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New: Seattle Real Estate News: What To Expect for 2020

Posted on Dec 13, 2019


Seattle Real Estate News: What To Expect for 2020

What’s on your gift list this year? If this list includes a new home, it’s not too late to reach out to Pickett Street (info@pickettstreet.com or (425) 502-5397).

To help you get started, here’s a quick real estate news update for the Seattle area.

It’s a seller’s market.

Just when it seemed that the wildly hot, competitive Seattle market had cooled, November brought a few real estate surprises. According to the Seattle Times, “the number of closed home sales in King County rose by nearly 12% compared to the same time last year.” These sales mostly include higher-priced homes, although the general real estate market seems to be tipping toward sellers as well.

Additionally, with a small new tax cut for home sellers in 2020, it might be wise to remodel, sit on your home for a bit longer, and sell in the new year.

On January 1st, the state’s excise tax will change.

Washington currently applies a flat 1.28% excise tax is applied to all home sales. This means that home buyers pay 1.28% of their home’s total closing price.

However, due to the recent state excise bill, this rate will change to a tiered tax—homes over $1 million will be taxed at 2.75%, for example, while homes over $3 million will be taxed at 3%. Homes under $500,000 will be taxed at 1.1%.

This change in state taxes may be behind November’s increased sales for higher-priced homes. If you’re interested in buying a home that will be affected by 2020’s new tiered tax, we suggest taking the leap and buying now, before the new year!

Mortgage rates rose.

In early December, the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased to 3.73% from 3.68%. (The 30-year mortgage rate was 4.63% one year ago.) The average rate for a 15-year mortgage rose from 3.14% to 3.19%. Financial experts that these rates will hold fairly steady, but increase slightly in 2020.

Seattle invests a record-breaking amount into affordable housing.

Earlier this month, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced that the city will spend $110 million to build nearly 2,000 more affordable housing units. These buildings in the Central District, First Hill, and Capitol Hill will be designed for communities such as seniors, low-income workers, and people experiencing homelessness.

In other, less serious news, checkout this swanky Belltown loft, this modern makeover for a 1910 Tudor mansion, and the loveliest senior living community.

For more real estate news and guidance, contact Pickett Street at info@pickettstreet.com or (425) 502-5397.

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