County.

Local statistics compiled by Francine Viola from NWMLS data. Statistics not compiled or published by NWMLS (Northwest Multiple Listing Service).

Originally posted and written by Francine Viola at her blog site: www.InTuneRealEstate.com, where you can learn more about the real estate market in Thurston County and get tips and advice for a smooth real estate transaction!