April 2012 Real Estate Summary for the greater Seattle area
Spring is in full swing! Many start planning moves in the Spring to avoid mid-school year disruptions. With the market conditions favorable to both buyers and sellers, now is the time to make YOUR plans. I would love to be part of YOUR team to make it happen.
For the first time in over 4 years, the year to year change in selling prices was positive, according to the NW MLS listing service in Kirkland. The gain was small but it shows we are moving in the right direction. Many believe we have reached the bottom of the down-turned real estate market. Some pockets are frenzied, which is never a good thing. Making a huge financial commitment is serious business and caution needs to be taken to make wise decisions for the long haul.
According to the data, the average price in April for a single family home was $250,000 while the average price for March was $234,487.
Tight inventory is creating a sellers market in some communities. According to the NW MLS statistics, inventory is down more than 27% overall and broken down by the county’s with the lowest inventory: Snohomish (down 46.2 percent), King (down 39.4 percent), and Pierce (down 28.6 percent). When sellers hear a sellers market, some begin to think that they can overprice their homes. This is not the case. Buyers understand what is and is not a good value in most cases, and will hesitate to pay over fair market value. Also, if a buyer decides to get into a bidding wars and pays more than fair value, there is a risk that the property will not appraise. If that occurs, the buyer has 3 choices: pay the difference out of their pocket, agree to only pay the appraised price and negotiate this with the seller or walk away. Please don’t overpay for a home. The market may be improving but it is still very fragile and no one really knows how any major event around the world could impact our economy.
Interest rates are predicted to stay at or near record territory for the remainder of the year and spring will bring increased inventory as well as new foreclosed homes that will be released for sale. Don’t panic. There should be plenty of time to take advantage of a market that for the first time in awhile is good for both buyers and sellers.