Learn about local real estate and housing market trends from The Cascade Team Real Estate.

Where does that leave home buyers and sellers looking at the second half of 2024?

The housing market shows few signs of busting out of its three-year funk after a disappointing spring season and amid a gloomy outlook for the summer and fall.

Home shoppers came into 2024 with optimism that mortgage rates would ease further after a decline late last year. But those hopes faded as stronger-than-expected data on inflation and the economy clouded the timing of a possible rate cut by the Federal Reserve.

By April, the average rate on a 30-year home loan moved above 7% for the first time since November. That, plus record-high home prices, forced many would-be homebuyers to put their house hunt on hold -- some indefinitely.

Economists are…

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The real estate frenzy spurred by the coronavirus pandemic continues, though at a slower pace. Increasing mortgage rates have slowed growth, with prices even declining in some places. But some areas are still seeing price jumps compared to the year before.

Sammamish ranks as one of the cities with the fastest-growing home prices in Washington even outperforming Mercer Island and Bellevue. Only Medina and Woodway ranked higher in Washington for price growth. Cities are ranked by the dollar change in the Home Values Index for all homes from the 12 months ending April 2024. The charts in this story were created using data available for the top 50 cities and towns in Washington.

The Sammamish housing market is most competitive. Homes in Sammamish…

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After completing hundreds of home value analysis in the greater Eastside, (Sammamish, Issaquah, Redmond, Snoqualmie, Woodinville and Bothell) I've found that Zillow's Zestimates are off with 93% of the properties in our area.

Of course, no savvy homeowner would trust their home value to a computer-generated algorithm that whips up a number within 1 second of you hitting the button.

That's why I created our Free Home Value Analysis where you can have a state licensed real estate professional give you a comprehensive value including any and all updates or improvements you've made to the home.

We've agreed to offer the value analysis totally free, with no obligation for the next 30 days to local homeowners interested in the REAL value of their…

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  •         Sales of previously owned homes decreased 4.3% from the prior month.
  •         30-year fixed mortgage jumped by nearly a quarter percentage point to 7.1%

The U.S. housing market is coming under renewed pressure, buffeted by mortgage rates that rose above 7% again and uncertainty over changes to the commission system for buying and selling a home.

The average rate on the standard 30-year fixed mortgage jumped by nearly a quarter percentage point to 7.1%, according to a survey of lenders released Thursday by mortgage-finance giant Freddie Mac. That is the highest level since late 2023 and the largest weekly increase in nearly a year.

Low inventory continues to fuel competition among area buyers in Western Washington However.…

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You’ve probably heard the news that there are changes coming in terms of how real estate commissions are paid. And while the seismic settlement announced by the National Association of Realtors earlier this month has not yet been approved it’s already sending shockwaves through the real estate industry.

This might sound exciting and like a potential game-changer for you as a home seller or buyer, with headlines proclaiming things like:

  • “Real estate commissions are being slashed!”
  • “Selling your house will now be less expensive!”
  • “No more paying 6% to real estate agents!”

But you’re also probably not sure exactly what it all means, how it will work, or how you’ll benefit from the changes.

Unfortunately, even if you ask the most…

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Interest rates have decreased by 0.15% over the past month to 6.79%, and while the rate decrease is encouraging, it has yet to have a significant impact on prospective buyers’ purchasing power or prospective sellers’ willingness to give up low interest rate mortgages. For the Washington counties covered by NWMLS, March 2024 saw an 11.2% decrease in the number of closed sales year-over-year, although median sales prices have continued to steadily rise with a year-over-year increase of 7.5%.

“Northwestern markets are finally showing signs of thawing,” said Selma Hepp, chief economist for CoreLogic. “With new listings picking up the pace from 2023 lows, potential home buyers have more options to choose from.”

“Still, there seems to be more buyers…

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National Association of Realtors' settlement on home-sale commissions will go into effect July if approved.

I want to start by addressing the "misinformation" involving the landmark settlement that could impact real estate practices and commissions as we know them.  There is a lot of uncertainty out there. And there are tons of people who thrive on that, they love to stir the pot and tell you “The Sky Is Falling.”

I know I speak for a lot of real estate professionals when I say that we’re upset with a lot of the misinformation that is getting circulated about the proposed settlement. What these proposed changes will do is clean up a lot of real estate agents who don’t run their business like an actual business or keep up with new rules and…

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If commissions are decoupled, researchers believe the competition will drive real estate commissions down.

A groundbreaking $418 million legal agreement could drive down commission rates and shrink the number of real-estate agents.

As an example, the DOJ cites Northwest MLS (NWMLS), which no longer requires listing agents to make offers of buyer broker compensation in order to list a property. Despite this being allowed, the practice of cooperative compensation continues, and agent commissions have not changed.

“As long as sellers can make buyer-broker commission offers, they will continue to offer ‘customary’ commissions out of fear that buyer brokers will direct buyers away from listings with lower commissions — a well-documented phenomenon…

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Western Washington saw one of the largest year-over-year decreases in active inventory last month. There were 3,333 properties for sale in January — a 23.2% decrease from January 2023, when there were 4,342 homes on the market. Only Las Vagas had a steeper nation drop in inventory levels.

As a result of the low housing inventory levels around Western Washington, we are returning to bidding war situations. Seattle area home sales increased by 7% in January, marking the first year-over-year increase since March 2022. Meanwhile, home sale prices increased by 3.4% year over year.

Additionally, the new commission rules are allowing Sellers to save 10’s of thousands in Buyer Agent commissions.

Cascade Team Saves Commissions For Sellers

Taking advantage of low inventory before more homes…

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As Valentine's Day approaches, love is in the air. But this year, instead of focusing solely on chocolates and roses, why not consider a different kind of matchmaking? Just like finding the perfect partner, finding the perfect home can be a journey of discovery, filled with excitement, anticipation, and even a few butterflies.

1. Love at First Sight: The Importance of First Impressions Just like a first date, the first impression of a home can be a game-changer. A well-maintained exterior, a welcoming entrance, and a clean, inviting interior can make potential buyers fall in love instantly. As a seller, it's essential to ensure your property is looking its best for every viewing. As a buyer, remember that while first impressions are important,…

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