El Moriarity, Home Seller in Anacortes, WA

Do you see another 14% price reduction of homes in Anacortes in '09, as is projected for Seattle by Moody's?

Asked by El Moriarity, Anacortes, WA Wed Feb 18, 2009

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Anacortes and Seattle are definitely two different real estate markets. The main difference is the short-term oversupply of vacant lots in a town of just 16,500+ people. Last time I looked it was around 175-200. Whereas Seattle has very limited available land for new housing developments, Anacortes has plenty as there are several developments with 30-40+ vacant lots just sitting with weeds about ready to explode. Most of these developments are currently not targteted for first-time home buyers where the $8K tax credit would make a difference, but for mid-high end homes (w/views) where getting a jumbo loan at a reasonable rate is still difficult (but, liquidity will be improving with recent gov't programs).

A few local banks such as Horizon Bank and Business Bank of Burlington have made substantial loans to area builders and are now under a "NPL" (Non-performing Loans) pressure on their balance sheets. Business Bank was offerings some great above market CD deals recently which should make any depositer think twice about their financial condition. I expect local builders to slash prices on their vacant lots to get things moving before the banks come after them hard.

And, for those Anacortes realtors browsing arround Trulia, do not expect the same level of out of staters to move up here. The median "price gap' between a home in the SF Bay Area or Southern Cal and Anacortes has dramatically narrowed the past year, making a move up here not as a good deal as it once was. I had a good chuckle to read on J.L Scott's website about the return of California buyers to Anacortes. Well, there may be some moving up here as mortgage rates at 4.5-5.0% should perk things up post-April 15th, but not enough to counter the short-term over-supply. The slow real estate market elsewhere makes it harder to be mobile and move out of state. And, remember, many retirees who would move here have taken a big hit in their retirement accounts. The word "deretired" is now becoming common as retires who thought there were retired are no longer feeling that they can retire.

As they say, supply and demand is everything in real estate. If your living in Seattle metro area, price depreciation this year should not be too bad. However, in Anacortes I am not so sure. I will wait till after April 15th and see if things pickup before passing judgement. I think the real estate/business community (who, by the way are members of the city council and planning commission who approved all those currently empty developments) are way too bullish about real estate here in Anacortes. Many people here got a little greedy and thought if they build all these homes, retirees from WA and out of state will come and buy them up! Well, that was true for a little while, but timing is everything in this world and that certsainly applies to real estate.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 25, 2009
Probably more like 20%. These Realtors will do anything to try to convince you to buy.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 25, 2009
GaryB selling our house in Anacortes did not materialize. I took the recommendation of local Realtor and listed but nothing happened. I agree with you that the property managers in Anacortes are questionable, however, I did switch from JLS to Windermere and my property manager rented the home and has been excellent.

I was an agent in Anacortes, and learned they do business differently than CA. In some ways better than CA and in some ways clueless. This is the same in all professions.

Since were are in a good position, we will continue to rent out our home there and ride out the market.
Web Reference: http://www.terrivellios.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 27, 2009
aw Terri...now it is Oct.
I think selling in Aug. would have been clever. Anac. has experienced few sales and rental signs are very obvious...meanwhile rents are low and heading further down. Respectfully surprising that an agent (market trend expert?) gets in this position and it is a case of being behind the ball. Anac. has realtor property managers, but from our experience, they are incompetent. Best of luck - but I woulda sold as local residential and commercial is crashing and you are looking at longterm absentee landlording with questionable-talent local property management...professionalism is low in Anac. r.e....know that much when making decisions or listening to commissioned manipulation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 9, 2009
We have seen the traffic visiting open houses, coming into the office, calling asking questions about properties here in Anacortes start to pick back up this past week after two weeks of sloow movement. We all get a little nervous when the traffic flow slows down, however while I was in Business in Calif. the traffic always seemed to slow down during this time when vacations over ruled any thoughts of buying or selling homes. As we see school starts getting near, we will see the serious buyers coming back into the picture.

I know you understand this, but, The price point, location and condition (shiniest penny) of the property will dictate how long your house will be on the market for sale. I have seen the numbers increase for pendings and more sold postings for homes over the $300k point are popping up, even over the 1 mill. mark. As the quality of lower priced homes are selling, this is allowing many buyers to Buy Up into the mid priced point properties. it is still a great time to sell if you are in a position to let go of yesteryears values. We do have an in-house rental division here at JLS that can help you lease or rent your property until its time to sell if you desire.

Also Thank you for the Advice you offered, have not bought the book yet, but will do so very soon......TL
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 19, 2009
Six months later, what is going on with Anacortes values now? I own a rental home there and the tenants are moving out, so the question is to sell or rent? And what are rentals looking like?

I'm a realtor in CA.
Web Reference: http://www.terrivellios.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 18, 2009
Anacortes is currently @20% overvalued. But are you familiar with realtors in Anacortes? Pretty terrible and it is a challenge to find an honest answer to the simplest of questions. They lie about everything - even something as apparent as number of bedrooms! I've yet to find a good Anacortes agent and assume brokers (the boss) are to blame. For rent signs are everywhere (rents are low and vacancy plentiful). Owning a business on Commercial, I assure you, our revenues are also terrible. Local wages can not support mangy listings at 20% overvalue and prices quite simply must drop, or listings age/ fester into the landscape. Seems that Anacortes realtors take listings with the intent of selling in a few years...I find these sales reps unsophisticated and sometimes just plain creepy. Ironically, the worst ones are the most visible! How does this crap sales hack go on?! It is a very small town, I guess.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 19, 2009
There are a number of reliable sources online to research. Your agent can get you concrete facts about last year's sales in Anacortes. The fact is, prices are down and rates are low. A 1% increase in rates would negate a 15% drop in prices. If you own now, refinance. If not, buying makes sense long-term.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 26, 2009
Not likely. The local job market remains steady, compared to the rest of the country. We may be flat or slightly down for a year, but not down 14%.

Sam DeBord
Seattle Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 24, 2009
Moody's doesn't know what they're talking about. There is absolutely no reason to expect a 14% decline in Seattle. It was about 8% last year. Anacortes is an entirely different market. I haven't check those numbers but I expect that decline was less that Seattle's. Talk to a local Anacortes Realtor. Remember, Moody's were the guys that sold Wall Street on their blue chip ratings of those garbage securities that were backed by zero down mortgages. Why would you listen to anything they said? Deal with a local expert who has local data.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 19, 2009
I would be suprised if there was that much more of a price reduction in Anacortes. Quite honestly I will be suprised if there is that much more in Seattle. Typically things "pick up" a bit in the spring and summer. Last year things were somewhat more active in the spring and summer and if anything prices held there own during those months.
Web Reference: http://www.edfinlan.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2009
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