Home sales continue to stay strong
The local housing market remains hot — and continues to get hotter, according to May data from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.
Throughout Western Washington, both the volume of new listings and the number of closed sales showed slight gains from a year ago.
“The housing market definitely got busier in May with brokers reporting an uptick in showings, open house traffic, and offers.” said OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate Co.
While inventory has increased in many areas, there are still severe shortages of listings in some price ranges, said J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott.
For example, only 25.6 percent of listings in Snohomish County were for less than $600,000 in May.
On Camano, 49 homes sold in May, up from 37 a year ago. The median price of homes sold was $424,000, up $39,000 from a year ago.
In and around Stanwood in the 98292 zip code, 56 homes sold, up from 46 in May 2018. The median price was $431,000, up $23,000 from a year prior.
Local projects win awards
The Skagit/Island Counties Builders Association honored several local companies at its annual awards banquet May 21 at Greenfield Farm & Gardens in Anacortes.
Among the winners for projects of the year — which were judged by the Home Builders Association of Tri-Cities in Kennewick — were:
— John Piazza Jr. Construction & Remodeling of Mount Vernon won the Overall Project of the Year award for a Stanwood custom home.
— Spane Buildings won the Commercial New Construction award for the Envirotek building on Camano Island.
Windermere welcomes new agent
Blake Arnold has joined Windermere Stanwood and Camano Island. He will work primarily out of the Camano office.
Prior to joining Windermere, Arnold worked in sales and management. He attended Mount Vernon High and a Sports Medicine degree from Harding University in Arkansas. He lives with his wife on Camano Island.
“Blake brings to his clients a genuine love for the area and what it has to offer,” said Marla Heagle, owner/broker, Windermere Stanwood and Camano Island. “His professional background in customer service is extensive and his energy and passion for his work is infectious.”
Stanwood Hearing open near QFC
In early May, Stanwood Hearing owner Tonia MacPhail cut the ribbon on her new location at 9300 271st St. NW Suite B5, Stanwood, in the Stanwood Towne Center. The address was incorrect in the May 15 edition of the newspaper.
MacPhail has been a licensed hearing specialist in Stanwood for the past 12 years. For more information, visit StanwoodHearing.com or call 425-272-9435.
Nominate a business for Torch Award
Better Business Bureau Northwest + Pacific is accepting nominations for the 2019 Torch Awards for businesses who exemplify trust and integrity in the marketplace, in recognition of National Small Business Week.
More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business and create nearly two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year, according to the Small Business Administration.
To nominate a small business for the BBB Torch Awards, visit bbb-businesses.org by June 30.
Night out for ladies
Ladies Night Out offers an out-of-the-house evening for women from 5-8 p.m. the third Thursday each month along 271st Street NW in east downtown Stanwood. Numerous merchants host places to be pampered or to shop, eat, drink, mingle, laugh and relax.
Assistance for local businesses
People considering starting a business, or existing businesses, that need advice or resources can start with area economic development organizations, which offer training, assistance with business plans and information about business loans.
WSU Mount Vernon NWREC Annual Field Day
Washington State University presents the 2019 annual Mount Vernon NWREC Field Day, 3-5 p.m. Thursday, July 11, at the WSU Research Center, 16650 Highway 536, Mount Vernon.
Faculty and graduate students will host a walking tour on the nearly 150 acres of active research plots at the research center. Hear about research projects and learn how work at the Center impacts growers, consumers, agricultural businesses and local economies throughout the region. Two tractor-driven wagons will be available for non-walkers.
Featured talks this year will be on soil health, vegetable seed production and potato disease management. Additional presentations will include cider fermentation, vegetable grafting, weed management, plant insect pest management and small fruit production. Graduate students will present their projects and be available for questions and discussion. A locally prepared barbecue will follow with an opportunity to meet WSU administrators. Free; drop in.
Rule would restore OT protections
The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries has formally filed a proposed rule that would restore overtime protections for thousands of Washington workers. The proposed changes would significantly increase the minimum amount employees must earn before they can be exempt from receiving overtime pay.
Washington’s overtime rules, last updated in 1976, haven’t changed in more than 40 years. During that time, the percentage of “white collar” workers who are considered exempt from overtime and other worker protections has grown substantially. Meanwhile, the minimum amount exempt workers must earn in the state has remained unchanged. As a result, some salaried workers can be paid less than minimum wage, don’t receive overtime, and are not entitled to paid sick leave.