If you have been waiting for the local real estate market to rebound, your wait is over. Mercer Island, the communities surrounding Lake Washington, and even Seattle and Bellevue are very hot real estate markets now. In a nutshell: home prices are up, demand is high, and inventory (homes currently on the market) is low. In fact, the conditions are right for bidding wars for available properties.
Recently, Seattle was listed as one of the top markets in the country for home sellers, in a feature article in Money Magazine. The housing market is changing, creating a “new playing field for homeowners, who are finally able to sell, as well as would-be buyers who’ve been delaying a purchase in anticipation that prices would keep falling,” Money reported. In addition, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Jose and Phoenix were listed as top markets for sellers, while Philadelphia, Chicago, Albany and New Haven/Stamford were top markets for buyers. According to the feature article, sellers should keep their expectations in line: Price increases are to be modest and gradual. According to Money, home sellers may have the most bargaining power in the West, while homebuyers may be more in control in the Midwest and Northeast.
Real Estate inventory on Mercer Island normally averages about 100 homes at this time of year. Today there are less than 60 homes available, and most of those available are in the very high end of the price range. On Mercer Island Median prices in 2011 rose 2.5 percent from $835,000 to $857,000.
Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors®, reported recently that sales are being driven by strengthening fundamentals – the improving jobs picture, rising rental rates, continuing low interest rates, and housing affordability – and prices are gaining on reduced supply.
Here is an example from a recent personal experience representing buyers who made an offer on an Issaquah home. After only a few days on the market, the listing agent had 12 valid offers on the property. My clients were among the 12. The offer accepted by the seller was possibly more than 10 percent over the listing price. I fought hard for my clients, but I could not advise the client to pay that much for that particular home. The sale of this home was frenzied, with too many buyers and too many emotions driving offers.
This example is not a bad situation for the local residential property market. However, there are several clear implications to be drawn:
- Buyers should not be surprised by frenzied competitive bidding for available properties
- More homes are being listed every day, and patience will win out in the end
- People buying homes in this market would do well to trust and follow the advice of their Realtors® or Brokers, especially if they are new to the area.
- Homeowners, who have been waiting for the right time to sell, should call their consulting Realtor® today to discuss their options.
The Seattle-Bellevue-Mercer Island-Lake Washington communities real estate market is unique. Today it is a zooming market. Whether you are buying or selling, I advise patience and good counsel. If you have been waiting for the right time to list your home, please let me assure you that the time has come. I would be honored to list your home and assist you as your Realtor® and listing agent. If
you are in the market to buy, it would be my pleasure to help you find and
purchase the right home for your needs. Call me today at 206-499-4948.
Ken Urman, Realtor®
Ken Urman is a full-time Realtor with more than 20 years experience, and is
ranked among the top performers in his profession. He lives in Mercer Island,
WA. and serves Mercer Island and the communities around Lake Washington. Buyers and Sellers benefit from the power of his experience, professionalism, and
perseverance in achieving their real estate goals. Learn why Ken is a better
choice for your real estate needs at www.kenurman.com