Q3 Western Washington Gardner Report

The Q3 Western Washington Gardner report is out! What is this? Each quarter Matthew Gardner, Windermere’s Chief Economist, crunches the sales numbers for Western WA and creates a report analyzing what the numbers mean. Here’s the “Cliffs Notes” version:

  • The average home price in this region increased 11.6% compared to a year ago, to $611,793
  • Inventory is down 41.7% compared to a year ago
  • Mason, Island, and San Juan Counties saw the biggest growth in sales. It may be that due to COVID-19, people are buying second homes or relocating to more rural areas
  • Q3 pending sales are up 29% compared to a year ago, so 4th quarter sales should be fairly robust.
  • High buyer demand coupled with low inventory has meant houses are selling faster. In Snohomish County, the average days on market (DOM) was 16 days. Think about it: That’s just over two weeks to get under contract.
  • While low interest rates have made housing more affordable, low inventory and higher demand has been driving prices up. If this continues, it could lead to a housing affordability crisis.

To read the full report complete with graphs, additional statistics, and analysis, click here.

As always, if you want more information or have questions about your particular situation, I’m here as your resource to help empower you to make sound decisions. #yourhomesherpa

Posted on October 26, 2020 at 11:39 am
Amie Armstrong | Posted in Uncategorized |

September 2020 NWMLS Sales Statistics

Here are September 2020 sales statistics for the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS).  Click here to watch the 4 min video. The NWMLS Market Snapshot report lists statistics for all 23 counties in the Primary Service area and includes homes, condominiums, and new construction.

Quick take-aways from the report:

  • $6.27 Billion in closed sales during September 2020, which is an increase of 53.4% over September 2019
  • Median price: $499,950 which represents a 19% price increase compared to the same month last year
  • Inventory Volume: There were 9,099 active listings, which is 43.1% lower than September 2019.
  • Months of Inventory: 0.89 months. This is down 55.4% compared to the same time last year.

Something to consider: New listings were 18.8% higher than last year, however total inventory volume was 43.1% lower and months of inventory shrunk. What does this mean? In a nutshell, it means when homes come to market, they sell fast! This is supported by pending sales statistics; the number of homes under contract in September was up 23.2% compared to September of last year.

These statistics are for the entire NWMLS. For more detailed specifics on a particular area, neighborhood, or home, please contact me. I’d love to give you (or anyone you know) useful information that empowers you to take the next step in realizing your dreams.  #yourhomesherpa

Posted on October 15, 2020 at 3:32 pm
Amie Armstrong | Posted in Uncategorized |

Small Bathroom Update Ideas!

If you’re like a lot of people and are spending more time at home, you may have started to notice things you’d like to change. If updating your small bathroom is on your wish list, here are some fun, smart, and stylish ideas to spark your imagination:

Bathroom Update!

These ideas run from very inexpensive to expensive. A gallon of paint costs almost nothing!

If you are feeling stymied and/or overwhelmed, reach out! I can help with referrals as well as let you know what sort of boost in value you can expect.


Posted on October 5, 2020 at 12:01 pm
Amie Armstrong | Posted in Uncategorized |

Analysis of the Latest Economic Data

On this week’s  “Mondays with Matthew”, Matthew Gardner analyzes the most recent economic and real estate data. Included are a variety of key indicators, including retail sales, consumer sentiment, and the housing market index. Don’t miss the surge in lumber prices! It will be interesting to see how this will affect the future price and pace of new home sales.

Please reach out to me if you have questions, or want to discuss how these or any other statistics might affect you in your particular situation.

Click here to watch the video.

Posted on September 21, 2020 at 5:37 pm
Amie Armstrong | Posted in Uncategorized |

August Market Stats

Here are the NWMLS Market Stats for August 2020. Quick takeaways:

  • The median sold price of homes is 14% higher compared to August 2019
  • Total volume of sold homes increased 19.7% from 2019 to $5.98 Billion
  • New listings increased 13.9% while pending sales increased 24.7% compared to August 2019
  • The difference between new listings and pending sales has created a net deficit in inventory; This has led to available inventory decreasing to its lowest level since 2016 to 0.97 months

These numbers are a composite for all of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service which comprises 23 counties in Washington. To see the full report for the NWMLS, click here.

Additional info to what’s published: In the 4-county Puget Sound region, prices have jumped 17% year over year, from $500,000 to $585,000. Second, the “sale fail rate” has remained constant for all of 2020. You’d think COVID would have impacted this number, but it hasn’t! Lastly, buyers are going to extreme measures  in order to successfully buy, including waiving inspections, waiving financing, and bidding up homes higher than their appraised value and then paying the difference. It’s crazy! In normal markets these measures are ridiculous and illogical, however currently they are necessary to successfully purchase.


Your Trusted Guide in real estate, helping you navigate safely and confidently

Posted on September 8, 2020 at 12:27 pm
Amie Armstrong | Posted in Uncategorized |

Regional Housing Market Forecast for the Remainder of 2020

In his updated 2020 forecast, Matthew Gardner discusses how COVID-19 has changed the landscape in the economy and housing market.  Click here to learn more about what’s next in the King/Pierce/Snohomish county area during the 2nd half of 2020.


Posted on September 7, 2020 at 8:46 am
Amie Armstrong | Posted in Uncategorized |

Snohomish County Sales and the Legacy of Racism

I’ve been studying sales statistics and doing some thinking. Yesterday I listened to Matthew Gardner who discussed home ownership rates since the late 19th century. At the end of his presentation, he shows a comparison of home ownership among different racial classes. As you might guess, white/Caucasian home ownership is significantly higher than all other racial classes. The numbers he shows are national numbers btw.

Coupled with this, in our office meeting on Tuesday we were discussing how racially segregated the Seattle area is (still). Up until the late 1960’s, Shoreline (just one example & area–there are many others as well) was a “white’s only” area. However, that change (on paper) in April 1968 with the Federal Fair Housing Act that prohibited discrimination based on race (among other things). After April 1968, Edwin Pratt bought a home in Shoreline and was the first Black person to own property there. On January 26, 1969 was shot on his front doorstep. Apparently, white people didn’t want him there. If you want to read about him, click here.

What’s shocking is that today (yes today!) some communities still have racist language in their covenants. STILL. It’s disgusting and it’s illegal. How would you feel if you were purchasing a property and upon reviewing title you discovered language that prohibits someone like you from living there? It’s not exactly rolling out the welcome mat.

I’m proud to say that WRE is taking a stand on this sort of language and is actively working to remove it when it’s encountered in transactions. There’s a process for this, and I know of at least two agents in my office who have gotten racist & discriminatory language removed from CC&Rs. I’m glad I am partnered with a company that is taking active steps to rectify centuries’ worth of wrongs.

Last thing…I’m posting the numbers for sales stats in Snohomish County. As you can see, pending sales are outstripping available supply. What this means is that there are multiple offer scenarios happening all.the.time. It kind of sickens me, actually, because what I see happening is buyers with the most capital and resources being rewarded with contracts. Yes, we live in a capitalistic society, I get it, and this is how it works. However, the system favors those who have had the most privilege over time. Whites play with a stacked deck because white people have owned the most capital in the past. They have a definite advantage now when purchasing, especially in this competitive environment. Some people come in with all cash and can afford to waive inspection, title, financing, etc…because they can AFFORD to. They usually win the bidding war because the Seller wants the most $$ and the most secure transaction. It makes sense, and you risk violating Fair Housing Law if you don’t pick based on the strength of the offer. What I’m seeing, though, is that those with less capital and fewer resources get beaten out with greater frequency in these multiple offer scenarios, unless they are willing to take an enormous amount of risk. Because whites have historically had access to more capital, my hunch is they are likely to be more successful in a bidding war. I’m hopeful that over time home ownership rates can change and it will be a more level playing field.

I invite you to click the link below to listen to Matthew, and consider the stats on home ownership between different racial groups. Then look at the stats for Snohomish County, and think about who you think would win when there are so many offers you can count them on both hands.

I welcome dialogue about this, in the form of a phone call, Zoom call, or “socially distanced” personal meeting. I don’t really want to discuss this over text or comments, because it’s too important of a topic to discuss in these manners and people have a tendency to be more nasty when it’s an impersonal format. Thank you!!

Mondays with Matthew, discussing home ownership rates: Click here.

Snohomish County Sales Stats July 2020:

Posted on August 13, 2020 at 1:22 pm
Amie Armstrong | Posted in Uncategorized |

July 2020 Market Snapshot

As you can see from the following stats in the link below, activity in July has been brisk! It is definitely a Seller’s market! Despite being in a pandemic, sales have been brisk. Pending Sales have been increasing consistently over the past two months, and inventory has shrunk–it is over 40% lower than at the same time last year. Active listings are down almost 40%. The number of pending sales is up almost 14% over last year. This is a lot of selling, especially now! My take on this is that the current numbers reflect of pent-up demand, and this summer is essentially the spring market due to COVID-19.
Please reach out if you’d like more detailed information or even if you just want to chat…I’m here for you!! #yourhomesherpa
Click here for the July 2020 market snapshot:
marketsnapshot 7.2020

Posted on August 11, 2020 at 9:25 pm
Amie Armstrong | Posted in Uncategorized |

Just Listed Today!

Relax in this spacious, airy, 4 bedroom, 2.75 bath home that’s tucked away on a quiet cul-de-sac. Updates throughout include gleaming hardwood & tile floors, granite counters, stainless steel appliances, gas range, French doors, skylights, fresh paint, carpet, & more. Entertain on the upper deck, lower patio, & large backyard, then roast S’mores in the fire pit. Lower level has a huge family room w/4th bedroom/office, full bath, & separate entrance for possible work from home or ADU. Convenient access to schools, I-5/405, shopping. $598,000. This one will go fast!!

MLS #1639732
Virtual tour: https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=8XWrGDJ9XXT

Posted on July 31, 2020 at 3:13 pm
Amie Armstrong | Posted in Uncategorized |

How Do Consumers Feel About Buying & Selling Right Now?

This week learn about results from the National Housing Survey results published by Fannie Mae.  Chief Economist Matthew Gardner dives into the #s that measure the public’s current sentiments re: buying and selling.


Do you (or anyone you know) want or need to buy or sell a home now? If you are worried about staying healthy during COVID-19, call me! Utilizing technology & safe showing practices, I help you minimize risk and achieve the results you want. Trust a reliable guide! #yourhomesherpa

Posted on July 20, 2020 at 12:45 pm
Amie Armstrong | Posted in Uncategorized |