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Many home buyers across King County, Washington are setting their sights on the remaining months of 2021 when it comes to whether or not to buy a home. And many share the same questions: Is it a good time to buy a home in King County? What will the real estate market be like next year?
We’ve created a King County mortgage and home buying guide for 2021, to help you make an informed decision about when to buy. Here’s an updated look at current mortgage and housing market trends for the county, as of March 2021.
The prices of homes in King County rose sharply from 2012 to mid-2018. But since then, price appreciation has slowed. In fact, home prices actually fell from mid-2018 through mid-2019. However, home prices are yet again picking up, so you can expect prices to be higher by the end of 2021 compared to where they are now.
According to the Zillow, the median price paid for a single-family home across King County is $716,850 as of March 2021. That was an increase of roughly 10.8% from the same month a year earlier. But prices are expected to increase more this year.
So that’s the first thing you should know, if you’re planning to buy a home in King County in 2021. As a result of steady and significant price growth, buyers across the county will encounter higher housing costs in 2021.
King County home buyers should be prepared for fierce competition in 2021 due to a shortage of housing inventory across the county.
Like most of Washington State, the real estate market in King County has suffered from limited supply over recent years. And these conditions will likely continue further into 2021.
According to housing experts, a “balanced” real estate market has about five to six months worth of supply. As of early 2021, King County, Washington had only about a month-and-a-half supply of homes. That’s well below the national average.
Additionally, homes spent a median of just 16 days on the market before going under contract. This too is well below the national average.
All of these trends indicate a strong seller’s market. High demand and low inventory have created a highly competitive market for home buyers in King County, Washington, and across the broader Seattle metro area.
In previous blog posts, we explained that mortgage requirements have eased a bit over the last few years. This applies to debt ratios, credit scores, and other criteria used to approve borrowers for home loans.
As a result of these ongoing trends, some home buyers in King County might have an easier time qualifying for a mortgage loan in 2021. This is especially true for borrowers with higher debt levels, marginal credit scores, and/or limited funds for a down payment.
Mortgage rates for King County, Washington have been hovering below 3% for months. According to a February 25, 2021 report by Freddie Mac, the average rate for a 30-year fixed home loan was 2.97%. So interest rates remain attractive for King County home buyers and mortgage shoppers.
But there is no telling how long they will stay at this low level. The latest forecast from Freddie Mac, published earlier this week, suggests that rates will stay under 3.0% throughout 2021. They estimated that 30-year mortgage rates would end up averaging approximately 3.0% for 2021, but it’s impossible to say with 100% certainty.
So that’s a look at the King County housing market and mortgage trends for 2021. If you’d like to learn more about this subject, check out these housing forecasts for the area.
If you have questions about applying for a home loan in King County – or anywhere else in Washington – we can help. Sammamish Mortgage can provide you with a rate quote as well as an estimate of your monthly payments on various mortgage programs. We help borrowers in the entire Pacific Northwest, including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado, and have been since 1992. Contact us today!
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