News that hits us where we live.
January 2015 | Market Activity Remains Steady
Real estate brokers around Western Washington experienced a strong finish to 2014. December was one of the best Decembers on record, outpacing the same month a year ago by double digits!
Home prices climbed nearly 5.5% from a year ago, rising from an area-wide median selling price of $420,000 to last month's figure of $443,000. That matches the price reported for October's sales, a figure that was only surpassed in July when the median sales price overall was $446,000.
Buyers are taking advantage of new low down payment loan programs and mortgage rates. It’s much easier for purchasers to qualify for a loan now than it was just a few months ago. The 3% down payment loans are finally back for qualified purchasers, allowing more first-time buyers to break into homeownership.
Prices, interest rates, and rents expected to continue rising, so anyone thinking of buying a home should do it early in 2015.
Inventory is tight in several neighborhoods across Western Washington, increasing the competition among buyers. There were 4,367 new listings added to inventory during December, about the same as a year ago when members added 4,333 homes to the selection. At month end, there were 17,659 homes and condos for sale. That's down nearly 8.1 percent from the year-ago inventory of 19,214 active listings.
Buyers in the current market are serious about making a purchase and are well educated regarding price. Sellers should bear in mind the importance of a top-notch appearance and condition of their home to obtain the best and highest price.