As 2015 came to a close, the Seattle real estate market felt very quiet. We considered this to be the holiday calm before the storm. Despite the lack of new listings for sale in December, quality homes in desirable Seattle neighborhoods still sold quickly for over asking prices. For example, in Ballard, a very standard town house listed by my office received nearly 50 offers and closed $80,000 over asking price. Yes, almost 50 offers!
So, a sleepy market doesn’t mean a bad market. The majority of sellers and buyers have simply waited for the new year to jump into action. By mid-January, I expect the Seattle real estate market to be back to the fast-paced action we’ve all grown accustomed to: new listings hit the market and multiple buyers compete for each one. Our low supply and high demand will continue throughout 2016.
With that, here are a few more predictions for 2016:
- Case Schiller Index had Seattle at 8.78% appreciation for 2015. I predict similar growth for this year. You heard it here first: 8% appreciation for 2016!
- Financial experts far smarter than I expect interest rates to increase in 2016. Although, they also predicted rates to rise in 2015 and they were wrong! So much for the experts.
- The downtown apartment market has already softened due to a high number of new units. This glut of inventory means rental rates are starting to stabilize. My prediction? At least one high-end apartment project will convert to condos before completion. Seems like a logical idea in a hot market with low condo inventory for sale.
- As prices continue to increase and the Seattle market remains competitive, expect first time buyers to venture further away from the city in search of a home they can afford. My prediction? The narrative of buyers commuting into the city from cities like Lynnwood, Everett, and Tacoma will become more prevalent.
2016 will be another fantastic real estate year for Seattle. If you’re selling, your home has probably never been worth more. Ready to buy? It’ll be a challenge but remember when your sale is closed, you’ll own a home in one of the country’s top markets!
Happy New Year!