Market UpdatesReal Estate March 1, 2013

Some Notes on Our Local Housing Market…

The housing market recovery, locally and nationally, and the low inventory in our region are both hot topics of interest. Windermere Blog featured posts on both subjects this week. Windermere's president, OB Jacobi, discusses the low inventory in our region in his post Time to Reality Check the Real Estate Market. From the post:

"Here are the current inventory levels in key markets along the West Coast, all of which fall below six months of supply and report strong competition among buyers. · Seattle: 1.4 months · Portland: 4.2 months · San Francisco: 1.8 months · Las Vegas: 3.8 months · Palm Springs: 2.5 months"

Mr. Jacobi discusses what this means to buyer and sellers, along with discussing the impact of current interest rates and its effect on affordability. Matthew Gardner, principal at Gardner Economics, compiled a report on how our region fared during the 4th Quarter of 2012. He provides analysis of Western Washington's job market along with the housing market. He, too, touched on our region's low inventory:

"As stated previously, I do worry about the lack of homes for sale. If we do not see a fairly dramatic increase in inventory, I fear that the market will be forced to give some of its recent gains back— albeit temporarily. Because of this fact, and regardless of the solid price growth that we are witnessing, I am still unable to raise my grade above the 'C' that I gave it last quarter."

With that being said, Gardner goes on to state in his conclusions:

"From a real estate standpoint, it is clear that we are now well removed from the days when home prices were hemorrhaging. Home values have stabilized and a recovery in values is underway. The credit markets have thawed and getting a mortgage is easier now than it has been since the housing “bubble” exploded. Interest rates remain at historic lows, and although I believe that they will rise in 2013, the increase should be modest."

Please take time to read both blog posts. They are full of pertinent data for those interested in our current housing market. To quote OB Jacobi, "It goes without saying that nobody wants to sell at the bottom of the market, yet at the same time, everybody wants to buy at the bottom. Obviously these two scenarios can’t exist at the same time, but I hope the information in this blog shows there are definitely opportunities to be had by both buyers and sellers that are worth considering."


By Lisa Lewis, Mercer Island Pulse. Republished with permission. © 2013, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island.