Fall housing market shifts, but still seller’s market

Real estate snapshot for Bothell and Kenmore

By Erin Flemming

Special to the Reporter

Month after month, headlines about the real estate market in Seattle and surrounding areas seemed to sing the same tune – rising prices and high competition for homes, with some homes receiving multiple offers merely days after listing. Typically, around the fall, the housing market tends to cool, and this year, the market has adjusted away from the “premium pricing” that became commonplace in many areas.

Jon Hunter, vice president of Residential Success at John L. Scott, said as the fall continues, we’ll start to see a seasonal slowdown, but he noted that the market is still “very robust.” Additionally, he said as the number of sold homes continue to rise this season, the pended homes are likely to flatten out.

Though the market has slightly shifted, it doesn’t mean the local real estate market is a buyer’s market. The number of houses for sale in Bothell and Kenmore in September 2018 increased by 10.6 percent and 12.5 percent (respectively) over August’s numbers, but the area’s available inventory still isn’t in the “healthy” range. Recent market changes have taken the Eastside from an extreme shortage of unsold inventory back down to just a shortage.

“For those looking to sell their homes right now, it’s crucial to price right and stage right,” Hunter said. “Pricing right means you can’t compare your home to one that sold six months ago. The homes that you want to compare to are ones that sold in the current season.”

However, more affordable areas are still going strong, and no matter the season, Hunter said homes in desirable neighborhoods are always going to be in high demand. In many cases, “location, location, location” can be one of the top factors for buyers. Whether it’s a walkable neighborhood, proximity to work or a home within the boundaries of a top-notch public school, location can prove important for many buyers.

“Buyers are always attracted to great neighborhoods with historically great appreciation,” Hunter said. “Homes in great neighborhoods that are priced right and staged right will see multiple offers.”

For buyers looking to purchase in the current market, Hunter said the approach often depends on the house and area they’re looking at. If buyers are looking for a home in a hot area that is priced right and staged right, they need to be prepared to bring their “A-game” to the table to have a good chance to win against the competition. Some buyers may want to look at homes that have been on the market for two weeks or more for the best chance at negotiation – though they should work with a skilled broker to bring an offer to the table that’s likely to be accepted.

According to J. Lennox Scott: “The Eastside has moved from the spring extreme-frenzy housing market down to strong pending sales activity for new listings. Currently, unsold inventory is over double what it was in Sept. 2017 in the $500,000 to $1 million price point and up 50 percent for homes above $1 million. Seventy-eight percent of pending sales activity takes place above the $500,000 price range, with 26 percent of pending listings being above $1 million. The Eastside has moved from an extreme shortage of unsold inventory back down to a shortage. Sales activity in the $500,000 and upward category is only off five percent from 2017. Job growth remains extremely strong in the region and interest rates are currently in the upper four percent.

“For the luxury housing market, we are seeing a healthy to strong level of sales activity for new listings up to $2 million, with selective buyer activity above $2 million.”

More in Business

Seaplane bartender JT Goodman makes a cocktail during happy hour on Nov. 26. Katie Metzger/staff photo
Seaplane Restaurant and Bar opens in Kenmore

The new eatery is open for happy hour and dinner in downtown.

The Bothell-Kenmore Chamber of Commerce, community members and staff members gathered to celebrate the ribbon cutting ceremony for Dr. Eugenia Lee, outside Kenmore Dental Care on Tuesday, Nov. 13. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo.
Dr. Eugenia Lee takes over Kenmore orthodontics practice

Chamber of Commerce holds ribbon cutting ceremony for Lee Orthodontics on Nov 13.

‘This might have been a once in a generation opportunity’: Kenmore’s Lakepointe deal grinds to a halt

City officials unsure of what comes next for the more than 50 acre industrial site.

Jersey Mike’s opens in Bothell

The sandwich shop is holding a grand opening and free sandwich fundraiser from Nov. 14-18 to support the Northshore Schools Foundation.

Lakepointe is a 52-acre industrial site at the mouth of the Sammamish River and Lake Washington which the city of Kenmore has been hoping to see developed for nearly three decades. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Kenmore’s Lakepointe development talks collapse

A representative of the potential developer said it may be close to being dead.

Bothell’s smallest brewery earns “Best of Northshore” award

The micro-brewery has been pumping out the goods for more than eight years.

Store manager of the Bothell Helping Hands Thrift Store, Brittani Heitman, takes empty hangers to the back room to put more clothes onto the store floor. Madison Miller/staff photo.
Helping Hands Thrift Store serves locally and globally

The Bothell thrift store provides self-sustaining resources to Peru and local community.

Fall housing market shifts, but still seller’s market

Real estate snapshot for Bothell and Kenmore

Former Tully’s locations spring back to life

Following the coffee chain’s collapse earlier this year, other Eastside businesses are moving in.

Main Street in downtown Bothell reopened after a fire and construction in April. Evan Pappas/staff photo
Bothell Main Street business bouncing back after construction

After a fire and construction slowed business, many merchants are seeing people return.

Office space is still tight on the Eastside

That hasn’t stopped Google and Facebook from looking to expand.

Kenmore Council adopts plastic bag ordinance

The Kenmore City Council adopted a new plastic bag policy effective January… Continue reading