Coming out of March, the real estate market in Seattle was undoubtedly experiencing the spring uptick that is expected as we head into warmer months. Given the unexpected snow, and limited mobility, experts were hesitant to project what kind of spring market we would see in 2019. The most recent data released at the beginning of April by the Norwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS)put many experts at ease, but still nervous to make any concrete predictions on market stability or volatility.
APRIL MARKET DATA
Buyers are coming out at rates faster than sellers were expecting, with fairly priced homes receiving multiple offers and short market times. While this is reminiscent of the beginning of the market craze that took hold of Seattle for two years, buyers and sellers appear wary of repeating the same cycle that sent Seattle into a market correction at the close of 2018.
The added uncertainty of market data from February, kept experts guessing on what type of market to expect in Spring and still has them hesitantly projecting. Despite the questions hovering around the data, the numbers from March are largely positive across the region.
Overall listings on the MLS surged to 10,516, the highest number on the MLS since August of 2018. Year over year prices for March is up an average of 3.5% in the Puget Sound Region, except King County, which was actually down 0.4%. Low-interest rates are also giving buyers extra incentive to get out and shop the new inventory, and pushing supply levels back to lower, but still healthy levels. Pierce, Snohomish, King, and Kitsap are all sitting below 2 months of inventory.
HEATON DAINARD’S MARKET IMPACT
Within our own sales, we were able to close on 10 properties in March, displaying an increase in sales from previous months. Coinciding with MLS experts, we cannot definitively predict what we expect the market will do in conjunction with our own listings. However, we have not experienced a slow down in sales, even during the market correction. Within our own data, our listings and average days on market remained relatively consistent despite outside factors. There is a strong market for affordable homes priced correctly for the specific location’s housing market. Home buyers in the market right now are working with favorable federal interest rates and looking to buy before the summer market craze. Utilizing accurate comparables, and up to date market data, single family homes are selling if they are priced correctly.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR INVESTORS?
For investors looking at buying a new property, this market data is a bright spot after months of uncertainty. Additional outside factors are keeping buyer pools strong. Low interest rates, and a strong economy is supplying a pool of buyers at multiple price points. Amazon’s announcement of office expansion to the Eastside could provide an opening for investors to look outside of hot spots and transition into new areas with different investment opportunities. The Seattle City Council recently passed upzoning in a variety of neighborhoods opening up options across the region. Investors looking to diversify their portfolios and jump into multi-family investments have an entirely new network of options, in areas that were previously unappealing.