Windermere’s local economist, Matthew Gardner, does a great job of monitoring and reporting on the economic health, trends and real estate related information in our region and breaking out specific areas too. See the info link below for the latest updates. Our region continues to experience record job and population growth, leading the country for the past full year. While it has created many issues in finding homes to rent or buy, it has also helped create great wealth for those of us currently owning a home and/or investment properties in the region.
It seems likely we’ll have another reasonably strong year for market activity but not with the degree of appreciation we’ve seen for the past 2 years. While some property types and homes have had 35% + appreciation over the past 2 years, the prognosis is for only 5-8% appreciation in 2018. This could mean the first half of 2018 will be the last opportunity to sell in to a strong market. I’m not expecting prices to fall in any near term basis but we’ve been seeing price flatten for most of the area since June and the spring will likely be the last spike up in pricing. If you want to capture this, it may be time to work on your home projects and be ready to come on the market by February to get the best exposure and strength of market conditions to work in your favor.
Buyers will likely find continuing upward pressure on interest rates but will also find prices leveling off as the summer arrives. At least that’s what my crystal bald head seems to be seeing. Let me know if I can help you with any planning or specific market conditions affecting you.
Enjoy this report from Windermere's Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, on economic and real estate changes. If you don't see the hyper link, hover on "this report" above to go to full report.
The main takeaways to me are that our dramatic decline in available homes for sale in the King & Snohomish areas are finally showing declines in sales. Not surprisingly, this is putting more upward pressure on prices with King County up 13.6% from Q1 2015 and 10.7% in Snohomish County. In some neigbhorhoods and price ranges prices are up almost this much from Q4 2015.
Continued job growth and inbound migration are the major driving forces for the demand on housing; something that will continue with more renters coming back into the buying market. Rental rates are seeing a slow diwb in increases but are still on the upswing, especially for 2+ bedroom options and closer-in areas. Near record low interest rates are also driving demand as buyers try to capture the 3.5-3.75% rates avaiable for 30 year mortgages and even less for 15 Year or adjustable rate programs.
Bottom line: home sellers are doing very well on selling their homes but should obtain advice on selecting the best offers to close successfully. Buyers are needing better guidance on how to structure and present their offers but also need to plan for patience and frustratsion as multiple offer situations are the norm and with 12-25+ offers for any home for sale, even very good offers are struggling to succeed in the current market.