Contract Signings Recede, Low Inventory to Blame

Pending home sales dipped at the end of 2019, with each of the four major regions reporting a drop in sales contract activity. The South saw the biggest plunge in contract signings, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Wednesday.

NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index—a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings—decreased 4.9% in December 2019 compared to the previous month. Still, contract signings were up 4.6% over last year.

Homebuying demand remains high but the limited housing inventory, especially in the lower price ranges, is holding back sales growth, NAR says. “Mortgage rates are expected to hold under 4% for most of 2020, while net job creation will likely exceed two million,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. But “due to the shortage of affordable homes, home sales growth will only rise by around 3%.”

Home prices aren’t likely to cool, Yun adds. “National median home price growth is in no danger of falling due to inventory shortages and will rise by 4%,” Yun predicts. “The new-home construction market also looks brighter, with housing starts and new-home sales set to rise 6% and 10%, respectively.”

The markets driving the most buyer attention lately tend to be where listing prices hover around $250,000, Yun says.® data shows the most active listings with buyer activity include Fort Wayne, Ind.; Burlington, N.C.; Topeka, Kan.; Pueblo, Colo.; and Columbus, Ohio.

“The state of housing in 2020 will depend on whether home builders bring more affordable homes to the market,” Yun says. “Home prices and even rents are increasing too rapidly, and more inventory would help correct the problem and slow price gains.” Read from NAR’s Real Estate Forecast Summit: 4 Reasons There’s Not Enough Building

Posted on January 29, 2020 at 12:07 pm
Ken Swanson | Posted in Uncategorized |

6 Ways to Lose at Negotiating a house Price

Visit for more articles like this.


Posted on July 20, 2018 at 10:28 am
Ken Swanson | Posted in Real Estate Info | Tagged ,

Understanding the Washington State Carbon Monoxide Alarm Laws

RCW 19.27.530 (2009) and Chapter 132 Laws of 2012 (SSB 6472)

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that cannot be seen or smelled and can kill a person in minutes. Carbon monoxide can quickly build up to unsafe levels in enclosed or semi-enclosed areas. Carbon monoxide killed over 1,000 Washington residents between 1990 and 2005. In the aftermath of the December 2006 windstorm, over 300 people were treated at hospital emergency rooms for CO poisoning and eight people died. Generators in garages, or near air intakes, and use of charcoal or gas grills indoors, are common causes of CO poisoning during power outages. Fuel burning appliances, attached garages, and fireplaces are also sources of CO.

Beginning January 1, 2011, state law required CO alarms to be installed in

all new single family homes and residences, including apartments, condominiums, hotels, and motels.

State law requires CO alarms be installed in

existing apartments, condominiums, hotels, motels and single-family residences by January 1, 2013.

Owner-occupied single-family residences, legally occupied before July 26, 2009, are not required to have CO alarms until they are sold.

The seller is required to equip the residence with CO alarms before any other person legally occupies the home. Substitute Senate Bill 6472 added CO alarms to the Purchase/Sale disclosure form in 2012.


SSB 5561, implemented as RCW 19.27.530, charged the State Building Code Council with adoption of administrative rules (WAC 51-50-0908) to implement the carbon monoxide alarm law and consider exemptions for some building classifications. Sleeping units or dwelling units in new or existing motels, hotels, college dormitories, and DSHS licensed boarding home and residential treatment facilities, which do not themselves contain a fuel-burning appliance, or a fuel-burning fireplace, or have an attached garage, but are located in a building with a fuel-burning appliance, or a fuel-burning fireplace, or an attached garage, need not be provided with CO alarms provided that:

The sleeping unit or dwelling unit is not adjacent to any room that contains a fuel-burning appliance, a fuel-burning fireplace, or an attached garage; and

The sleeping unit or dwelling unit is not connected by duct work or ventilation shafts with a supply or return register in the same room to any room containing a fuel-burning appliance, a fuel-burning fireplace, or to an attached garage; and

The building has a common area CO alarm system.


Local code officials will check for compliance with the CO alarm installation requirements when a permit is required for new construction and most alterations, repairs or additions.

CO alarm installation requirements

1. Alarms must be located outside of each separate sleeping area, in the immediate vicinity of the bedroom and on each level of the residence.

2. Single station carbon monoxide alarms must be listed as complying with UL 2034, and installed in accordance with the code and the manufacturer’s instructions.

3. Combined CO and smoke alarms are permitted.

For more information

State Building Code Council staff can be reached at 360-407-9279

CO poisoning and prevention – the Department of Health CO web page.

Posted on June 21, 2018 at 6:45 pm
Ken Swanson | Posted in Bellingham Real Estate, Lummi Island, Whatcom County Real Estate | Tagged

Lummi Island

Island Profile

Lummi tribes were the island’s original inhabitants, but it is no longer a part of the Native American

Nations’s lands. Most of the Lummis fled the island to avoid enslavement by aggressive northern tribes

before white settlers arrived in the 1870’s. The forgotten island of the San Juan chain, Lummi is a refuge of

tranquility. Nine miles long and about two miles wide, the mountainous island lies across the mouth

of Bellingham Bay. The population hovers around 1,054. Only the northern half of the island is

inhabitable. Eagles and deer have kept their domain on the steep slopes rising from

Lummi’s southern shores.


Posted on May 13, 2018 at 7:03 pm
Ken Swanson | Posted in Lummi Island | Tagged , , ,


I just read The Seattle Times’ article, “Zillow’s Zestimate overvalued a Washington home by 700 percent in a case of “algorithms gone wrong”, and I think you might enjoy it, too. You can read the full article here:

Posted on March 6, 2018 at 1:24 pm
Ken Swanson | Posted in Real Estate Info, Uncategorized |