Windermere Foundation Reports Record Day of Giving

Every week, the Windermere Foundation disburses grants to support non-profit agencies dedicated to helping low-income and homeless families. On a given day, thousands of dollars’ worth of grants can be issued. However, on one particular day, November 15 to be exact, an amazing thing happened…the Windermere Foundation disbursed nearly $254,000. This was a record day of giving for the Windermere Foundation!

A total of 35 non-profit organizations benefitted from the record-breaking $253,782 in donations that day. The largest beneficiary was Attain Housing in Kirkland, WA, which received $56,000. Their grant was funded by the Windermere Real Estate East, Inc. group of offices which are located east of Seattle in Bellevue, Redmond, Issaquah, and Kirkland. The funds will provide affordable housing to homeless families with children, as well as case management for setting financial and social goals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attain Housing helps homeless and at-risk families with children in King County to become stable and self-sufficient. Here’s a story of one of their recent clients:

When Jeremy and Lisa entered into Attain Housing’s program just five months ago, they had a lot of hurdles ahead of them. They were both only nineteen, had a newborn, had been homeless since they were fourteen, and had never experienced stability. As soon as they moved into one of Attain’s transitional housing apartments and began working with their case manager, Jeremy started attending a skills training program. He has since earned his GED, acquired his driver’s license, obtained a vehicle, and started full-time employment. Jeremy’s family is on track to successfully complete the program by the end of their first year, but they already have plans to move into market rate housing within the next two to three months. This is success!

According to Kathy Fleming, Executive Director at Attain Housing, “The $56,000 gift from Windermere ensures that five families (including 15 children) will have safe housing and supportive services for an entire year. This is a significant gift and the largest grant that Attain Housing has received from any organization or company. Thank you!”

The Windermere Foundation is fortunate to have generous owners, agents and staff that contribute to their offices’ Foundation fund pool. This pool of funds, combined with Windermere transaction donations, monies raised through Windermere office fundraising events, and donations from the public, allows the Windermere Foundation to disburse much-needed funding to local non-profits in the areas that our Windermere Real Estate offices serve.

If you’d like to help to help non-profits that provide services to low-income and homeless families in your area, please consider donating to the Windermere Foundation.

To learn more about the Windermere Foundation, visit http://www.windermere.com/foundation.

 

-William


Posted on December 8, 2017 at 12:13 am
William Gilliland | Posted in Uncategorized |

Portland-area real estate: 15 most in-demand neighborhoods

In the year’s third quarter, as the supply of homes for sale remained slim, would-be buyers turned their attention to the suburbs.

Using data from the Regional Multiple Listing Service, The Oregonian compared how many homes were on the market at the beginning of October with the number sold during the three months prior to determine the 15 most in-demand neighborhoods this this fall.

They found that it’s mostly suburban settings that are seeing high demand and fewer homes on the market.

Visit the Portland real estate dashboard for a glimpse into the many neighborhoods that make up Portland’s real estate market.


Posted on November 28, 2017 at 9:41 pm
William Gilliland | Posted in Uncategorized |

Millennials Are Buying Homes Because of Their Dogs – Not Their Children or Marriages

It’s no secret that millennials love dogs and now their four-legged friends are starting to influence the decisions they make about housing.

A recent survey by SunTrust Mortgage found that a third of millennials who had already purchased their first home said they were influenced by the need to have space for a dog.

The survey asked recent home buyers why they were buying their first home and their dog was the third most commonly cited reason, coming above children and marriage. Only more living space and the opportunity to build equity came above the furry companions.

“Millennials have strong bonds with their dogs, so it makes sense that their furry family members are driving home-buying decisions,” said Dorinda Smith, SunTrust Mortgage CEO. “For those with dogs, renting can be more expensive and a hassle; home ownership takes some of the stress off by providing a better living situation.”

The survey also found that 42% of millennials who had never bought a home said that their dog, or the desire to have one, would be a key factor in their decision to get on the property ladder.

Check out the video on TIME HERE

Let me know if you have any questions!

-William


Posted on August 1, 2017 at 6:57 am
William Gilliland | Posted in Uncategorized |

Portland area remains near top in US home-price gains

The Portland metro area saw the second-largest jump in home values in April, trailing only Seattle.

As always, let me know if you have any questions!

-William

http://www.oregonlive.com/front-porch/index.ssf/2017/06/portland_metro_remains_near_to.html#incart_most-read_


Posted on June 28, 2017 at 6:50 am
William Gilliland | Posted in Uncategorized |

Q1 Report for Oregon & Southwest Washington

The following analysis of the Oregon and Southwest Washington real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. I hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

Oregon State has added almost 40,000 new jobs over the past 12 months. Although growth has slowed significantly, we can attribute this to the fact that the state has reached “full employment.” When this is achieved, growth has to rely on the population rising to drive jobs higher and, inevitably, the pace slows. Year-over-year, employment in Oregon rose by 2.2%.

In February, the state unemployment rate fell to 4% and is now at a level that has not been seen in more than four decades. Additionally, the number of people who are unemployed dropped to about 82,000—a figure last seen in August of 1995.

 

HOME SALES

  • First quarter home sales fell by 4.5% compared to the same period last year. In total, 12,299 homes sold in the first quarter of this year.
  • Sales rose the fastest in Klickitat County, which saw a 50% increase over Q1 2016. There were also noticeable increases in sales in Skamania, Cowlitz, Klamath, and Tillamook Counties. Home sales fell the most in Jefferson, Crook, Hood River, and Washington Counties.
  • There were 11 counties where sales rose year over year, and 15 counties that reported declines.
  • The low number of homes for sale continues to affect the market and is pushing home sales activity lower. This means sellers remain firmly in the driver’s seat.

HOME PRICES

  • The average home price in the region rose by 9.4% year-over-year to $334,299. This is down from 10.9% in the fourth quarter of 2016.
  • Jefferson County took over as the market with the strongest annual price growth, with homes selling for 30.7% above the level seen a year ago.
  • All but three counties experienced rising prices when compared to the first quarter of 2016, and most of these saw significant, double-digit increases.
  • Despite rising interest rates, the lack of inventory continues to drive home prices higher.

 

DAYS ON MARKET

  • The average number of days it takes to sell a home in the region dropped by five days when compared to the first quarter of 2016, but it took 17 days longer to sell a home than in the fourth quarter of 2016.
  • The average time it took to sell a home in the region was 98 days.
  • In several counties, days on market rose when compared to the same period a year ago. This is not too surprising given that the counties where sales slowed are small, which often leads to erratic demand.
  • Counties where homes sold the fastest were Washington and Multnomah Counties, where it took an average of 33 and 42 days respectively for homes to sell.

CONCLUSIONS

The speedometer reflects the state of the region’s housing market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors. Economic growth in Oregon State remains impressive, and the region’s housing market clearly continues to benefit from such robust growth.

Home sales have slowed, which has taken a little steam out of the strong appreciation rates we’ve seen over the past several months. That said, the market remains remarkably tight and unlikely to shift dramatically for the duration of 2017. As such, I have moved the needle slightly more toward sellers for the first quarter.

#LetsGetThatHouseSold!

-William


Posted on June 5, 2017 at 1:21 am
William Gilliland | Posted in Uncategorized |

Portland’s luxury real estate market makes impressive leap

High-end real estate brokers filed into a breakfast meeting for Windermere Real Estate’s Premier Properties program last month, eager to hear statistics and insights into a luxury market that has taken off over the last year. I had the pleasure of sharing my take on the rapidly growing market with the brokers; here’s some of the information they walked away with.

First of all, what is luxury real estate? The definition varies from region to region. In the Portland area, Windermere brokers base their luxury qualifying price on variables such as condition of the home and grounds, history of the home, architectural significance, location and more. Listing prices for luxury homes in Portland typically start between $750,000 and $1 million. To qualify for Luxury Portfolio International, a division of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, home listings must be priced at or above $899,900.

This same group details the recent increase of luxury market activity, reporting that 25 percent of the U.S. wealthy plan to purchase luxury real estate over the next three years. Further, a whopping 45 percent of the global wealthy plan to purchase during the same period. This is already manifesting in Multnomah County — largely as a result of the increase of wealthy, international tech buyers flocking to the area — where transactions above the $1 million price mark increased 21.5 percent from 2015 to 2016 and transactions above $800,000 increased 27 percent over the same period. Among those high-end transactions, average sales prices skyrocketed nearly $50,000 over the course of the year.

I predict the luxury market will continue to increase moderately year-over-year. Further, job growth in the area should continue to support higher home prices as demand continues to exceed supply. Average listing prices on luxury homes in Portland are reaching $900,550 — well short of other major markets in the west, such as Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Salt Lake City. With home prices expected to increase 7.9 percent in Multnomah County over the next year, now is a great time for buyers to enter the luxury market and watch their investments quickly appreciate.

Some may fear that all of this increased market activity signals a housing bubble, but I would be quick to dispel that apprehension. Housing prices continue to increase, but home values are protected by controlled national mortgage debt. This total has only jumped one percent since 2012, even when paired with the surge in home price growth. Stringent credit requirements also signal the absence of a bubble. In 2008, the loan qualifying process was fast and easy, but now banks are lending much more conservatively. So I would turn away from the fear of a bubble forming, but perhaps keep an eye on Portland’s housing affordability and accessibility.

The uptick in luxury market transactions is encouraging, but we want to make sure the average Joe can continue to afford real estate as well. While home prices begin to climb, they still vastly outpace income growth. As a result, average Portlanders are having a tougher time affording housing near their workplaces. Since businesses pay close attention to how much it will cost their employees to live in a given market, I worry that high housing costs could price Portland out of business.

There is much for Portland’s housing market to look forward to as we head into the summer months. The luxury market is inspiring for buyers who want to make a high-end purchase soon. However, they’d better hustle before the near-eight percent value increases set in. While I am encouraged to see that we are not on the verge of a housing bubble, we must be wary of housing affordability or risk the chance of Portland experiencing a stall in economic growth. With any luck, Portland will meet its continued expansion head on.

As always, let me know if you have any questions!

-William

*from PBJ


Posted on May 12, 2017 at 8:31 pm
William Gilliland | Posted in Uncategorized |

Tough Portland housing market stymies first-time homebuyers

Summary: Claire Anderson of Portland has a well-paying job at a local nonprofit, and she’s socked away thousands of dollars, but she still can’t find a home to buy in her price range. Portland’s stock of homes affordable to moderate-income first-time buyers is disappearing amid rising prices that have outpaced wages. April 18, 2017 Beth Nakamura/Staff


Though it seemed unlikely, Claire Anderson couldn’t shake the notion her real-estate broker had taken her to the scene of some terrible crime.

They’d crossed an unkempt yard to enter the rundown Southeast Portland home through a back door. Inside, splotches covered the walls and ceiling. The lights flickered gloomily.

“It was the creepiest horror scene,” the 29-year-old said. But “we still walked around and talked about what we could do to make this horror movie house work.”

That’s because after touring more than a dozen homes and trawling hundreds of others online, she could no longer automatically dismiss a house with an “Enter at your own risk” sign tacked to the front door. Not for her first home, and certainly not one within her price range.

The starter home has become an endangered species in Portland’s robust real estate market — even for middle-income earners with decent savings like Anderson.

Inventory in the ballpark of $300,000 is rapidly disappearing as prices far outpace wages, a scenario exacerbated by the continuing fallout of a homebuilding drought, the region’s surging population and the tendency of current homeowners to stay put instead of move up.

And rising interest rates threaten to further erode buying power, leaving first-time home buyers with even fewer options.

More competition, fewer homes

Portland has long held strong appeal for its relatively low cost of living — a West Coast outpost without Seattle- or San Francisco-level rents, where artists, entrepreneurs and working-class people could build a life and perhaps buy a home.

But homeownership has increasingly become out of reach in the metro area. Data from the real-estate firm Zillow show just 61 percent of today’s housing stock is affordable for median-income earners — around $64,000 today — compared with 76 percent in 2000.

That would put today’s share of affordable homes near levels last seen before the housing bubble collapsed in 2007-2008, and ushered in a wave of foreclosures and the financial crisis.

But today’s unaffordability is driven by a shortage of homes, both for sale and for rent. There’s also been far less construction of new homes as developers work to bring more rental units online.

Flash sales and bidding wars are no longer anomalies in the metro area, in large part because there simply isn’t much to choose from. A mere 3,300 homes were listed at the end of February, according to the Regional Multiple Listing Service, or a six-week supply based on current trends. A more typical market would have a six-month supply.

Homeowners, seeing little reason to subject themselves to the stress and expense, are loath to re-enter the market

“People are buying their ‘starter home’ and living there forever,” said Alyssa Isenstein Krueger, a broker with Living Room Realty in Portland. “They don’t see themselves as being able to make the leap to the next level, so there’s less turnover.”

As a result, small homes in desirable neighborhoods are seeing prices bid higher. In many cases, first-time buyers are competing with investors, flippers, developers and other cash buyers.

Home sellers usually will opt for the cash offer, which promises certainty that someone in need of a mortgage can’t provide. And developers often bid more than the house is worth because the bigger one they plan to replace it with will fetch a much higher price.

As a result, first-time homebuyers are looking farther from the city core to find affordability and less competition.

The Portland Housing Center, a nonprofit that works with first-time homebuyers, has sought to meet that need with new satellite offices in Beaverton and Vancouver.

“For a while the suburbs were the place to go,” said Felicia Tripp, the center’s deputy director. “But the inventory shortage is Portland metro-wide. It’s going to be difficult, even in the suburbs.”

Rising mortgage rates

What starter homes are available, however, remain within reach only because of low mortgage rates, which can dramatically affect monthly payments. But mortgage rates have been creeping higher. In March, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark rate for only the third time since the Great Recession, and most observers expect the central bank to raise rates at least two more times this year.

Should rates rise to 2006 levels — about 2 percentage points higher than today — the share of affordable homes would drop to just 41 percent, the Zillow data show. Such a jump could add nearly $300 to the monthly payment on a $300,000 home, and that’s without any increase in price.

Most forecasts call for a more modest rate increase over the next two years, but prices are expected to keep growing. The median Portland-area home price jumped 10.4 percent in March, year over year, and has surged nearly 72 percent since 2012, RMLS data show.

Such a dearth of starter homes is something the Portland real-estate market has never seen before, Tripp said.

“We’re bracing,” she said. “There’s always been, generationally, a market for first-time homebuyers. This is new to us.”

Anderson, the would-be homeowner, considers herself relatively lucky.

She has a job at a Portland nonprofit that pays well enough, and her rent held steady long enough that she could save up a healthy down payment. Her family can also contribute — increasingly the norm for first-time homebuyers.

And there’s no big rush, such as an expiring lease. But her relatively low rent recently jumped $200 a month, and the prospect of future increases might force her to find a different line of work, or leave Portland.

“It may be that I don’t find anything. Then we rent as long as we can, and then,” she said, “I don’t know.”

-From OregonLive

William


Posted on April 27, 2017 at 5:33 pm
William Gilliland | Posted in Uncategorized |

Home values will soar in these 40 Portland neighborhoods…

If you own your home, you’re wondering how Portland’s skyrocketing sales are impacting the value of your place. If you don’t yet have a mortgage, but hope to, you may want to figure out which neighborhoods will take off this year.

No one can predict the future, especially when it comes to real estate investments, including sentimental properties such as your family home. But the data czars at Zillow crunched numbers at our request and came up with a ranking of what they predict could be the hottest Portland neighborhoods over the next year.

Scroll through this photo gallery to see the top neighborhoods.

They compiled the current median home value of each neighborhood, forecast the value in a year and calculated the percent of the increase. For example, the median home in the Southwest Hills could cost 3.8 percent more over the next year, bumping the cost up more than $36,000.

Topping the list with a predicted 5.2 percent jump: St. Johns (expect to pay a median extra of $17,539), Mount Scott ($18,412 more) and Brentwood-Darlington ($15,634 more). See other predictions on how homes in specific neighborhoods might appreciate.


Posted on April 5, 2017 at 7:26 pm
William Gilliland | Posted in Uncategorized |

Oregon’s massive housing subsidy to the well-off deserves legislators’ scrutiny

As public policy goes, the state’s home-mortgage interest deduction that helps shrink Oregonians’ tax bills flunks the test of public benefit.

The practice, which allows homeowners to deduct the amount of annual interest they pay to mortgage lenders, will cost Oregon nearly $500 million in lost revenue this year. The subsidy largely benefits higher-income tax filers who are more likely to itemize their deductions and who are the ones securing larger mortgages in the first place. Renters, who arguably pay property taxes just as homeowners do through their rent payments, get no similar benefit.

It’s irrational, and several states, including Massachusetts, New Jersey and Ohio, don’t allow taxpayers to deduct it in computing their taxable income for state purposes. But will legislators have the stomach to revise this practice?

 Despite the inevitable blowback, legislators should take on this challenge. With Oregon HB 2006, a bill sponsored by the House Human Services and Housing committee, lawmakers have the opportunity to at least start the work of breaking down resistance and educating the public why this deduction is not in their or the state’s interest. While imperfect, the bill offers some reasonable proposals for curbing an excessive giveaway that this state can’t afford in the face of far more pressing needs in housing and elsewhere.

 

The bill calls for capping the amount of mortgage interest that someone can deduct on their state tax returns to $15,000. That’s well above the average deduction claimed by the nearly 500,000 filers who submitted itemized returns in 2013, according to the Oregon Department of Revenue’s most recent tax expenditure report. It also calls for eliminating entirely the deduction on second homes. In addition, anyone whose adjusted gross income is $100,000 or more (or joint filers earning $200,000 or more) would not be allowed to claim any mortgage interest deduction for state tax purposes. The proposed changes would not apply to the mortgage interest deduction on the federal level.

The Legislative Revenue Office has not yet analyzed the proposal. But the Oregon Center for Public Policy, one of the members of the coalition that developed the proposal, estimates it could bring upwards of $200 million or more per biennium for the state, Juan Carlos Ordonez, spokesman for the center, told The Oregonian/OregonLive Editorial Board. That money would then fund assistance for down payments, initiatives to build starter homes and other programs that increase the supply of housing, said Jes Larson of the Welcome Home coalition, another member organization of the network behind HB 2006. Addressing supply is key – there is no way to legislate our way out of this housing crisis if nothing is done to significantly increase the inventory of places for people to live.

That said, this bill is far from perfect. The revenue office’s vetting could change some of the projections. And other provisions, such as the arbitrary $100,000/$200,000 income cut off could be problematic. While Ordonez maintains that six-figure Oregonians can easily absorb the hit, his conclusion seems driven by assumptions that anyone of that income level is immune to financial strain and can adapt in a heartbeat. Good public policy calls for objective consideration of how best to limit fallout when longstanding rules suddenly change.

Yes, mortgage interest deductions are a form of welfare for the better off. But the threat of immediately revoking it from people who may have based significant financial decisions on the promise, is bound to trigger unintended consequences. Not the least of which might be sparking opposition from those who might otherwise support the $15,000 cap. And this proposal needs all the support it can muster.

Legislators also must recognize the multi-faceted budget disaster that Oregon faces. While the mortgage interest deduction is a worthwhile debate, they must also confront thornier issues as easing the public-pension burden on public employers and raising new revenue from businesses.

Oregonians can be stubbornly protective of irrational, nonsensical policies that mask their destructiveness with short-term sweeteners (see: personal kicker rebate). That does not give legislators a pass on addressing it, however, particularly when the state faces a $1.6 billion budget deficit. Start the work toward a saner system, pair it with real change on pension reform and corporate taxation, and show Oregon what true leadership and progress looks like.

Let me know if you have any questions!

William

 

 From The Oregonian/OregonLive Editorial Board 


Posted on March 21, 2017 at 8:08 pm
William Gilliland | Posted in Uncategorized |

The Annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

Happy Wednesday, Folks!

The National Association of Realtors® recently published their annual profile of home buyers and sellers. This report provides insights into the unique buyer/seller experience from YOUR perspective, as well as emerging trends. It covers information on demographics, housing characteristics and the experience of consumers in our housing market.

While I am not allowed to share the 144-page report in its entirety, here is a great overview that provides some helpful highlights.

Let me know if you have any questions!

-William


Posted on February 22, 2017 at 7:01 pm
William Gilliland | Posted in Uncategorized |

Categories