We surveyed 20 top real estate market professionals from our network to get the skinny on what’s going down in the local housing market. This group includes experienced real estate agents, loan officers, and builders in and around Seattle. Data is a funny thing – often sliced, diced, and compiled to suit a purpose. But our goal is simple: to ask people who are well-positioned in the market to report what they’re seeing. We posed 10 multiple choice questions and one open-ended question, and we’ll do the same next month.
Here’s what they had to say…
Generally, our respondents note the traditional seasonal slow down in the market. Many homebuyers have decided to take a break from the home search to enjoy the holiday season. That hasn’t stopped a steady stream of newly arrived young professionals from persisting in their home search, however. Things are likely to pick up again around February when “natural” buyers will be kicking off their search and folks who had put the search on hold come back to the market to shop for homes. The tricky part, as noted by our friends in the field, is that there is a lack inventory and the market remains competitive as things stand. This is likely to be exacerbated in the first quarter of next year.
Most respondents expect home prices to increase over the next 3 months, and no one expects them to fall
A slight majority think market is as competitive as it was one month ago
Inventory is slightly down versus one month ago
Buyer traffic is a tad down versus one month ago
The 3rd time’s a charm: buyers need to place 3 offers to get one accepted (same as one month ago)
That said, each listing is receiving 5-8 offers (same as one month ago). If we believe these facts, then demand should be building…
1 in 3 respondents report seeing home sellers offering concessions
40% of respondents are seeing appraisals come in low (watch this space!)
As your humble correspondent heard at the grocery store check out line in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle the other night “December and January can be a great time to buy a home – there’s less competition.” The source? A young real estate agent who just had her offer accepted on her first home. “I help people buy and sell all the time…but this is my first time doing it myself!”