I cannot go anywhere without someone asking me “……so how is the market”. Well after a nice break with family over the holidays I can tell you with certainty that the real estate “switch” has since been turned back on. Just days into the year and I feel like I need another vacation! That is ok, I am really bad at relaxing anyway and love real estate.
Some takeaways from the early days of 2020:
- 10+ offers on a Kirkland house last weekend. Many buyers waived all contingencies and the sale price escalated more than 6%. The house was priced correctly, not artificially low. This is not an anomaly and I have talked to other brokers with similar stories the first week of the year.
- Today I listed a condo in downtown Bellevue and less than 4 hours many brokers and potential buyers already toured the unit. Two are threatening to make an offer. I expect it to sell in a matter of days.
- I showed a client several homes on the Eastside and two of them are pending in 48 hours. Both of them were listed in 2019 and did not sell, but sold immediately in 2020.
- I have spoken to more people than usual about their new year’s real estate plans (aka resolutions) in just the first days of the year. Normally it takes a month or two for so many of these conversations to occur.
- Interest rates continue to be near record lows and making the national news. There is also good news in the local media about housing and employment.
- There continues to be a lot of confidence in our market with such strong growth plans from some of the world’s most admired companies.
- Many buyers that have been sitting on the sidelines are jumping in the market. 2019 was the year of the first time buyer…..and the trend in 2020 it will be quite similar.
Price appreciation generally happens in the 1st Six months of the year and prices are expected to increase ½ to 1% per month in the first Six months of 2020. If the estimates are correct, then:
- Buyers should try to buy sooner than later (assuming they find what they want and can comfortably afford the monthly expenses).
- Sellers may be able to wait and gain the ½% to 1% per month but there are downsides:
- Can life wait to get the 3% to 6% appreciation? If moving locally that seller can still gain appreciation on the next home.
- Competition from other sellers will increase as the year goes on. Historically Spring has the most listings.
- World events, stock market crash, or interest rate increases can change the real estate market nearly overnight