The Market’s Mood Changes with the Seasons

The real estate market goes through a regular ebb and flow every year – trending increasingly active in the warmer months and slows down a bit in the colder season. December is typically the slowest month (although, we had 7 transactions close this past December for our buyers and sellers!) and right around the time March-April hits is when we start to see the market begin its steady incline, peaking it’s busiest time in the summer months.

Now, what do we mean by the ‘busiest time” and what should you expect?

That’s when the sun starts to come out, the cold weather has thawed, our sellers are ready to hit the market, and our buyers are ready to BUY! This also means more competition – more offers for our buyers to compete against, and a more saturated listing market for our sellers to leverage their property over others. On the up side, sellers tend to have an opportunity for multiple offers, bidding wars, and higher listing prices and buyers have more on the market to choose from.

We love the ‘busy’ season, but we also really love the time just before, beating the Spring Rush. You’ll start to see homes hit the market at higher listing prices, but without the extreme inflation for buyers. Buyers come in strong, wanting to secure their position with a solid offer (and grab the opportunity to be settled in a new home before summer time).

Greater Seattle Market

The Seattle Times recently published an article about the market’s changes over the past year and the higher competition facing our first time home buyers.

Over the past year, the most expensive homes on the market in Seattle and on the Eastside, saw an increase of 3% in price from the year before. The midrange homes falling anywhere between $400k-$700k saw an increase of 5% in price from the year before. The most impressive increase comes from homes under $390k, mostly in Pierce County, that saw an increase of 9% from the year before.

Six years ago, the cost of a median house in Seattle was roughly equivalent to today’s cost of the typical house in Tacoma.

The federal government releases a quarterly price index report, ranking all 245 metropolitan areas throughout the U.S. (the HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to, or guaranteed by, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac).

On that report, Washington has 5 metro areas falling within the Top 20 Metropolitan Areas with Highest Rates of House Price Appreciation between:

  1. Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA
  2. Yakima, WA
  3. Tacoma/Lakewood, WA
  4. Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater, WA
  5. Kennewick-Richland, WA

Bremerton-Silverdale-Port Orchard ranked at 24 and Seattle at 99.

Average Home Prices + Mortgage Rates

Seattle Median Sales Price: $760,000

Seattle Average Sales Price: $870,648

Mortgage Rate Estimate: 4.435%*

Gig Harbor Median Sales Price: $508,250

Gig Harbor Average Sales Price: $564,187

Mortgage Rate Estimate: 4.435%*

Tacoma Median Sales Price: $300,000

Tacoma Average Sales Price: $329,317

Mortgage Rate Estimate: 4.739%*

*mortgage rates are based on average sales price, 20% down payment with a 30-year fixed loan. Mortgage rates are subject to change based on many factors including area, finances, lender, etc. and are not guaranteed. Find out from your lender more details on how to get your rate locked-in. Need recommendations? Let us know!

It can be tough to navigate the changes in the market throughout the year. Thankfully, we’re very familiar with the ever-changing seasonal market and we know the best way to position your listing or offer. We know what’s strong, desirable, and what gets you more money.

If you’re thinking about buying or selling, let us know and we can talk through the best strategy for your budget, area, and timeline. As always, we love to answer any questions about real estate, big or small! Call, text, or email us and we would love to help!


Average Home Prices from NWMLS + InfoSparks]