Entering the winter real estate market – what to expect

Over the last five months, there has been more inventory than in previous years previously.

  • Friday, November 9, 2018 11:30am
  • Life

By Erin Flemming

Special to the Reporter

As we enter the winter residential real estate market, historically the number of resale listings by month dips downward. Over the last five months, we’ve seen more inventory than we have in years previously, which can be favorable for buyers who previously could not afford a home or secure a home in a multiple-offer situation.

Now, Mona Spencer, branch manager for John L. Scott’s Redmond office, said these buyers may be able to do some negotiating on price and also secure more protections under the contract such as the ability to do an inspection before moving forward on the purchase.

“As more inventory enters the market, buyers have more options,” she said. “Bidding wars are less likely and we are seeing some price reductions. This does not mean that houses are falling in value; it means that the rate of appreciation is decelerating.”

While the current real estate market is certainly different from the frenzy conditions present last May, Spencer said there’s no cause for worry.

“Concern about the housing market can come from confusion,” she said. “Reach out to your trusted real estate advisor to get clarity on the housing market in your area of interest.”

When looking toward the future, it’s difficult to say exactly what will happen with home prices in the years to come. Many sources — including Zelman & Associates, the Mortgage Bankers Association, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and the National Association of Realtors — indicate that home prices are continuing to appreciate, but at a lower rate than we saw in previous years. The National Association of Realtors prediction of prices going forward in 2019 is an increase of 3.5 percent, while it was an increase of 4.8 percent in 2018.

One good starting point for understanding the current local market is median list and median sale price — though it’s only one piece of a much larger picture of the local housing market. In Redmond, the median list price is $899,000, and the median sale price is $820,000.

When looking to sell a home, the “best” timing can really depend on personal needs or preferences. Spencer said for people considering selling their home, they can wait for the spring when many other homes go on the market and demand drums up, or if they’re facing a life event currently, it’s not an issue to list this winter.

Regardless of the time buyers decide to enter the residential housing market, it’s always a great idea to begin conversations with a skilled broker and potential lenders. With a loan amount of $100,000 on a 30-year fixed, the most popular mortgage, the principal and interest payment would be $536 per month with an interest rate of five percent. To give an approximate idea of monthly payments with current interest rates, simply multiply that number accordingly to match up with a price range you’re looking at. For a more detailed look at financing, connect with a lender to chat through options.

“It’s good to get a head start on financing so you understand your placement in the market,” Spencer said. “And as always, taking the steps to improve your credit score will always benefit you when looking to purchase a home.”

More in Life

As 2018 real estate market wraps up, buyers and sellers prepare for the year ahead

To list or not to list during the holidays? That is the question.

New Redmond Ridge school to be named Timberline Middle School

Student voices considered in determining new school name.

Lake Washington school bus drivers host toy drive for Hopelink

The donations will be used to stock Hopelink’s Redmond center holiday toy and gift room.

What I eat in a day: Eating nutritiously on a busy schedule

Some tips on how to eat healthier on a daily basis.

Santa reads to youngsters at story time at Brick and Mortar Books in Redmond Town Center on Dec. 4. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo.
Santa visits Brick and Mortar Books for story time

One last chance to catch Santa story time.

Redmond firefighters to offer student scholarships

Applications are due on March 1, 2019.

Four ways to take care of oral health while sick

Good mouth health can help your whole body when you have a cold or flu.

L-R: Lia Mahesh, 8 and Hannah Womble, 8 enjoy singing and dancing on stage during the community holiday sing-a-long. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo.
Community gathers for a holiday sing-a-long

Day two of Redmond Lights included a community sing-a-long led by Eva Moon.

Redmond lights up the night with annual holiday festival

For the first time, Redmond Lights was two days long.

Most Read