This year the real estate market has started out with a continuation of the low inventory scenario that we have seen all too often these last few years. With more buyers than sellers as evidenced by more pending sales (sales under contract but not closed) in January than new listings, the upward pressure on prices will be strong. The imbalance of more buyers than homes to buy has been felt across all of Western Washington including the Eastside and Seattle.
On the Eastside listings were down 47% from January of last year while new sales were up 2%. Median prices are still flat but the next reports due in early March will undoubtedly show price increases. In general, homes below $2 million dollars on the Eastside are candidates for multiple offers.
Of course, the good news in all of this continues to be interest rates. In contrast to a robust Seattle and U.S. economy, the global business outlook is still not encouraging. All of our lending sources predict interest rates in near record low territory throughout this year.
Our local economy still continues to show steady job growth, led by the technology sector and historically low unemployment. Buyers with great jobs who have access to cheap financing will continue to look for places to live in our area.