The Spring 2017 issue of Windermere Living showcasing residences and destinations from across the West is now available! Windermere Living is the exclusive listings magazine published by Windermere Real Estate.
While we finally saw an increase in new listings in March, there was an even greater jump in sales. Lack of supply continued to push prices to new record highs. For the fifth straight month, our region has experienced the sharpest home price increases of any major market in the country. While that may be tough news for buyers, here’s the other reality: rents in the city of Seattle have increased 57 percent in the last six years. Brokers are hoping that more sellers will jump into the market this spring to help meet buyer demand.
After setting a price record in February, the Eastside set yet another record in March. The median price for a single-family home sold in March jumped 18 percent to $870,000. The strong appreciation is reflected in this statistic: For the first three months of 2017, the number of homes sold priced at $1 million or more was up 60 percent compared to the same period a year ago. What was once considered a luxury price tag is now the new normal.
Home prices in King County are growing about twice as fast as the national average. The median price of a single-family home sold in March soared 13 percent over last year to $599,950, an all-time high. Even though new inventory was added, it was snapped up as soon as it came on the market. About 75 percent of homes sold within the first 30 days.
With just two weeks of inventory available, demand in Seattle remains as strong as ever. Packed open houses, multiple offers, and escalation clauses continue to be the norm. The pressure on inventory pushed prices here to yet another all-time high. The median price of a single-family home in the city increased 9 percent over a year ago to $700,000.
Snohomish County set a new price record for the second straight month, with the median price of a single-family home up 10 percent from a year ago to $425,000. Supply is very limited, with just over two weeks of available inventory. Buyers looking for some relief from King County’s hefty housing prices are adding to the competition for a limited supply of homes.
Thinking about selling your home? With inventory at historic lows, prices at or near record highs, and multiple offers common, it’s a perfect time to list your home. Here’s why:
1) The market significantly favors sellers.
Last month, 53.6% of homes sold in fewer than 15 days. And 39% of homes sold for over asking price.
2) Experts believe interest rates are on the rise. Higher interest rates decrease the amount buyers can pay for a property- and decrease your profits.
The median price for a home sold on the Eastside is $803,500. At today’s interest rate of 4.2%, that would equal a monthly mortgage payment of $3,929. If interest rates increase just a half a percent to 4.7%, that same monthly payment allows a buyer to purchase a home worth just $757,400. The bottom line: As interest rates increase, your pool of buyers decreases.
3) Historically, February through June is the period when supply vs. demand favors sellers more than the rest of the year.
It takes time to get a home ready for sale. To take advantage of the peak season for sellers, you need to get started preparing your home now. I can advise you on what you need to do, and I have a team of trusted professionals who can get it done.
Are you ready to sell your home? Contact your Windermere Real Estate broker and they will prepare a valuation of your home based on current market conditions, walk you through the process, and answer any questions you may have.
The supply of homes for sale in April was up over March, indicating that more sellers are deciding to list their homes. But with less than a month of inventory available in the area, it’s still a seller’s market. While prices were up over last year, the increases aren’t as lofty as they were in the first quarter of this year. Buyers looking for affordable housing continue to push their search outside the more expensive urban cores.
At $730,000, the median price of a home on the Eastside was up 11 percent over last year. That figure was down slightly from February and March, suggesting that prices may be moderating. Competition for homes has not moderated. Brokers continue to report homes on the Eastside selling very quickly and often for over asking price.
After breaking records for home prices in February and March, King County reached a new record-high in April. The median price of a single-family home was $540,000, a 12 percent increase over the same time last year. The more affordable areas in the south and north ends of the county saw the greatest increases, with home prices climbing almost 20 percent in these outlying areas.
Seattle continues to have the tightest inventory of homes in King County. An influx of young, well-paid technology workers has fueled demand for homes close to the city. The median price of a single-family home increased 15 percent over a year ago to $637,250. But like the Eastside, that number was down slightly from February and March.
Snohomish County posted more moderate price gains than King County. The price of a single-family home increased just 4 percent over last year to $375,000, down from a median of $385,000 last month. With prices here a third less than in King County, some buyers are willing to trade a longer commute for a more affordable home.
With more people competing for fewer homes, it can be frustrating to be a home buyer. Here are some tips that can help you gain an advantage and get a home that you love.
1) Get ready to compromise. Separate your needs from your wants.
In a competitive market, most buyers will have to compromise on location, amenities or condition of the home. Make a list of your must-haves and features you’d like (but can live without), and prepare to be flexible.
2) Get pre-approved for a mortgage.
With many buyers now offering cash, it’s critical to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start looking at homes. If financing is needed, sellers prefer conventional loans to FHA or VA loans.
3) Be ready to move fast.
With homes selling within days – or even hours – you can’t afford to wait on a decision. If you see a house you like, be ready to act on it that day.
4) Work with an agent who is a great negotiator.
Your agent needs to do much more than just write up an offer. A good negotiator can find out what terms are most important to the seller, and write an offer (and maybe additional counter-offers) that best meet their needs.
5) Find creative ways to make your offer more appealing.
Every seller has their own wish list. It may be a large earnest money payment, or they may want to stay in the home a few months after the sale. A savvy agent can use that knowledge to sweeten your offer and give you an advantage over other potential buyers.
You don’t want to navigate this frenzied market without the best possible representation. Contact a Windermere broker to help you get the home you want at a price you can afford.