Aside from being the best time for giving your home a deep clean, spring is also considered the optimal moment to sell a home, before summer vacation and schools get into full swing in the fall. But with the economy in flux, the price of everything on the rise, and economists predicting a recession starting in July 2023, sellers and buyers across Seattle are wondering if now is really the best time to act.
While the cost of goods and services may be up in Seattle and across the United States, the average price of Seattle homes is decreasing. According to Zillow, home prices are down 6.8 percent from a year ago in Seattle with 50 percent of homes selling for under the list price. Rising interest rates are a major part of that shift, creating a buyers’ market with more homes on the market than there is demand. Does that mean that sellers should wait and buyers should take advantage of lower prices? The real estate experts at HomeLight recently polled real estate agents in the Pacific region, which includes Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington, and their insights explain what’s happening in the market.
The market may find its balance
In the Pacific region, including Seattle, 39 percent of agents shared with HomeLight that they expect that market to balance out this spring, where buyers and sellers would be equally positioned. However, 29 percent of agents expect the market to be favorable to sellers, and 19 percent say buyers will continue to be well-positioned as those home prices fall. If a recession does take hold, these predictions may shift, especially with layoffs and a general shift in disposable income.
Lower prices are not necessarily attracting buyers
With prices declining, sellers may be worried that their final sale price will come in lower. While some sellers may still be confident, 38 percent of agents in the Pacific market reported that sellers are a bit concerned about their ability to sell a home quickly and for a good price, given the current market conditions. And lower prices may not be the norm with every home sale, as Zillow reports that 29 percent of Seattle sales are coming in at over the list price.
Buyers need to weigh their options
Uncertainty may put those buyers and sellers who can wait, into a holding pattern in a trend that began during the pandemic as interest rates rose. In the Pacific region, 58 percent of agents expect buyers to continue waiting, while 39 percent said buyers will make a move.
Recession may mean more buyers’ assistance
Depending on a buyers’ budget they may or may not decide that the current market conditions mean that they need to consider outside sources to afford a home. For some buyers, that might mean seeking down payment assistance (although agents reported that’s more common in markets where the median home value is $500,000 or less, and Zillow reports Seattle’s median hovering around $825,000). Or, as 28 percent of agents in the Pacific region reported, buyers might get grandparents, or kids, involved, creating a multigenerational living situation pooling resources to make buying more affordable.
Sellers may be turned off by the lower home sale prices in Seattle, but with a market in flux, there’s still the possibility of making a successful purchase, or sale.