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If buying a home in Washington State is on the agenda this year, you may want to consider getting in the market sooner rather than later before the spring season heats up..
Are you planning to buy a home in Washington during winter 2021? It might work to your advantage.
For example, Zillow says that home prices in Washington will rise by 11.3% over the next 12 months. Home prices tend to be slower in winter months before the hot spring season hits. So, buyers willing to get into the market sooner rather than later can take advantage of lower prices of today before they really start to pick up in the spring and beyond.
With that being said, home buyers across Washington State will probably feel more urgency in winter 2021 — compared to years past. Mortgage rates are holding at low levels, making home buying more affordable.
But depending on where you plan to buy, you could be facing higher prices as the months progress this year. They have risen in recent months, and home prices across Washington continue to climb steadily. So many buyers are feeling the need to move quickly.
The latest reports from real estate companies and listing services show that home prices in the state continue to climb. So those planning to buy a house in Washington this winter might want to expedite the process, if at all possible.
Here are three reasons why a sense of urgency might be warranted:
The median home price for the state of Washington rose to around $458,313 in January 2021. That was an increase of 12.1% from the same month last year.
And with the current supply-and-demand situation in real estate markets across the state, it appears likely that prices will continue climbing throughout 2021 and into 2019. Many markets across Washington State have less than a 1-month supply of available housing inventory.
Right now, Washington has less than a 2-month supply of housing, which is far lower than a balanced market that is characterized by about 5 to 6 months’ worth of supply. Washington home buyers might want to consider buying sooner rather than later, to avoid higher costs toward the end of the year.
In mid-January 2021, Freddie Mac reported that the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage loan had dipped to 2.77% That’s close to a one-year low, as rates have been on a steady decline for over a year..
Over the last few weeks, average 30-year mortgage rates have been fluctuating in the 3.0% range. Low mortgage rates make home buying more affordable. And by taking advantage of these low rates today coupled with a traditionally slower time of the year for sellers, now may be a great time to buy before the heat of the spring real estate season picks up.
This is another trend to watch, if you’re thinking of buying a home in Washington over the winter of 2021. There is a chance that home prices will continue to rise and mortgage rates could continue to fall over the winter and spring months, and into the latter half of the year. Once again, it makes a strong case for buying sooner rather than later.
Related: 6 factors that determine your rate
If you’ve been following real estate market trends lately, you probably already know that inventory is tight right now. There’s a shortage of supply in real estate markets across Washington State — and especially within the Seattle metro area.
Recent MLS reports show that housing inventory is tightest at the lower end of the price spectrum (i.e., “starter homes”). That’s because there are more buyers competing within that range. But things are tight up and down the price scale.
This gives home buyers a good reason to start early, when shopping for a house in Washington. If your goal is to find a property and make an offer during the winter, you’ll want to start now. It can take longer to find a house these days, due to the supply situation.
If you are in need of the assistance of a seasoned mortgage broker, Sammamish Mortgage can help. We are a local, family-owned company based in Bellevue, Washington. We serve the entire state, as well as the broader Pacific Northwest region that includes Idaho, Colorado, and Oregon. We have been offering a wide variety of mortgage programs and products with flexible qualification criteria, and we’d love to help. Please contact us if you have mortgage-related questions.
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