The following analysis of the Western Washington real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner from the Windermere Blog.
I hope that this info can help you in making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information specific to your area, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Washington State continues to be one of the fastest growing states in the nation and there is little to suggest that there will be any marked slowdown in the foreseeable future. Over the past year, the state has added 105,900 new jobs, representing an annual growth rate of 3.2%. This remains well above the national rate of 1.65%. Private sector employment gains continue to be robust, increasing at an annual rate of 3.7%. The strongest growth sectors were Construction (+7.4%), Information (+6.2%), and Professional & Business Services (+6.1%). The state’s unemployment rate was 4.5%, down from 4.8% a year ago.
Washington State continues to be one of the fastest growing states in the nation and there is little to suggest that there will be any marked slowdown in the foreseeable future.
All year Gardner has been predicting that Washington State’s annual job growth would outperform the nation as a whole, and we now know with certainty that this is going to be the case. Furthermore, he is now able to predict that statewide job growth in 2019 will be equally strong, with an expected increase of 2.6%.
It has been more than 15 years since we’ve experienced a “balanced” market, so many home buyers and sellers have a hard time remembering what one looks like.
This speedometer reflects the state of the region’s real estate market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors. Gardner started to move the needle toward buyers last quarter and has moved it even further this quarter. Price growth continues to slow, but more significant is the rise in listings, which he expects to continue as we move toward the quieter winter period.
Gardner believes that psychology will start to play a part in the housing market going forward. It has been more than 15 years since we’ve experienced a “balanced” market, so many home buyers and sellers have a hard time remembering what one looks like. Concerns over price drops are overrated and the length of time it’s taking to sell a home is simply trending back to where it used to be in the early 2000s.
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