This article is part of an ongoing series for home buyers across the Seattle metro area. Our last report examined real estate market conditions and trends in Bellevue. Today, we have an update for those planning to buy a home in Kirkland, Washington in late 2018 or 2019.
How the Kirkland Housing Market Is Similar to Seattle
In many ways, the real estate market in Kirkland mirrors Seattle, its neighbor to the west. Both areas have a major shortage of housing supply, relative to demand. This makes things very competitive for home buyers who are seeking a property to buy.
Additionally, price trends in both areas have been similar over the last couple of years. The median home value in both cities rose by around 11% – 12% over the last year, according to MLS data and real estate reports.
The third thing these markets have in common is quick sales. Whether you plan to buy a home in Kirkland or Seattle, be prepared to make a strong offer in a timely fashion. Properties listed for sale tend to generate offers in a matter of days.
Home Prices Rising Steadily in Kirkland
According to the real estate information company Zillow, the median home value for Kirkland, Washington rose to around $755,000 as of August 2018. That was 12.4% higher than the same month a year earlier. So clearly, home prices in Kirkland have risen steadily over the past year.
Looking forward, the company’s economists recently predicted that the median home value would rise by around 5% over the next 12 months (through August 2019). So they expect price growth to slow down some over the coming months. This is a trend being seen in many U.S. cities right now. The general consensus is that house values in most areas will rise more slowly in 2019 than in 2018.
So that’s the first thing you should know about buying a home in Kirkland. Buyers today are encountering high house values as a result of steady appreciation over the last few years. And while no one can predict future housing trends with complete accuracy, the consensus outlook is that home prices across the Seattle metro area will continue trending north.
Inventory Will Continue to Be a Factor in 2019
There are plenty of folks in the market to buy a home in Kirkland, but not enough inventory to go around. This has been the big real estate headline for the last couple of years, in housing markets across the Seattle area. In fact, Seattle and Kirkland are two of the tightest real estate markets in the country right now when it comes to supply.
As of mid-summer 2018, Kirkland has about a one-month supply of homes for sale. That’s well below what is considered to be a balanced market, and it indicates a strong seller’s market. It also accounts for the quick sales mentioned earlier.
But there’s some good news on this front. As we reported earlier this month, housing inventory has risen in the Seattle metro area and across King County. This bodes well for those planning to buy a home in Kirkland later this year or in 2019, as it should give buyers more options to choose from.
Still, conditions are pretty tight within the local real estate market. So buyers will want to give themselves plenty of lead time when shopping for a home in the area. It also helps to be flexible and open-minded, in terms of the property features you want.
In closing, five tips for Kirkland home buyers in 2018 / 2019:
- Start your housing search early to account for limited supply in the market.
- Be prepared for “lively” competition from other buyers.
- Consider making your first offer a strong one, supported by recent sales data.
- Get an experienced agent on your side, so you can move quickly when necessary.
- Consider buying sooner rather than later to avoid (possibly) higher housing costs.