Your Winter Real Estate Strategy and Why Now?

Pssst….hey buyers….this is it. Now is the time before interest rates hike up, before other buyers come out of the woodwork, and while sellers are feeling ready to sell before the New Year. Let’s talk more about how you can carpe diem in Seattle. Winter is usually a great time to buy for a number of reasons, but this winter is an especially opportune time. Below are both my thoughts on the advantages of buying in winter as well as additional information about what you need to know about THIS winter homebuying season:

·       Fewer buyers in the market – With the holidays, travel plans, and just getting back into the swing of things in the new year, buyers generally don’t get back out there until after January is in full swing. Fewer buyers means less competition!

·       Motivated sellers seeking year-end resolution – As buyers’ attention turns to celebrations and other things, sellers may be worried about what the decrease in buyer traffic means for the sale of their home. They may be ready to make a deal and move onto their next step before the calendar changes to 2019 or at least have an offer in-hand with a plan to celebrate spring in a new place.

·       Everyone wanting to close – It is human nature to have business dealings wrapped up by the new year. I find lending, title, escrow, and the real estate working professionals are ready to make that happen.

There are three additional very compelling reasons to buy this winter in-particular:

1.     Inventory – Nationally, the number of houses for sale has been on the rise since the spring. In fact, reported that in September, new listings had increased 8% year-over-year nationally and total listings in the 45 largest markets are were up 6% on average over last year. Homes that were selling very quickly earlier in the year are staying on the market longer. Sellers are motivated to get their home sold and although they aren’t taking just any offer, they are more willing, in general, to play the game and work with buyers.

2.     Stabilized Pricing – Because of the inventory rise, prices aren’t increasing the way they were. However, they aren’t retreating at this point either. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, the national median existing single-family home price in the third quarter was $266,900, which is up 4.8% from the third quarter of 2017 ($254,700).

3.     Interest rates – Interest rates are expected to break the 5% barrier in the next few months and continue their upward march. According to Freddie Mac, the average 30 year fixed rate interest rate was 4.94% for the week ending 11/15/18. On a $300,000 fixed rate mortgage at 4.75%, the monthly payment for principal and interest payment is $1,564.94, at 5.0% it is $1,610.46, and at 5.25% it is $1,656.61. Why not get more for your money by buying before interest rates go up even more?

If you are considering a purchase in the next few months, I would be thrilled to help you get the most for your homebuying dollar. Reach out!