2019 is here! The holidays flew by and with the New Year here we are looking at an ever-evolving housing market to keep an eye on. The end of 2018 and holidays did not slow down my business and I had the pleasure of closing on four homes which included closing on a house (purchase) with a financing contingency in just 14 days from mutual acceptance! I know for me this is going to be an exciting spring and I’m already helping a number of clients prepare to list their homes in the coming weeks and months. It’s never too early to seek advice on what you might or might not want to do in order to prepare your home for the market so if you’re contemplating selling in the future (near or far) don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions. For the home buyers out there, with the greatly increased inventory we’ve been seeing coming on the market in the last 6 months, I’m happy to setup search criteria for you in the MLS so we don’t miss your dream home as more and more homes come on the market. This will be even more important because if current trends continue we may see this area switching to a more balanced market by late spring. Now that I’ve teased what may be coming down the line for the Puget Sound and Seattle area real estate market, let’s dig into the data and trends.
Northwest MLS statistics for January show year-over-year improvement in the volume of new listings
and total inventory, along with moderating selling prices. The core 4-county areas (King, Snohomish, Pierce, and Kitsap) covered by the NWMLS saw a slight decrease in pending sales with 5,484 in January 2018 compared to 5,472 for the same month this year. For King Count specifically, we saw an increase of 13% more listings compared to this time last year, with a total of 2,591 single-family listings (condos included) hitting the market last month.
Now here is another interesting fact for King County after the January 2019 market data was reported by the NWMLS. As I’ve been writing about inventory and days on the market was increasing quarter over quarter in 2018. We have now over doubled the months of inventory in King County for January 2019 compared to a year ago. Last January we were looking at .92 months of inventory compared to 2.34 months in the same month this year. While that’s a big increase to keep an eye on, a “balanced” market is considered to be in the 4-6 months of inventory range, so we’re still on the seller side of things.
Overall what I think we’re seeing now and will continue to see into the spring is a large influx of buyers who may have been frustrated with the multiple offer bidding wars of 2018, and are now interested in finding a home in a market that is becoming more favorable to buyers via an increase in inventory. At the same time we’re looking forward to increased inventory across the board, we will still see multiple offer scenarios in hot neighborhoods.
Now that I shared some thoughts on how the market is looking this winter, I will close with some tips on how buyers can best position themselves for a successful offer. There is a lot more to the process than just submitting an offer and getting it accepted so always feel free to contact me with any buying or selling questions.
How I best help my clients meet their home buying needs:
- Review Needs/Wants: I sit down and listen to your needs and wants. This helps me define MLS search criteria to find the highest combination of wants.
- Assess Areas Of Interest: I ask what is most important such as schools, features, or other amenities if we ever need to compromise and to make sure to assess those as part of your search.
- Setup Property Showings: Once we’ve defined your criteria and areas of interest, I will send you listings and we can go looking together! You are always welcome to send me what you like too.
- It is always best to get pre-qualified so that you are ready to submit a strong offer when we find your dream home. Check out the Home Affordability Calculator for a ballpark payment figure you’re comfortable with and then contact a lender of your choosing; or I’m always happy to recommend good lenders I have worked with in the past.
- What To Expect In The Process: The most important thing is for you to understand what to expect going through the process and to get your questions answered. I communicate regular updates on where we are and keep track of all actions needed so no steps are ever lost. The updates are communicated via phone, email, or text – whatever you prefer.