GOP tax plan leaves housing market in a wait-and-see mood

Buyers are concerned about anticipated changes to mortgage interest and property tax deductions

  • Thursday, December 7, 2017 2:05pm
  • Life

By Annie Gustafson

Special to the Reporter

Similar to the hours of daylight this time of year, the number of homes for sale in Bothell and Kenmore shrunk in November. This tendency is typical for the winter real estate market in the region.

The number of homes for sale in Bothell in November was down 28 percent compared to August, which was the city’s high water mark for listings year to date in 2017. In Kenmore, the same pattern was even more pronounced: homes for sale in November were down 49 percent from their highest month year to date, July.

The reduction in available inventory, however, does not mean prices have gone down. The median selling price for a home in Bothell in November was $606,000, and that’s an increase of a little more than 10 percent from one year ago, said Mona Spencer, branch manager of John L. Scott Real Estate. Once again, Kenmore is even more dramatic.

“The median selling price for a home in Kenmore, $646,000, is 19.3 percent higher than one year ago,” Spencer said.

One issue top of mind for both buyers/sellers and their brokers is uncertainty about the GOP tax plan approved by the Senate on Dec. 2.

“Buyers are understandably concerned about anticipated changes to mortgage interest and property tax deductions,” Spencer said.

Until a final bill is signed into law, she summarized the current mood as wait-and-see. Ultimately, the decision to buy or sell is deeply personal.

“The timing has to be right for you,” Spencer explained. “As long as you buy and sell within the same market timing, the result is often the same net seller equity.”

With the holidays approaching and the new year on the horizon, Spencer said this is one of her favorite times of year because of the emphasis on giving back.

“All broker associates have the option to give a percent of each commission to the John L. Scott Foundation, which is dedicated to helping kids get healthy and be at home,” she said. “Giving back is not a once-a-year consideration. Instead, it’s ingrained in our business model, one transaction at a time.”

In 2017, the John L. Scott Foundation helped sponsor 30 events for 20 children’s hospitals, which helped raise over $13 million for children’s health care.

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