Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate agents Tim Bower (Burien), Sunny Tumber (Burien), Paul Poirier (West Seattle), Mark Leingang (Bellevue) and Ken Arkills (West Seattle) accepted the award on behalf of the company. These award-winning agents have partnered with Green Canopy Homes to promote green building and sustainability in the Pacific Northwest community.
“I applaud Green Canopy Homes for creating sustainability-focused communities and educating others about green-building practices,” says Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate president and CEO, Jason Waugh. “And I appreciate the efforts our brokers put forth in promoting sustainability in the Pacific Northwest.”
The Green Genius Awards are the only awards in the nation that highlight the efforts of those in the real estate community who are building a more sustainable future on the front lines of market transformation. Green Genius Awards are given out each year at the annual Built Green Conference.
About The Built Green Conference
The Built Green Conference is an annual event for those interested in the green-building industry, including builders, architects, designers, vendors, consultants, engineers, realtors, government agencies and students. The primary focus of the event is to educate the local and regional building industry on quality green-building practices, products and projects and to inspire groups to build sustainable communities. The event took place at Cascadia College in Bothell, WA, on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016.
About Green Canopy Homes
Green Canopy Homes is an urban home builder with offices in Seattle and Portland. Their mission is to inspire resource efficiency in residential markets by building the best homes available on the market. Learn more at http://www.greencanopyhomes.com.
About Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate
Founded in 1942, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate offers residential and commercial real estate services and in-house mortgage lending, with 26 offices serving the greater Portland and Seattle metro areas through Southwest Washington, Central Oregon, the Yamhill County wine region and Oregon coast. The company is a member of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ Elite Circle, ranks as the #9 brokerage in the network for 2015, and is a reliable resource for accurate real estate data and market trend information. It has earned a reputation for service excellence, been named one of The Oregonian’s Top Workplaces and received The Business Journal’s Corporate Philanthropy Award. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate is an independently operated subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and joined Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in 2013. To learn more, please visit our websites at www.bhhsnw.com (for Oregon and SW Washington) and www.bhhsnwrealestate.com (for the Seattle metro area).
Are you curious about the value of your home if you listed it for sale today? Want to know the sales price of homes in your neighborhood? At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate, we have a great resource for you.
Our website has a home valuation tool that allows you to instantly see the estimated value of your home from Zillow plus two leading real estate industry data modeling systems. To take into account any unique features or recent updates, you may fine-tune the property features for a more accurate estimate. When you’re ready for a more in-depth estimate, one of our agents would be happy to prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA) to review neighborhood trends, current and past sales and factor in the overall condition of your home.
Please visit www.bhhsnwre.com and take advantage of this powerful resource to help you keep tabs on the value of your investment!
Enter for your chance to win $50,000 from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices to remodel your home!
We are partnering with HGTV hosts David Visentin & Hilary Farr of the HGTV show Love It or List It to give away this $50,000 grand prize and 12 weekly prizes of $2,500!
Enter to win at www.LoveYourHomeSweeps.com through June 17, 2016. No purchase necessary.
This Week in Real Estate NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun predicted existing home sales will reach their highest level since 2006. That years sales total was the second highest ever on record. Below are a few of the highlights from the second week of May that influence our business:
* Existing Home Sales to Finish 2015 at Record Level. Existing home sales are expected to finish the year at their highest level since 2006, the National Association of Realtors’ economic forecast forum revealed at its 2015 Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo. In the most recent existing-home sales report, sales surged to their highest annual rate in 18 months, showing a promising beginning to the spring homebuying season. Total existing home sales jumped 6.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.19 million in March from 4.89 million in February – the highest annual rate since September 2013 (also 5.19 million). “Sustained job growth and interest rates below 4% have been the catalyst behind the improvement in sales,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of NAR. “Housing supply needs to increase measurably to meet the pent-up demand for buying,” said Yun. “To put it in perspective, there were 37 million more people in the U.S. last year compared to 2000, yet existing-home sales that year were higher (5.2 million) than last year (4.9 million).”
* Housing Affordability Posts Solid Gain in First Quarter. Lower interest rates and home prices contributed to a solid boost in nationwide affordability in the first quarter of 2015, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) released Thursday. “The past two quarters have seen an improvement in affordability as mortgage rates remain low,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Eighty-five percent of the metropolitan areas measured experienced an increase in affordability.” In all, 66.5 percent of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of January and end of March were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $65,800. This is up from the 62.8 percent of homes sold that were affordable to median-income earners in the fourth quarter.
* U.S. Residential Loan Originations Increase 17 Percent in Q1 From a Year Ago. According to RealtyTrac’s Q1 2015 U.S. Residential Loan Origination Report, which shows that 1,551,865 loans were originated on single family homes and condos in the first quarter, down 6 percent from the previous quarter but up 17 percent from a year ago. Total dollar volume of loans originated in the first quarter was $377 billion, up 32 percent from a year ago. Refinance originations represented nearly $256 billion in the first quarter, 67.8 percent of total loan origination dollar volume, and purchase loan originations represented $121 billion, 32.2 percent of total origination dollar volume. “A dip in interest rates early in the year combined with lowered mortgage insurance premiums for FHA loans breathed some life back into the refinancing market in the first quarter,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. Full story… http://www.realtytrac.com/news/realtytrac-reports/q1-2015-u-s-residential-loan-origination-report/
* Metro Home Prices Maintain Steady Growth in First Quarter 2015. Stronger demand amidst lagging inventory levels caused home prices to accelerate in many metro areas during the first quarter of 2015, and the number of areas experiencing double-digit price appreciation doubled compared to last quarter, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors. The number of rising markets in the first quarter was mostly unchanged compared to the fourth quarter of last year, when price increases were recorded in 85 percent of metro areas. Fifty-one metro areas in the first quarter (29 percent) experienced double-digit increases, a sharp increase from 24 metro areas in the fourth quarter of 2014. Thirty-seven metro areas (21 percent) experienced double-digit increases in the first quarter of 2014.
* More Millenials Renting, But Just as Many Want to Own. Those are the two findings of an Urban Land Institute commissioned survey of Americans age 19 to 36 discussing their housing preferences and finances. Millennials, loosely defined as people born in the 1980s and 1990s, are the largest customer segment since the Baby Boomers. At an estimated 75 million to 80 million, millenials account for a quarter of the U.S. population. The trouble for the housing industry is that millenials have abstained from buying a home for longer than previous generations did at their age. “The millenials are telling us they want to own a home eventually, no different from the aspirations of their parents or grandparents,” said Doug Duncan, chief economist for Fannie Mae. “But they’re not in a hurry. They still need some income rebuilding.”
This Week in Real Estate rental rates continue to climb making buying more attractive. Will the April jobs report answer the question of when the Feds will increase interest rates: June or September? Below are a few of the highlights from the first full week of May that influence our business:
* More Consumers Positive on Housing, But Not Quite Ready to Leave the Sidelines. The spring and summer home buying season has gotten off to a stronger start, reflected in some of the improvement in consumer housing sentiment,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. The share of consumers who intend to own rather than rent their next home rebounded after a two-month slide. Meanwhile, home price growth expectations strengthened to the strongest pace since last October. “sWhen we consider both the continued caution of consumers and the positive start to the year, we believe that these results support our expectations that 2015 will be a year of modest growth in housing activity,” Duncan said. Full story… http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/about-us/media/corporate-news/2015/6248.html
* 4 Percent of All U.S. Single Family Home Sales in First Quarter Were Flips. According to RealtyTrac’s Q1 2015 U.S. Home Flipping Report, 17,309 single family homes were flipped – sold as part of an arms-length sale for the second time within a 12-month period – in the first quarter, 4.0 percent of all single family home sales during the quarter. The average gross profit for completed flips in the first quarter was $72,450, up from $65,290 in the previous quarter and up from $61,684 in the first quarter of 2014 to the highest level going back to the first quarter of 2011, the earliest where data is available. “The strong returns for home flippers in the first quarter demonstrates that there is still a need in this recovering real estate market for move-in ready homes rehabbed to more modern tastes, particularly given the dearth of new homes being built,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. The challenge for flippers in 2015 will be finding inventory to flip. Full story… http://www.realtytrac.com/news/real-estate-investing/q1-2015-u-s-home-flipping-report/
* The Cost of Renting vs. Buying? If you are renting and think you can’t afford a home… THINK AGAIN! Renting will cost you 30.1% of your income compared to buying a median home at 15.3% of your income. Full story… http://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2015/05/08/do-you-know-the-cost-of-renting-vs-buying-infographic/
* April Jobs Report Comes in Below Expectations. Employers added 223,000 jobs in April according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, below consensus expectations of 228,000. This pushed the three month average below replacement levels, and based on Federal Reserve comments before, means employment probably won’t be pulling forward expectations for a rate hike. “The strengthening in overall hiring is in line with our forecast for a moderate rebound in economic activity, though not quite the bounce-back we saw a year ago, as the economy is facing more than just transitory headwinds. With today’s report, we are comfortable with our call for a September liftoff in the fed funds rate.” Full story…
* Housing Regulator Extends Mortgage Modification Programs Through 2016. The director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates mortgage-finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said that the companies would extend for another year the deadline to participate in a pair of programs meant to help struggling borrowers. Fannie and Freddie had been set to stop allowing modifications under the programs at the end of the year, but both will participate in the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) through December 2016. FHFA Director Melvin Watt said that the FHFA wouldn’t extend Fannie’s and Freddie’s participation in HAMP again, and that he didn’t expect for there to be another extension of HARP after 2016. Full story…
AARP just released in their May 2015 Magazine Bulletin the top cities and towns for several categories. The top-10 lists are based on the AARP Livability Index, a new online tool designed to help communities better serve the nation’s aging population.
To create the index, the AARP Public Policy Institute surveyed 4,500 Americans 50 and older to determined the aspects of community most important to them. They then developed several categories around those results–housing, neighborhood, transportation, environment, health, engagement and opportunity, taking into account 60 different factors to rate communities in those categories.
The Pacific Northwest is definitely a highly-coveted place to live as compared to the rest of the country. Here’s a look at some of those categories:
This Week in Real Estate consumer optimism is reported to be at it’s second highest level since 2007. Below are a few of the highlights from the week ending May 3, 2015 that influence our business:
* Consumer Sentiment at 2nd Highest Level Since 2007. U.S. consumer sentiment rose in April according to The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s final reading. The index was 95.9 up from the previous month’s reading of 93.0. Consumer sentiment in April was at its second highest level since 2007, and was higher than the average level during the last five months than anytime since May 2004. 37% of all consumers expect personal-financial gains – the greatest share since April 2007. 58% of consumers reported favorable home selling conditions, the highest proportion since May 2006. Full story… http://www.marketwatch.com/story/as-consumer-sentiment-perks-up-the-question-of-spending-looms-2015-05-01
* Pending Home Sales Increase in March for Third Consecutive Month. Pending home sales in March continued their recent momentum, rising for the third straight month and remaining at their highest level since June 2013. The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, climbed 1.1 percent to 108.6 in March from an upward revision of 107.4 in February and is now 11.1 percent above March 2014 (97.7). The index has now increased year-over-year for seven consecutive months and is at its highest level since June 2013 (109.4). Full story… http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/04292015_pending_home_sales.asp
* It’s Official: The First Quarter Saw a Refinance Mini-Boom. A continually low-interest rate climate led to borrowers refinancing at an increased rate in the first quarter, according to a new report from Freddie Mac. Freddie Mac’s quarterly refinance analysis for the first quarter of 2015 found that 63% of the single-family loans originated in the first quarter were refinances, compared to approximately 52% for the full year 2014, according to Freddie’s data. In addition, approximately 27% of borrowers increased their loan amount when refinancing in the first quarter compared to 17% during the same time period in 2014. “We estimate that borrowers who refinanced in the first quarter will save on net more than $1.4 billion in interest payments over the first 12 months of their new loan,” said Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac deputy chief economist. Full story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/33745-its-official-the-first-quarter-saw-a-refinance-mini-boom
The housing market is showing signs of picking up again after a sluggish few months. Pending home sales rose 3.4 percent in March over February, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings.
Contracts were most on the rise in the West and South, increasing 5.7 percent and 5.6 percent in March, respectively. The Northeast saw an uptick of 1.4 percent in contracts month-over-month, while contracts in the Midwest fell by 0.8 percent.
“After a dismal winter, more buyers got an opportunity to look at homes last month and are beginning to make contract offers,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Sales activity is expected to steadily pick up as more inventory reaches the market, and from ongoing job creation in the economy.”
Pending home sales in March remained 7.9 percent below year-ago levels. While home sales are expected to rise over the rest of the year and into 2015, they likely won’t match their 2013 level, NAR reports. Existing-home sales will likely reach slightly over 4.9 million this year, shy of the nearly 5.1 million in sales in 2013, NAR projects. But with inventory shortages continuing nationwide, NAR predicts that the median existing-home price will rise between 6 percent and 7 percent this year.
February 13, 2014
By Stephen Phillips
As the first-ever post in REthink Report, let’s begin where it all starts for us at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices—the brand.
In an increasingly competitive business world, we are all searching for a sustainable competitive advantage, but it’s very difficult to find, especially the “sustainable” part. A competitive advantage might be identified, but how long can it be sustained, and at what cost?
The great promise of competitive advantage in the real estate industry over the past 15 years has been technology. The theory: Create a new, online capability and the buyers and sellers of the world will beat a path to your door. But what happens when your toughest competitor adopts very similar technology almost as soon as you do? The once-promising advantage becomes anything but sustainable. And the barriers to technology development, which have never been high, are lowering all the time. In a nutshell, technology is an arms race; it’s a battle that must be fought, but can’t be won.
So where do we look for the elusive sustainable competitive advantage? At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, the answer to that question is easy: We look to our brand. The brand is our network’s shared identity and shared image in the marketplace. It is the foremost component of our value proposition. Like all brands, ours is a promise … a promise of strength, integrity and trust in the buying and selling of real estate. And unlike technology or patented processes, our brand can’t be copied and doesn’t expire; it’s ours and it goes on indefinitely.
The essence of any brand is consistency, or meeting the promise day after day. It’s the same with a lot of things in life. A breakfast cereal must be the same each time a buyer tastes it; a pair of jeans must fit the same way every time someone tries it on. The experience customers have with us and our affiliates must be absolutely dependable. Their experience must always be consistent with the brand promise.
We feel honored and privileged to have the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand. Our brand means something very positive and powerful to consumers across the country, and with each yard sign placed or each business card handed out, it becomes better recognized and more highly respected every day. So when you think about how you are going to be competitive in the real estate industry of the future, lean on our brand. It’s the perfect sustainable competitive advantage.
STEPHEN PHILLIPS is COO for HSF Affiliates LLC, responsible for the daily operations of the company. He also serves as president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. Find him on Twitter@SPhillipsBHHS.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate makes a strong showing at the 2014 National Awards Ceremony in Nashville, Tennessee
Mike Gain, President and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate accepted the Gibraltar Circle Award for being ranked number 23 in the country representing Berkshire Hathaway and Prudential Real Estate.
“We are proud to receive this honor and to be recognized along side of some of North America’s most successful and prestigious real estate brokerages. The credit for our success belongs to our office’s great team of people, agents and staff included, who have dedicated themselves to delivering exceptional service to home buyers and sellers,” said Gain. “Our company is committed to service excellence and client satisfaction, as well as being innovators in our industry.”
Sales associates from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate were among over 3,400 real estate professionals attending the annual Sales Convention held from March 16-18 in Nashville, Tenn. They had the largest (well the loudest anyway) cheering section proving once again that the 12th man fans cannot be touched! Those in attendance gained insight from motivational keynote speakers, heard extensive market observations, and attended workshops and panel discussions, all designed to help them capitalize on the transitioning real estate marketplace.
This year’s theme – Stand Out! Live Life Loud — Recognized a strengthening market in the U.S. economy and residential real estate, and how brokers and agents acting now can grow their businesses well into the future. The featured motivational speaker at the convention was Kathrine Switzer, the first female to wear a number and run the Boston Marathon, and in so doing, changed the face of sports history forever. The conference concluded with a performance by Reba McEntire, benefiting the Sunshine Kids Foundation, an organization that supports children with cancer which raised nearly $55,000 that evening alone. Additionally in 2013 the Berkshire Hathaway/Prudential Real Estate network raised more than $1.4 million for the Sunshine Kids.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate is an award-winning, full-service real estate firm that has been serving the Northwest region for many years. The firm whose headquarters are in West Seattle has seven offices serving the “Great Northwest” with locations in Bellevue, Burien, Federal Way, Gig Harbor, Kent, Lynnwood and West Seattle. The company is headquartered out of West Seattle and employs over 400 professional real estate brokers.
“We take pride in the fact that the majority of our business and our success comes from referrals, past clients, family, friends and business associates,” said Gain.