Real Estate Market April 8, 2021

First Quarter Market Review for Central Kitsap

Central Kitsap’s market bounced back in our first quarter after the seasonal slowdown. We’ve compiled key statistics to keep you up to date with our local real estate market.

first quarter market stats

Our Strong Seller’s Market

Central Kitsap just had a great first quarter after the quieter winter season. With Central Kitsap’s proximity to Seattle and Tacoma, it’s appealing to people who are moving away from bigger cities as COVID-19 changes the way we work. There are still many eager buyers outnumbering sellers as inventory remains low and demand remains high. Our Brokers can help you navigate this competitive market. Many current buyers are being outbid and it can be an overwhelming process. That’s why it’s so important to have a local expert as your guide. 

In the last five quarters outlined in the graph below, there’s a similar growth trend when comparing 2020’s first quarter to 2021’s first quarter. And, we saw a 15% increase in closed sales year over year. Get ready for the market to continue to heat up as we move from spring to summer.

sold pending graph

As you can see below, the listing and sale prices both continue to rise as sellers continue to benefit from our inventory shortage.  Many buyers have still been able to meet the pricing demands of this seller’s market. But low inventory means we’ll continue to see even higher prices.  These prices could reach an affordability ceiling where potential buyers will be priced out of the market.

Affordability Issues and Market Insights

Matthew Gardner, Windermere’s Chief Economist, continues to track this affordability ceiling in his most recent Housing and Economic Update: “If the pace of home price growth continues, many households will start to be priced out” of what people can actually afford.  As Gardner points out, we need more supply, and we need home prices to drop to alleviate this market strain.

Unfortunately, that might not happen fast enough for many hopeful homebuyers to make their dream a reality. Gardner reminds us that the cost of materials, recent storms, and the current housing market prices have all added to the cost of building new homes. This, in turn, will add to the listing price.

Additionally, Gardner points out that mortgage rates have risen after “a jump in bond yields has led rates to spike” as the country re-opens and economic activity increases. The resulting potential inflation causes the 10-year treasury interest rates to rise in hopes of attracting more buyers.  However, it is still far below standard rates and shouldn’t be a concern for buyers right now.

 

Ultimately, it’s still a strong Seller’s Market with an overall low supply and high demand. We expect to continue to see issues with affordability as prices continue to climb.

Windermere February 11, 2021

New Agent Spotlight: Melisa Wight

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Melisa Wight is new to our Windermere Silverdale office and we’re excited to feature her. Melisa’s background and friendly, helpful personality make her a great choice for buyers and sellers. Discover more about her below from our Q&A session.

What drew you to real estate?

I’ve been around real estate since I was a child. My mom was a realtor and my dad was a general contractor, and I am very proud to walk in the footsteps of that power team. My husband is also a general contractor/real estate investor and we work closely together, restoring houses throughout the area we call home.

Melisa Wight and Husband

What unique professional experiences do you possess that enhance your abilities as a realtor?

The good thing about a career change in your mid-40’s is that you bring a lot of life experience with you. Prior to real estate, I spent over 20 years as a Creative Director for a luxury travel company. I know marketing and I know people, and it has been really fun to bring those skill sets to the table.

What personality traits do you think are important in this profession?

My mom has always teased that everyone in the world is my friend, I just haven’t met them all yet. I have learned quickly that this business is all about relationships and how we treat each other, and I am truly passionate about making everyone I work with feel good about their experience. The ability to gain someone else’s trust – especially in the world we live in today – is an honor, and the real estate industry is no exception. I just want to do right by people and help make their dreams a reality.

Which areas do you serve?

I live in Poulsbo and focus primarily on this area, Bremerton, and Silverdale. That being said, I have also been known to jump the pond to Seattle or cruise along the coast to find the perfect waterfront home. I’ll go where my clients need me: they’re always my priority.

How long have you lived here?

I was born and raised in Port Angeles and am a very proud PNW native. I enjoy the quiet pace of the Kitsap Peninsula, and I absolutely LOVE being able to live out the ‘Cheers’ theme song…where everyone knows your name! There’s a true sense of community here, and I think we do our best to look out for each other.

Melisa Wight and Daughter Pumpkin Patch

How are you involved in the community?

I have always believed in the importance of giving back to your community. Since I moved here 10 years ago, I have been volunteering in this area: from being the Art Docent when my daughter was in elementary school on Bainbridge, to managing the creative for the Bainbridge Schools Foundation’s annual auction, to most recently becoming a proud member of the Crossroads Rotary Club here in Poulsbo. I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given in this community. Giving my time is the least I can do in return.

What made you decide to work with Windermere?

The decision was easy. I wanted to align with the best. My mentor, Carol Sue Barker, was already our realtor for our investment properties and I knew if I could learn from her I’d be winning. We also have the most gracious and available Designated Broker in all of Kitsap County, Nancy Mackleit. These two dynamos have taught me more in the last few months than I could ever have imagined. Windermere is consistently the top-producing real estate firm in Kitsap County for a reason. And at this age, I really don’t have time to mess around.

We’re so happy to have Melisa! If you’d like to connect with her, you can do so through her website and on Facebook.

Home Sellers February 9, 2021

Want to Sell Your Home? Here Are 5 Things to Consider

Selling your home is a big decision and it involves a lot of moving parts. Luckily, we have compiled a list of things to consider, whether you want to sell in three months or three years.

1. Timeline

Create a desired timeline involving the selling of your current home and the purchasing of your next home. While properties can’t always close in record time or produce the exact results you’re hoping for, it helps to at least begin with a general idea with extra time built in for adjustments to be made (when possible). Whether you’re ready for more space or to downsize, you’ll save time and manage expectations if you’re able to plan out what you think needs to be done in advance. Check out this helpful guide to selling your home.

2. Renovation and Curb Appeal 

What’s that old saying that our parents told us? Always leave the place better than you found it. Selling a house is no exception. Get ahead of the game by considering areas of your home that could use renovations, upgrades, or a deep clean. These changes can increase your home’s value, allowing you to sell your home for top dollar. Don’t forget the exterior either! The outside of your house will be a home buyer’s first impression, so you want to do whatever you can to increase its curb appeal

3. Costs

Yes, even selling your house comes with fees. Start putting together an estimate of how much it will potentially cost so that you’re prepared and know what to expect. For more information, here are 10 costs associated with selling your home.

4. Your Advocate

Selling your home can often feel overwhelming, which is why you want an attentive agent who understands your needs and will act as your advocate, local expert, and guide. This person will be working closely with you, so finding the right fit will make the process much easier. Treat this almost like an interview. Ask them about their sales history, how up to date they are on the local real estate market, and if they have a list of preferred local vendors. Another key aspect to consider: their communication style. You want to sell your home with someone who fits with your personality and is responsive, dependable, and helpful.

5. Staging

Taking the time to strategically showcase each area of your home will help buyers imagine themselves living there. And, staged homes sell 87% faster and for 17% more on average than non-staged homes. Additionally, the Windermere Ready program is a great option to consider. You’ll have the knowledge and guidance of one of our local agents, and the option of up to $50,000 in assistance for expenses incurred in preparing to list your home.

Looking for more information or want to discuss your specific needs? Contact one of our agents. They’re happy to assist and can provide a free market analysis so you can see what your home is worth.

Real Estate Market January 27, 2021

Fourth Quarter Review and 2021 Market Forecast

Silverdale and Bremerton’s Central Kitsap market finished 2020 with a strong fourth quarter. We’ve compiled a comprehensive review of Central Kitsap market statistics, as well as insights and predictions for 2021 from Windermere Real Estate’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner.

Central Kitsap Q4 2020 Market Stats

Our Strong Seller’s Market

Central Kitsap remains a seller’s market, like the rest of Kitsap County. Inventory is low and everyone wants to buy a house away from the bigger cities. Buyers, the market is in a regular seasonal slowdown – but not as slow as expected given COVID-19. With many determined buyers and consistently low inventory, the advantage goes to sellers. Our Brokers have seen an increase in situations where some buyers are outbid either by price or by an all-cash offer.

In 2020’s fourth quarter, the average sale price in Central Kitsap was up 6.4% year-over-year at $399K. Sale prices continue to hover close to listing prices, indicating strong demand.

Sold Homes Graph Central Kitsap

Avg Sale Prices Graph Central Kitsap

2021 Market Forecast

In his final Monday with Matthew video of 2020, our Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, shared his 2021 market forecast. He’s optimistic and for some good reasons.

First off, Gardners expects mortgage rates will not rise significantly on a local level, nor will they vary significantly throughout different regions across the U.S. Since mortgage rates are heavily tied to 10 year treasury maturity rates/yields, rates shouldn’t rise significantly until the entire market recovers from the COVID-19 slowdown.  Another great sign is that Gardner expects home sales will grow significantly, from 5.55% in 2020 to 5.93% in 2021. That’s “to a level we haven’t seen since 2006,” Gardner explains.  With the continuation of historically low mortgage rates and the consistent increase of home values, 2021 looks bright.

“No! There isn’t a housing bubble forming. But price growth will slow & sellers may feel like it’s a collapse … it isn’t collapsing, it’s just normalizing.”

Matthew reminds us that there are pitfalls to be wary of in this strong market. First and foremost: “we need more inventory.”  With the shuffling to new homes, and the huge wave of “first-time buyers [that] will continue to be a major player in the housing market,” many are making moves in a flood that will not persist. Buying during the pandemic will slowly settle. People are expected to stay in their homes longer, especially homeowners who have chosen to refinance. House values will rise due to the lack of supply, and that may price out many buyers who want to purchase in our area. 

Western Washington’s Market Report

For a big picture glance at how our local market compares, here are highlights from The Western Washington Gardner Report.

WESTERN WASHINGTON HOME SALES

  • Total Sales: 26.6% increase from Q4/2019, but 8.3% lower than Q3/2020
  • Homes for Sale: 37.3% lower than Q4/2019, and 31.2% lower than Q3/2020
  • Pending Sales: up 25% from Q4/2019, but 31% lower than Q3/2020
WESTERN WASHINGTON HOME PRICES
  • Average: $617,475 (up 17.4% from Q4/2019). This continues the trend of above-average appreciation of home values.
  • Interestingly, prices between Q3 and Q4 of 2020 only rose by 1%.  Is there a price ceiling we’re reaching?
  • Mortgage rates will stay competitive as the market continues to charge toward a price ceiling and potential affordability issues.
DAYS ON MARKET, WESTERN WASHINGTON
  • Average: 31 Days (16 days less than Q4 just one year ago)
  • In Kitsap County, average days on market: 17

Conclusion

Yes, it’s a Seller’s Market once again.  Matthew Gardner says, “I am moving the needle even further in favor of sellers.”  Here’s why: Covid-19 continues to push homeowners to stay put while renters flock to the countryside.  The resulting limited supply has “caused the region’s housing market to be incredibly active.” Matthew does warn that there may be “affordability concerns” that could prevent some homebuyers from entering the market and eventually slowing growth.
2021 will continue the trend of working from home, which keeps demand high. This, in turn, will drive sales growth, while affordability barriers will balance our current runaway appreciation for home values.
Windermere January 18, 2021

New Agent Spotlight: Heather Hamilton

An experienced Broker, Heather Hamilton is new to our Windermere Silverdale office and we’re delighted to feature her in our spotlight series. Heather has experience in over $40,000,000 in sales and enjoys working with buyers and sellers in our area. Read on to discover more about Heather’s background, professional experiences, and more.

What drew you to real estate?

Real estate is one of the longest known investments/opportunities for people to build personal wealth and safety for their families. I love serving people. Real estate gives me a prime opportunity to do that and help people reach their goals in homeownership.

What unique professional experiences or skills do you possess that enhance your abilities as a realtor?

I’ve worked in real estate for 7+ years. I have experience working with relocations and buyers and sellers ranging from $100k to $4M. With those experiences, I’ve learned about different levels of problem-solving and meeting my clients where they are in the buying and selling process.

What personality traits do you think are important in this profession?

Honest and integrity. We are only as good as our word and how we treat others.

What area do you serve and what do you love about it?

I serve all of Kitsap County and love the diversity of the people. Even though the population is large, the area is very community-focused. I love how the pace of life is a little quieter compared to that of Seattle, while still having easy access to what all of our surrounding cities have to offer.

How long have you lived here and what brought you here?

I’ve lived in Kitsap for almost two years. I’m originally from Minnesota and moved here for my partner and to be close to his family.

Heather Hamilton Broker Family

What made you decide to work with Windermere?

The company culture! I’ve learned over the years how important it is to share the same values as the people you work with. After interviewing with Windermere, it was no question that it was a perfect fit.

We invite you to connect with Heather Hamilton through her Facebook page or her website. We know she’s going to continue to help many buyers and sellers achieve their real estate goals, thanks to her strong work ethic, positivity, and integrity.

Windermere December 7, 2020

New Agent Spotlight: Joe Stevick

We are proud to feature Joe Stevick in our new Q&A spotlight series. Joe is one of our new real estate agents and brings a range of interesting skills and experiences to the table. He’s a lifetime local of Kitsap County who is involved in the communities he serves and he has also spent time working abroad. Read on to find out more about this caring professional who truly puts people first.

What drew you to real estate?

I was drawn to real estate because I love working in service industries and had recently returned to Kitsap County after a long stint overseas. I was also curious about the increasing costs of housing and the worsening problem of homelessness in our area.

What unique professional experiences or skills do you possess that enhance your abilities as a realtor?

I was in the Peace Corps for three years. This, coupled with working as an operations director for a small chocolate factory in Madagascar, has taught me a lot about people and the level of problem solving and patience that is required to get the job done. Peace Corps really teaches you to understand people and to help them in the best way possible.

What personality traits do you think are important in this profession?

I think patience and a knack for listening to people are important characteristics to have in any profession and real estate is no different.

Which areas do you serve and what do you love about those areas?

I serve all of Kitsap County and Mason County. I love these areas because there is a rural lifestyle that still has access to the city if need be. Also, we have an incredibly diverse group of people in these areas, which I love. Helping people integrate and better their new communities is a passion of mine.

How long have you lived here?

I grew up in Kitsap County, going to Esquire Hills Elementary, Ridgetop Junior High, and Olympic High School. COVID-19 brought me back to Kitsap but the people, lifestyle, and natural beauty of the PNW kept me here.

joe stevick with siblings

“My siblings and I. Where would we be without siblings?”

How are you involved in the community?

I am a member of the East Bremerton Rotary, through which I do a lot of work for the Illahee Preserve. Also, I help out at Olympic High School when I can, and still have affiliation with the Olympic High School baseball team.

What made you decide to work with Windermere?

I decided to join Windermere because I could tell right away that its affiliates were nice and welcoming. Windermere has a respected name and it is because its agents are professional and caring. This is what I wanted to be as a new agent.

We are so happy that Joe has joined us. We know his skillset, professionalism, and sincerity will be an asset to buyers and sellers across Kitsap County and Mason County. You can connect with Joe on Facebook, Instagram, or through his website

Kitsap CountyReal Estate Market October 27, 2020

Central Kitsap’s Market: Third Quarter Review and Forecast

Central Kitsap’s market had a very strong third quarter. We’ve compiled key stats below to provide a comprehensive review of our market, as well as insights and predictions from Windermere Real Estate’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner.

Our Strong Seller’s Market

It’s a strong seller’s market here in Central Kitsap. Inventory remains low while demand is high. In our third quarter, the median sale price was up 11.5% year-over-year at $379K. Buyers should be aware that multiple offer situations have become more common in our area.

south kitsap market graph q3

south kitsap months inventory graph q3

south kitsap q3 stat highlights

Market Predictions

Although mortgage rates remain historically low and demand is high, our Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, has some concerns about how this may impact real estate down the road. “We may be heading towards a period where we see houses turn over at a far slower pace as we stay in our homes for longer than ever…this could be a problem as it leads to persistently low levels of inventory for sale, which itself could lead to prices continuing to rise at above-average rates and that would further hit affordability.” As for mortgage rates, Gardner does not expect them to rise significantly any time soon. However, he says, “We should all be aware that there could be consequences to very low rates”.

Western Washington Review

Let’s zoom out a bit and look at our area. Below are highlights from The Western Washington Gardner Report provided by Windermere Real Estate’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner.

WESTERN WASHINGTON HOME SALES

  • Total Sales: 11.6% increase from Q3/2019, and 45.9% higher than Q2/2020
  • Homes for Sale: 41.7% lower than Q3/2019, but up 1.6% from Q2/2020
  • Pending Sales: up 29% from Q2/2020

WESTERN WASHINGTON HOME PRICES

  • Average: $611,793 (up 17.1% from Q3/2019). Low mortgage rates and limited inventory are clearly pushing prices up.
  • Prices will continue to increase as long as mortgage rates and inventory levels stay low. If this continues to be the case, affordability issues will become more apparent in many markets.

DAYS ON MARKET, WESTERN WASHINGTON

  • Average: 36 days (an average of 4 fewer days than in Q2/2020 and 2 fewer days than in Q3/2019)
  • In Kitsap County, average days on market: 20

Conclusion

In Gardner’s Western Washington Report, he states that, although we have a strong seller’s market that is very buoyant, he’s “starting to see affordability issues increase in many areas—not just in the central Puget Sound region—and this is concerning. Perhaps the winter will act to cool the market, but something is telling me we shouldn’t count on it.”

 

Home SellersWindermere September 10, 2020

Selling Your Home is Now Easier: Windermere Invests to Impress

When it comes to selling your home, first impressions are everything. We believe this so strongly that we created the Windermere Ready program. With concierge-level service, our program prepares your home for the market with guidance from a local expert as well as financial assistance, if needed.

Sell For More in Less Time

On average, sellers who make necessary repairs and upgrades before selling generally sell their home for more and in less time. Of course, every home is unique, but preparation is often the key to success.

Our Windermere Ready program provides:

  • One-on-one consultation
  • A personalized plan
  • High impact updates
  • Professional staging

We all know that buyers prefer stylish, turnkey homes. But it can be challenging to know which repairs and upgrades will get the biggest return. That’s why we offer an individualized approach. One of our local real estate experts will work with you to determine what needs to be done with your timeline and needs in mind.

After they identify your top home improvement priorities, they will develop a plan of action. They will connect you with preferred local service providers, assist with a work schedule, and make any necessary arrangements. Working with a highly skilled professional also means your home will be correctly priced so you’ll avoid the dangers of an overpriced home.

Update Your Home to Make an Impact

Sometimes the smallest updates can make the biggest impact on a buyer. A home with real curb appeal, a fresh coat of paint, and a sparkling clean interior can exude warmth and charm. Even something small yet noticeable like a stylish light fixture or updated kitchen cabinet hardware can really enhance a house and make it feel like a home.

Here are some of the items that we focus on:

  • Interior and Exterior Painting
  • Window Washing
  • Landscaping
  • Carpet Cleaning/Replacement
  • Floor Repair/Refinishing
  • Fixture Repair or Replacement
  • Cosmetic Updates
  • Decluttering
  • Professional Deep Cleaning

Stage Your Home to Create the Best Experience

In addition to making needed repairs and updates, we highly recommend staging your home. With the help of professional stagers, you can boost your bottom line. A staged home allows buyers to easily see themselves living there. Our expert stagers know how to use light, color, texture, and space to effectively highlight the best features of each room. According to Forbes, staged homes sell 87% faster and for 17% more than non-staged homes.

We’re Invested in Your Success, Literally

If needed, we can offer up to $50,000 to assist with expenses incurred, and there’s no upfront cost to you. The loan term is six months and no monthly payments are due during that time. The loan is paid off in one lump sum when the collateral property is sold. If you’d like more information about our Windermere Ready Loan, please contact us today.