Our region is healthy and attracting more residents every day! According to the NWMLS, December in real estate around the Puget Sound was one of the best on record to close out 2014. The numbers also tell us that inventory remains low, with 11.8% fewer active listings in December compared with the previous year. Similar news in both Snohomish and Pierce County, sales are up and inventory remains tight.
Our region, with its well-paying jobs and great quality of life continues to attract new residents from all over the world. Some choose to rent, but as recently reported in the Seattle P.I., Seattle is the 8th most expensive area to rent in the country with a median rent of $1,580 for a one-bedroom apartment. Renters in Seattle paid 8.6% more in 2014 over the previous year, according to a recent report. It’s also predicted that rents will rise even faster than home values during the first part of 2015.
A huge number of apartment projects are expected to reach completion later this year which may result in more competitive rents, giving apartment dwellers a reason to stay put instead of looking to buy. Which, in turn, may have the effect of slowing home price increases. From now until the end of Spring may be the “sweet spot” for sellers to enter the market. Home-owners who wait risk losing favorable interest rates and optimal home values.
So if 2014 ended with a boom, will 2015 start with a bang? Interest rates remain historically low, but are showing an increase this last week. So stay tuned.