Many now realize that it is a great time to buy a home. Today, we want to look at why it might also be an opportune time to sell your house. Here are the Top 5 Reasons we believe now may be a perfect time to put your house on the market.
1.) Demand Is High
The most recent Existing Home Sales Report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed a 17.2 percent increase in sales over July 2012; sales have remained above year-ago levels for 25 months. There are buyers out there right now and they are serious about purchasing.
2.) Supply Is Beginning to Increase
Total housing inventory last month rose 5.6% to 2.28 million homes for sale. This represents a 5.1-month supply at the current sales pace, compared with 4.3 months in January. Many expect inventory to continue to rise as 3.2 million homeowners escaped the shackles of negative equity in the last 12 months and an additional 1.9 million are expected to enter positive equity in the next 12 months. Selling now while demand is high and before supply increases may garner you your best price.
3.) New Construction Is Coming Back
Over the last several years, most homeowners selling their home did not have to compete with a new construction project around the block. As the market is recovering, more and more builders are jumping back in. These ‘shiny’ new homes will again become competition as they are an attractive alternative for many purchasers.
4.) Interest Rates Are Rising
According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have shot up to 4.57% which represents a jump of more than a full point since the beginning of the year. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison projecting that rates will continue to climb.
Whether you are moving up or moving down, your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your next home.
5.) It’s Time to Move On with Your Life
Look at the reason you are thinking about selling and decide whether it is worth waiting. Is the possibility of a few extra dollars more important than being with family; more important than your health; more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?
You already know the answers to the questions we just asked. You have the power to take back control of your situation by putting the house on the market today. The time may have come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire. That is what is truly important.
Published: Friday, July 5, 2013, 12:01 a.m. in The Herald
Arlington Music in the Park: Free performances, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursdays, Aug. 1 through 22, Terrace Park, 809 Fifth St., Arlington; 360-403-3448, www.arlingtonwa.gov/recreation.Aug. 1: Knut Bell and the Blue Collars
- Aug. 8: Darrel Mansfield
- Aug. 15: The Ride
- Aug. 22: Arlington's Blues Playground
- The concerts will conclude from 1:30 to 3 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 31, with Ali Marcus, a Seattle based song writer, at the Arlington Farmers Market at Legion Park.
Bothell Music in the Park: 6:30 to 8 p.m., Fridays, July 5 through Aug. 23 at North Creek sports field No. 3, 11905 North Creek Parkway; www.ci.bothell.wa.us.
- July 5: Mach One Jazz Orchestra
- July 12: Cherry Cherry
- July 19: Spazmatics
- July 26: Chance McKinney
- Aug. 2: Danny Vernon as Elvis
- Aug. 9: DoctorFunk
- Aug. 16: Creme Tangerine
- Aug. 23: Blues Power Revue (Blues Brothers tribute)
Bumbershoot: End-of-summer arts and music showcase, Aug. 31 through Sept. 2, Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St.; details at www.bumbershoot.org.
Chateau Ste. Michelle Summer Concert Series: Outdoor concerts, Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, 14111 NE 145th St., Woodinville. Tickets at wine shop or through Ticketmaster, 800-745-3000; www.ticketmaster.com. 7 p.m. showtimes unless otherwise noted. Details at www.ste-michelle. com.
- June 15: Live Broadcast: A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, 2:45 p.m., $50 to $85
- June 29: Steve Miller Band, $60 to $110
- July 7: "Girls Night Out!" with Pat Benatar, $55 to $85
- July 13: Chris Botti, $50 to $80
- July 15: Counting Crows with The Wallflowers, 6:30 p.m., $70 to $110
- July 18: David Byrne and St. Vincent, $70 to $95
- July 27: Chateau Ste. Michelle Festival of Jazz Sax, 4 p.m., $50 to $80
- July 28: Gipsy Kings, $50 to $90
- Aug. 2: Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, $60 to $100
- Aug. 8: Gladys Knight and The O'Jays: Family Reunion, $60 to $100
- Aug. 9 and 10: Harry Connick, Jr., 7:30 p.m., $70 to $120
- Aug. 24: Chris Isaak, $55 to $90, VIP available
- Aug. 25: 1964 The Tribute (Beatles), see website for details.
Darrington, 13th annual Summer Meltdown Festival: Multiday festival Aug. 9 to 11 at Whitehorse Mountain Amphitheater, 42501 Highway 530, Darrington; Festival admission and camping details at www.summermeltdown.com.
Darrington Bluegrass Festival: 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, July 19 to 21. Darrington Music Park, three miles west of town on Highway 530. Weekend admission $45 before July 1, $50 after plus $25 camping fee per RV or tent. Daily admission is $15 Friday and Sunday, $20 Saturday; ages 12 and younger free with adult; 360-436-1006; www.darringtonbluegrass.com.
Edmonds Summer Concerts in the Park: 3 to 4 p.m. Sundays, July 14 through Aug. 25 at City Park, Third Avenue S. and Pine Street; free; 425-771-0228; www.edmondsartscommission.org. Concerts canceled at 2:30 p.m. in the event of rain.
- July 14: The Spyrographs, hits of the 60's
- July 21: Seattle Shakespeare Co./Wooden O, "The Tempest" (1 hour, 45 minute performance)
- July 28: Gypsy Soul, Americana/pop music
- Aug. 4: Around the Sound Community Band, instrumental favorites
- Aug. 11: New Age Flamenco, world fusion music
- Aug. 18: Smilin' Scandinavians, polka
- Aug. 25: The Weavils, bluegrass
Edmonds Hazel Miller Plaza concerts: noon to 1 p.m. for Tuesday shows and 5 to 6 p.m. for Thursday shows; Fifth Avenue S. and Maple Street; free.
- July 11: The Whateverly Brothers, vocal folk trio
- July 23: Folk Voice Band, international folk songs
- July 25: Terry Holder Duo, Americana/folk rock
- July 30: Roberto the Magnificent, comedy/juggling stunt show
- Aug. 1: Bill Anschell, Brent Jensen & Chris Symer, jazz
- Aug. 6: Ali Marcus, singer/songwriter
- Aug. 8: Thornton Creek, indie rock
- Aug. 13: Rick Huddle, pirate songs and stories
- Aug. 20: Jeff Evans, magic
- Aug. 22: Scott Lindenmuth, classical guitar
- Aug. 27: Toy Box Trio, classical music with a carnival flair
- Aug. 29: Alma y Azucar, diverse Latin standards
Everett Children's Concert Series: Free outdoor shows, 10 to 11 a.m. Thursdays, July 11 through Aug. 22, Thornton A. Sullivan Park, 11405 Silver Lake Road; enjoyeverett.org.
- July 11: Not-Its! danceable hits
- July 18: Tim Noah, Emmy-winning northwest favorite
- July 25: Caspar Babypants, toe-tapping tunes
- Aug. 1: Eric Herman & the Thunder Puppies, cool tunes for kids
- Aug. 8: Recess Monkey, kid pop rock
- Aug. 15: Rolie Polie Guacamole, indie tunes for kids
- Aug. 22: The Brian Waite Band, rock 'n' roll
Everett Pacific Chamber Orchestra Summer Concert: 3 p.m. June 9 at First Presbyterian Church, 2936 Rockefeller Ave.; 425-743-0255; www. pacificachamberorchestra.org.
Everett Thursday night waterfront series: Free outdoor concerts, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays, June 27 through Aug. 29, Port Gardner Landing, 1700 W. Marine View Drive; enjoyeverett.org.
- June 27: The Wild Snohomians, original Americana/roots rock
- July 11: LeRoy Bell and His Only Friends, X-Factor finalist, rock'n soul
- July 18: Dusty 45s, honky tonk, blues and swing
- July 25: Eldridge Gravy and Court Supreme, funk and soul
- Aug. 1: Massy Ferguson, rock with a twang
- Aug. 8: Ayron Jones & the Way, blues rock trio
- Aug. 15: The Randy Oxford Band, trombone blues
- Aug. 22: Sirsy, indie rock duo
- Aug. 29: Carlos Cascante y su Tumbao, salsa and jazz
Everett Port Gardner Landing Saturday evening waterfront concerts: Free outdoor concerts, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturdays, June 30 through Aug. 25, Port Gardner Landing, 1700 W. Marine View Drive; enjoyeverett.org.
- June 29: The Mark DuFresne Band, Americana roots and blues
- July 6: The Lucas Cates Band, pop, rock, country, punk
- July 13: LoCura, flamenca with funk and salsa
- July 20: Yogoman Burning Band, ska, reggae, soul and blues
- July 27: Chance McKinney, country/folk
- Aug. 3: Luc & the Lovingtons, world music
- Aug. 10: Bump Kitchen, blues and funk
- Aug. 24: Seattle Women's Jazz Orchestra, jazz, Latin and Brazilian music
- Aug. 31: 20 Riverside, rock and hip hop
Everett Port Gardner Landing waterfront Concert: Free outdoor concerts, 2 to 4 p.m. Sundays, June 30 through Aug. 25, Port Gardner Landing, 1700 W. Marine View Drive; enjoyeverett.org.
- June 30: Eugenie Jones, soulful jazz
- July 7: Dixie Kings, dixie jazz band
- July 14: Br'er Rabbit, Americana
- July 21: Harmonious Wail, Americana Gypsy jazz
- July 28: Impossible Bird, upbeat alternative-folk
- Aug. 4: Reilly & Maloney, Northwest folk duo
- Aug. 11: Victor & Penny, pop
- Aug. 25: Amir Beso, Balkan flamenco fusion
Everett Sets in the West: An emerging artists series, 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, July 10 to Sept. 11, Wetmore Theater Plaza, 2710 Wetmore Ave., everettmusicinitiative.org, free.
- July 10: Shelby Earl with Preacher's Wife
- July 17: Kithkin with Pollens
- July 24: Hot Bodies in Motion with Panama Gold
- July 31: Fly Moon Royalty with Radio Raheem
- Aug. 7: Campfire OK with Horde and the Harem
- Aug 14.: The Comettes with Candysound
- Aug. 21: The Grizzled Mighty with Eternal Fair
- Aug. 28: River Giants with Curtains For You
- Sept. 9: Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band with Learning Team
- Sept. 11: Head Like a Kite with I Will Keep Your Ghost
Lake Stevens Music on the Lake: Free concerts, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays, July 11 through Aug. 15 at North Cove Park, behind City Hall, 1812 Main St.; 425-334-1012; www.ci.lake-stevens.wa.us.
- July 11: Last Leaf Productions: Shakespeare
- July 18: Red Desert Ramblers, bluegrass and swing
- Aug. 1: Camille Bloom, indie artist
- Aug. 8: U.S. Army Cover Band or TBA
- Aug. 15: Big Luv Band, classic rock
Langley Concerts in the Park: Free performances, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursdays, July 18 through Aug. 8, Community Park, 5495 Maxwelton Road; concessions available, picnics welcome; 360-221-5484; lineup at www.swparks.org.
Marysville Sounds of Summer Concert Series: 7 p.m. Thursdays, July 11 through Aug. 15 at the Lions Centennial Pavilion in Jennings Memorial Park, 6915 Armar Road; free; 360-363-8400; www.marysvillewa.gov.
- July 11: Shameless Hussy, rock and roll, blues
- July 18: The Wild Snohomians, roadhouse/Americana
- July 25: Kellee Bradley band, singer and songwriter
- Aug. 1: Big Luv Band, classic rock
- Aug. 8: Jenny and the Blue Moon Boys, Americana soul
- Aug. 15: H3O Band, rock and blues
- June 19: Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley and Stephanie Marley, featuring the Ghetto Youths Crew and The Green, 6:30 p.m., $40.50
- Aug. 4: Pink Martini featuring China Forbes, 6 p.m., $45 to $75
- Aug. 6: Sublime with Rome, featuring Iration, 6:30 p.m., $39.50
- Aug. 10: 107.7 The End's Summer Camp, noon
- Aug. 13: Daryl Hall & John Oates, 6 p.m., $45 to $65
- Aug. 15: Steely Dan, 6:30 p.m., $55 to $115
- Aug. 23: Willie Nelson and Family, 7 p.m., $45 to $65
- Sept. 24: Furthur featuring Phil Lesh and Bob Weir, 6 p.m., $59.50
Mill Creek Summer Concert Series: 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays in July and August at The Forum in the Mill Creek Town Center, 15310 Main St.; www.millcreektowncenterbiz.com.
- July 3: Cherry Cherry (Neil Diamond tribute)
- July 10: Borrowed Time: The Music of Sty
- July 17: Ventura Highway, acoustic music of the '70s
- July 24: Cascadia Big Band, big band jazz
- July 31: Dynamite Limbo, music of the '50s, '60s and '70s
- Aug. 7: Just One Look (Linda Ronstadt tribute)
- Aug. 14: 3 Miles Hig, alternative rock with electric violin
- Aug. 21: Wings N Things: The Music of Paul McCartney
- Aug. 28: Sly Mr. Y, rock from the '70s and '80s
Mill Creek Summer Children's Concert Series: Wednesdays, July 24 through Aug. 14 at Library Park, 15429 Bothell-Everett Highway, Mill Creek; free, but non-perishable food items accepted; www.cityofmillcreek.com.
- July 24: Brian Waite Band
- July 31: Nancy Stewart
- Aug 7: Buck and Elizabeth
- Aug 14: Tia Quackertunes
Monroe, Evergreen State Fair: Grandstand entertainment, Aug. 22 through Sept. 2. Evergreen State Fairgrounds, 14405 179th Ave. SE.; www.evergreenfair.org.
- Aug. 26: The Oak Ridge Boys, 7 p.m. $22 to $32
- Aug. 27: Brantley Gilbert, 7:30 p.m., $32 to $55
- Aug. 28: 3 Doors Down, 7:30 p.m., $32 to $55
- Aug. 29: TBA
- Aug. 30: Mercyme, 7:30 p.m., $25 to $37
Monroe MusicFest: 6 to 10 p.m., Sept. 7, Lake Tye Park, 14964 Fryelands Blvd, Monroe; $20, kids 12 and younger free; www.monroemusicfest.com.
Monroe Thursday summer concerts: Lake Tye, 14964 Fryelands Blvd, Monroe; free; www.choosemonroe.com.
- July 18: The Hitmen, classics
- July 25: Black Vinyl All Stars, rock cover band
- Aug. 2: Creme Tangerine, Beatles tribute band
- Aug. 9: Cloverdayle, country duo
Seattle Peace Concerts: Free concerts, noon to 6 p.m. Sundays, various Seattle parks; www.seapeace.org. Food bank donations accepted.
- June 16: Lower Woodland Park shelter 1, Aurora Avenue N. and N. 59th Street
- June 30 and Sept. 22: Gas Works Park, 2101 N. Northlake Way
- July 14, Aug. 11 and Sept. 8: Magnuson Park beach area
- July 28 and Aug. 25: Volunteer Park, 1247 15th Ave. E.
Tulalip Amphitheatre: Concerts start at 7 p.m., July 6 through Sept. 7; concerts for ages 21 and older; tickets on sale at www.ticketmaster.com or at the Tulalip Resort Casino; www.tulalipcasino.com.
- July 6: Go-Go's and B-52's, from $25
- July 21: Gretchen Wilson, from $25
- July 28: Peter Frampton and Kenny Wayne Shepherd, from $30
- Aug. 15: Sammy Hagar, from $35
- Aug. 18: Melissa Etheridge, from $25
- Aug. 25: Foreigner, from $30
- Sept. 7: Doobie Brothers and America, from $35
Shoreline Summer Concerts in the Park: 7 p.m. July 10 through Aug. 28 at various locations in Shoreline; free; rain or shine; www.shorelinearts.net.
- July 10: Shaggy Sweet, pop and rock, at Animal Acres Park
- July 17: Seattle Shakespeare Company "The Tempest" at Richmond Beach Library Park
- July 24: Creme Tangerine, a Beatles tribute band at Cromwell Park
- July 31: Downtown Mountain Boys, bluegrass at Animal Acres Park
- Aug. 7: Impossible Bird, indie rock, at Richmond Beach Library Park
- Aug. 13: Shoreline Jazz Camp Student and Faculty Ensembles, part of the North City Jazz Walk
- Aug. 21: Carrie Clark and The Lonesome Lovers, folk and Americana, at Cromwell Park
- Aug. 28: Entertainment TBA at Shoreline City Hall Courtyard
The Gorge: Outdoor concerts, Gorge Amphitheatre, 754 Silica Road NW, George. Tickets through LiveNation; 800-745-3000; www. livenation.com. These 2013 dates were confirmed at press time:
- May 24 through 27: Sasquatch Festival, check for ticket availability.
- June 8: KUBE 93 Summer Jam
- June 28 and 29: Paradiso Festival
- July 5 and 6: JamBase Live Festival
- July 20: John Mayer: Born and Raised Tour 2013
- July 26 and 27: Phish
- Aug. 2 through 4: Watershed Festival with Toby Keith, Brad Paisley and other country musicians
- Aug. 24: Black Sabbath
- Aug. 30 to Sept. 1: Dave Matthews band
- Sept. 14: Zac Brown Band
- Sept. 28: Honda Civic Tour with Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson
White River Amphitheatre: Concerts at various dates and times, 40601 Auburn-Enumclaw Road, Auburn; 877-598-6659; www. livenation.com. These 2013 dates were confirmed at press time:
- June 15: Vans Warped Tour
- June 20: Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bad Company: The XL Tour
- June 29: Last Summer on Earth with Barenaked Ladies, other bands
- July 3: Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival
- Aug. 14: Train: Mermaids of Alcatraz Tour
Zoo Tunes at Woodland Park Zoo: June 23 through Aug. 23; tickets at www.zoo.org/zootunes.
- June 23: John Prine, singer and songwriter, $32.50
- June 30: Old Crow Medicine Show, Americana string band, $32.50
- July 7: Huey Lewis and The News, pop, rock, $39.50
- July 17: John Hiatt and The Combo, singer and songwriter, $28
- July 24: An Evening with Randy Newman, singer and songwriter, $28
- July 26: Leann Rimes, country, $32.50
- July 30 and 31: Indigo Girls, folk-rock duo, $28
- Aug. 7: Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, jazz, funk, soul and rock, $26
- Aug. 11: Todd Snider's Traveling Folk Show, $24
- Aug. 15: Loreena McKennitt, singer and composer,$32.50
- Aug. 22 and 23: Brandi Carlile, folk, $39.50
Summer is a great time to get out and explore our great community with your kids! Click here for some great ideas on where to go to make the most out of your summer free time!
Published: Friday, June 7, 2013
By Kurt Batdorf
New listings rose from 1,258 in May 2012 to 1,564 this May, an increase of 24 percent, but total active listing volume of 1,777 single-family homes and condos was still down by more than 25 percent year over year, Northwest Multiple Listing Service data released June 5 showed.
“There are still homeowners who want or need a higher equity position in order to sell their home, so they may continue to wait and watch,” said Dan Gunderson, broker with Windermere Everett.
That reluctance helped drive up median prices for homes and condos across the county by more than 16 percent, from $245,000 to $285,000. Median prices in the Bothell-Clearview-Maltby area were the highest in the county at $400,000, up 23 percent from $325,000 last May.
Closed sales rose from 1,000 to 1,310 units, an increase of 13.1 percent.
“We currently have significantly less inventory of bank-owned and short-sale properties,” Gunderson said. “New construction is currently about 15 percent of the inventory and we would like to see it at 20 percent. Supply is certainly a driver of the increased property values. Affordability, low interest rates and the job market in this region are contributing to the increased value as well.”
Ed Wendling, with Wendling Real Estate Services at Windermere Real Estate GH LLC in Edmonds, noted a number of drivers in the continuing price run-up.
Distressed properties, defined as short sales or lender-owned, accounted for 39 percent of closed sales at the end of the first quarter of 2013, down from 48 percent of the total market in 2011, Wendling said.
“Nondistressed sellers have the choice to sell, but many fear with the low inventory they will be unable to find a good replacement home and could be caught in the cold if their home were to sell quickly,” he said.
There is another segment of sellers who are on the cusp of being solvent with their home’s value.
“They are not delinquent and have strong desire to move but would have to bring money to closing in order not to be short,” Wendling said. “This would not allow them the necessary down payment for their next home so they need to sit on the sidelines waiting for home prices to rise.”
Across the rest of the 21-county Northwest MLS service area, inventory showed signs of improving with the addition of 11,445 new listings during May, the highest number since April 2010. May’s total outgained the year-ago figure of 9,861 new listings for a 16 percent improvement.
The increased inventory is “cooling some buyers,” said George Moorhead, managing broker at Bentley Properties in Mill Creek and a member of the MLS board of directors.
“We also have buyers who are stepping back as they are frustrated with current inventory and multiple offers going well above asking price,” he said.
That shows in the county’s MLS numbers of pending sales for May. They fell from 1,579 homes and condos to 1,487, a decrease of 5.8 percent.
“It has been refreshing to see more listings coming on the market, but with overall inventory remaining low, the competition among buyers is still fierce for homes that are priced properly,” said Northwest MLS director Kathy Estey, the managing broker at John L. Scott in downtown Bellevue.
Well-priced homes continue to draw multiple offers and sell at a brisk pace around Western Washington as buyers react to recent upticks in interest rates and asking prices, MLS brokers said.
“The economy has picked up to a level allowing home owners to feel financially secure,” Wendling said. “Together with the lack of inventory, pent-up demand and interest rates at historic lows, still below 4 percent, there are simply more buyers than sellers.”
Moorhead said increased activity is noticeable, with mixed outcomes.
“We are seeing multiple offers at 5 to 12 percent over list price in highly sought after areas,” he said. “But there are other homes on the market that are not selling, with no real reason why.”
Estey said recent interest rate increases are “adding fury to the already frenzied buyers who must finance their purchase.”
Federal officials have downplayed rising interest rates. In a recent interview, Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, addressed the issue.
“While this may slow some of the refinance momentum, rates are nonetheless low and home-buyer affordability high, which should further aid home sales and construction in coming weeks,” he said in a published report. “The rates are also lower today than they were a year ago at this time.”
Kurt Batdorf: 425-339-3102; firstname.lastname@example.org.
EVERETT — It’s 2007 all over again for the local real estate market as antsy buyers rush to buy what’s left in a dwindling supply of homes for sale.
Northwest Multiple Listing Service members notched their highest volume of new listings since June 2011, but the additions did little to ease inventory shortages. Brokers also reported the highest volume of pending sales since May 2007, along with anecdotes of bidding wars.
“Multiple offers have become the new normal,” MLS director Diedre Haines, the Snohomish County regional managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain, said in a news release issued May 6. “We have literally gone off the charts in absorption.”
The 4.46 percent dip in pending sales in Snohomish County “is all due to lack of inventory,” she said.
Active listings were down 38.46 percent compared to April 2012, extending a trend that started in January 2012.
Haines also reported low appraisals remain a problem as appraisers struggle to keep up with the fast-paced activity and increasing values.
Northwest MLS figures support Haines’ observations. Brokers added 1,349 new listings for single-family homes and condos to Snohomish County inventory during April, up from 1,263 units in April 2012, but that activity was outpaced by sales. MLS members reported 1,500 pending sales, trailing the 1,570 pending sales of one year ago.
Median prices on sales of homes and condos that closed in April surged from $236,817 in April 2012 to $275,000, an increase of 16.12 percent. Half of homes were sold for more than $275,000, half sold for less.
Southwest Snohomish County saw the biggest median sales price increase, jumping from $238,500 in April 2012 to $305,600, an increase of 28.13 percent.
The story was the same in the other 21 counties the MLS covers: New listings, pending sales, closed sales and prices rose compared to 12 months ago, but inventory continued to shrink.
Through four months, closed sales are outperforming year-ago totals for same period by nearly 3,000 transactions. Haines believes the increase is an indicator “that lending restraints are beginning to ease and there are fewer and fewer short-sale transactions being processed.”
Several factors are contributing to a “recipe for a frenzied May real estate market,” said John Deely, another member of the Northwest MLS board of directors and the principal managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain in Seattle.
“The market pace has not subsided from previous months with low inventory and low interest rates being the primary drivers,” he said.
Also fueling the frenzy is the already fast pace of the market, news reports touting healthy price increases locally and nationally, positive job growth and record highs for the stock market, Deely said.
Prices will continue to rise as current market conditions of historically low interest rates, pent-up buyer demand and a shortage of available inventory are sustained, predicts J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate.
Whether the market becomes more balanced may depend on listings. Northwest MLS figures show every county in its service area had year-over-year gains in new listings during April.
“Let’s hope this is the start of a positive trend for inventory,” said Mike Grady, the president and chief operating officer of Coldwell Banker Bain. “But considering the overall market landscape, it’s likely there won’t be enough sellers to fill buyer demand, at least for the short term.”
To accommodate demand, builders around the state appear to be ramping up their activity. Figures from the Building Industry Association of Washington show a surge in permit activity for January, its most current reporting period, when the number of permits more than doubled from a year ago, from 969 to 2,213.
Kurt Batdorf: 425-339-3102; email@example.com.