“How is the Market?”

This is the most consistent question I hear from people =, and I’m sure the same holds true for Financial Planners and Stock Brokers.  It may also be one of the most lied about response.

I’ve talked a lot about it and some of you have seen the videos (although I was told many missed the Rainy-Day Listing Speed Tour, and the iGallop; two of my favorites).   

Everything is up…kind of.  We’re up from last year, but down a little from 3 months ago.  But that’s normal, there’s always a little lull in the summer.  Homes are selling, but it take a little longer.  Instead of getting an offer in five days, it may take five weeks to get good an offer.   As vacations end there will be another push, then another little lull.  The average days on market in King County is 36 days and there’s 2.1 months of inventory – that is indicative of a seller’s market.  In many areas, we’re seeing a transition to a balanced market.

The real question is where we are headed.  I think we’re still headed up.  I firmly believe we’ll have a strong market in the spring, although I don’t expect it to be nearly as strong as 2014.  I think we’re headed to a more balanced market, which frankly is healthy.

That said I have two concerns – the stock market, and interest rates.  If the stock market tumbles then the real estate market will slow, and may lose some value.  Interest rates going up will slow the market.   Locally we also have the reality, and the perception associated with the Microsoft layoffs – when the first round hit the market activity definitely slowed.

“Should I wait until the Spring to Buy (or Sell)?”

Maybe the second most common question in Real Estate.  If you are selling and buying then it doesn’t make a huge difference when you do it.  The only real factor interest rates – which would lead me to believe better to do it soon as rates aren’t going anywhere but up.

That out of the way the real question if you are just selling – how do you feel about the stock market?  If you think it is great and stable then probably no rush, may get a little more in the spring market (probably will).  If the stock market gets shaky, then you’ll regret having waited…

Buyers – if you are getting a loan now, then buy now.  If it is all cash then see the question above.

Gross oversimplifications – yep 

Investing – buy when the deal is there.  The market doesn’t matter, you adjust your strategy based on the market.  Although I do know of one Real Estate attorney that buys a home every two years regardless – his feeling it he doesn’t have the ability to predict the market, his goal is to have a number of rental free and clear so might as well buy as soon as he has the funds.