Friday, April 8, 2011

Spring Construction Meeting a Real Need

Have you noticed?  Everywhere you turn, there is a construction worker in a hardhat holding a sign to either slow you down or make you wait while workers repair roads, or build houses.  Yes houses!  Evidently builders have seen the light at the end of the tunnel and are breaking ground and building homes.

If you are keeping up with the Seattle Times, you know the rental market is red hot.  Dupre + Scott Apartment Advisors showed us that the Puget Sound's vacancy rate has fallen from 7.2% in the fall of 2009 to 4.6% in our current market.   When the apartments fill up, consumers start thinking now may be the time to buy, and they are right.

As mentioned in a previous blog, area employers are hiring in record numbers.  I just learned that Microsoft Redmond needs to hire 3,000 more employees in the next 4 or 5 months.  That's just for the Redmond complex!  Of course, for every worker, we need a place to house them.
In our Bellevue Way office alone, one year ago in January/February, our office closed $67M in sales.  This year in the same January/February period, we closed $94M.  That's a 40% increase.  1 year ago January/February our average sale was $693K.  This year?  $782K.  We have more evidence of a changing market and sellers may begin to call the shots.

Buyers take note:  our market is becoming more competitive. Mortgage rates are still hovering around 5% for 30 year conventional fixed rate loan.  If you are looking for a home, better look quick.  Pendings on the Eastside continue to climb and outpace new listings as demand increases. You are likely going to see a lot more competition for the newly listed home your agent just emailed you.  And if that home looks sharp and is priced right, it likely won't be on the market for long. 

Incidentally, 4 years ago this month, April 2007 was the peak of our market.  Prices have fallen to about 1/3 of that value, but with market demand increasing, buyers need to be aware we are in a transitional market. Home prices are likely to rise if the rules of supply and demand hold true.

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