Fences & Flowers

The CB Bain Blog

On a super cold day in Seattle, I can’t think of anything more heart-warming than to sip some hot drinking chocolate or a double macchiato at Chocolati Café on 45th Street in Wallingford, or Wallyhood, as the neighborhood’s fondly known. You can peer upon the passersby, bundled up against the unseasonably low temps, from the 2nd story windows while your hands are kept warm around your mug.

Dramatic changes in our local real estate market continue. Yes, it’s a new year, but will home prices go up or down? Will buyers come back or stay on the sidelines? Will sellers continue to flood the market or put the brakes on, once again constricting available inventory? The truth is - we don’t yet know.

Sheryl Crow sang, “Everyday is a Winding Road” and the Beatles mused about traveling home on a “Long and Winding Road”. In the 80’s even Eddy Grant soloed about “Electric Avenue”. Our culture is filled with songs about streets, avenues and roads. Homes that are located on these passageways each have a different aspect to them. As I show houses to clients, I am enamored with some of the wonderful roads I travel on. The roads that lead to our houses are an extension of who we are and represent what our homes mean to us. They are the passageways to the dream of home ownership.

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.



Subscribe to Updates

Recent Posts