Happy New Year! I have a good feeling about this one. What are you most excited for in 2019? What are you choosing to focus on? Pickett Street’s Margaret Smith is jumping into the new year with her focus word “relentless.” I’m attempting to incorporate less car time and more walking in my daily routines—wish me luck.
If your New Year goals involve buying or selling a home (or simply thinking about these decisions!), take a look at 2019’s real estate forecast outlined below. Make sure you also reach out to Pickett Street (firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-502-5397) for information about your best real estate options.
1. The housing market will slow, but stabilize.
While some experts predicted that the 2018 tax bill would cause the housing market to slow, the Washington Post asserts that so far “the limitations on mortgage-interest and property-tax deductions haven’t had a negative impact.” Instead, real estate experts anticipate that the market will slow in 2019 due to rising mortgage rates and the current government shutdown.
Experts also say, however, this slowing down is not a complete standstill. According to the National Association of Realtors, “The forecast for home sales will be very boring — meaning stable.”
2. Seattle’s home prices will continue to drop.
The Seattle Times reports that “the median house in Seattle is nearly $100,000 cheaper than last spring,” and housing prices should continue to level during the first half of 2019. Additionally, in even some of the city’s pricier areas, such as Queen Anne/Magnolia and Capitol Hill, home prices have dropped over $170,000.
The Seattle Times adds that the area’s wild housing market over the past few years has cooled due to increased inventory. “Sellers are more willing to be flexible on pricing, even after a short time on the market,” one real estate agent notes. “It’s much more of a conversation at this point.”
This shift in King County has also occurred in Snohomish County. Snohomish housing inventory has doubled in the past year, while home prices in this area have increased just 4.5 percent, the smallest increase in two and a half years.
However, most real estate experts also predict that the Seattle area market will only stay quiet for the first few months of 2019. Come spring, the season’s normal real estate frenzy, with multiple offers and hikes in home prices, should return.
This forecast means that the next few months are a great time for home buyers. For all the sellers out there: if you’re worried about the lack of buyers right now, don’t worry too much, as the market should pick back up in the spring.
3. Seattle’s new plan will improve affordable housing.
The City Council’s new upzones plan should help the city maintain affordability while continuing to grow. This plan allows developers to build one or several stories higher. It also requires developers to devote 5 to 11 percent of their projects to low-income apartments or pay $5 to $32.75 per square foot in fees.