A few years ago, the young tech crowd moving into the Seattle and Bellevue housing markets had their eyes on a downtown address with an easy commute and access to urban amenities. After the 2020 health crisis, quarantine orders and business shut-downs have brought to light how valuable more interior square footage can be and many young adults and families are fleeing the urban, rental life and looking for their first homes in North Seattle neighborhoods like Shoreline, Lynnwood, Bothell, and even Everett, WA. This is putting a squeeze on the sub-million dollar home market, but luxury homes above $1.5 million don’t seem to be seeing such pressure with multiple offers and homes selling for 20% over asking price in some cases.
In fact, if you’ve been thinking about selling your first house, townhome or condo and moving up into something bigger, the luxury home market might afford the space you’re looking for and the sale of your “starter home” could provide a surprising amount of equity. Luxury homes in Seattle and Bellevue, as well as outlying areas like Redmond, Woodinville and Snohomish County, may offer space for home offices, multi-purpose rooms, gyms, and theaters. With more time spent at home, and less time commuting, many folks are trading urban proximity for house and lifestyle upgrades. Some families are finding the space they need for these upgrades in the luxury market.
The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM) explains:
“With quarantine concerns still top of mind for many luxury buyers, we see large, sprawling estates making their comeback.
For instance, the last six months have seen a resurgence in the buying of mega mansions and estate-size homes – specifically properties that offer space (both inside and outside), separate home offices, gyms, and private amenities such as swimming pools, yoga studios, and recreation rooms.”
This was not the case at this time last year, as the most recent Luxury Market Report from ILHM emphasizes:
“Exactly one year ago, we reported that demand for large properties, mega mansions, private estates, and luxury ranches had reduced significantly over the previous few years; especially from the younger generation of luxury property buyers.”
For today’s buyers looking for larger homes, steady increases in equity might be what makes a move possible. Leveraging home equity makes it easier to afford the down payment on a luxury home, and current low interest rates are making mortgage payments more affordable than they have been in years. The report from ILHM also notes:
“Luxury real estate prices may continue to strengthen further into the third quarter, as the affluent continue to see large investment returns from the currently strong stock market.
Coupled with the low interest rates, the policies granting (and insisting) on working from home implemented by many employers, and the concerns of the pandemic, all translate to the affluent increasingly trading in their city lifestyle for a home that has it all.”
Clearly, today’s strong gains in home equity, paired with record-low interest rates make 2021 great time to move up into the luxury market to meet those changing needs.
If you’re ready to gain some breathing room in a larger home, let’s connect so you have the guidance you need to find more space in the luxury home market.