The Reality of a Record-Breaking Market
Month after month, the Seattle housing market continues to shatter records — and April was no different. Not only are property prices sky-high in the city, but home prices throughout all of the counties that surround Seattle are rising higher than ever before. In King County, the median sales price has reached heights of more than $600,000 for the first time, while the median price of an Eastside home is $900,000 — a jump of more than $150,000 in a 12-month period.
For home sellers, this is great news. They are already listing their property in what has been dubbed by the Seattle Times as the hottest market in the country. And the best part? There's no end in sight.
Breaking record after record sounds like cause for celebration, but in Seattle, the reality of this all-star market is much different for some. There's an increasingly large gap between the price of homes and the number of homes on the market. This is leaving many buyers, as well as real estate experts, frustrated as they try to invest in property in Seattle. Here's a few perspectives to consider:
The New Resident
Seattle has established itself as a technology hub, rivaling the relevance of Silicon Valley and attracting many of the top tech companies of our time. It's home to Amazon, the world's most notorious online retailer, but it also attracts other big players in the industry as well as top talent that is looking to create those innovative start-ups that drive the economy forward. The booming economy just about guarantees that there's always new residents looking to make Seattle their next home, and many of these newcomers have the funds to spend on property.
The unbelievably competitive market is forcing most of them to rent rather than own a new home, however. It seems there's always another buyer who can pay cash for the property, or who simply gets to the home first.
The First-Time Home Buyer
Purchasing your first home is a huge milestone, and most first-time home buyers are excited to start the process of buying real estate. In Seattle, however, many first-time buyers are approaching this experience with trepidation and uncertainty. They know that they want to own a home, but they are acutely aware of how difficult it is to be picked when there's always several offers from qualified buyers on every available property. It's disheartening to lose out on home after home, especially because first-time home buyers have a tendency to be more emotional about the experience.
They walk into a house that they love and see themselves cooking in the kitchen or relaxing on the gorgeous garden rooftop balcony. They might submit an offer that's higher than asking price on the spot, yet still lose out to someone else who can pay a certain percentage over the appraised value or who has more cash to bring to the table. Recognizing the competitive nature of the market and quickly becoming desperate, these buyers continue to up the ante with each passing offer, which only fuels the market to grow further.
The Household Looking for Suburban Bliss
For decades, growing households migrate from the heart of the city to the sprawling suburbs beyond its borders. Today's buyers, however, are finding it incredibly challenging to buy that luxury home that will give them the space they need to enjoy a comfortable life. Home prices are reaching record heights in all of the suburban communities such as Kirkland, and they seem to continue rising by the week. Families who feel like they can afford to move one moment are often faced with a startling reality the next, leaving them feeling frustrated and exhausted with the experience.
April ushered in higher home prices and boosted the competition for the few homes that are available, and May looks like it will tell the same story. To find out more about the current market conditions in Seattle as well as the surrounding area, contact us today.