Bainbridge Island, WA Real Estate News

By Maureen Buckley, Managing Broker/ Owner
(Buckley & Buckley Real Estate)
Three local winemakers are joining forces to transform a former kitchen focused on serving local food into a tasting room focused on serving locally made wine. Charlie Merrill of Victor Alexander Winery, Jim Wilford of Fletcher Bay Winery, and Paul Bianchi of Amelia Wynn Winery hope to open Island Vintners before the end of May. The tasting room is located at 450 Winslow Way, next door to That's Some Italian in the space formerly occupied by Arbutus Market Kitchen. Theirs will be the third tasting room in Winslow run by local winemakers. Hugh Remash of Eagle Harbor Wine Co. and Matt Albee of Eleven Winery each have tasting rooms nearby. "I think overall we'd like it to be a busy, happening place during the day," Wilford said. "Then by 5 or 6 transition into a locals' place, a place whe...
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By Paul Pival, A Realtor with the soul of a professor.
(Coldwell Banker Bain)
 Closed Transactions Month of May   Please note: we are comparing closings for May of this year to last year.   32% fewer homes closed in May this year.   Transactions took nearly 4 months longer to close.  The average selling price was 20%  higher.      Sellers accepted 16% less than they originally asked. There are 226 homes in inventory at all price ranges (the highest listing is $8.8M).  Average listing  price is $982,166) , with half the inventory under $695,000.     54 of the homes on the market are priced over $1M. Factoring out those listings results in 157 homes averaging $558,500, with half of these homes under $525,000.   If you would like details of the home that closed in your neighborhood, call or email me.    
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Bond prices were helped by continued fears about European sovereign debt, disappointing economic data and strong auctions. The FNMA 4.0% bond we watch ended the week up .13, closing at $100.19. With mortgage bond prices going up, national average rates for conforming mortgages dropped again last week, reaching new lows for the year, according to Freddie Mac's survey. From my weekly enewsletter INSIDE LENDING, for real estate pros, May 30, 2011  
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On the positive side, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported applications for purchase loans UP a seasonally adjusted 1.5% from the week before and UP 3.1% from a year ago. Smart buyers are taking action now. With mortgage rates super low and today's prices, housing affordability in the first quarter reached its highest level in more than 20 years. The Housing Opportunity Index revealed that 74.6% of new and existing homes sold at that time were affordable to families earning the national median income of $64,400, putting home ownership in the reach of many more households.   From my weekly enewsletter INSIDE LENDING, for real estate pros, May 30, 2011
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Stocks were down for the fourth week in a row. But investors know that, unlike football, fourth down on Wall Street is not your last chance to hold onto the ball. The fumbling, however, continues with the economy. The good and not-so-good housing market news is covered above. Durable Goods Orders were down for April but revised strongly upward for March. Q1 GDP wasn't revised at all, unfortunately remaining at a lackluster 1.8% annual growth rate. But the report showed corporate profits hit a new record high, up at a 5.3% annual rate and up 8.5% over a year ago.The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rose for May, indicating people's expectations are improving. But the job market, so important to housing, suffered another weekly increase in Initial Unemployment Claims. More ...
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Today we'll get May's Chicago PMI, reflecting the state of manufacturing in that area, expected to be down a little, though still well above 50, indicating growth. Wednesday's ISM Index measures manufacturing across the country and should also show a slower pace of growth, though growth nonetheless. Friday, the ISM Services Index is expected to report a slight pickup in that sector where you'll find 85% of U.S. jobs. That growth could be a reason why, coming on the same day, the May Employment Report is projected to include 185,000 new jobs added, fewer than April, with the Unemployment Rate holding at 9.0%.  From my weekly enewsletter INSIDE LENDING, for real estate pros, May 31, 2011
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Economic Calendar for the Week of May 30 - June 3  Date Time (ET) Release For Consensus Prior Impact TuMay 31 09:45 Chicago PMI May 62.5 67.6 HIGH TuMay 31 10:00 Consumer Confidence May 66.3 65.4 Moderate WJun 1 10:00 ISM Index May 57.6 60.4 HIGH ThJun 2 08:30 Initial Unemployment Claims 5/28 413K 424K Moderate ThJun 2 08:30 Continuing Unemployment Claims 5/21 3.688M 3.690M Moderate ThJun 2 08:30 Productivity-Rev. Q1 1.6% 1.6% Moderate ThJun 2 11:00 Crude Inventories 5/28 NA 616K Moderate FJun 3 08:30 Average Workweek May 34.3 34.3 HIGH FJun 3 08:30 Hourly Earnings May 0.2% 0.1% HIGH FJun 3 08:30 Nonfarm Payrolls May 185K 244K HIGH FJun 3 08:30 Unemployment Rate May 9.0% 9.0% HIGH FJun 3 10:00 ISM Services May 53.3 52.8 Moderate From my weekly enewsletter INSIDE LENDING, for real estate...
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I have to admit that like many people, I misjudged someone. Here's the story. Last fall my mother-in-law passed away. She had passed 90 and still lived in her own home, alone, but a fall and complications took their toll. She lived on Bainbridge Island, Wa, a few miles from her daughter Ellen. Her other daughter and I are Realtors® only 10 miles, a ferry ride and light years away. Ellen and Marjie's brother Scott lives in New Hampshire. The home would eventually be put on the market and since Marjie and I are in the business, we knew what had to be done, but because of that ferry ride we opted not to list this home. It is out of our area and expertise. The three siblings went about interviewing three local agents as the three in-laws continued preparing the house for market. Of course i...
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People wonder if housing is moving in the right direction, especially after April Housing Starts fell 10.6% to an annual rate of 523,000 units. But a closer look reveals the decline was due mostly to multi-family units, which are volatile month to month and actually up 6.6% from a year ago. Also, the biggest drop was in the South, which had been hit with severe tornados. Outside that region, starts were UP 5.5%! Homes under construction are at their lowest level since 1970, so some areas may rebound from shortages in the next few months. Following a March rise, Existing Home Sales were down just 0.8% in April and the seasonally adjusted annual rate is still above 5 million. Total inventory edged up to 9.2 months.There's been a lot of talk about double dipping home prices, but this is si...
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Bonds usually go in the opposite direction from stocks, but there were only modest gains in bond prices for the week. The FNMA 4.0% bond we watch ended Friday up .02, closing at $100.06. As mortgage bond prices go up, mortgage rates go down. So no surprise that national average rates for conforming mortgages slid for the fifth week in a row according to Freddie Mac's survey. But observers are concerned rates will not stay at these levels (especially with the impending ending next month of QE2). From my weekly enewsletter for real estate pros, INSIDE LENDING, for the week of May 23, 2011
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The Dow and S&P 500 stock indexes both slid for the third week in a row, this time joined by the Nasdaq, which was flat last time around. Wall Street investors continue to worry over European government finances, with possible Greek debt restructuring and Spanish elections causing concern. On the home front, some folks fretted about a U.S. economic slowdown, as corporate earnings season, after a strong beginning, is ending with big players like HP, Home Depot and Wal-Mart failing to impress. But there still were corporate winners, including Dell, John Deere, Abercrombie & Fitch and Target and, for the quarter, many more companies have done well than have disappointed. It was also good to see that initial unemployment claims for the week came in better than anticipated, dropping to 409,0...
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The minutes of the Fed's April meeting gave no indication the central bankers were ready to start tightening policy any time soon. So economists expect the 0%-0.25% rate to be with us into next year. Note: In the lower chart, a 1% probability of change is a 99% certainty the rate will stay the same. Current Fed Funds Rate: 0%-0.25% After FOMC meeting on: Consensus Jun 22 0%-0.25% Aug 9 0%-0.25% Sep 20 0%-0.25% Probability of change from current policy: After FOMC meeting on: Consensus Jun 22      <1% Aug 9      <1% Sep 20      <1% From my weekly enewsletter for real estate pros, INSIDE LENDING, for the week of May 23, 2011
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  Keep in mind that weaker than expected economic data tends to send bond prices up and interest rates down, while positive data points to lower bond prices and rising loan rates Date Time (ET) Release For Consensus Prior Impact TuMay 24 10:00 New Home Sales Apr 300K 300K Moderate WMay 25 08:30 Durable Goods Apr -2.0% 4.1% Moderate WMay 25 10:30 Crude Inventories 5/21 NA -15K Moderate ThMay 26 08:30 Initial Unemployment Claims 5/21 400K 409K Moderate ThMay 26 08:30 Continuing Unemployment Claims 5/14 3.700M 3.711M Moderate ThMay 26 08:30 GDP - Second Est. Q1 2.0% 1.8% Moderate ThMay 26 08:30 GDP Deflator - Second Est. Q1 1.9% 1.9% Moderate FMay 27 08:30 Personal Income Apr 0.4% 0.5% Moderate FMay 27 08:30 Personal Spending Apr 0.5% 0.6% HIGH FMay 27 08:30 PCE Prices - Core Apr 0.2% 0.1%...
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By Brenda Prowse
(Prowse and Company)
Bainbridge Island Real Estate Market Trends Bainbridge Island residential properties were selling for a April median price of $548,500, about 9% higher than in March and 1% lower than a year ago. The more stable three month moving average closed sale price rose 7% from last month to $518,542 and is 11% lower than a year ago. The Kitsap County 3 month moving average median price is about 5% lower than it was a year ago. The 3 month moving average for Bainbridge Island's number of closed sales is about the same as a year ago. The 3 month moving average of closed sales is down 13% Countywide from a year ago. The 3 month moving average number of Bainbridge pending sales in April was down 21% from a year ago. The number of active listings on Bainbridge (196) rose 18% from March and is about ...
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Tomorrow (Tuesday) we get a read on home building in April. Housing Starts are expected to be up a tad and Building Permits down just a smidge, indicating no major drop in activity a few months out. Thursday's Existing Home Sales are also forecast up for April, staying above the 5 million annual sales threshold. The health of manufacturing in May is projected to be down a bit in both the New York region's Empire Index and the Philadelphia Fed index. The Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) Index is expected to be flat for April. From my weekly enewsletter INSIDE LENDING, for real estate pros, May 16, 2011
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Mixed results in the bond market, with shorter dated maturities gaining slightly and longer ones losing a tad. Safe haven buys driven by continued Euro, Middle East and Japanese nuclear concerns were discouraged by inflation worries. The price of the FNMA 4.0% bond we watch ended the week down .10, closing at $100.04. Freddie Mac's national average rates for conforming mortgages fell once more and although some worry rates may head back up, they're now below levels of a year ago.  From my weekly enewsletter INSIDE LENDING, for real estate pros, May 16, 2011
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Like yesterday's fish, stocks didn't seem very appealing to investors who can't seem to stay confident in the economy, as the Dow and the S&P 500 dipped for another week. Sure, the tech-driven Nasdaq didn't drop, but ending flat clearly isn't very bullish. Commodities came back some and the dollar rallied. Problems included April Retail Sales which were up 0.5%, but the big gains were from service stations and supermarkets, reflecting rising gas and food prices. For consumers, inflation was up 0.4% in April and up 3.2% for the year. Weekly jobless claims were down by 44,000, but still firmly above the 400,000 level they were under up till a few weeks ago. But earnings for S&P 500 companies in the first quarter were up an encouraging 20% compared to last year. And the total return for th...
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Our resolution to succeed in the real estate market was given a bit of a boost with the National Association of Realtors (NAR) report that existing home sales were up 8.3% in the first quarter over the fourth quarter of last year. Plus, on a quarter-to-quarter basis, sales rose in every region of the country. Year-over-year, sales were virtually flat, slipping just 0.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.14 million homes.This was nonetheless balanced with some disappointing data. Year over year, existing home prices dropped 4.6% nationwide, to a median of $158,700. Median prices dropped year over year in 118 of 153 metro areas, but rose in 34 of them. This drop in median price came because more sales were in the lower end of the market. In spite of this lower price skew, first-ti...
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Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke maintains he sees nothing wrong with Fed policy, so some economists expect these 0%-0.25% rates to be with us until the middle of next year. Note: In the lower chart, a 1% probability of change is a 99% certainty the rate will stay the same. Current Fed Funds Rate: 0%-0.25% After FOMC meeting on: Consensus Jun 22 0%-0.25% Aug 9 0%-0.25% Sep 20 0%-0.25% Probability of change from current policy: After FOMC meeting on: Consensus Jun 22      <1% Aug 9      <1% Sep 20      <1% From my weekly enewsletter INSIDE LENDING, for real estate pros, May 16, 2011
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