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What To Know When Buying A House In Washington State: 2020 Update

What to Know When Buying a House in Washington State: 2020 Update

What to Know When Buying a House in Washington State

Summary: Timing your home purchase can be helpful to ensure you’re getting a great deal. That said, if you work with a seasoned mortgage broker, any time can be a good time to buy in Washington. This article will help you determine if 2020 is the year for you to jump into the market in Washington State.

Washington State experienced strong seller’s housing market in the last few years, due to rapidly increasing home values and uncertain market rates for buyers. But with prices expected to continue increasing, buyers can take advantage of rapid growth in home equity in 2020.

Here are three important updates to consider when buying a house in Washington State in 2020.

1. Home prices in Washington will give new owners an increase in equity.

You probably already know that home prices in Washington have risen steadily over the last couple of years. It has generated quite a few headlines. In fact, house values in Washington have risen more over the last couple of years than almost any other state in the country.

This is especially true within the Seattle metro area, which saw huge gains over the last few years. But most other cities have experienced steady price growth as well, despite the fact that Seattle home prices have plateaued over the past few months.

According to the real estate data company Zillow, the statewide median home value steadily rose to $412,900 by January 2020. That was an increase of 4.3% from the same time a year before. Looking forward, the company’s economists predicted that the median home price for Washington may see some similar increases in median home value, but other areas, like Seattle, would remain stable.

Compare the median home prices in several Washington State neighborhoods from January 2019 to January 2020, according to Zillow:

CityJanuary 2019January 2020
Bellevue$951,000$943,000
Seattle$758,000$741,000
Kent$409,000$423,000
Tacoma$318,000$337,000
Spokane$262,000$248,000

So, should you buy a house in Washington now, or wait until next year? Current trends and forecasts make a strong argument for buying sooner rather than later. Some prices have plateaued and interest rates are low.

2. Mortgage rates continue to decline.

As of late January 2020, mortgage rates were the second lowest that they have been in three years.  It is forecasted that the rates should remain low throughout 2020. This is a stark contrast to rates in 2018 that were volatile, unpredictable, and saw a sharp increase at the end of the year.

As of the last week of January 2020, Freddie Mac announced that the average rate for a 30-year fixed home loan fell to 3.51%.

View Washington State Mortgage Rates Jul, 03, Fri, 2020

3. Housing inventory still below “normal” in most markets for 2020.

Inventory is still low for home buyers planning to buy a house in Washington in 2020, and that has been the trend for the last 10 years or so.  However, experts agree that the inventory should increase for 2020, though not by much. That means that homebuyers may have more options to choose from, but should still start their search early enough to ensure they find what they’re looking for.

A balanced real estate market has about five to six months worth of supply. That means it would take five to six months to sell all of the homes currently listed for sale, assuming that no new ones came onto the market in the interim. This is also known as the market absorption rate.

Many of the real estate markets across Washington State had less than a two-month supply of homes for sale, as of January 2020. In the Seattle metro area, where housing demand is particularly strong, currently, less than a two month supply exists.  New condo projects are currently being built, and many more are on the way.  This should ease the inventory crisis as well.

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Want to Get Pre-Approved For a Mortgage?

Being pre-approved for a mortgage loan can help you narrow your home search, and could increase your chance for success. Sammamish Mortgage can help. We are a local mortgage company based out of Bellevue, Washington that serves the entire state, as well as Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado. We can help you determine which one of our mortgage programs is right for you. Contact us today with any questions you have about pre-approvals and home loans.

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