|Windermere Redmond brokers Tricia Ebert & Lara Brown had the pleasure of volunteering their time last week with Pantry Packs, a community driven program that provides healthy food for hungry kids to take home over the weekend and school breaks. Through charitable donations and volunteer support, Pantry Packs is able to feed more than 800 Lake Washington School District children who are identified by counselors as being “food insecure” and often come to school hungry on Mondays. Each month 40-50 volunteers come together to “pack the packs” then volunteer drivers deliver the packs to more than 40 participating schools. Each week school coordinators are able then to distribute the packs to hungry children in grades preschool all the way through high school. In addition to packing the packs, Tricia and Lara were honored to grant an additional $3,700 to the Pantry Packs cause on behalf of the Windermere Foundation.|
|Our Redmond brokers would like to thank their clients for enabling the Foundation to grant funds to local non-profits throughout the Eastside and beyond. For the past 28 years, the Windermere Foundation has donated a portion of the proceeds from every home purchased or sold towards supporting low-income and homeless families in our communities. Together, we can create opportunities for a brighter future for low-income children and families in our neighborhoods. Your support really does make a difference! We sincerely appreciate your business and are grateful to be a part of the Redmond community.|
For more information on Pantry Packs and how you can get involved, please visit:
Thanks to the generosity of Windermere agents and the community, the Windermere Foundation collected over $1,537,000 in donations through the third quarter of 2017. This is an increase of nine percent compared to this time last year! Individual contributions and fundraisers accounted for 62 percent of the donations, while 38 percent came from donations through Windermere agent commissions. So far, we have raised a total of $34,643,324 in donations since 1989.
Each Windermere office has its own Windermere Foundation fund account that they use to make donations to organizations in their communities. Year to date, a total of $1,179,202 has been disbursed to non-profit organizations dedicated to providing services to low-income and homeless families throughout the Western U.S.
One organization that has been the recipient of Windermere Foundation funds is SafeHouse of the Desert. Safehouse of the Desert provides a “safe” residential environment for children between the ages of 11 to17 years of age. These young people are the victims of physical and emotional abuse, homeless runaways, victims of human trafficking, emotionally unstable home environments and various other unsafe situations. The facility shelters the children from perpetrators and offers education, therapy, artistic expression, coupled with training for future jobs, skills and coaching in being responsible and making wise choices.
The 16 Windermere Homes & Estates offices in Southern California (Alpine, Big Bear, Del Mar, Escondido, Fallbrook, La Jolla, Palm Desert, Palm Valley, Plaza at Aviara, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Bernardo-The Plaza, Santaluz, Scripps Ranch, South Carlsbad-Aviara, Temecula, and Trilogy) pooled their funds together and donated $5,000 for SafeHouse’s emergency shelter. They presented the donation check to SafeHouse on October 11, where they also spent the day cleaning, landscaping, organizing storage rooms, and providing breakfast and lunch at Harrison House, the 15-unit complex located behind the shelter and houses its transitional living program.
When asked why they chose this organization to help, Selina Sullivan, Regional Administrator for Windermere Homes & Estates said, “We recognize that the youth of today represents the future adults of tomorrow. Asking ourselves what we would want that future to look like, we realized that by contributing to this organization, we were impacting that future and contributing to the welfare of ALL children. In a world that is often covered in darkness, we wanted to serve as a beacon for others and to contribute to future generations.”
Generous donations to the Windermere Foundation over the years have enabled Windermere offices to continue to support local non-profits like SafeHouse of the Desert. If you’d like to help support programs for low-income and homeless families in your community, please click on the Donate button.
To learn more about the Windermere Foundation, visit http://www.windermere.com/foundation.
This post was originally published on the Windermere Blog.
All of us at Windermere are very excited to be in the midst of the second season of our partnership with the Seattle Seahawks, and continuing our campaign to help #tacklehomelessness. For every home game tackle made by the Seahawks, the Windermere Foundation is donating $100 to YouthCare, a non-profit that provides critical services to homeless youth throughout the Puget Sound area.
As proud as we are of our #tacklehomelessness campaign and the money we’re raising, we know we can do more. That’s why we’re hosting another Windermere “We’ve Got You Covered” winter drive to benefit YouthCare. Each night in the greater Seattle area, nearly 1,000 young people are homeless. And with the winter months quickly approaching, YouthCare is in dire need of survival supplies to keep homeless youth warm and dry during the long, wet winter.
Here’s what we are collecting:
- Warm socks
*New items only please
From October 16 through November 10, you can drop off donations at the Windermere Redmond office at Redmond Town Center or one of the other participating Windermere offices listed below. Our friends at Gentle Giant Moving Company are generously donating their time and trucks to pick up all of the donations from our offices. Donations can also be dropped off directly to YouthCare, Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm, at 2500 NE 54th St, Seattle, WA 98105.
We hope you will consider making a donation to our “We’ve Got You Covered” winter drive. Feel free to contact your Windermere agent or local office for more information, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
**Windermere Winter Drive Drop-Off Locations
This blog post originally appeared on the Windermere.com blog.
Once again, our #tacklehomelessness campaign is front-and-center, with the Windermere Foundation donating $100 for every Seahawks home-game tackle during the 2017 season to YouthCare, a Seattle-based non-profit organization that has been providing services and support to homeless youth for more than 40 years. Last year, the Seahawks helped us raise $35,000 through our #tacklehomelessness campaign, and this year we are looking forward to raising even more money – and awareness – for this important cause.
Our partnership with the Seahawks and YouthCare fits perfectly with the mission of the Windermere Foundation which is to support low-income and homeless families in the communities where we have offices. Through the #tacklehomelessness campaign, we hope to be able to do even more.
A “score card” will be posted after each home game that shows how much was raised during that game. You can follow our progress throughout the Seahawks season on our Facebook page at Facebook.com/WindermereRealEstate
There are two common concerns about the housing market that one hears from both consumers and real estate professionals alike. First, they question whether or not we are on the brink of another housing bubble, and second, they want to know why there aren’t more homes for sale.
I don’t plan on addressing the concern regarding a housing bubble in this article except to say that we are not currently in “bubble” territory, although affordability does concern me immensely. Today I would like to concentrate on the second question about the lack of homes for sale.
According to the National Association of REALTORS®, there were 1.96 million homes for sale in the United States in May 2017. When adjusted for seasonality, this falls to just below 1.9 million which is essentially the same level we saw back in 2000.
Now consider that the country has added over 21 million new households during that same time period, and you can see why this is so troubling. It is worth noting that many of these new households did move into rental properties, but this still leaves the U.S. with a substantial housing shortfall, which explains why demand for homes is so high.
With the shortage of homes for sale, you would normally expect builders to meet this pent-up demand with new construction housing but, unfortunately, this has not been the case. In fact, new single-family housing starts are running at about 800,000 (annualized), and I believe we need starts to come in at over 1 million to satisfy demand – especially as older Millennials start to create households of their own and begin thinking about buying instead of renting.
We therefore have a quandary. Trust in the housing market has clearly returned, but there are not enough homes to meet the demand of buyers, and when a buyer does find a home, they are met with very stiff competition, which is driving prices increasingly higher.
So why are we in this position and how do we get out of it?
In reality, there is no single reason for the situation we are in today. Rather it is a number of factors that, when combined, suggest to me that the market will not return to equilibrium any time soon.
The first reason for the shortfall is purely demographic. As “Boomers” age, they are not following the trends of previous generations. Many are staying in the workforce far longer than their predecessors, and, as they are postponing retirement, they do not feel compelled to downsize. In fact, almost two-thirds of Boomers plan to age in place and not move even after retirement. Without this anticipated supply of homes from downsizing Boomers, there aren’t enough homes for move-up buyers, which in turn limits the supply of homes for first-time buyers.
Secondly, as a nation we just aren’t moving as often as we used to. When I analyze mobility, it is clear that people no longer have to relocate as frequently to find a job that matches their skill set. There has been a tangible drop in geographic specificity of occupations. Where we used to move to find work, this is no longer as prevalent, which means we are moving with less frequency.
Thirdly, as mentioned earlier, builders aren’t building as many homes as they could. This is essentially due to three factors: land supply/regulation, labor, and materials. The costs related to building a home have risen rapidly since the Great Recession, and this is holding many builders back from building to their potential. Furthermore, in order to justify the additional costs, many of the homes that are being built are larger and more expensive, and this is no help for the first-time buyer who simply can’t afford a new construction price tag.
Fourthly, while the general consensus is that home prices have recovered from the major correction that was seen following the recession, this is actually not the case in some markets. In fact, there are 32 U.S. metro areas where home prices are still more than 15 percent below the pre-recession peak. As equity levels remain low, or non-existent, in these markets, many would-be sellers are waiting until they have sufficient equity in their homes before putting them on the market.
And there is still one more issue that is certain to become a major factor over the next few years: interest rates.
Imagine, if you will, the country a few years from now when interest rates have normalized to levels somewhere around 6 percent. Now consider potential home sellers who are happily locked in at a mortgage rate of about 4 percent who are considering their options. Will they sell and lose the historically low rate that they currently have? Remember that for every 1 percent increase in rates, buyers can afford 10 percent less house. If they don’t HAVE to sell, their thoughts may lead to remodeling rather than moving. I think that this is a very reasonable hypothesis which could lead us to see low inventory levels for a lot longer than many think.
With little assistance from the new home market, I believe we will suffer from low inventory levels until well into 2018.
Our best hope for a more balanced market lies with builders, so hopefully they’ll be allowed to do what they do best – build more homes.
As home prices in King County have reached record highs, some people are wondering whether we are approaching another housing bubble.
While it’s true that home prices here have surpassed the last peak hit during the housing bubble, that doesn’t mean we are in bubble territory today. The last bubble was fueled by faulty mortgage practices. Today, loans are granted on much more sound principles.
More importantly, the local economy is flourishing. Seattle has the fastest growing population of any major city in the country. The demand for homes, and historically low inventory, have been the catalyst for rising home prices here.
Still not convinced that there is no bubble? Let’s take a look at the statistics.
King County Median Sales Price
According to data from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, the median home price in King County rose steadily since 1993 (the first year the NWMLS reported median home figures), fell during the crash, and has risen since 2012.
Now, let’s assume there was no housing bubble and crash in the mid-2000s and that home prices appreciated at normal historic levels for King County, which has been an average annual rate of 6 percent for many decades. This graph compares actual home prices (blue bars) with what prices would have been with normal appreciation (orange bars) over the same period.
King County Median Sales Price
Bottom Line: Had there not been a boom and bust, based on historic appreciation rates home values would be close to where they are right now. However, there is no doubt that home prices have risen rapidly the past few years, and that rate of appreciation can’t be sustained over the long term. If you are considering buying a home today, make sure you can afford the payments, and choose a location that will appeal to you for years to come.