Market Update Time


It's that time of year again. The school year is well under way, the weather is turning, and the leaves are falling. It's the time of year you just want to get under a warm blanket and drink something warm.

Interestingly, the real estate market in Seattle and the Eastside echos the fall sentiments.

Our market place is quite cyclical, and this season is no different. When the Spring comes and the sun is shining brightly, so is the activity of the buyers and sellers. But when the fall comes, and we've settled into the colder weather, the real estate market cools as well.

In the "hot market" season, when a home goes on the market - if priced correctly - there are multiple offers on a home, and the home's sales price rises and rises with each escalated offer. With the limited inventory that we've been experiencing, buyers have fought very hard to earn the winning bid - which is emotionally taxing and can cause buyer fatigue.

Most sellers do not put their houses on the market this time of year. Those that do often need to sell their home because of a change in their jobs, a change in their family structure, or some other unforeseen circumstance. It's not that their home won't sell, it's just not the ideal time. Although there is limited inventory, the time to get the best price on their homes, historically, is the Spring and Summer.

But sellers that put their homes on the market this time of year need to adjust their expectation. They hear about their neighbors getting high sales prices on their homes. And although that is true, it's just not as likely to happen this time of year. Yes, you will sell your home, but there's been a shift recently. Offer review dates are coming and going without multiple offers, and in some cases - no offers at all. Where there were once 10 offers on a home - maybe there are only a couple of offers. Fewer offers mean fewer price escalations.

Homes are sitting just a little bit longer on the market - even with the reduced market inventory. Available inventory is down 12% from the same month in 2016.

Even though there is reduced inventory, the seasonal shift can be good for buyers. Buyers that were unsuccessful in purchasing during the high season of selling (March - August) may just have a chance in getting a home. There's not as much competition. Some buyers are just tired of losing out over the hectic Spring/Summer season and have decided to stay put. So the buyers that do persevere have a bit more of a chance to win the bid. There's a little bit more negotiation going on. It's a far cry from a mutual market - it's definitely still a sellers market - just less so this time of year.

Also, it's not to say that the price of homes is going to be diminishing any time soon. Although there are fewer homes on the market, the overall homes under contract is higher from the same time last year.

This goes for closed transactions as well. The homes that have closed have risen 15% from closed sales in 2016.

The net of this market snapshot is: lower inventory, but fewer offers meaning buyers have a better chance to win a bid and overall price increases year over year.

I expect that for the next several months, we will see this trend continue.

What are you experiencing in the real estate market?

Statistics for this blog were provided by NWMLS.

Kristin Bushnell is the Designated Broker of Bushnell Real Estate Solutions and Co-owner of Bushnell Craft Brewing Company in Redmond, WA.

If you are ever interested in chatting about real estate, contact me at kristinbushnell@gmail.com or call me at 425-559-1355. I'll buy you a beer, and we can chat about real estate until your heart is content.

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