As the #1 real estate presence catering to the Soldiers and Airmen of Joint Base Lewis McChord, I would like to share some of my experiences with the housing market this spring.
Common knowledge is that we are in a sellers’ market in the south Puget Sound. What is different about this market is inventory/volume. For the past 2-3 years, we have had an inventory shortage by late spring, and summer has been very good for sellers. This year looks to be more pronounced; we never got out of shortage territory from 2018 and are starting 2019 with low inventory. It is a great market for sellers, but the buyers are getting a little crazy.
My experience has been that sellers are waiting to list their homes until the last possible minute, because they don’t want to be pushed out by an anxious buyer. Once listed, every home we have sold this year went under contract within 48-72 hours.
What to watch out for: A sudden increase in inventory could cool things for the obvious reasons. The not so obvious is that it would scare people who have been watching the bidding wars, and multiple buyers. As with the stock market, we have noticed that the home buying market has been “skittish” and we are seeing people who “settle” and then change their minds on inspection. It has been busy week, dead week, since New Year’s.
Interest rates are currently at about 4.5% for a well-qualified VA buyer. Not a big increase from the bottom, but enough to put lower pay grades out of the market. When rates were at 3.25%, a PFC could buy a 400K home. In 2019, our median price is above 300K, and it takes and E-6/7 to qualify for a 400K home. IOW…there are fewer qualified buyers as interest rates increase.
Extraneous factors…the population growth in Western WA is a big driver of our real estate market. In 2018, approx. 130,000 people immigrated to this side of the mountains. If economic or political factors should cause a slowdown in that growth, it would shock the housing market. Secondarily, personnel increases/decreases at JBLM have a big impact on the local markets, but there is nothing in the cards right now that I am aware of.
If you expect to sell in the near future, give me a call, I would enjoy discussing all of this with you.
Our listings receive the same treatment as any other Realtor (mainly the MLS/Zillow/etc). That is where the others stop, and we get started. Our goal is to market your home aggressively in the local market, but also get it exposed to people before they arrive. We do that thru the web, social media, and direct marketing to inbound folks, again thru Social media, FRG’s, and spouse groups. Please ask if you would like me to sell your home…or if you would just like to know what it would sell for.