High demand and a dearth of housing choices have resulted
Though housing inventory increased slightly in March, it has plummeted 23 percent compared to the same time last year across the 23 Washington state counties where data is collected by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. (NWMLS)
That puts pressure on housing prices the NWMLS reports:
“For single family homes only (excluding condos), year-over-year prices jumped 11.5 percent, from $327,300 to $365,000. The median price for a single-family home that sold in King County was $599,950, up 12.9 percent from a year ago. Adjacent counties also saw double-digit increases in selling prices for single family homes.”
Pierce County home prices increased 11.3 percent and in Thurston County, where I help most of my clients, prices have surged nearly 15.4 percent.
Though often not as pronounced as in Washington state, low inventory and higher home prices are a problem nationwide. According to the Bloomberg article, America’s Housing Inventory Problem, Explained in Four Charts” a big part of the equation is that incomes are not rising at the same pace as home prices.
“The median price of a previously owned home sold in February was 7.7 percent higher than it was 12 months ago. In comparison, after-tax household incomes, adjusted for inflation, were up just 2 percent year-over-year in January, the weakest gain since 2014.”
Income growth is not keeping pace with home prices here in Thurston County as reported in the Tacoma News Tribune’s “It’s not only Seattle: Can you afford region’s housing market? which says that 42 percent of the median wage here of $50,000 goes toward home payments on a median-priced home of $249,900. Experts tell us that the mortgage portion of your family budget should not exceed 30 percent of your gross income.
4 Tips to Gain an Edge
Hire the Best: The key is first hiring an experienced Realtor® who understands the market, is highly skilled at negotiations, and watches listings carefully as they come on the market. With multiple offers coming in on highly-desired homes, you will need the best professional advice in your corner.
Get Pre-qualified. Talk to a mortgage lender and find out what you qualify for in a home. It will help the seller determine you are a serious buyer when they have to choose an offer.
Get Yourself Ready: Have it in your mind that when your Realtor® sends you a potential listing, you are out the door and viewing!
Impress the Seller: Make a strong Earnest Money Deposit that will impress the seller.
Cyndi Nelson, ABR, CRS, SRES, GREEN has been a Realtor® for more than 21 years and is with The Cyndi Nelson Team at MVP Realty Group. She is also a member of the Senior Action Network. Cyndi can be reached at (360)701-4223