A recent report released by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) covers trends from October including the unseasonably early snowfall, concerns about the recently unveiled tax plan, and other key market fundamentals for all counties in the last month. Despite a typical slowdown this time of year, many factors were trending upward, as “pending sales rose nearly 8 percent from a year ago, closed sales were up 5.2 percent, and prices jumped about 8.2 percent, with 14 counties reporting double-digit gains.” Though supply is limited, the 8,466 new listings added last month mark a 12-percent increase compared to this time last year, though that number will dwindle as we approach the holiday season.
Many potential sellers are also considering the impact of the proposed tax reform plan, which was unveiled by House Republicans earlier this month. It could prevent some would-be sellers from listing because it would mean “giving up their grandfathered tax credit on their current home.” As the President of the National Association of REALTORS® added, “eliminating or nullifying the tax incentives for homeownership puts home values and middle-class homeowners at risk, and from a cursory examination this legislation appears to do just that.”
Looking at the Puget Sound market as a whole, single-family home prices in Seattle and on the Eastside increased by 10-percent year-over-year to median sales prices of $735,000 and $845,000 respectively. Inventory also remains scarce as looking at all of the counties reveals a 1.5-month supply of single-family homes and condominiums, a number that decreases to below one month for King County.
Given these challenging market times for buyers, the report outlines the importance of working with an experienced real estate agent who is “equipped to discuss market conditions, financing considerations, historic trends, and buying and selling strategies” to ensure you are well-educated and prepared to make your next move.