NWReporter logo
Serving More Than 25,000 Real Estate Professionals in the

August 2015

News in Brief

  • The rate of homeownership for King County's 25-to-34 year-olds is the lowest since the Gold Rush era. Among county households headed by someone in that age group, just one out of four own their home.

  • A report by WalletHub suggests that there are 86 major cities that are better to drive in than Seattle. WalletHub claims Seattle is the 87th worst major city to be a driver, and Seattle did better than just 13 other cities in terms of traffic. WalletHub used 21 metrics, including the average gas prices, traffic delays, car theft, and road conditions. Seattle did even worse in the road condition category, falling in at 94 - just behind the city with the worst roads - New York.

  • In another report by WalletHub, Washington has the third "least expensive energy" in the country behind Colorado and the District of Columbia. The website compared the total monthly energy bills in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, examining the consumption rates and prices of four energy types: electricity, natural gas, motor fuel and home heating oil. Keep in mind that lower prices don't always equate with lower costs, as consumption is a key determinant in the total amount of an energy bill.

  • According to a report by the Seattle Times, Washington's average annual wage grew 4.2 percent from $52,619 in 2013 to $54,829 in 2014. That was the largest percentage increase since 2007, representing a rise in average weekly wage from $1,012 to $1,054.

  • Consumer prices in the Seattle area rose in March and April, largely due to higher prices for gas and shelter. Seattle-area consumer prices rose a non-seasonally-adjusted 0.9 percent for the two months ending in April, and increased 0.4 percent since April 2014.

  • About 7.3 percent of the average home owner's total income goes toward energy costs. WalletHub recently compared the total monthly energy bills in 50 states and the District of Columbia, ranking states based on several metrics including consumption and prices of various energies. Washington state ranked #3 as the least expensive energy states, behind #2 Colorado and #1 District of Columbia. The most expensive energy state is Connecticut.

  • Media reports indicate that Seattle is outpacing not just other cities but even its own suburbs, and it is expected to see an influx of another 115,000 new jobs and 120,000 new residents over the next two decades. Two of the largest loans (or at least CMBS loans) nationally in 2015 were made to Seattle - $125 million and $123 million, according to data from CrediFi.

  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has announced that its Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule will take effect October 3. The TILA-RESPA rule is expected to have sweeping changes on the real estate industry by merging the HUD-1 Settlement Statement, the Good Faith Estimate, and the Truth-in-Lending disclosure form into two new closing forms: a Loan Estimate and a Closing Disclosure. The new rule also aims to provide consumers with more time to review the total costs of their mortgage prior to closing. Then Loan Estimate form is due to consumers three days after they apply for a loan, while the Closing Disclosure form is due three days prior to closing. The original start date for the new rule had been set for August 1, but after receiving feedback from lawmakers as well as real estate and mortgage industry officials, the agency decided to postpone the start date until after the traditionally busy summer real estate season.

  • The total amount of time consumers spend on smartphones has surpassed PCs, with more than 50 percent of all digital time now spent on mobile devices, according to data from MarketingLand.com. Time spent with digital media has increased to 5 hours and 38 minutes a day, with 2 hours and 51 minutes of that time spent on mobile.