‘Dynamic’ housing market enters pre-summer phase

A real estate snapshot from John L. Scott Real Estate.

By Erin Flemming

Special to the Record

Though it may feel like spring has just begun, when looking at the six phases of the housing cycle – New Year kickoff, spring market, pre-summer, summer market, fall market and winter market – April concluded the spring market. Karen Lindsay, a managing broker and branch manager of John L. Scott’s Bellevue-Issaquah office, said April was a bit slower versus the previous month, but the market is still dynamic, with new listings heading into May and June’s Pre-Summer phase.

In the city of Snoqualmie, homes for sale and pended in the month of April were up over 2018 numbers, going up 68.5 percent and 32.1 percent, respectively. While sold homes in April are down from last year, Lindsay said she thinks May will be a good month for home sales. She added that buyers are entering the marketplace with more confidence, and strategic pricing is a must to attract the attention of buyers.

“Pricing a listing at market value is extremely important if a home seller wants to sell in the first three weeks,” Lindsay said. “After three weeks, the chances of obtaining a premium price drop dramatically, as do the chances of receiving multiple offers at once. If priced competitively when it first goes on the market, the home attracts attention and is more likely to have buyers compete to buy it, which will naturally bring up the final selling price.”

Just in time for Earth Day on April 22, the National Association of Realtors released findings from a national survey of its members focused on eco-friendly home features. A majority of those surveyed said clients were interested in energy-efficiency and sustainable housing features. The report also detailed ways sustainability is influencing real estate, from solar panels to commute lengths.

While the Pacific Northwest is known as a particularly “green” area of the country, Lindsay said in the local market, affordability tends to be higher on the priority list for most buyers. However, first-time and millennial home buyers are usually drawn to homes that tend to be considered more eco-friendly.

“Millennials are more conscious of sustainability and tend to gravitate to more contemporary design, which lends itself to more sustainable products and materials like concrete counters or bamboo floors,” said Lindsay. “Larger homes, with more space to heat and grounds to maintain, are not as important these days to first-time homebuyers. A home’s proximity to amenities such as light rail and bus lines, that enable commuting without cars are a draw for younger purchasers.”

For many homeowners, an interest in all things green can extend to front and back yards. Sunny days make for great gardening weather, and carefully planned out landscaping can not only make a home look great, but also potentially increase value for possible buyers. Lindsay said hiring landscaping help or developing a green thumb can pay off when looking to sell.

“I think street appeal is essential if you are planning on selling your home, and a nicely landscaped lawn with well-kept plants and flowers is a big part of that,” Lindsay said. “To show well to buyers, especially in a hopping spring market, a ‘manicured’ look is always more appealing than overgrown or messy.”

More in Business

Eager buyers plentiful but choices were meager

The real estate market by the numbers for December 2019.

A new decade begins with low inventory in housing market | Real Estate column

A monthly real estate snapshot by John L. Scott Real Estate.

Decreased inventory for buyers in local real estate market

A monthly real estate snapshot by John L. Scott Real Estate.

Boeing Renton plant to halt 737 Max production

Suspension expected to begin in January

Business alliance serves women of African diaspora in King County

Nourah Yonous launched the African Women Business Alliance in 2017 to find ways to lift women up.

Bob Toomey
Lessons in long-term planning from an anniversary

A column from a financial adviser.

Winter chill settles into real estate market

A monthly real estate snapshot from John L. Scott Real Estate.

Why the month of October has bad business reputation

A monthly business column by Mercer Island financial adviser Bob Toomey.

Snoqualmie real estate market transitions into fall

A monthly real estate snapshot by John L. Scott Real Estate.

Music and financial planning

A monthly financial advice column from S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.

Change to U.S.-backed condo loans comes as summer market wraps up

A monthly real estate snap shot by John L. Scott Real Estate.

Courtesy photo
                                Mercer Island financial adviser Bob Toomey recently summited Mount Shasta in California.
Financial success and mountaineering | Business advice

The steps to achieving financial success mirror mountain climbing.