North-Central Whidbey Reports Lowest Inventory Levels in Six Years

The latest update from Trendgraphix, shows the fewest homes available for sale since Dec 2005.

There were 257 homes available for sale at the end of 2012, a 26% drop from a year ago. During 2012, in Snohomish and King Counties, this situation has led to multiple offers and rising prices, indicative of a seller’s market. While Whidbey Island has not yet experienced this shift in the market, it appears that 2013 will most likely follow a similar path to King and Snohomish Counties. Record low interest rates, very affordable prices, and improving consumer confidence are leading factors that will bode well for the Whidbey Island housing market.

Since the downturn in the real estate market, the median sales price on Whidbey Island has dropped 29% from $281,000 during the third quarter of 2006, to $200,000 during the 1st quarter of 2012. However, as of the fourth quarter of 2012, the median price was $237,000, and is now down only 16% from the 2006 peak.

Given the market dynamics, 2013 appears to be a good year for sellers who need or want to sell their property.

You’ll find more listing and sales data in our Market Trends section.

If you or anyone you know may be interested in selling their home this year, please contact us for a free market analysis.

Windermere Coupeville cleans up Fort Casey State Park

Windermere Real Estate’s Coupeville office chose Fort Casey State Park for the annual Windermere Community Service Day project which took place last Friday, June 15th.

During a very beautiful and sunny day, the Windermere team cleaned up fifty picnic table surfaces and cement pads underneath the tables.

We also did some general weed trimming in the family picnic area.   Now the family picnic area is ready for a busy summer season!

Waiting for lower price vs. taking advantage of low interest rates…

For potential buyers that are waiting to see if housing prices go lower, take notice that interest rates recently rose for the first time in 5 months (average above 4%), and there is talk of further increases as the economy improves. Great article on KCM blog that includes chart which details the affect of changing prices and changing rates on monthly payments.

New FHA Condominium Financing Rules

The Seattle Times has a good article on the FHA financing rules changes for condominiums that take effect on November 2nd, 2011. These rules may make FHA loans more difficult to obtain for some condominiums.

FHA financing can enable borrowers to get loans with less downpayment (as little as 3.5%), and are kinder to applicants with lower credit scores, then conventional mortgage loans (usually require 20% down payment.)

Because of the smaller down payments and that it goes easier on people with low credit scores, about one-third of homebuyers are getting FHA loans this year.

If you are interested in buying a condominium, it is a good idea to investigate the following rule changes in addition to reviewing the resale certificate, review of board meeting minutes, and conducting physical inspections.

• “Spot approvals” are eliminated, and now the entire project has to meet FHA approval before a borrower can get an FHA-insured loan.

• A maximum of 30 percent of the condo project’s units can have FHA-insured mortgages. There was no such limitation previously.

• Before the FHA will insure a mortgage on a condo, at least half the units must have already been sold. Again, there was no such limitation previously.

See full article for more information: Seattle Times Article

Is your home rented or vacant? Make sure you are properly insured!

Good information on how your homeowner insurance policy changes if your home is rented or vacant.

See Article in Seattle Times

Central Whidbey Little League Baseball State Champs!

Follow our State Champion Baseball team next week as they start the Regional Tournament in California. See Article in Whidbey News Times for more info.  Donations are needed, support the team by donating at any Wells Fargo branch.  Donations made payable to “CWLL”.  On to Victory!

Coupeville Community Service Day

The Island County Historical Museum, located on Coupeville’s waterfront, appreciated the help the Coupeville Windermere office provided on June 18th, 2010. The front garden area, in which one walks through to enter the museum, needed attention .  It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day and everyone was grateful for that!  The day started at 9:00 AM, barbeque lunch and finished-up about 2:00 PM.  With everyone’s help, a lot was accomplished; weeding, transplanting, cleaning out the storage area, 2 pick-up loads to the dump, placing donation bricks into the patio…please read what the Whidbey Examiner had to say!     [Read more...]

Whidbey Island Real Estate Market Shows Increasing Stability

For the first four months of 2010, the number of homes placed under contract (pending sales) was 51.7% more than the same period in 2009. The number of sold homes was 36% higher than the previous year, with the median sales price down 6% from $268,000 in 2009 to $252,000.  The median sales price has fallen 10% from April 2008 – April 2010.

 

Homes sold for an average of 89 – 92% of original listing price, and were on the market for an average of 185-200 days before being placed in a purchase contract.

The number of homes available for sale, at the end of April, was 9.8% higher than the previous year, but given the current rate of pending sales, the present supply represents around 8.2 months of inventory. Historically, an inventory of around 6 months indicates a balanced market.

Windermere’s Coupeville Office Completes “Green” Renovation

Today, Windermere Real Estate’s Coupeville office completed an energy saving renovation of all lighting fixtures.  The lighting changes, completed by CK Electric,  will save 8,247 kWh/Year.  This reduction will save an estimated $730 per year, which will pay for the remodel in four years (including a generous incentive from Puget Sound Energy).  A big Thank you to Cathy Dalmeida and the Town of Coupeville’s Commercial Outreach Program for introducing the concept.

For More information on PSE’s Green Programs

 

 

 

Medical Mission trip to Africa

Carmen McFadyen, a Real Estate agent in our Coupeville office for 21 years, is off to Africa for the 4th time.  She will be using her nursing degree of 32 years on this medical mission to a small village 2 ½ hours from the area in which they are familiar.  She leaves the day after Easter, Monday, April 5th, for 3 weeks. 

Thanks for all you do, Carmen!

Read more about Carmen’s trip in the Whidbey Examiner.