The year 2024 could be a great time to sell a home in the Seattle metro area. There are several reasons for this, and we will cover the mall throughout this article.
Here’s the short version. Steady demand and a dearth of inventory have created ideal conditions for home sellers in Seattle and other metro areas across the U.S. This has been the story for some time, and a new report suggested that these conditions could persist for the foreseeable future.
Plenty of Home Buyers, Not Enough Sellers
A recent report from Realtor.com showed that home buyers across the country are still grappling with an ongoing inventory shortage. The title of the article says it all: “Lack of Sellers Creates Inventory Woes for Spring Buyers.”
This is true for the Seattle-area real estate market (where we are located) and many other major cities across the United States.
Several overlapping factors have contributed to this situation. For one thing, a lot of would be home sellers are reluctant to list their properties for sale, due to their current low mortgage rates. They feel “locked in,” so to speak.
Many people who purchased homes over the past few years currently have mortgage rates in the upper-2% to low-3% range. As of early January 2024, however, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was hovering around 6.6%. So, a person who sells a home and buys another one could end up with a higher rate than the one they’re giving up.
According to Danielle Hale, the chief economist for Realtor.com:
“Many sellers are likely future buyers too, which may be why a majority of would-be sellers report feeling ‘locked in’ to their current home because of a low mortgage rate. But older seller-buyers, who are likely to have a smaller mortgage balance and built up greater equity, are less likely to report feeling locked-in…”
Update on Seattle Real Estate Market Conditions
This recent report also provided an update on the Seattle metro area real estate market, in particular. And there was one trend that stood out.
The total number of homes sold in Seattle declined by -17% over the past year, according to RedFin. This means there are fewer homes coming onto the market today than there were a year ago.
Additionally, the median number of “days on market” remains relatively low within the Seattle housing market. In fact, that figure has remained the same from the same time last year.
This shows that there is still a lot of real estate activity in the area, and that homes are selling faster than the national average. Not surprising, when you consider the tight inventory conditions that continue to affect the Seattle real estate market.
Why 2024 Is a Good Time to Sell a Home
Homeowners planning to sell a home in the Seattle area later in 2024 could benefit from these conditions. It’s not quite the seller’s market we were seeing a couple of years ago. But current real estate conditions still tend to favor sellers over buyers.
Here are three market factors currently benefiting Seattle home sellers:
- Low inventory: The number of homes for sale is still very low, which means that buyers have fewer options to choose from. This puts sellers in a good position to negotiate a higher price for their home.
- High demand: The demand for homes is still very high, as many people are looking to buy in the current market. This means that sellers are likely to receive multiple offers on their home, which can drive up the price.
- Low interest rates: Interest rates are still relatively low, which makes it more affordable for buyers to purchase a home. This can also help to boost demand for homes, as more people will be able to afford to buy a home.
Downsides of the ‘Wait-And-See’ Approach
Some homeowners in the Seattle area — and elsewhere across the country — might choose to take a wait-and-see approach for now. They might be waiting for mortgage rates to come down a bit further before listing their homes, to facilitate their next purchase.
Also, some homeowners might be reluctant to sell due to the tight inventory conditions mentioned earlier. After all, those conditions could make it harder for a seller to find and purchase their next property. So they might be waiting for supply levels to increase.
But this could be a double-edged sword, from a seller’s perspective. While higher inventory levels would make it easier for a person to find their next home, it could also make it harder to sell the current one. In that scenario, there would be more properties on the market and therefore more competition among homeowners looking to sell.
Seattle-area homeowners who do decide to list their homes in 2024 could benefit from the lopsided supply-and-demand situation described earlier. With plenty of buyers seeking properties, but not enough homes to go around, the rest of 2024 could be a good time to sell.
Need a Mortgage in Seattle?
Do you plan to buy a home in Seattle sometime soon and need mortgage financing? We can help. Sammamish Mortgage has been helping borrowers across the Pacific Northwest since 1992, including Washington State, Colorado, Idaho, and Oregon. We offer many different mortgage programs with flexible qualification requirements to suit the needs of each borrower, including our Diamond Homebuyer Program, Cash Buyer Program, and Bridge Loans. Contact us today if you have questions about applying for a mortgage.