‘A tough market’: Coldwell Banker Bain releases 2017 annual market report for Puget Sound


Home prices are increasing and inventory is shrinking in the Puget Sound area. That’s the word from Coldwell Banker Bain, which released its 2017 annual market report providing a variety of statistics for the sale of homes and condos in neighborhoods and counties.
“There is no expected end in sight in 2018 for buyers or sellers experiencing a tough market,” Mike Grady, CB Bain president and COO. “Inventories are expected to lag well behind the number of buyers, and as a result home prices can be expected to continue rising.”

The biggest question, Grady said, seems to be related to rising interest rates and the impact of the Trump administration’s recent tax plan on the housing market. “Both issues could provoke more sellers to go to market, and that would be a nice result for buyers,” Grady said.

As for Snohomish County, John Speer, principal managing broker of CB Bain of Everett, said that the average sales prices for single family homes, including condos, increased significantly in 2017, while the inventory levels of both new and resale homes on the market continued to shrink.

“The cities of Edmonds, Lynnwood and Bothell in south Snohomish County saw price increases of 15 percent or more,” Speer said. “Lower inventory levels were particularly acute in Everett, Marysville and Edmonds.”

A strong sellers’ market posed huge challenges for buyers, who were forced to geographically extend their home search areas in search of lower prices. “Cash buyers and the most qualified financed buyers usually prevailed over the others in multiple offer situations,” Speer said.

According to the report, the average selling price for a home in Edmonds in 2017 was $655,000. In Lynnwood, the average sales price was $497,000. Both of those were above the sales price of $477,000 reported across Snohomish County.

Average days on the market in Edmonds was 26 while Lynnwood was 30. Snohomish County overall was 29.

By comparison, the average sales price of a home in Seattle was $921,000 and on the Eastside the price was just above $1 million.

As of the last day of 2017, Edmonds had a current inventory of just 35 housing units on the market while Lynnwood had 33. That’s 37.5 percent fewer units than a year ago for Edmonds and 5.7 percent fewer in Lynnwood. Overall, inventory in Snohomish County was 30 percent lower at the end of 2017 compared to 2016, the report said.

Seattle’s inventory was down 31 percent from a year ago, while there was 16 percent less inventory on the Eastside.

You can see the complete report for all Puget Sound areas here.


5 Replies to “‘A tough market’: Coldwell Banker Bain releases 2017 annual market report for Puget Sound”

  1. Sure…always try to blame President Trump. (Shows in your no respect for the office and should be calling him President Trump.). Will b selling our home within a year, Caldwell Banker don’t expect my call.


    1. The Federal Reserve deals with raising interest rates and the new tax plan is a product of Congress and the President. Both were cited in the article as creating an increased supply of home to be sold. I did not see that statement or any other statement to be blaming President Trump. On the contrary the article seems to suggest the new tax plan will help the market. What am I missing?


    2. This article kinda gives Trump some potential [future] credit, but it may be misplaced. Raising interest rates (fed funds rate has been 1pt almost since 2008, should be maybe 15%), and the tax bill created less incentive to write off mortgage interest, might bring house prices down (which is good). These days most people argue that cheaper housing is a bad thing, which explains a lot of the market right. The tax bill and a point increase in fund rates might pump the breaks on the real estate bubble, but not noticably from what I see. The stock market and real estate market will crash, but Trump is sorta taking credit for the irrational exuberance he inherited, and will be blamed for leading into midterms.


      1. For those interested, the federal funds rate can be seen here (set scale to max for full history):

        The above graph really should illustrate that the markets (stocks, bonds, real estate) is arguably fueled by cheap money, and cheap oil, … and monetization of debt (which is another way of saying ‘print money to forgive bad mortgage debt’)…

        The Fed Balance sheet is below, note that the Fed bought a bunch of mortgages to offset the 2008 collapse and the Troubled Assets (from TARP) are still owned by the Fed (the world’s largest landlord) and the mortgages are maturing in place:
        The Fed maintains their balance sheet by buying new securities as the original TARP securities mature.

        The fed bought the bad mortgages via TARP, and gave the banks a tremendous amount of money (printed out of nowhere) in exchange for those mortgages. The banks are just sitting on that cash as Excess Reserves, and they are being paid interest by the government to just hold that money:

        The Unwind:
        The 2008 TARP intervention was promised to only be a temporary, maybe one year, intervention. The “Big Unwind” is a theoretical event where the banks trade back the Excess Reserves in exchange for the Mortgage Securities that the Fed took onto their balance sheet in 2008 (then the Fed would destroy the TARP/QE money that shouldn’t have existed in the first place). The problem with “Big Unwind” is that banks might not want the securities back, or they may be unwilling to pay what the Fed thinks theyre worth. Maybe banks will use the TARP money to make other types of loans instead of real estate, and the new cash could cause hyperinflation. No one really knows what mortgages are worth, at all, until the unwind happens. Regardless, any addition securities for sale will dilute the market, meaning loan rates will increase. Rates will, for some time, be much higher than nominal, definitely north of 10%, to compensate for the prolonged artificially low 4%. The Fed plans on easing out the sale of mortgage-back-securities, which will ease up mortgage rates, but they are afraid that any sales at all could tank the real estate market altogether. An announced “taper” in the purchase of new securities in 2014 (not using money made from the maturity of one security to buy new securities), scared the market.

        The really scarey part of this is, what happens when/if real estate collapses again before the Fed can sell off any of the bad mortgages from the 2008 collapse? The fed could easily trigger a crash via a taper (even if the “Big Unwind” is actually a “Little Unwind”). The Fed admits, without a doubt, that an aggressive taper would crash the markets. Even a soft taper could cause a crash. On top of there being a 2nd real estate collapse, TARP 2.0 would tell foreign reale state buyers (like those who have bouyed Seattle prices) that our houses are junk, and that US bonds and treasures are junk too. The US would be insolvent, and home owners would just walk away from their negative equity (again). On this, we are completely in uncharted waters. If you think your Seattle house is really worth an additional 15% year over year, even though your wages have been depressed, even though you haven’t done much to improve the house, even though GDP and CPI are flat, then don’t worry.


  2. King County leads the nation in housing inflation yet again:

    There’s lots of talk of new property taxes and retirement woes. That could be a mute point for seniors who sell their home and retire with ease. The DOW is showing some cracks today, but maybe Trump’s State of the Union will buoy it some more in the interim. Lots of stored energy here, and there could be a price-finding exercise in store for 2018.


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