Talk is Cheap. So Let’s Talk…

As you may have noticed, the widely published and often quoted S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index numbers for July were released yesterday, and they bear out what we all knew. Namely, that real estate prices in our area continue to rise at ridiculous rates…at least for now. According to Case-Shiller, for the month of July the Seattle metro area saw a 25.5% year-over-year increase in single family home prices. This compares to a robust 19.95% increase nationally, and only Phoenix and San Diego grew faster among the 20 cities tracked in the index.

For those so inclined, here’s an interactive tool that lets you compare the numbers and see 5 and 10-year trends for any of the 20 markets tracked in the index. Just to clarify, Case-Shiller monitors repeat sales in 20 of the largest metro areas based on a 3-month rolling average. Their methodology increases accuracy but takes a bit longer, which is why the data lags by a couple months and we’re just now seeing numbers for July.

Market snapshots like this can be joyful or daunting, depending on where you are – or want to be – in the market, but either way a big grain of salt and some additional analysis is probably in order if you are considering a move. As an example, Case-Shiller includes King, Pierce and Snohomish counties in their analysis of the Seattle metro area. That takes in everything from Tacoma to Everett, which is a pretty broad brush in a business that is hyper local. So, as part of any decision-making process make sure you consult with someone who can get you detailed information on exactly what to expect in your neighborhood, or the one you are looking to move to. Even in this fast-moving market, mispricing your home or making flawed assumptions about what you can afford can be costly mistakes.

Obviously, these rising prices look great for sellers who may be getting ready to cash in on years of appreciation. It’s a little more complicated if you’re looking to sell and either trade up or downsize. If that’s your situation don’t be paralyzed by sticker shock when considering the price of your next home. Instead, dial in your numbers and focus on the difference between the price of the home you are selling and the one you want to buy. This may help restore your sanity.

As always, the key to good decision making is to work with accurate, actionable information. So let’s make sure you’re working with REAL numbers that are relevant to your specific situation. This will give you the clearest look at all your options, including some you may not have considered. In addition, your wish list for a potential move might just synch up with a buyer I know of or a property I know will be coming on the market. I have upcoming listings that are not quite ready for prime time, and I know of buyers who are currently looking for properties ranging from starter homes to waterfront estates. A quick conversation can get a lot of puzzle pieces on the table, and you’d be surprised how easily they can come together in a transaction that works for everyone.

The numbers are the numbers, but this business is ultimately about talking. Let’s talk!

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