We hope your New Year is off to a wonderful start. Our phones are ringing, and we're enjoying hearing about our clients plans for buying, selling, investing, remodeling and refinancing in 2019... we can already tell it's going to be a great year.
Before we talk more about 2019, let's look back on what happened in 2018 by looking at the 'Big Three' stats: Price, Inventory & Interest Rates
Prices were up 1.7% in King County from December 2017 to 2018 ($586k to $596k, median price of houses + condos). Performing even better, Snohomish County was up 7.8% over the past year . Over the last 3 years, both counties have seen 33% growth in value! So, if you've owned your home for more than a couple of years, you have substantial equity and a great financial tool whether you are saving for retirement or looking move up/down/around the area.
We saw the biggest changes in 2018 with Inventory rising from 0.8 to 1.7 months in King County, and 1.0 to 1.6 months in Snohomish county over the year - these are similar to 2015 when inventory levels were 1.3 and 1.8 months respectively. Overall, any inventory levels below 3 months are considered a 'Seller's Market', however since we've been at sub-1.5 month inventory levels for months leading up to Q4 2018, this Seller's Market is likely going to feel a bit less strong than the statistics would indicate. This is isn't necessarily a bad thing, as it frees up some tools for those looking to move so long as you can negotiate well.
One of the causes of the slowdown in the market in 2018 was the rise of mortgage interest rates. In December 2017, they averaged 3.99% which is about where they were at 3 years ago. Today, mortgage rates average 4.55% and peaked in late Summer at 4.94% which put strain on affordability for some buyers - especially when you consider every 1% rise in interest rates can diminish buying power by up to 10% for home buyers. It's important to keep in mind, these rates are historical low with average mortgage rates in the US over the past 50 years being 8.08% and over the last 30 years being 6.38%. So, while it feels like rates are high - they are just higher, not high when put in the context of history.
Well, we are growing and intend to help more buyers, seller, investors and homeowners in 2019 with our expanding team of brokers and professionals. 2019 will be an amazing year, where we will be building our systems to help our clients make the most of their homes & investments, while streamlining the transaction process so you are better informed and empowered to reach your goals.
What are your real estate related plans for 2019?
Buy? Sell? Invest? Remodel? Refinance?
We can help you with all of these from answering your questions to planning & executing strategies to get you what you want. Give us a call, send us an email or text or smoke signals... whatever works best for you. We look forward to hearing from you, and doing our part to making your 2019 the best year yet.