“Marti, what do you think will happen with real estate prices this year? Is it the right time to buy (or sell)? What should I do?”
Hands down, those are the questions I get most often from clients who want to make the next move their best move.
And it’s not hard to understand why.
If you’re selling, you’re hoping for another year of record price appreciation … and another year of record low inventory. When those two things occur, it’s a perfect storm for sellers, who will net the highest possible dollar when they sell.
Buyers, on the other hand, want to see the exact opposite. They want to time their purchase when the market is in their favor, so as to increase opportunities and keep their costs as low as possible.
As much as I wish I controlled those things, I don’t. But I can share with you not just my opinion, but that of our company’s chairman, J. Lennox Scott.
Here’s what we think you can expect in 2018:
- We’re going to continue to be in a “seller’s market”. Expect to continue to see low number of homes for sale (at least through March), which means multiple offers may continue to be the norm for desirable homes.
- Prices in areas close to job centers will likely rise by 8% over 2017 levels. This would certainly apply to my market area of Kent, Covington, Maple Valley, Auburn and Renton.
- By late spring, more homes should come on the market. If you’re thinking of selling, listing earlier in the year might mean a higher sales price for you. And if you’re a buyer, you can be hopeful that more opportunities will exist for you at that time.
- Interest rates will rise, but not dramatically. Right now, rates are in the low 4% range. Those are anticipated to be in the mid 4% range by the end of the year. Although low in terms of a historical perspective, even slight increases in rates can have an impact on a buyer’s ability to qualify for the home of their dreams.
- The luxury market, at least for homes priced under $5 million, is expected to continue to be strong. However, the luxury market could be impacted negatively by the recently signed tax reform.
- Outside of the luxury market, the impact of the tax reform will be minimal. I’m not an accountant or financial planner, so please be sure to contact a professional tax advisor to get information about your specific situation.
How can I help you navigate the 2018 housing market?
As the market will continue to be challenging in high-demand areas, buyers should do the best possible job of preparing themselves to compete in this market. If you’re considering a purchase, let’s talk. I want to help arm you with every possible advantage.
Sellers, you’re still in the driver’s seat (at least for now). However, there are things you can do to maximize your returns – even in a market where you have the upper hand. If selling your home is in the cards for 2018, let me share the strategies my clients use to net top dollar for their homes.
Call/Text/Email – whatever you prefer! I’m looking forward to hearing from you!