What a difference a couple of months can make in the housing market. In May, inventory levels were still at record lows and many homes were getting multiple offers. As previously reported, the Seattle area has seen the largest home price increases in the country for the last 20 months in a row, according to Case-Shiller data. With the median house price at $812,500 in Seattle and $978,000 on the Eastside, we are at a tipping point where record-high home prices, overly optimistic sellers and buyer fatigue have converged. The total inventory of homes listed for sale has now grown for three straight months on a year-over-year basis, suggesting a new trend. Redfin data showed 32 percent of homes across the region had price drops last month, up from 27 percent a year ago and the highest for any June since the company started tracking in 2012.
What does this mean for sellers and buyers? Sellers need to be more realistic about the value of their home and shouldn’t expect to get multiple offers or offers with Escalation Clauses significantly over the asking price.
Buyers will likely have more homes to look at in their preferred price range and area and may encounter less competitive multiple-offer situations.
While the frenzied market and bidding wars may have slowed down for now, well-priced homes in top condition are still getting a great response from the market and selling quickly, so buyers should be prepared to be proactive once they find the right home.
As we move towards a balanced market, it allows buyers to catch their breath and sellers to move off their ‘happy hopeful price’ to a realistic home price based on sound principles of valuation.
Smart home sellers and home buyers will engage the services of an experienced local real estate professional to help them navigate today’s changing market.
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