Welcome to the Seattle Real Estate Market Update for January 2024 – a pivotal moment for both seasoned investors and prospective homebuyers. If you’ve been keeping an eye on the market over the Thanksgiving and Christmas period, you’ll be pleased to know that we’ve witnessed a noteworthy decline in interest rates, ushering in a wave of anticipation as we step into the spring and New Year. As the dawn of the new season approaches, buyers are gearing up to make their moves, and with the allure of lower interest rates in the real estate market, the pace is expected to quicken.
The correlation is clear – as interest rates come down, prices tend to rise, making now an opportune time for those contemplating a home purchase this spring. The wise move for buyers is to start their search now, as the market gears up with a potential influx of homes. While inventory might be modest at the moment, it’s a dynamic landscape that’s bound to evolve, and staying ahead of the curve is the key to success. So, if you’re contemplating entering the market, now is the time to learn its nuances and position yourself strategically for the exciting developments that lie ahead.
In the intricate tapestry of the Seattle real estate market, Bellevue emerges as a standout performer, boasting a remarkable 25% increase in median home prices for the year 2023. Closing the year at $1.5 million, Bellevue has made a significant recovery compared to the prior year’s December figure of $1.2 million. The soaring trajectory in Bellevue contrasts with the broader trends in King County, where we observe a commendable 7% increase over the previous year. Meanwhile, both Seattle and Snohomish County maintain relatively stable positions, indicating a certain resilience in their respective markets. If you’ve been holding out for a substantial dip, it appears that the window may have passed, and the anticipation now is for prices to exhibit a moderate upward trend in 2024. A potential catalyst for an even stronger market push could be significant decreases in interest rates.
Determining whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market in Seattle involves a nuanced analysis, often relying on metrics such as Days on Market. Traditionally, Seattle has been considered a robust seller’s market, with homes typically selling within one to two months. Over the past decade, the median DOM hasn’t surpassed 50 days, signaling a consistently strong seller’s market. However, as we examine the current landscape, we find ourselves in the darker days of the year, marked by Christmas, New Year’s, and winter. During these periods, the market tends to experience longer days on market. Last year, we witnessed a slower phase with DOM hovering around a month, particularly as interest rates were on the rise. However, as we transitioned into the spring, the market saw a rapid shift, with days on market decreasing, and multiple offer situations became prevalent. Currently, the DOM stands at around 20 days, a significant improvement from the previous year’s slower period. While we can anticipate a steeper decline in DOM in the upcoming spring, the current figures suggest a potential return to a multiple-offer scenario, emphasizing the dynamic and cyclical nature of the Seattle real estate market.
As we navigate the currents of the Seattle real estate market, my advice to buyers is to seize the opportunity now and for sellers, don’t be caught flat-footed. If you’ve been contemplating putting your property on the market and wish to capitalize on the vibrant spring market, it’s crucial to act swiftly. The spring rush is likely to unfold sooner and faster than anticipated, and being well-informed is your key to making prudent decisions. This is my prediction based on the current trends, and while the future remains uncertain, staying abreast of market dynamics ensures you’re prepared to navigate the real estate landscape with confidence. Whether you’re on the lookout for your dream home or considering selling, being proactive and informed will undoubtedly empower you to make sound decisions in this dynamic and evolving market.