Top 10 metro areas with the lowest risk of damage from natural disasters:
Monday, September 30, 2013
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Monday, September 16, 2013
DENVER - Today, RE/MAX kicks off its new social media campaign, “My Perfect Fit.” Inspired by the RE/MAX national ad campaign For All the Things That Move You®, consumers are asked to embrace the art of storytelling by sharing what makes their home the “perfect fit,” with a chance to win weekly prizes and ultimately a $10,000 cash grand prize.
This six-week multiplatform campaign encourages consumers to look beyond the walls of their homes and share what makes it ideal for them - whether it’s how the backyard is just right for a family camp-out, or the quirky nerd cave that is home to the next George Lucas.
“Each year, RE/MAX agents help hundreds of thousands of families buy and sell homes,” said Mike Ryan, Executive Vice President, Global Communications and Branding, RE/MAX, LLC. “Every family is looking for something unique, something that makes a particular home ideal for them - and those are the stories we hope everyone will share.”
Now through Oct. 20, participants can submit a story, photo or video on the contest website, myperfectfit.remax.com. Participants are also encouraged to promote their entry across social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, using #myperfectfit.
On the heels of last year’s successful social media campaign, RE/MAX has broadened the area of entry to Canadian consumers as well.
“Expanding this campaign to Canada, where RE/MAX has enjoyed superior market share for many years, will give us a better understanding of a much larger group of homebuyers and sellers,” Ryan said.
One winner will be chosen each week for the first five weeks, receiving a $500 Apple® gift card. The final week, a grand-prize winner will be selected, receiving a $10,000 cash prize.
“My Perfect Fit” also allows each participant to show their support for sick and injured children. For each story submitted, RE/MAX will donate $1, up to $8,000, to its longtime charity partner Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals®.
For detailed information about the “My Perfect Fit” campaign, visit the contest website, myperfectfit.remax.com.
For more information, please visit www.joinremax.com.
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Friday, September 6, 2013
Demand for Puget Sound area homes "still incredibly strong," but brokers report frenzy is easing in some neighborhoods
In making that comment, OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate, noted the housing market tends to experience some slowing during August, but rising inventory levels and sustained buyer demand fueled "higher than expected home sales and another month of strong appreciation."
The latest figures from Northwest MLS show pending sales (mutually accepted offers) during August increased 8.7 percent from a year ago. Brokers in the 21 counties served by the MLS reported 9,065 pending sales system-wide. That’s a drop of 500 units from July, but an increase of 727 transactions compared to a year ago (August 2012). In the four-county Puget Sound region (King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish), the total of 6,916 pending sales was the highest volume for August since 2006 when members notched 7,692 sales.
Prices also reflected an upward trajectory. The area-wide median price for last month’s completed sales of single family homes and condominiums was $283,000, which compares to the year ago figure of $250,000 for a gain of 13.2 percent. Only two other months this year have had higher year-over-year increases: March (14.9 percent) and May (13.4 percent). Since January, prices have jumped 18.3 percent.
Prices on single family homes (excluding condos) that sold during August increased from $263,495 to $294,000 for a gain of 11.6 percent.
"We have seen 22 straight months of strong-surge sales activity," Scott reported. "Job growth, pent up demand by local home buyers, residential investors, incoming transferees, a strong local economy and historically low interest rates have led the way during this recovery phase of the residential housing market," Scott stated.
Inventory is showing signs of stabilizing in many Western Washington areas, with members adding nearly 1,800 more new listings to the MLS database during August compared to the same month a year ago. With that 21 percent increase in new listings, the total number of active listings at month end (26,433) was almost on par with a year ago when the selection encompassed 26,506 homes for sale.
Dick Beeson, the principal managing broker of RE/MAX Professionals in Tacoma, noted some key indicators are trending lower or slower as the market adjusts to a "new normal." The former chair of Northwest MLS also said it would be hard to continue the near record-setting pace of the last few months.
"While the overall market remains vibrant and active, we don’t appear to have the frantic ‘must have this home because there may not be another’ mentality among buyers," Beeson reported, adding, "The increase in both inventory -- a near return to 2012 levels -- and the sharp increase in interest rates have been the most influential factors in an end-of-the-summer market adjustment."
Another past chairman of Northwest MLS, Mike Gain, said inventory shortages are still common in many parts of King County. MLS figures show of 22 of the 29 map areas it tracks in King County had fewer listings at the end of August than at the same time a year ago.
Measured by months of supply, King County, with only 1.7 months of supply, is well below the 4-to-6-month level that many analysts use as an indicator of healthy levels or a balanced market. The selection is also squeezed in Snohomish County, where there is 1.8 months of supply. System-wide, the figure is at 2.9 months.
Darin Stenvers, a director with Northwest MLS, called the current market "the strongest in four or five years," with signs of stability that should continue into 2014. "If a buyer finds the home of their dreams, they should make their first offer their best offer or risk losing that home," he stated.
Stenvers, the managing broker at John L. Scott in Bellingham, also offered advice to sellers who have unrealistic expectations. "Sellers should still be concerned about overpricing their homes," he emphasized. "Some markets may handle the overpricing, others will not," he noted, adding, "While sales are brisk, many sellers are not getting the full listing price." Price reductions and/or financing contributions may be needed to assist buyers.
The condominium market is rebounding in some areas, offering a good alternative for renters who are seeking good housing at affordable prices. Although the inventory is still below year-ago levels (down 4.8 percent), Stenvers said there is a good selection with great pricing options. Also, he pointed out buyers can purchase with a down payment that is in line with landlord demands for upfront rent and large deposits, and have a more affordable monthly payment.
Pending sales of condos area-wide rose about 6.3 percent during August. Closed sales jumped more than 17.4 percent, with prices surging 26.7 percent. "We are definitely working our way nicely through this housing recovery, with all of the latest data showing strong year-over-year gains in prices and sales of both pending and closed transactions," Gain commented. He also noted the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) reported the national median existing home price increased at an annual rate of 12.2 percent – the biggest yearly price increase since Q4 of 2005.
Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership includes more than 21,000 real estate brokers. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 21 counties in Washington state.