NW REPORTER

NW REporter

January 2020 Issues

Builder confidence hits highest mark since June 1999

Builder confidence rose to its highest level since June 1999, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Last month’s Index of 76 was a 5-point increase from an upwardly revised November reading. All three HMI components (current sales conditions, sales expectations, traffic of [..]

Builders embrace IT, but hesitate to adopt construction technology

Builders tend to embrace information technology, but when it comes to construction technology they have been slow to incorporate most of the newer and more innovative options. Those findings were reported by the National Association of Home Builders, which included questions on the use of technology in its regular surveys [..]

Drivers accustomed to driver-assist technologies tend to exhibit more distracted driving

Do drivers become over-reliant on driver-assist technologies and exhibit more distracted driving? Apparently so, according to recent research. Studies conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) found that drivers who own cars with assistance technology are nearly twice as likely to engage [..]

Feds raise loan limits

For the fourth straight year, the Federal Housing Finance Agency raised the conforming loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (By law, conforming loan limits must be adjusted to reflect changes in home prices across the U.S.) Across most of the U.S. the 2020 loan limit will be raised [..]

Most buyers of new homes will be part of a homeowner association

More than six of every 10 new homes started in 2018 were built within a community or homeowner’s association (HOA), according to data from the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC).  That share (62.5%) is the highest since records began in 2009, when only 47.6% of starts were part of [..]

Issues & Impacts

Issues & Impacts is a quarterly publication produced by the SEATTLE KingCounty REALTORS® to inform members about current issues and successes within your Governmental Affairs Department. SEATTLE KingCounty REALTORS® (SKCR) is ensuring that public policies support homeownership and your business’s bottom line. View the full publication (PDF, 20 pages, 516KB)

Recommended reading and listening list from staffers at Joint Center for Housing

Those who enjoy learning about housing and policies that affect supply and affordability might be interested in seeing the “faves” list of  books, articles and podcasts recommended by staff members at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. In introducing the compilation, David Luberoff, the Center’s deputy director, [..]

Eager home buyers were plentiful in December but their choices were meager

Current Market Snapshot Infographic KIRKLAND, Washington (January 6, 2020) – “The buyers are out there and are showing up at open houses and making multiple offers on new listings,” was how one industry leader summarized December’s housing activity involving members of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Frank Wilson, Kitsap regional [..]

EXPOsed education convention returns

Northwest Multiple Listing Service will present EXPOsed, a daylong education convention for members and subscribers, at three locations this spring. Registration will open in mid-February. Participants can earn up to 6 clock hour credits, depending on the number classes attended. EXPOsed will include symposium style classes on a variety of [..]

Graduated tax rates on real estate sales started January 1, 2020

Starting January 1, a graduated excise tax rate for real estate sales replaces a flat 1.28% state rate. The tiered tax is based on the selling price of property sales occurring on or after January 1, 2020 (ESSB 5998). The new legislation does not affect the sale of undeveloped land, [..]

News In Brief

Seattle took the second spot in a new ranking among cities across the country with the worst commutes, according to a story in the Seattle PI. According to the study from Apartment Guide, people in Seattle lost 138 hours a year due to traffic congestion in the city. The cost [..]

SKCR Events Calendar

Date Event Time Where Phone Jan 20 HOLIDAYOffice Closed       Jan 22 WR Committees   Hotel RLOlympia 425-974-1011 Jan 23 Hill Day   Hotel RLOlympia 425-974-1011 Jan 29 Board of Directors 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. SKCR 425-974-1011 Feb 4 Govt. Affairs Committee 10:30 am – 1:30 pm SKCR 425-974-1011 [..]

Washington one of few states with population growth

Washington was one of few states to experience population growth during 2019 (up 1.2%), according to newly-released estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau. Overall, the nation’s population grew by only 0.5% between 2018 and 2019 – the slowest pace in decades. Census Bureau officials attribute the meager gain to various [..]