2020 – Why you want to be in Seattle

I was able to listen to our chief economist for Windermere yesterday for his annual economic forecasts heading into 2020. The slides below illustrate his forecast for the Seattle area moving into 2020. #realestateislocal 

Matthew Gardner, while being one of the brightest minds in our company, knows how to deliver a message.

We all know that most economist are calling for a national recession in the not too distant future. But most are now pushing back for this to begin in mid 2021, be short lived and not focused on the housing market like the great recession.

Matthew feels the next recession will be due to the ongoing trade wars with China and the EU as well as our escalating national debt. With interest rates already at historic lows, the Fed will NOT be able to help end the recession by lowering rates.

But the Seattle area will be somewhat insulated to these national issues in the coming years, here’s why…

  • We’re no longer a one trick pony. Like when this sign from 1973 went up during a Boeing slump. Seattle’s industries have diversified. There are now 34 Fortune 500 companies in the Seattle Area compared to 7 just a few years ago! Boeing is still king with over 80,000 employees in the area but their ups and downs don’t threaten the Seattle economy like they did not too long ago.
  • The tech industry is the largest employer in the Seattle Metro area and have driven our unemployment #’s down to 3%.
  • The other employers to round out the top 5 for the Seattle area are JBLM, Joint Base Lewis McCord (56,000), Microsoft (42,000), Amazon (25,000) and UW, University of WA (25,000). A healthy mix of different industries that are projected to grow their employment by 2.2% next year, again leading the nation.
  • All of these growing companies in the Seattle area are why our economy will continue to expand through 2020.
  • There is still no signs of a Housing Bubble.
    • $18.7 trillion dollars of home equity in the US! We’re not upside down on our mortgages like during the great recession.
    • FICO credit scores are over 750 and the average amount of a down payment was 17%. 
    • So we’re qualified and invested when we purchase our homes.

Posted on December 19, 2019 at 11:06 am
Robert Johnson | Posted in Finance, Market Info, Neighborhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hot off the press, Gardner Report on W.WA housing

Hot off the press, the Gardner Report on the Western WA housing market. Matthew is always insightful and brings his expert opinion on our local economy, jobs & policies and how they will impact housing. A good read for anyone planning a move in W.WA!

robertbjohnson #workwithafriend #seattleneighborhoods knowyourstats


Posted July 25 2019, 11:00 AM PDT by Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist, Windermere Real Estate

Western Washington Real Estate Market Update

Posted in Western Washington Real Estate Market Update by Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist, Windermere Real Estate 

The following analysis of the Western Washington real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact your Windermere agent.



Washington State employment jumped back up to an annual growth rate of 2.4% following a disappointing slowdown earlier in the spring. As stated in the first quarter Gardner Report, the dismal numbers earlier this year were a function of the state re-benchmarking its data (which they do annually).

The state unemployment rate was 4.7%, marginally up from 4.5% a year ago. My current economic forecast suggests that statewide job growth in 2019 will rise by 2.6%, with a total of 87,500 new jobs created.



  • There were 22,281 home sales during the second quarter of 2019, representing a drop of 4.8% from the same period in 2018. On a more positive note, sales jumped 67.6% compared to the first quarterof this year.
  • Since the middle of last year, there has been a rapid rise in the number of homes for sale, which is likely the reason sales have slowed. More choice means buyers can be more selective and take their time when choosing a home to buy.
  • Compared to the second quarter of 2018, there were fewer sales in all counties except Whatcom and Lewis. The greatest declines were in Clallam, San Juan, and Jefferson counties.
  • Listings rose 19% compared to the second quarter of 2018, but there are still a number of very tight markets where inventory levels are lower than a year ago. Generally, these are the smaller — and more affordable — markets, which suggests that affordability remains an issue.




  • Year-over-year price growth in Western Washington continues to taper. The average home price during second quarter was $540,781, which is 2.8% higher than a year ago. When compared to first quarter of this year, prices were up 12%.
  • Home prices were higher in every county except King, which is unsurprising given the cost of homes in that area. Even though King County is home to the majority of jobs in the region, housing is out of reach for many and I anticipate that this will continue to act as a drag on price growth.
  • When compared to the same period a year ago, price growth was strongest in Lewis County, where home prices were up 15.9%. Double-digit price increases were also seen in Mason, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, and Skagit counties.
  • The region’s economy remains robust, which should be a positive influence on price growth. That said, affordability issues are pervasive and will act as a headwind through the balance of the year, especially in those markets that are close to job centers. This will likely force some buyers to look further afield when searching for a new home.







  • The average number of days it took to sell a home matched the second quarter of 2018.
  • Snohomish County was the tightest market in Western Washington, with homes taking an average of only 21 days to sell. There were five counties where the length of time it took to sell a home dropped compared to the same period a year ago. Market time rose in eight counties and two were unchanged.
  • Across the entire region, it took an average of 41 days to sell a home in the second quarter of 2019. This was the same as a year ago but is down 20 days compared to the first quarter of 2019.
  • As stated above, days-on-market dropped as we moved through the spring, but all markets are not equal. I suggest that this is not too much of an issue and that well-priced homes will continue to attract attention and sell fairly rapidly.




This speedometer reflects the state of the region’s real estate market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors. I am leaving the needle in the same position as the first quarter as demand appears to still be strong.

The market has benefitted from a fairly significant drop in mortgage rates. With average 30-year fixed rates still below 4%, I expect buyers who have been sitting on the fence will become more active, especially given that they have more homes to choose from.



As Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, Matthew Gardner is responsible for analyzing and interpreting economic data and its impact on the real estate market on both a local and national level. Matthew has over 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.

In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Matthew sits on the Washington State Governors Council of Economic Advisors; chairs the Board of Trustees at the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington; and is an Advisory Board Member at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington where he also lectures in real estate economics.

Posted on July 29, 2019 at 1:29 pm
Robert Johnson | Posted in Finance, Market Info, Neighborhood |

Realtors working for Real Estate Investors

  The NAR, National Association of Realtors, is working to clarify part of the recent tax reform that relates to Net Business Income:

Can Real Estate Investors take the 20% deduction for their Rental Property Income.

Stay tuned…we’re working to find out.




Posted on October 5, 2018 at 9:37 am
Robert Johnson | Posted in Finance, Market Info |

Down Payment Assistance is out there!

Yes, down payment assistance even in the super heated Seattle area real estate market.

Click on the link below to search for programs available specifically for you and make your homeownership dreams a reality.



Posted on February 6, 2018 at 10:43 am
Robert Johnson | Posted in Finance |

Today’s Interest Rate Check 1.29.16

Interest Rates back below 4% for a 30 Year Fixed!

Rate Check 1-29-16


Warm [Energy Efficient] Regards,

Dave Porter


MLO# 483876

Cell: 206-304-8228

eFax: 425-324-3362


Apply Online- click the Logo below

David Porter link

Posted on January 29, 2016 at 2:17 pm
Robert Johnson | Posted in Finance |

How To Buy Real Estate With Leverage In A 401(k) Plan

blog-25_136 From: Forbes | Investing | Adam Bergman, CONTRIBUTOR | JAN 26, 2016

 Adam explains how to tap into your retirement account and reallocate and invest in a  home purchase.

 There are some rules to follow to not get penalized but with recent stock market  uncertainty, many investors are looking to put their money into real estate.



Posted on January 29, 2016 at 11:09 am
Robert Johnson | Posted in Finance |

Interest Rate Check from David Porter, Homestreet Bank

Interest rates at 4% for a 30 year fixed. Even with the Fed announcing their increase.

Rate check:   

Rate Check 1-15-16

Warm [Energy Efficient] Regards,

Dave Porter


MLO# 483876

Cell: 206-304-8228

eFax: 425-324-3362


Apply Online- click the Logo below

David Porter link

Posted on January 15, 2016 at 11:54 am
Robert Johnson | Posted in Finance |

Fannie Mae offers new mortgage 3% Down

A new opportunity for home ownership is available to credit-worthy low- to moderate-income borrowers through Fannie Mae’s new HomeReadymortgage program.

The financing, available for purchase loans and refinancing, loosens some requirements that have kept consumers out of the housing market or limited their option to refinance. The loans are available with a down payment of 3 percent or 5 percent and have reduced private mortgage insurance costs. Gift funds are allowed for the down payment, and lenders and sellers are allowed to help with closing costs.

By Michele Lerner | January 6, 2016 | The Washington Post

Posted on January 14, 2016 at 4:28 pm
Robert Johnson | Posted in Finance |

Impact on the fed increase by David Porter, Homestreet Bank

There is a misconception amongst consumers that mortgage rates automatically push higher when the Fed raises its benchmark Fed Funds Rate. Let’s remember that the Fed can’t control long-term rates, which are more based on economic conditions and inflation expectations.

Consumers will be impacted in the following ways:

Basically, short term interest rate loans are affected. Credit card rates will be adjusted a bit higher along with HELOC rates, auto and business loans. Theoretically, Banks should provide a bump in savings accounts for consumers as Banks will now receive a bump in their overnight lending rates…but don’t hold your breath there just yet. Big Banks may not see pressure to increase savings interest rates in the near-term – so Banks will keep this spread for a bit.

As mentioned, if the economy continues to improves, wages move higher and inflation expectations tick up – mortgage rates will move higher as well. Be sure to also share with clients that the Fed also said yesterdays they will continue to buy MBS with the runoff from their huge $4T portfolio. Later today, the New York Fed will be purchasing up to $2B in Fannie/Freddie 30-Year 3% and 3.5% coupons.

Here is an example about rate impacts: Yesterday the rate for conventional fixed 30 year was 4.125% and .25 points. Today for 4.125% is .125 points. That’s right, actually got a bit better.

Please advise your clients that rates can truly impact borrowing power.

Here is a tool that you can use that I often use.

David Porter Power of the Rate

Warm [Energy Efficient] Regards,

Dave Porter


MLO# 483876

Cell: 206-304-8228

eFax: 425-324-3362


David Porter Homestreet

Posted on December 21, 2015 at 5:47 pm
Robert Johnson | Posted in Finance |

Fed to raise interest rates at meeting today?!

12.16.15 The Federal Reserve board is scheduled to meet today and experts are saying that they will raise rates for the first time in 3 years.

The increase is said to be as much as .25%.

More reason than ever to find your home soon before rates increase more moving into 2016.

Here's the projection from Freddie Mac via KCM Dec. 2015

KCM Dec 15 - Rates projected 2016

Posted on December 17, 2015 at 11:51 pm
Robert Johnson | Posted in Finance |