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The Puget Sound Real Estate Market Has Changed

October 15, 2018

So what does that mean for you? First, let’s see where the market has been.

We have been trending overwhelmingly as a sellers’ market since 2012, and our prices have reflected that.  For all of King County we have not had a month where we had two month’s inventory available. For most months, we have had less than a month’s inventory in King County, which means that buyers had to compete for homes, and we had multiple offers on many homes.  We were selling most homes in a week, and buyers were consistently offering more than the asking price to win a home. It’s been crazy out there!

Now, in King County we have 2.8 months of inventory on the market, and things feel different. 

We are taking longer to sell homes, and the list price and condition are more important than they were.  We are selling some homes at the list price, but buyers are often offering less than list, and we are generally getting just one offer per home.  The good news is that prices are still up from last year, and we’re not expecting much more of a decline. There are so many people moving here for our great economy and plentiful jobs, and they all need homes, so our market should stay strong. 

For single family homes in King County our median sales price is still up 6.9% over September 2017, but we can’t expect prices to rise like that at this point. For condos the median in September is still up a whopping 11.6% over September 2017! But if you were waiting for the top of the seller’s market, we were there in May of 2018.  After things settle out, our price increases should be much more reasonable going forward, rising at tortoise speed rather than rabbit speed.

What does all this mean for you?  Probably not very much! If you need to move, we can still sell your home. We are still in a sellers’ market, but it’s just not as strong as it was a few months ago.  We can still get a lot of money for your home. We can’t predict the timing of your sale as easily as we could a few months ago, when homes were typically selling in a week.  It’s important to use comparable homes that have sold very recently when figuring out your current market value, as prices are down some from spring 2018. The thing to keep in mind is that the best time to sell is when you want to make your move, and not to plan on timing it with the market, as we just don’t know what the future will bring.  And when is it the best time to move? Perhaps when your house feels overwhelming, or you can’t take care of it the way you want for one of your most valuable assets. Or when you feel like making a move!

If it is that time, let’s talk over possibilities.  Everything in real estate is very local, so all the numbers above are averages.  Your street in your neighborhood may be doing much better than average, or not. Let’s pin it down for you!

Mindy Garner is an expert in senior real estate

Mindy Garner
Coldwell Banker Bain, Managing Broker