Posted July 30 2012, 4:34 PM PDT by Jill Jacobi Wood, OB Jacobi & Geoff Wood

Summer Perspectives: Market Report

Posted in Perspectives by Jill Jacobi Wood, OB Jacobi & Geoff Wood

Summer is finally here, and like many of you, when the weather turns nice we find ourselves smiling a little more. Our whole mood changes for the better. Maybe it’s the much-needed dose of vitamin D – or perhaps it’s that we’re finally getting some good news about the local housing market. Case in point: the most recent housing stats from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported gains throughout the Puget Sound region, including a ten percent increase in home prices in Seattle. Appreciation is usually an indicator of a strengthening housing market, so we’re cautiously optimistic about where things are heading.

Understanding the ups and downs of real estate can be quite challenging, so several years ago Windermere partnered with economist Matthew Gardner to get the most current, relevant data about the Western Washington housing market into the hands of our agents and their clients. Unlike the Case-Shiller Home Price Index, which defines “Seattle” as King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties, the Gardner Report dives into housing data on a far more local level and explains in detail what the numbers really mean. It analyzes employment figures, population growth, local business activity, and other factors that affect the housing market, such as distressed property sales.

Foreclosures and short sales have had a significant impact on the nation’s housing market, and Seattle is no exception. But, as the most recent Gardner Report points out, there is a light at the end of this tunnel in the form of “cash buyers”. A recent spike in the number of cash buyers in Seattle strongly indicates that real estate investors have returned to the market – and this helps deplete distressed inventory, resulting in less downward pressure on prices. And in the long run, both buyers and sellers benefit from a more stable, balanced market.

We’re proud to be able to offer a study of the Western Washington housing market through the Gardner Report, but ultimately all real estate is local. Hyper local. Market conditions can vary drastically within a single neighborhood. That’s why it’s important to always look to your real estate agent for expert insight. No one knows the local market like they do – or understands how those conditions can, and should, impact your long-term home buying and selling decisions.

Contact your Windermere agent for a copy of the Gardner Report, or go to and select “Market News”.