Outlook for Buying a Home in WA State in 2024

June 14, 2024
Last updated:
June 14, 2024
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Home buyers in Washington need to know what’s going on in the real estate world so they can make informed decisions. Staying in-the-know about the local housing market can help buyers make the best buying decision and avoid spending more than necessary.

This update will give you a good head start. Here are five things you should know when buying a home in WA State during the second half of 2024.

1. Mortgage rates are predicted to hover near 7%.

Mortgage rates have been all over the place during the past 12 months or so. But more recently, they seem to be settling into a narrow range.

According to the latest survey conducted by Freddie Mac, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage loan is currently hovering around 7%. Looking forward, Freddie Mac’s economists expect rates to decline gradually between now and the end of 2024.

On June 6, the company wrote:

“Thirty-year mortgage rates are just shy of seven percent, and we expect them to modestly decline over the remainder of 2024.”

On the surface, this prediction seems to make a case for buying a home later this year, in order to secure a lower interest rate. But the one thing we know about mortgage rate predictions is that they’re not always accurate.

Additionally, there is a chance that home prices in Washington could continue climbing over the coming months, which would result in higher housing costs down the road. So let’s talk about that trend next.

2. Home prices could rise further by the end of 2024.

Home buyers in Washington should know that house prices are expected to continue creeping upward through the second half of 2024. That’s the most likely scenario based on current Washington housing trends in 2024 and conditions within the real estate market.

According to Zillow, the median home price for the state of Washington is approaching $600,000. House values were up by 4% over the past year when this article was published, and forecasts suggest they’ll keep moving in that direction.

Trying to time the Washington real estate market is tricky business. But home buyers who are already on a tight budget might benefit from making a purchase sooner rather than later.

3. Low supply levels will continue to challenge buyers.

Tight housing inventory in Washington has been the biggest challenge for home buyers in Washington over the past few years. And while we have seen some inventory growth in many cities across the state, there’s still a shortage of supply relative to demand.

As of late spring 2024, the state of Washington had less than a two-month supply of homes for sale. Parts of the Seattle metro area have even less inventory. In contrast, the nation as a whole had about a three-month supply level during that same timeframe.

But there’s a bit of good news on this front, especially for buyers seeking a starter home.

A June 2024 report from Realtor.com revealed a “46.6% increase in homes priced in the $200,000 to $350,000 range across the country year-over-year.” This trend could benefit first-time buyers in Washington and others seeking a relatively low-priced home.

Overall, however, tight inventory conditions will continue to affect buyers in Washington during the second part of 2024.

4. Homes are still selling quickly in most markets.

Timing is of the essence when buying a home in WA State, especially in a fast-moving real estate market. And “fast” is a good way to describe the current housing market conditions across the state of Washington.

When this report was published, homes listed for sale statewide were spending a median of about 15 days on the market. That was well below the national median for the same period.

According to Multiple Listing Service data, roughly half of all homes listed for sale in Washington end up going under contract within two weeks. These statistics show that there’s currently a high level of demand from buyers, and it’s being magnified by the tight inventory conditions mentioned above.

As always, the advice for home buyers is the same. If you plan to buy a home in Washington during the latter half of 2024, be prepared to move quickly when the right property comes along. And make your initial offer a strong one.

5. You might have to pay your real estate agent directly.

Last but not least, we come to real estate compensation. Home buyers in Washington should also know that a recent lawsuit involving the National Association of Realtors (NAR) could affect the way they pay for real estate representation.

In the past, the buyer’s and seller’s agents would often split the commission. So the seller essentially paid for both agent fees, out of the money they earned through the sale.

But this could change going forward. Now, buyers and sellers will both be responsible for paying their respective agents. Or the buyer could negotiate to have the seller pay the commission.

This is a recent development, and the dust hasn’t settled yet. So it’s hard to say exactly how these changes will reshape the real estate world. Some experts predict a rise in flat fee and “a la carte” services offered by buyer’s agents.

If you plan to work with a real estate agent when buying a home in Washington in 2024, find out what services they provide and how they are compensated.

Overall, the second half of 2024 could be a good time for buying a home in WA State. Especially if mortgage rates come down a bit. Just keep an eye on Washington home prices in 2024, and research your local market so you know what to expect.

Need financing?

If you need help financing a home purchase, Sammamish Mortgage can help. Reach out to us today to get a rate quote and get the process started for mortgage pre-approval.

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