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Seattle Housing Market Forecast 2019

Will the Seattle housing market in 2019 be better for buyers or sellers? Check out the Seattle housing market forecast 2019.

In April 2018, the median home price in Seattle hit $819K to the tune of a $43K increase in one month! Buyers panicked. But in late November, signs of a change in the Seattle housing market appeared. 

Today, it’s looking much better for buyers in 2019. But what exactly is happening in the Seattle housing market, you ask? And what does it mean for sellers and buyers?

To keep you on the pulse of Seattle homes, we’ve put together this Seattle housing market forecast 2019. Keep reading to get the skinny on the market and what’s predicted for the year so you can make informed decisions as a buyer and/or seller.

Housing Predictions on a National Level

Expect interest levels to continue rising and mortgages to cost more. Inventory is still tight but on the rise. The prediction is this: fewer home sales and a cool market. 

A cool market means sellers will negotiate price. Buyers can get sellers to go under list price and get a great deal.

The interest rate is predicted to rise to 5.5 to 5.8 by the end of 2019 from around 4.55 in January. This means higher monthly mortgage payments and overall cost over the life of the loan. 

Although mortgage cost is rising, there are two pluses for buyers. Home prices are expected to rise at a slower rate in 2019 than they have been. Also, a continued increase in housing inventory is expected.

Last November, 1.74 million homes were on the market in the U.S., up  4.2 percent. This is good for buyers. When inventory is low, it takes longer to find the right house and they feel a crunch to buy fast before rates go up again. 

The question is: Will the Seattle market cool down too with the rising interest rates, more costly mortgages, and more inventory?

In Seattle

Yes, just like on a national level, Seattle house inventory has been tight. And it’s also, finally, slowly but surely, rising. The Seattle market can expect home prices to rise more slowly overall too and maybe even flatten. And the word on the street is that sellers will be negotiating and lowering prices.

Yes, it looks like it could be a buyers’ market in 2019 in Seattle. Predictions look good. Why? Three reasons. Let’s look closer.

Sellers Are Lowering Prices

Thanks to higher interest rates and seeing more homes on the market, sellers seem to be starting to negotiate on price. A price free-fall is not expected though. Instead, expect a leveling out of prices later in the year. The market will be more balanced and sustainable. 

This drop in single-family home costs began already at the end of 2018. 

Home Costs Are Rising More Slowly Overall Long-Term

From 1998 to last year, housing prices in Seattle rose 177%. That’s among the highest rates in the nation in metropolitan areas during that time. Leading up to 2016, prices were rising in the double digits every year.

But in late 2018, the gains slowed and appreciation is expected to continue to slow. 

Inventory Is Rising and Buyers Get More Options

More houses are now on the market in Seattle. Expect this trend to continue. This gives you more houses to choose from, and you’re more likely to find what you’re looking for faster.

If the interest rate goes up before you find the right house, negotiate with the seller when you do so you can afford the house with the new rate. 

What Does the Seattle Housing Market Forecast 2019 Mean For You?

The cooling off of prices and increased inventory lean toward the end of the year with the beginning of the year remaining a sellers’ market. So no need to rush with buying, buyers. Just keep in mind that the interest rate is likely to continue to rise. What we’re seeing here is a leveling out.

Buyers

If you’re a buyer, relax. Don’t rush to buy just yet. You may be worried that you’ll get cut out with a higher mortgage rate. But keep in mind that if you find your ideal home and the rate has increased, the seller is likely to be willing to negotiate on price and closing costs.

Also, with more homes on the market, you’re more likely to find the right house for you faster. 

Sellers

If you’re a seller, relax. You don’t have to sell at a price you’re not comfortable with. You have options, like renting out your property.

Yes, if mortgage rates continue to rise as predicted in 2019, you will need to lower your sales price to attract buyers, but you can turn your house into an income property instead.

A buyers’ market means you can be flexible and enjoy future appreciation while your renter pays your mortgage. Read our article on how to decide if you should sell or rent it out.

Consider a short-term lease if you’re not sure. And consider a professional property manager if you don’t have time to manage your tenant. 

If being a landlord piques your interest but you decide to sell, after all, you can also still turn into a buyer and purchase a small rental property just to rent out!

Relax and Enjoy a More Balanced Seattle Housing Market

If the Seattle housing market forecast 2019 is correct, you can breathe again whether you are a buyer or seller.

The more-balanced, sustainable housing scene gives buyers the time to find what they want in a home and negotiate an affordable price, even in light of mortgage rate increases. It gives sellers the go-ahead to rent out their home and become a landlord if it makes sense. Usually, if it’s a buyers market, it makes sense. 

If you’re a buyer, stay on the pulse of what’s out there with your agent. If you’re a seller, contact us to help you decide if a rental property is a good idea for you and if a property manager can help make it an enjoyable and successful endeavor. 

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