Who's Moving the Market in Seattle?

When mentioning the housing market in Seattle, one is likely to be bombarded with comments about how crazy it is out there for anyone looking to buy or sell a home in the city. It's incredibly competitive, as inventory is low and prices are rising steeply — in some cases, even creating an affordability crisis for those who are interested in moving. Beyond that, the economy is strong in Seattle and high-paying job opportunities are bringing new residents to the Seattle metropolitan area, adding strength to the suburban markets as well.

However, it might come as a surprise that the biggest movers and shakers in the Seattle real estate market are not the new residents who want to make the Emerald City their home. According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, it's the current residents who are moving about the city the most.

Moving in Seattle: Who's Looking for Homes?

It might seem like everyone and anyone is looking for a home in Seattle. While this perception may be a bit exaggerated, the reality is that most people who are dipping their toes into the Seattle real estate market are actually local residents who already live in the city or in the surrounding suburbs.

The Puget Sound Business Journal recently reported that Zillow, the powerful home listing website that showcases available properties across the country, found that most Seattle home buyers are local residents. Zillow notes that approximately two-thirds of those who are searching for homes in Seattle, the Puget Sound region and East King County already live in the area. In most cases, these residents either want to relocate to a better location — such as one within walking distance of the best city attractions — or to a larger, more luxurious property in the suburbs.

When a seller's market is declared and property values are on the rise, local residents often find that it's a great time to list their own property and cash in on their real estate investment. While it's easy for them to sell their property — it might be gone in a matter of hours — it's not always as easy for them to snag their next amazing home. However, that's not deterring the area residents, who continue to show an interest in the homes that are for sale throughout the region.

Home Prices and Values in the City

The 2016 market was considered a record-breaking year for Seattle, but it seems that it will pale in comparison to the 2017 market. According to an article on GeekWire, the March 2017 median home sales price in Seattle climbed as high as $630,000. This is an increase of about 14 percent from March 2016. 

Local residents who are interested in listing their home on the market can expect to be bombarded with interested buyers almost instantly. According to sources in the article, most properties receive multiple offers, often in just a matter of hours. Even more exciting for sellers is the fact that these offers may be as high as 10 percent above the list price of the home. In most cases, sellers will have an opportunity to accept a cash offer, which is beneficial, as there are no financing headaches to deal with when you have a straightforward cash offer at your disposal. 

The Seattle housing market is only just warming up, with the summer season expected to be hotter than ever. While rising prices and a solid seller's market may seem intimidating to buyers, it shouldn't make buyers feel like it's impossible to find the right property in Seattle. Working with a qualified real estate agent will ensure access to the most desirable properties as soon as they hit the market.

Find out more about the market conditions in Seattle and how they may impact your own home search by contacting us today.

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