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2015 Real Estate Predictions

It's that time of year when I present my predictions for the market for 2015. Each year I look back at what has happened during the year, research what the experts say for next year, and share my thoughts for the market for 2015. For the full article, stay tuned for my print newsletter that will be in the mail later this month or download here.
 
Median Sold Prices – Home prices will continue to increase nationally by single digit numbers and in Washington State home prices will increase around 7%. Seattle home prices in 2014 were up by around 9% year-over-year. There are still areas of very high demand and low inventory which will continue to push prices upward.
 
Inventory – Inventory will remain low in 2015 but will improve over the past year. Improved job markets and lower unemployment rates, along with stabilizing home prices and fewer bidding wars, will bring more buyers into the market. Buyers who left the market in 2014 due to disappointment over lost offers will return. Increased inventory and slower market time gives buyers the time they need to get financing and look at more homes. The bottom line is inventory will increase due to more sellers in the market, but I expect that buyers will be purchasing that inventory, so there won’t be big fluctuations either way. 
 
Interest Rates & Mortgage Availability – The improving economy is a sure sign that interest rates will increase in 2015. I expect the 30 year fixed rate mortgage rate will reach 5% by the end of 2015. Government officials have also indicated that mortgage credit should become more available in the foreseeable future, which will allow more buyers to qualify for a mortgage and will allow some people to qualify for a lower-rate mortgage. 
 
These are just a few of the things I predict 2015 will bring us. For further information, please don’t hesitate to email or give me a call at (206) 790-0081. I would be happy to share what my 2015 predictions mean for your real estate holdings. 

Market Update

Like 2013, 2014 remained a sellers’ market. Home prices in 2014 continued to climb, although the increases were not as high as in the previous year. Low inventory continues to be the issue and the driving force for the market—at year end inventory of single family homes was at 1.1 months and for condos at 1.5 months. (A balanced market is 4-6 months of inventory.) When inventory is low and demand is high, we see escalating prices and multiple offers. This continued in 2014; the average sales price in Seattle was up 9% for both condos and homes. All neighborhoods experienced appreciation in home values; the median sales price for condos was up 6.7% and for homes, 8%. However, as you can see from the bottom chart, appreciation levels for single family homes varied by zip code. For more modestly priced homes, first-time and move-up buyers are taking advantage of loosening lending standards. It is much easier for first-time buyers to qualify for a mortgage than it has been in recent years.

 Seattle Single Family Homes   Condos
  Number Change   Number Change
New Listings 9,411 - 12.2%   3,339 + 2.7%
Total Sold 7,838 - 1.1%   2,556 + .6%
Average Sales Price $560,167 + 9%   $374,000 + 9.4%
Median Sales Price $475,167 + 8%   $297,583 + 6.7%
Avg. Days on Market 31 - 2.9%   45 - 9.9%
Months of Inventory (as of 12/31) 1.1 - 39%   1.5 - 35%
Selling to List Price Ratio 100% No Change   98% + 1%


In Seattle the number of single family homes brought on the market in 2014 was down 2% from 2013, and the number of homes sold in 2014 was down 1%. For condos, new listings were up nearly 3% and the number sold was up slightly over 2013. In King County, high end sales, those above the one million dollar price point, saw a 2nd year of high activity. Nearly 2,000 homes priced at one million dollars and up sold in King County during 2014, up more than 25 percent compared to 2013.
 
Please give me a call or email if you have any questions or would like further information on the market or your neighborhood.

 
Home Design and Remodel Fair

Sunday, January 25, 2015 | 10 am-4 pm - http://www.phinneycenter.org/homefair/

The PNA Home Design and Remodel Fair is a chance to meet over 75 local contractors, architects, suppliers, designers, landscape professionals, non-profit groups, and permitting agencies. This year's theme is Get Connected, featuring technological solutions to make your home smarter, automated or more efficient. You’ll have an excellent chance to meet those who are leading these innovations forward and helping to create a whole new category of home improvement.

Representatives from Fusion 9 Design, Sundance Energy Services, SNUPI Technologies, and The SoDo MakerSpace will take you on a guided tour of everything from water leak sensors and learning thermostats to self-watering plants. We'll also offer presentations on sustainability and green building, along with perennial favorites such as "How to Work with an Architect" and "How to Hire a Contractor." 

Home Buyer Class

Thursday, Feb. 19, 6:30-8:30pm at the Phinney Neighborhood Association

Are you interested in learning about the home buying or mortgage process. Kathryn Keller, loan officer at Golden Empire Mortgage, and I are teaching a class on the home buying/mortgage process. Appropriate for first time buyers and those who haven’t purchased a property in awhile. Sign up by calling 783-2244 or contact Jamie with questions.

 

Upcoming Community Events

Jan. 19:                  Martin Luther King Day Events
Jan. 23-Feb. 1:       Seattle Boat Show
Jan. 26:                   Phinney Home Design & Remodel
Feb. 1-7:                 Children’s Film Festival
Feb. 5-8:                 Seattle RV Show
Feb. 11-15:             Northwest Flower & Garden Show
Feb. 14:                  Pacific Northwest Regional Yo-Yo Championships
Feb. 14-16:             Free Entrance Days in the National Parks
Feb. 14-22:             Seattle Home Show 
Feb. 16:                  Presidents’ Day

Are We Connected?

Here are the many ways you can connect with me to stay up to date on market happenings.

I have a new email address: jamie@jamieflaxman.com (I also receive email at jamieflaxman@cbbain.com)
Subscribe to my print newsletter: Send me an email with your full name and mailing address.
My website and blog: www.jamieflaxman.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/jamieflaxmanCB
LinkedIn: www.linkedin/jamieflaxman

Referrals

Referrals are the core of my business. If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling a property, I hope you will contact me or pass my contact information on to the person you know. I appreciate the opportunity to meet with prospective buyers and sellers and share my value proposition of why they should buy or list with me and Coldwell Banker Bain. In the end, I'm all about results that meet or exceed my clients' wishes and needs. I appreciate all your referrals, thank you!

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or for further information on the real estate market.

Have a great month,
Jamie