Seattle Spring Market is in Full Bloom

by Debra Hamilton.

The spring market is here and in full bloom in the Pacific Northwest. All the Realtors I talk with are seeing the same thing I am - that inventory is down and homes are "flying off the shelves", so to speak. I was at a continuing education class last week and all the agents there were talking about bidding wars, escalation clauses, and waiving appraisals - really?! On the other side of the coin, the night before one of the local news stations was reporting that the housing market still isn't out of its slump here and "someone somewhere" was predicting prices here to fall another 1 - 1.5%. I'm thinking it must depend on what price range you are shopping.

What I know for sure is I'm working with home buyers who are qualified to buy homes, and we are out shopping for those homes in their respective price ranges. Even in this competative climate we are finding the right home for them - that makes all the running around worth it!

So, is now the right time to buy? I tell my clients, "I don't know what the market will do in the next 3 to 5 years. If I had that crystal ball, I would share that information (and be a very wealthy woman!)" However, I can read economist predictions and look at past market trends to get an idea of how long the lows stayed around before turning around the last few times. Seattle real estate always runs in cycles. Based on what I'm seeing, I'd say that if you're buying today, you should plan on being in your home at least 5 years to start realizing some appreciation. Not too long ago you probably only needed to be in your home 3 years in order to break even with the amount you paid for closing costs, but it's a more competative market now.
Debra Hamilton helps Seattle real estate clients find homes for sale in Seattle and surrounding communities.