Bainbridge Island, WA Real Estate News

After all the emotional unrest caused by last week's economic reports, the coming five days will be refreshingly quiet. The Fed's Beige Book on Wednesday is a survey of the current economic and business situation in each of the Federal Reserve Districts around the country. Coming out a couple of weeks before the next FOMC meeting, it can help us see where the Fed might be headed with its Funds Rate decision on June 22. Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims are expected to remain above their disappointing 400,000 level. The Trade Balance should inch up slightly. From my weekly enewsletter for real estate pros, INSIDE LENDING, for the week of June 6, 2011
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Forecasting Federal Reserve policy changes in coming months...If the Fed pays attention to any of last weeks negativity, they certainly won't put any pressure on the recovery by raising the Funds Rate. That's why economists expect the rate to remain at its super low 0%-0.25% level 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% - .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 June 6, 2011  
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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. Economic Calendar for the Week of June 6 - June 10  Date Time (ET) Release For Consensus Prior Impact WJun 8 10:30 Crude Inventories 6/3 NA 2878K Moderate WJun 8 14:00 Fed's Beige Book Jun NA NA Moderate ThJun 9 08:30 Initial Unemployment Claims 6/4 423K 422K Moderate ThJun 9 08:30 Continuing Unemployment Claims 5/28 3.688M 3.711M Moderate ThJun 9 08:30 Trade Balance Apr -$48.7B -$48.2B Moderate  From my weekly enewsletter for real estate pros, INSIDE LENDING, for the week of June 6, 2011
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We watch the stock market to see how professional investors view the economy going forward. Well, their response to this week's disappointing economic data left the Dow recording its fifth straight weekly loss. The highlight was the May Employment Report, with a way weaker than expected growth of just 54,000 new jobs for the month and the unemployment rate ticking up to 9.1% thanks to an expanding workforce. We also had a lower than expected ISM Manufacturing Index. Both reports were showing increases, but at a much slower rate, which was upsetting to Wall Street.On a more encouraging note, the ISM Services Index increased more than expected in May. This is the larger sector of the economy and contributes the overwhelming bulk of U.S. jobs. In addition, the final reading for Q1 Producti...
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Last Tuesday another housing market obstacle appeared in the form of Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller Home Price Index for March. Prices for 20 major metro areas dropped 0.8% for the month and were down 3.6% from a year ago. These numbers had some folks claiming the double dip in housing prices had arrived. But Case-Shiller's longer term data reveals that in their 20 measured metros, home prices are still UP 38.2% since January 2000. This shows that in real estate, you have to look at the long term picture, just like you do with your 401K. You can see a chart of the info here: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/05/31/business/economy/case-shiller-index.html?emc=eta1#city/IND20 National average home prices are also misleading. First, the national average rarely matches the price situa...
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By Maureen Buckley, Managing Broker/ Owner
(Buckley & Buckley Real Estate)
**National Association of Realtors Open House Weekend June 4th & June 5th** Buckley & Buckley Real Estate is thrilled to once again participate in this fun annual event!   Open Saturday June 4th from 1-4 pm:               10058 Lafayette Avenue $1,175,000 http://www.buckleyrealestate.com/225237                           New Listing at 4470 Rockaway Beach  $1,595,000 http://www.buckleyrealestate.com/230333    Open Sunday June 5th from 1-4 pm:                 13386 Manzanita Road NE $1,195,000  http://www.buckleyrealestate.com/227218       8699 Triple Crown Drive $1,295,000  http://www.buckleyrealestate.com/224095   Questions? Call Ed's cell 206.550.3665 or Maureen's cell 206.947.7354
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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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