Fences & Flowers

The CB Bain Blog

These last 5 months have seen dramatic changes in the real estate market in the
Puget Sound region. Home prices are down, mortgage interest rates are up, equity
has been lost. Fortunately, for homeowners, equity continues to increase year over
year, though it has slowed its rise. Buyers also have increased leverage when
putting in an offer.

Whether a first-time buyer, millennial, a busy “Gen-Xer” or a downsizing Baby Boomer, condominiums fit the needs of many. Generally, a condo is a building that contains a number of individually owned units. In the past, a home owner may have chosen a condo because it fit their financial needs. Today, price and low maintenance, make a condominium very appealing. Whether because of life style or price, home buyers are looking at condominiums more and more, because they fit the unique needs of today’s home owner.

These days, when listing a home for sale, a seller will have a choice of either reviewing offers as they come in or all at once on a specified future date. While reviewing at a later date may seem like the correct choice in this market that favors sellers, there are factors to consider before that choice is made. Although one method may seem like the better option, both have their merits.

Home price increases are beginning to cool in Seattle and surrounding areas. With any big shift in the market, we often wonder what the future holds. We also wonder: What affects housing price to begin with?

The higher real estate prices moved in Puget Sound these past couple of years, the more concerns grew that we were climbing closer to the peak of our market. Last June, those concerns materialized. Here are just some of the possible factors that catalyzed our region toward a sense of balance…yes, that’s market balance:

On first look, the early half of 2018 may seem like a broken record, with more of the same. No inventory and a high number of buyers. However, believe it or not, the real estate market is on a rollercoaster ride. It may be one of those kiddie rides at the fair, but nonetheless, there are some ups and downs taking place. In this mid-year market update, we’ll discuss the King County real estate market patterns through the first half of 2018.

Data, measurements, statistics, calculations. The different terms for real estate stats seem endless. You may hear these descriptions, but what use are they really and how are these numbers relevant to your transaction? One form of calculation is called the Absorption Rate. Also known as “the months of inventory based on closed sales,” it is a way of knowing how much time it would take to sell the homes currently listed. By using this form of calculation, you can determine whether it is a seller’s or buyer’s market. Studying the Puget Sounds’ low Absorption Rate will enable those selling to maximize their potential in today’s real estate market.

In Seattle, where median home prices jumped $20,000 in a single month to $777,000, homebuyers are beginning to consider whether a home’s aesthetics and functionality warrant its purchase price. Sellers are also feeling the pressure of competition where it’s becoming necessary to pay for neglected repairs, consider minor renovations, apply a fresh coat of paint and stage the home appropriately in the hopes of attracting a hoard of buyers.

These days, you can’t seem to go anywhere without someone talking about real estate values. A common discussion of how much value a homeowner’s house has gained can be heard at most any get together or neighborhood Starbucks. With the press constantly writing about the real estate market, these discussions can be quite competitive. Depending on where you live in King County, last year, your value may have increased between 10-20 percent. While someone living in Seattle has seen some of the largest gains in the country, the rest of King County has also benefited from our region’s demand. But how has the rest of King County increased compared to Seattle, and is the big city really the big winner in this value battle?  

Late boomers, like myself, are busy people. We’re still raising kids or about to send them off to college. Many of us are at the apex of our careers or juggling fast-paced schedules at home for everyone in the family. Adding to the fever pitch, we’re often already caring for aging parents.



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