Recent research from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that more than 13 million children in the U.S. experience food insecurity. That’s one in six children who live in households where they do not have enough food to eat on a regular basis. And over 20 million children rely on free or reduced-price school lunches for their meals during the school year.
For those families relying on the free and reduced meals during the school year, summer can be especially stressful. Many families do not have access to food assistance programs during the summer. And the national summer meal programs reach only a small percentage of children who need help when school is not in session–around 16 percent. That is why many of our Windermere offices choose to support local non-profits that provide weekend and summer meals to children and families in need.
One of those non-profits that Windermere offices support is the Hunger Intervention Program (HIP) in Seattle, Washington, whose mission is to increase food security for underserved populations in North King County through nutritious meals, educational programs, and advocacy. According to HIP, one in four children in Washington State live in households where families experience hunger. Their Healthy HIP Packs Program is a weekend food backpack program that provides nutritious and kid-friendly foods, enough for six meals and two snacks per child, when school meals are not available during the school year. And HIP’s Summer Eats for Kids program provides freshly made, nutritious lunches at kid-friendly locations around the north Seattle community during the summer.
The Windermere Northgate, Sand Point, and Wedgwood offices have supported Hunger Intervention Program since 2013 with donations via the Windermere Foundation. A total of $14,700 has been donated to HIP over the years, to help fund meal programs so that children do not have to go hungry on the weekends or over summer break.
Thanks to donations from our Windermere owners, offices, and agents, and donations from the public, the Windermere Foundation is able to provide support to local nonprofits that provide nutritious meals for children in need. If you’d like to help support food programs for children experiencing hunger in your community, please consider making a donation to the Windermere Foundation through a Windermere office near you. Just click on the Donate button.
To learn more about the Windermere Foundation, visit https://www.windermere.com/foundation.
It’s not too late! If you’re thinking about planting some fresh veggies but haven’t started yet, you still have time to get things in the ground for a late summer/early fall harvest. On average, the Puget Sound’s frost-free growing season is mid-March through mid-November, so with a little knowledge of when and how to start things, you can still see a bountiful harvest this year.
Some plants can be direct seeded into your garden, while others should be started indoors before being transplanted to your garden space. Deciding what to grow is the fun part! Plant what you like to eat, keeping in mind that some plants do better in our area than others.
Broccoli is arguably one of the most productive veggies you can grow in this area, although it can be vulnerable to root maggots and aphids. Giant Italian Parsley is easy to grow, highly productive, and expensive in the grocery store. Leeks are another that can be costly to buy in the store but trouble-free to grow in your own small space. Chard, Kale, Lettuce and Arugula are all full of vitamins and great for Northwest gardens. Carrots, Snap Peas, Snap Beans, Tomatoes and Basil all taste amazing fresh from the garden and grow relatively well in this area.
Check out the great resources at Garden.org for a full list of when to plant all these vegetables and more. They have detailed timelines for both spring and fall gardening; as well as information on transplanting seedlings vs. direct-sowing seeds.
Farmer’s Market Schedule – 2018
South Snohomish County
Arlington Farmers Market Legion Park: 200 N. Olympic Ave Saturdays. 10am-3pm | July 7 — Sept 29
Bothell Farmers Market Country Village: 23718 Both-Evrt Hwy Fridays 12pm-6pm | June 1—Sept 28
Bothell South County Community Market Park Ridge Church: 3805 Maltby Road, Bothell Wednesdays 4pm-8pm | June 6—Sept 26
Edmonds Garden Market Historical Museum: Between 5th & Bell Street Saturdays 9am-2pm | May 5—June 9
Edmonds Summer Market Downtown: 5th St from the fountain Saturdays 9am-3pm | June 16—Oct 6
Everett Farmers Markets Boxcar Park: 615 13th Street Sundays 11am-4pm | May 13—Oct 14
Everett Transit Center: 2333 32nd St Wednesdays 4pm-8pm | May 23—Sept 26
Marysville Farmers Market 1035 State Ave Saturdays 10am-2pm | June 23—Sept 1
Monroe Farmer’s Market Lake Tye Park: 14964 Fryelands Blvd Saturdays 8:30am-12:30pm | May 12—Nov 17
Mukilteo Farmers Market Lighthouse Park: 609 Front Street Wednesdays 3pm-7pm | June 7—Sept 27
Snohomish Farmers Market The intersection of Cedar Ave & Pearl St. Thursdays 3pm-7pm | May 3—Sept 27
Bellevue Farmers Market First Presbyterian: 1717 Bellevue Way NE Thursdays. 3pm-7pm | May 17—Oct 11
Bothell Farmers Market Country Village: 23718 Both-Evrt Hwy Fridays 12pm-6pm | June 1—Sept 28
Issaquah Farmers Market Pickering Barn: 1730 10th Ave NW Saturdays 9am-2pm | May 5—Sept 29
Juanita Friday Market Juanita Beach Park: 9703 NE Juanita Dr Fridays. 3pm-7pm | June 1—Sept 28
Mercer Island Farmers Market Mercerdale Park: 7700 SE 32nd St Sundays 10am-3pm | June 3—Oct 7
Redmond Saturday Market Redmond Town Center: 7730 Leary Way NE Saturdays 9am-3pm | May 5—Oct 27
Sammamish Farmers Market City Hall Plaza: 801 228th Ave SE Wednesdays 4pm-8pm | May 9—Sept 26
Woodinville Farmers Market DeYoung Park: 13680 NE 175th St Saturdays 9am-3pm | May 5—Sept
Ballard Farmers Market Ballard Ave NW Sundays. 10am-3pm | Year round
Capitol Hill Broadway Farmers Market Seattle Central Comm College: Broadway & Pine Sundays 11am-3pm | Year round
Columbia City Farmers Market 37th Ave S & S Edmunds St Wednesdays 3pm-7pm | May 9—Oct 10
Fremont Sunday Market Corner of 3410 Evanston Ave N Sundays 10am-4pm | Year round
Lake City Farmers Market 125th St and 28th Ave NE Thursdays 3pm-7pm | June 7—Oct 4
Lake Forest Park Farmers Market Third Place Commons: 17171 Bothell Way NE Sundays 10am-3pm | May 13—Oct 21
Madrona Farmers Market 1126 Martin Luther King Jr. Way Fridays 3pm-7pm | May 18—Oct 12
Magnolia Farmers Market Magnolia Village: 33rd Ave W & W McGraw Saturdays. 10am-2pm | June 2—Oct 20
Phinney Farmers Market Phinney Neighborhood Center: Phinney Ave N Fridays 3:30pm-7:30pm | June 1—Sept 28
Pike Place Farmers Market Pike Place & Pine St Saturdays 9am-5pm | June 2—Nov 24
Queen Anne Farmers Market W Crockett Street & Queen Anne Ave N Thursdays 3pm-7:30pm | June 7—Oct 11
Shoreline Farmers Market 15300 Westminster Ave N Saturdays 10am-3pm | June 9—Oct 6
University District Farmers Market University Way NE “the Ave” Saturdays 9am-2pm | Year round
Wallingford Farmers Market Meridian Park: Meridian Ave N & N 50th St Wednesdays 3pm-7pm | May 16—Sept 26
West Seattle Farmers Market California Ave SW & SW Alaska St Sundays 10am-2pm | Year round
At Windermere, we have the privilege of working with esteemed economist, Matthew Gardner. Throughout the year, I have shared his quarterly Gardner Reports which delineate out all the different housing markets in Western Washington and reports on price appreciation and sales data. Below is a recent article he wrote about predictions for the 2018 real estate market; which was picked up by several news sources, including Inman News.
As a bonus, I recently had the opportunity to chat with him and get some specific insights on the Greater Seattle real estate market for 2018 and have included those at the end of this article. 2018 looks to be another strong year in real estate. If you are curious about how the market might affect your bottom line, please contact me. It is my goal to help keep my clients informed, empower strong decisions and create exceptional results. Here’s to a very happy New Year!
What Can We Expect From the 2018 Housing Market?
by Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist, Windermere Real Estate
Millennial Home Buyers
Last year, I predicted that the big story for 2017 would be millennial home buyers and it appears I was a little too bullish. To date, first-time buyers have made up 34% of all home purchases this year – still below the 40% that is expected in a normalized market. Although they are buying, it is not across all regions of the country, but rather in less expensive markets such as North Dakota, Ohio, and Maryland.
For the coming year, I believe the number of millennial buyers will expand further and be one of the biggest influencers in the U.S. housing market. I also believe that they will begin buying in more expensive markets. That’s because millennials are getting older and further into their careers, enabling them to save more money and raise their credit profiles.
Existing Home Sales
As far as existing home sales are concerned, in 2018 we should expect a reasonable increase of 3.7% – or 5.62 million housing units. In many areas, demand will continue to exceed supply, but a slight increase in inventory will help take some heat off the market. Because of this, home prices are likely to rise but by a more modest 4.4%.
New Home Sales
New home sales in 2018 should rise by around 8% to 655,000 units, with prices increasing by 4.1%. While housing starts – and therefore sales – will rise next year, they will still remain well below the long-term average due to escalating land, labor, materials, and regulatory costs. I do hold out hope that home builders will be able to help meet the high demand we’re expecting from first-time buyers, but in many markets it’s very difficult for them to do so due to rising construction costs.
Interest rates continue to baffle forecasters. The anticipated rise that many of us have been predicting for several years has yet to materialize. As it stands right now, my forecast for 2018 is for interest rates to rise modestly to an average of 4.4% for a conventional 30-year fixed-rate mortgage – still remarkably low when compared to historic averages.
There are changes to the income tax structure that could potentially have a significant impact on homeowners and the housing market. The first is the mortgage interest rate deduction which will be capped at $750,000 – down from $1,000,000. In theory this can be considered a tax on wealthy households, but there have been nearly 100,000 home sales this year where the mortgage loan was over $750,000 (almost 4% of total sales), so the effect will be felt more broadly.
That said, this change will disproportionately affect high-cost markets in California, New York, and Hawaii, and to a somewhat lesser degree, it will also be felt in Seattle, and parts of Colorado and Arizona. The capping of the deduction for state and local property taxes (SALT) at $10,000 will also negatively impact states with high property taxes, such as California, New York, and New Hampshire.
The final tax bill also eliminates the deduction for interest on home equity loans which is currently allowed on loans up to $100,000. This is significant because it will largely affect the growing number of homeowners who are choosing to remodel their home rather than try to find a new home in supply-starved markets like Seattle.
While these measures will likely have a dampening effect on housing, I do not believe they will lead to a substantial drop in home values. However, there is a concern that it will lead to fewer home sales, as households choose to stay put so they can continue to take advantage of the current mortgage interest deduction. The result could be fewer listings, which could actually cause home prices to rise at above-average rates for a longer period of time.
I continue to be concerned about housing affordability. Home prices have been rising across much of the country at unsustainable rates, and although I still contend that we are not in “bubble” territory, it does represent a substantial impediment to the long-term health of the housing market. But if home price growth begins to taper, as I predict it will in 2018, that should provide some relief in many markets where there are concerns about a housing bubble.
In summary, along with slowing home price growth, there should be a modest improvement in the number of homes for sale in 2018, and the total home sales will be higher than 2017. First-time buyers will continue to play a substantial role in the nation’s housing market, but their influence may be limited depending on where the government lands on tax reform.
Gardner, Matthew. “What Can We Expect From The 2018 Housing Market?” Windermere Real Estate. Windermere.com, 8 December 2017. Web. 27 December 2017.
A Conversation with Matthew
It is always a pleasure to talk with Matthew. We recently discussed his thoughts on the Greater Seattle real estate market and what he sees shaping up for 2018.
Millennial homebuyers were more of an influence in the Greater Seattle market in 2017 because of the robust hiring that corporations such as Amazon have made. He thinks that this will continue to grow in 2018, because the cost of rent continues to rise at a rapid pace and in many cases owning makes superior financial sense. For example, it is not unheard of to pay $3,000 a month in rent for a unit in South Lake Union. While this eliminates a commute, it is an incredibly costly payment that goes entirely towards the landlord’s investment. If one is willing and able to pay that much in rent, it is important to look at the fact that that number is equivalent to a mortgage payment on a $550,000 home! He predicts that we will see more millennial homebuyers move out to the more traditional suburbs to start building their wealth in real estate. Ideally, Millennials would love to live in “ex-urban” areas that are still close to their places of work; however, listings are slim and prices very high for this type of product.Therefore, he expects to see Millennials having to look at the suburbs when deciding where to buy.
In 2017, net in-migration totaled 50,000 in the Greater Seattle area. Matthew predicts that we will see the same in 2018 due to our robust job market and Californians continuing to move to the area. Employment in the region will continue to expand, but at lower rates than seen in 2017. That said, he sees more wage growth than job growth in 2018 as companies have done so much hiring over the last 3 years, and now they are focused on maintaining their employee base. Amazon has signed on to occupy 5 million additional square feet of space over and above the 8+ million square feet that they currently occupy, so we will continue to see job growth there. The unemployment rate will stay below 4% in 2018.
Matthew believes we will see a slight increase in inventory taking our market to hot from boiling. Some new construction will help this increase and he does expect to see some Baby Boomers deciding to either cash-out and leave the area, or downsize. This inventory growth should temper price growth and increase sales by 6%. In 2017, we saw a year-over-year price appreciation rate of 13% in the Greater Seattle area, and he predicts 8-8.5% for 2018. This is still well above the normal rate of 5.5%, but certainly much more sustainable than 13%!
Lastly, Matthew is adamant that we are not headed toward another bubble. The average down payment in the Greater Seattle area is now over $100,000 and home owners have great equity positions, which is a critical ingredient to a non-bubble market. Additionally, credit is still very tight and buyers are very highly qualified, and the rampant speculation that is the key sign of a bubble is not being seen locally. His biggest concern is affordability, and that we need to continue to find ways to create more housing through zoning changes and decreasing the cost of regulation for builders. This density would create more affordable housing.
Windermere Real Estate North