Home prices in the city of Seattle have leveled out in the last three months, but some buyers are still choosing to move further out from the city center. For home buyers looking as far as Kitsap County, it’s bittersweet to consider a ferry ride to Seattle in exchange for more home for their money, but with the fast ferry routes underway that may be changing.
At the time the fast ferry was announced in 2017, the county’s median home price was $297,700. By that same time in 2018, Kitsap’s median home price had jumped up 17 percent to $350,000. Real estate experts predict that these prices aren’t done fluctuating and we may see more homebuyers choosing to avoid the Seattle/Eastside area and opting for a ferry commute.
Across the U.S. many millennials are choosing to live with their parents, despite a strong economy and job growth. However, that isn’t the case for Seattle millennials. Recent reports revealed that about 10 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 34 in Seattle, live under the same roof as their parents; the lowest percentage among major cities across the country.
What to expect in 2019
As the Seattle-metro market continues to normalize, mortgage rates are expected to rise in 2019. The National Mortgage Bankers Association has predicted that interest rates are going to increase at least half a percent in the coming year. Currently, rates are just below five percent, up a full percentage point higher than they were a year ago. When we have a strong economy and consistent job growth, we can expect mortgage rates to rise, say analysts. For potential buyers weighing the option to continue their search, early 2019 may be the best time to beat the interest rate hikes, especially while inventory is up and the pace of sales price appreciation has decelerated.
At the very least, it doesn’t hurt home buyers to be ready by getting pre-approved for a loan. This may be a slow period for the Seattle metro market, but compared to the rest of the nation, our region is expected to do exceptionally well in 2019.