Interest Rates Are Up, Recession Fears On The Horizon

So what’s happening in the Seattle Economy (and Nationally) right now?

The Bad News:

Interest rates have climbed a tremendous amount in the last 4 months.  (Now at 5.1% from Freddie Mac.)  Buyers have lost about 30% of their buying power.

Inflation at its highest level since 1982.

Tech stocks are down, and so is the market, reducing the “feeling” of wealth and readiness to invest.

The Good News:

Historically, the housing market tends to stay strong and pricing trends are relatively unaffected during recessions.

Experts predict ongoing GDP growth at above pre-COVID levels.

Unemployment is low and steady at 3.6% and the US economy added 426,000 non-farm jobs in April.

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Local companies like Google, and Microsoft have long-term, large-scale investments in the area.

Overall, we are still in a strong seller’s market.  Anecdotally, we have many homes now selling in 2 weeks, rather than one, at around list price (or within 5%), with some homes having to drop the price, and some – especially in the lower price points – continuing to receive multiple offers.

Seattle still has less than 1 month of housing inventory, and we’d need to see 5-months’ inventory to be in a market starting to balance toward buyers, with a significant risk of price drops.

We may see some bouncing of prices at the top of the frothy market here, but I do not see a significant decline of values in our future.

Emily Cressey

Emily Cressey is a real estate broker residing in Lake Forest Park, WA who services the Greater Seattle area including Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, Brier, Lynnwood, Kenmore, Bothell and Edmonds, WA.

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