Welcome To The New Year…

By all accounts, our high-flying real estate market cooled a bit during the second half of 2018. Buyers took a hiatus, fed up after years fighting a heavily tilted seller’s market. As a result, homes at all price points took longer to sell, driving inventory higher and prices lower. The good news is that depending on your specific neighborhood, despite the grim reports of rapidly falling prices and coming market crashes, your property’s value probably finished the year about even with where it was a year ago. Across the Eastside, the median price of a single family home in December 2018 was down 3% vs. a year earlier. For Seattle the median price was up 2% for the year.

As we work our way through January, the anecdotal “evidence” indicates that the real estate market is emerging from its 6-month funk. (That’s a technical real estate term!) Working with both buyers and sellers since the first of the year, I’ve noticed increased activity and pace in the market. Buyers are returning and writing offers and new listings are hitting the market, which increases buyer interest and contributes to the improving cycle. In just the past two weeks I have encountered a couple of multiple offer situations and more recently I’ve come across two new listings with “offer review dates”. Neither of these scenarios were common during the second half of 2018.

I don’t like to make sweeping predictions…but maybe just this once. I think we’re heading for an active spring that will feel more like a healthy, balanced market than anything we have seen in years. There will be enough inventory to give buyers a choice of homes to visit and bid on, without the steep price appreciation or the crazy bidding wars of the past few years. The market is smart, however, and will remain very efficient. This year both buyers and sellers will have to be on their games.
Let me know how I can help.

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