19% In One Year? Seattle Home Prices Surge, First Time Buyers Get Squeezed

Home prices in the Seattle metro have been rising significantly over the past 18 months, but King County’s most-recent home sales are surprising even the most-bullish forecasters in our market.  As lack of inventory continues to create bidding wars locally, home prices have been pushed up to a median of $392,000 in March–a 19 percent increase over the same month last year.

Seatle home prices

While it’s always helpful to keep in mind that every home has not necessarily appreciated 19 percent in one year (medians can often signify a shift in price category, i.e. more luxury homes are being sold this year), there is a large component of this statistic that is due to increased home values.  Median Seattle home prices are up 16.5 percent, Eastside prices are up 17.5 percent, and North King County (Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, and Kenmore) prices are up a staggering 28.1 percent.  Southwest King County followed closely behind with a 25.7 percent increase (Burien, Tukwila, Des Moines, Normandy Park, SeaTac, Federal Way, West Kent).

The only downside to these improvements in the market is the squeeze that is being put on first time home buyers.  Prices are still relatively affordable, but the competition has heated up to the point that making a full-price offer isn’t always enough.  Often cash buyers, or those with significant down payments, are scooping up sales because of their higher financial standing.

It’s estimated that about one out of every four home sales in the King County region is an all-cash sale at the moment.  Those that are financing are still averaging 20 percent or higher down payments.  As most first-time home buyers are putting down smaller amounts, especially those with 3.5 percent FHA down payments, they’re often overlooked in the competitive bidding process.

First time buyers shouldn’t despair, though, as there are still many ways to have their offers accepted, but the process requires more strategy these days.  Having your offer to purchase a home delivered with a convincing message is often necessary.  Whether that means letting a seller know that this is your one-and-only dream home, or that you’re committed to closing on the property far more than an investor who may just want to rent it out, it’s important for the buyer and their Realtor to present themselves as the most likely candidate to get the seller to a quick and guaranteed closing.  

More listing inventory will likely make its way to the market at some point, but there aren’t many signs of new listing picking up yet.  For now, competition is fierce.

© SeattleHome.com: – Sam DeBord, Managing Broker, Realtor
Board of Directors, Washington Association of Realtors
Coldwell Banker Seattle: Coldwell Banker Danforth & Associates
Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Google + | Sam (at) SeattleHome.com

Source: http://www.seattlehome.com/blog/19-one-year-seattle-home-prices-surge-first-time-buyers-get-squeezed/

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Houston: Looking to 2012

Did Houston have a picture-perfect 2010? Well, not exactly, but there are more than a few reasons to look forward to what the Houston real estate market has to offer in 2012.

Houston in 2012 will enjoy a stronger real estate market, thanks to steady increases in the energy-related job market. It was this market that kept real estate agents busy leasing commercial property and showing homes to relocating individuals.

Housing in Houston in 2012 may see about a 5-percent increase as we head into the upcoming year, and the median price of a Houston home is expected to increase from 2 to 3 percent this year. Although these numbers are lower than what we may expect historically, they are still showing a steady growth in the Houston housing market.

Foreclosures in Houston

Since 2010, foreclosure postings and actual foreclosures have declined, and most real estate experts expect these declines to further accelerate in 2012. These declines are likely attributed to the tight lending standards that took place starting in 2009. It is also likely that the financial industry has finally started to make headway in their backlogs of foreclosures resulting from the recession.

It is clear that in order to begin seeing a turnaround in the real estate market lenders must deal with the foreclosure problem, which has been a strain on the industry since 2009. It is also important to understand that lenders will experience issues now for foreclosures that occurred three years prior, meaning that they are just now facing the music from the steep increase in foreclosures in 2009.

Home Loan Lending in Houston

The national mortgage market is still expected to decline in 2012 about 25 percent, although the large markets in Texas, such as Dallas and Houston, are expected to outperform national averages due to the strong job markets found here.

Houston continues to experience increases in its energy sector, which always buoys along the real estate market.

There are plenty of good reasons to look forward to a healthy real estate market in Houston in 2012, so many real estate experts will be keeping a close eye on this market in the months to come.

Source: http://www.clientsiderealtors.com/blog/houston-looking-to-2012.htm

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Chiropractors Put Stress In Its Place: Moses Lake, WA

We encounter stress at many avenues each day in our lives. It may be at work, home or somewhere in between but we each encounter stress in different avenues each day.

Stress can really take a hold of us, making it difficult to function, making us susceptible to illness and discomfort in the form of headaches, lower back pain and physical anxiety.

If you’re finding it difficult to manage stress then consider these tips for some helpful reminders of how to manage stress and not let it snag you in it’s claws:

Have an escape. Whether it be listening to music, writing, talking with a friend, drawing, boxing or playing chess, it’s important to have a healthy way to express your emotions. You may call it a hobby or perhaps it’s something you do to connect with others but doing something that brings you pleasure and allows you to relax can be a great stress reliever. This is a great way to combat other emotions that may tie in such as anxiety or depression as well.

Get some sleep. Everything seems more exaggerated when we’re not well rested. Whether it be anger or sorrow, experiencing a stressful situation on top of existing emotions all while wrestling with sleep deprivation can really make the situation unmanageable. While you may not need or be ale to get a full 8 hours of sleep each evening, the goal is to feel rested each morning. If you’re feeling tired when you wake up each day, then you aren’t getting enough sleep. And it’s best to go to bed and get up at the same time each day, this will help set your internal clock and you’ll probably notice a difference within a few days

Prepare for the worst. If you’re going into a situation anticipating a stress response then try to prepare yourself for it. Sometimes imagery can help prepare you for the situation and when the actual encounter takes place, it’s not as bad as you imagined.

Chiropractic care is also a healthy way to manage stress. Not only can an adjustment be great for you physically but it’s a great way to manage your body’s stress response.

We all encounter and manage stress differently. Finding what works best for you may take some practice but keeping stress to a minimum and having a healthy outlet for it so you can have another place to direct your energy will make for a happier and healthier you.

Source: http://moseslake.blog.healthsourcechiro.com/2013/04/21/chiropractors-put-stress-in-its-place-moses-lake-wa/

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