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KIRKLAND, Washington (January 6, 2023) – Last year was a tale of two housing markets, suggested broker Dean Rebhuhn in commenting on the latest statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

  •          In the first half of the year, we had low interest rates, rising prices, and little inventory
  •          The second half of the year brought increasing interest rates, some lowering of prices, and increasing inventory
  •          The local housing market in 2022 ended with a whimper rather than a bang
  •          Overall, the housing market is going to continue falling off the artificial ‘sugar high’ that was a function of the artificially low mortgage rates during the pandemic
  •          Gardner, the Windermere economist, expects prices will
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Weekly Review
Newsletter - 1/3/2023

Week of December 26, 2022 in Review

After the market closures Monday for the Christmas holiday, housing news highlighted last week’s calendar:

  • Are Signed Contracts on Existing Homes Set to Rebound This Year?
  • Home Prices Have Softened But Annual Appreciation Is Still Strong
  • Challenges Remain for Job Seekers, Data Shows

Are Signed Contracts on Existing Homes Set to Rebound This Year?

Pending Home Sales fell 4% from October to November, marking the sixth straight monthly decline. Sales were also 37.8% lower than in November of last year. This is a critical report for taking the pulse of the housing market, as it measures signed contracts on existing homes, representing around 90% of the

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Weekly Review
Newsletter - 12/27/2022

Week of December 19, 2022 in Review

The markets had plenty of news to feast on last week, including the latest data on consumer inflation, home sales and home construction. Here are the highlights:

  • Consumer Inflation Headed in Right Direction
  • Inventory of Existing Homes Declined for Fourth Consecutive Month
  • New Home Sales Beat Expectations in November
  • What the Home Construction Slowdown Means for Home Prices
  • Home Builder Confidence Declined Every Month This Year
  • Unemployment Claims Data Illustrates Difficulties for Job Seekers
  • Third Quarter GDP Remains Positive

Consumer Inflation Headed in Right Direction

The Fed’s favorite measure of inflation, Personal Consumption Expenditures

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Weekly Review
Newsletter - 12/19/2022

Week of December 12, 2022 in Review

Consumer inflation continues to cool, while there were some important takeaways from the Fed’s latest rate hike decision. Read on for these crucial details:

  • What the Fed’s Latest Rate Hike Really Signals
  • Consumer Inflation Cooler Than Expected Last Month
  • Small Business Owners Say Inflation Remains Top Problem
  • Shipping Data Brings Positive Sign for Inflation Picture
  • Continuing Jobless Claims at Highest Level Since February

What the Fed’s Latest Rate Hike Really Signals

As expected, the Fed hiked its benchmark Fed Funds Rate by 50 basis points at its meeting last Wednesday. The Fed Funds Rate is the interest rate for overnight borrowing for banks, and

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Mortgage rates are continuing their downward trend as investors keep a lookout for more signs of cooling inflation.

“This week, labor cost data provided a ray of hope as it showed that hourly compensation was lower than previously reported in the second and third quarters for all sectors except manufacturing,” writes Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com, adding that gas prices are also plunging.

Nadia Evangelou, NAR senior economist and director of real estate research, commented: 

“Mortgage rates continue to move down. According to Freddie Mac, the rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage dropped to 6.33% from 6.59% the previous week. Housing affordability rose about 8% in the last four weeks as mortgage rates moved closer to 6%. If

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Stuff happens! That’s especially true during the holiday season. With guests coming and going, the fireplace regularly blazing, and packages arriving at your front door by the truckload, this is a particularly precarious time.

New data reveals that porch pirates (aka nefarious folks who sneak up to your doorstep and steal your packages) are among the most dreaded holiday-related worries, according to a survey from home security company SimpliSafe.

Almost half (45%) of the respondents reported they have had packages stolen from their front porch or home.

Porch pirates

The United States Postal Service estimates it delivers more than 13.2 billion parcels between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. And with more people doing their holiday shopping

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Mortgage rates continued their plunge from a peak of 7.08% in November, marking their biggest three-week drop in 14 years.

“Mortgage rates continued to drop this week as optimism grows around the prospect that the Federal Reserve will slow its pace of rate hikes,” says Freddie Mac chief economist Sam Khater.

Mortgage rates this week

30-year fixed-rate mortgages

The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 6.49%, down from 6.58% the week prior, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. A year ago, the 30-year rate averaged 3.11%.

Mortgage rates began to slide below 7% after the most recent inflation data was released in mid-November. The consumer price index was at 7.7%, coming in below economist's expectations.

“Data shows that mortgage

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1. People who look at your home over the holidays are serious buyers.

2. Serious buyers have fewer homes to choose from over the holidays as most sellers take their homes off the market, equating to less competition and more money for you.

3. Since the supply of homes will drastically increase in January, more inventory means more competition in selling your home, which could cost you money.

4. Homes show their best when decorated for the holidays.

5. Buyers can get emotionally connected to a home, visualizing celebrating their future holidays there and may spend more money.

6. Buyers have more time to look over the holidays, with flexibility to view homes during the weekdays.

7. Some people must buy before the end of the

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What a difference just a few months can make. As the year comes to a close, the red-hot housing market has been brought to its knees by soaring mortgage interest rates.

  •          “Seattle, Phoenix, San Francisco could all see 20% price drops.”
  •          Wolf, of Zonda, expects prices could fall by 15% nationally over the next year
  •          “A really important thing to remember is housing is cyclical,” says Wolf. “We came from a massive run-up in prices, sales, demand in the housing market, and now it’s contracting. This is not new.”
  •          Nationally, home list prices rose 40.6% in just over two years’ time
  •          So, a 10%, 15%, or even 20% drop over a two-year span isn’t as significant as it might seem at first.

It now

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Weekly Review
Newsletter - 11/28/2022

Week of November 21, 2022 in Review

A smorgasbord of news was released ahead of Thanksgiving, including an update on new home sales, jobless claims, the Fed and recession chatter. Read on for these stories:

  • New Home Sales Better Than Expected in October
  • Initial Jobless Claims Hit a Three-Month High
  • Will the Fed Slow Its Pace of Rate Hikes?
  • Should Strong Retail Sales Quiet Recession Chatter?

New Homes Sales Better Than Expected in October

New Home Sales, which measure signed contracts on new homes, rose 7.5% in October to a 632,000-unit annualized pace, coming in much better than the 5.5% decline that was expected. There was a negative revision to September’s sales that made

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