Friday, June 25, 2021

Listings Still Rare, But Inventory is Softening

Well, softening a little bit. Listing count is up and that is a good thing, but in most price ranges and market segments, buyers outnumber sellers in fair numbers. Buyers still need to bring their "A" game with offers lest they be outbid. Buyers need to understand that a house that is really nice and move in ready, modern design, etc will likely get bid up. Homes that are older or maybe a little bit of disrepair are less likely to be bid up.

As new construction ramps up with materials finally starting to retreat back on price and availability this will offer buyers options to resale homes that have been in tight supply of late. I see a soft landing in real estate over the next couple of years. As interest rates rise, which they likely will, due to aggressive spikes in inflation, real estate demand will see a slowing decline and begin to match the inventory. 

Some people fear the "bubble" and that is a real thing, but to burst the bubble we would need to see a major rise in listings and I don't see that happening.

Buyers should feel secure in the decision to purchase a home, and skeptical potential sellers should see more opportunity on the buying side over the next few months which may make them feel comfortable listing their home. 

Here's to a nice couple of years with modest increases in housing prices and a slow and low rate of interest rate rise.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Better Late, Than Never

Well the spring rush of listings was rather late this year, but inventory seems to be showing up at a more typical spring pace now that were are almost at summer. I'm seeing a serious bump in available inventory. Now to be clear we are still tight and sellers still hold the better hand. But with building materials coming down off the crazy pandemic high cost and people starting to relax a but on Corona-Fear, things are looking a little more promising for buyers, yet still good for sellers. 

Interest rates remain fairly steady and still low so buyers should be able to still the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. My son is getting married this weekend and things are hectic around the house, so that's all I got this go round!

Friday, June 11, 2021

Could Midtown Vancouver be the Next Hot Location?

I recently listed a small cottage with a colleage from the office in Midtown Vancouver. Midtown Vancouver? you ask, well yes, this is not an official neighborhood but is actually a part of three neighborhoods, Esther Short, Arnada, and Hough. Like Uptown and Downtown it is a description of a specific part of the neighborhoods. In this case the strip of blocks touching the SR-501 corridor or Mill Plain and 15th street between Uptown and Downtown. Anyway the cottage is a typical house in the area, but the area is quickly moving towards high density development. This could transform this to a real estate hot spot. Arnada and Hough are already pretty hot, but the midtown strip could go to the moon.

There is currently and has been for about 5 years now significant development in the area. Two sizable urban apartment projects went in a few years back with hundreds of units, 13 West on West 13th and Columbia and the large 15 west project on West 15th Street. Just north of 15 West, Ginn is building a infill urban apartment building. At C Street and Mill Plain the entire block is now Al Angelo's mid rise mixed use building. New Seasons market is going in at 15th and Main and that should create a buzz in the area as a market is the only thing missing in the greater
Downtown area. The block just west of the New Seasons was purchased recently by an investor group intending to erect a mid-rise building that will cover the entire block. Some high end units in two mid-rise towers recently came to market, Our Heroes Place at Mill Plain and D Street. This corridor is seeing some serious action and that new market might just bring some condos or other high density residential to the area.

There is currently hundreds of millions of dollars in construction projects in the downtown area and more than a billion in proposed projects waiting in the wings. But the waterfront and lower Downtown areas are fairly expensive and the Mid-town area has a chance to provide some solid affordable urban high density housing with good access to amenities and the freeway for commuters. I'd keep an eye on this area it could be the next new thing.

Friday, June 4, 2021

State to Fully Open: Good for Inventory?

Part of me feels like the ultra tight inventory is at least partly due to a 'fear' of COVID and the decision by Governor Inslee to reopen the state this month may lead to some relaxation of anxiety that some sellers may have about strangers walking through their house during the listing period. But further exasperating the problem is a serious lack of building materials that is slowing the new construction slowdown and creating rising prices for new homes. This puts additional pressure on resale homes. Any seller thinking about making a move, right now the stars are aligned for sellers to dictate their terms.

Many sellers are concerned about "where will I go?" With inventory tight sellers can make rent back arrangements or other arrangements to soften the pressure about finding the replacement home. Once the building materials crisis ends, new homes will once again compete with resale and the window may close a bit on sellers.

So far this spring listings have been slow to materialize but they are picking up and I hope the reopening will bring out the remaining sellers that might be waiting for the pandemic to wane. 

Interest rates remain competitive and buyers can still get a fair bit of house for the money available to a median income family in Clark County.