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KIRKLAND, Washington (April 5, 2018) - Job growth and a recent run-up in mortgage rates has created an "extremely intense market for each new listing," stated J. Lennox Scott, chairman, and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate

The most recent market report notes that the MLS figures for March show a surge in both new listings and pending sales compared to February as the spring market heats up. The current market was described as "What used to be a quick action market for buyers is now, once again, an instant response market" and this statement has shown its veracity in the more affordable and mid-price ranges AND luxury properties that are close to job centers. In fact, whether defined as $1 million or more or $2 million-plus, Northwest MLS figures confirm sales of luxury homes are surging.

Some Quick Facts and Figures:

  • Prices overall are up about 13.2 percent from a year ago but King County homes are still the priciest. The median price for last month's sales of single-family homes and condos combined in King County is $625,000, up 17.9 percent from a year ago. For single-family homes, excluding condos, the median price for last month's sales was $689,950.
  • A comparison of first quarters shows the year-over-year volume of sales of homes priced at $2 million or more is up 30 percent. Members reported 136 such sales during first quarter 2017; this year, the number is 177. For homes priced at $1 million or more, sales rose from 941 during the first quarter last year to 1,204 this year, a gain of nearly 28 percent.

*Source Info: NWMLS April Market Update

Why Should You, as a Seller, Act Now?

Commenting on rising prices, veteran broker Mike Grady said "The market continues to trend hot" with no apparent end in sight. Many would-be homebuyers are experiencing frustration because there are too few properties for sale and rental rates are through the roof and people are desperate to find a home. 

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Note, however, that brokers are reminding sellers that pricing is still important despite the low inventory. They are warning of listings where sellers pushed the price envelope which caused the properties to go past their offer review dates with no offers at hand. Why is that a bad thing? Because it is not uncommon for buyers to consider a property on the market over 10 days as having something wrong with it. So it is always best to consult with a professional and be aware of the current value of your home.

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How is This Relevant to You as a Buyer?

As mentioned earlier, many buyers now know the pressure. People actually feel that they "they brought a knife to a gunfight" since there's been so much competition to buy a home. The frustration also stems from with what appears to be a lack of choice, while most are beginning to understand the harsh reality that high home prices are here to stay. 

Note that some communities outside of the usual hotspot areas are seeing higher sales volume. Why? Because many buyers, instead of competing at their maximum price point in closer in communities and losing out on the perfect home, they compete in a lesser priced area where they can be more aggressive on the better homes in those areas. They may compromise on schools, public services, and commute times, but the opportunity of ownership increases significantly. Also, as we have previously forewarned, aside from the surging home prices, 30-year mortgage interest rates have increased .5% since the beginning of the year which erodes home affordability and pushes some buyers out of marketplaces. If you are currently thinking about buying a home, it is always in your best interest to find help in this crazy market. 


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