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Bremerton, Bellingham & Olympia Among Top-5 Housing Forecasts for 2019

According to a new forecast from the property valuation company Veros, several cities in Washington State could lead the nation in terms of home-price appreciation. Bremerton, Bellingham and Olympia were all ranked within the top-five strongest housing markets. This particular forecast covers the 12-month period from September 2018 to September 2019.

Strong Forecasts for Bremerton, Bellingham and Olympia

In October 2018, Versos Real Estate Solutions published a list of what they believe will end up being the strongest and weakest housing markets through fall of 2019. Specifically, they were predicting annual home-price appreciation for the 100 most populous metro areas in the United States.

Three metro areas in Washington State (Bremerton, Bellingham and Olympia) were ranked within the top five strongest markets, based on the forecast.

According to that report:

“Western states continue to hold all top ten spots, with forecast appreciation rates running roughly between nine and 12 percent. Seven of those MSAs with the highest-projected appreciation are in Washington and Nevada…”

Top 10 Housing Markets in Recent Forecast

Here are the company’s year-over-year forecasts for what they expect to be the strongest markets into 2019. The percentage beside each metro represents their outlook for home-price appreciation from September 2018 to September 2019.

  1. Bremerton-Silverdale, WA……………. 11.7%
  2. Boise City-Nampa, ID……………. 11.2%
  3. Las Vegas-Paradise, NV……………. 10.8%
  4. Bellingham, WA……………. 10.6%
  5. Olympia, WA……………. 10.3%
  6. Carson City, NV……………. 10.1%
  7. Reno-Sparks, NV……………. 10.0%
  8. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA……………. 9.6%
  9. Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO……………. 9.5%
  10. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA……………. 9.3%

For the nation as a whole, the company’s research group predicted that home prices would rise by an average of 4.5% during the 12-month period. So the metro-area real estate markets listed above are expected to appreciate at more than double the national rate.

Granted, this is just one forecast. Housing market predictions like these are the equivalent of an educated guess. So we probably shouldn’t focus too heavily on the exact numbers being projected here. It’s the broader outlook that’s important. And that outlook is that real estate markets across the state of Washington are expected to outperform much of the nation through 2018 and into 2019.

The strong forecasts issued for Bremerton, Bellingham and Olympia aren’t really surprising. For a while there, home prices in Washington were rising faster than any other state in the country. And most real estate markets in the state are still experiencing low inventory levels, relative to buyer demand.

Eric Fox, VP of Statistical and Economic Modeling at Veros, pointed to the inventory situation in the company’s recent forecast report:

“Housing supply is a key discriminator between the forecasted top- and bottom-performing markets. Where the housing supply is very low, as in our top markets, prices are expected to increase significantly.”

More Inventory, Slower Price Growth

Over the past year or so, there has been an increase in housing inventory in most cities across Washington. The trend is most noticeable in the Seattle area, but it’s happening elsewhere as well. That’s good news for home buyers, particularly those who plan to enter the market in 2019. It means there should be more properties to choose from, compared to the shortages of the past.

But we probably have a ways to go before we can apply the phrase “buyer’s market” to any of the major metro areas in Washington. While prices are slowing and inventory is increasing, current market conditions still tend to favor sellers over buyers. But there does appear to be a gradual shift taking place.

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