Real estate market holds steady as summer continues

Suburbs are on the rise, as many millennials may be priced out of city cores.

As summer continues onward, Kirkland’s local real estate market is holding steady — though some areas are seeing reduced inventory and activity slow down a bit as consumers head out on vacation.

Mona Spencer, branch manager for John L. Scott’s Redmond office, said August tends to be a bit quieter, but she expects the market to pick up a bit after the Labor Day holiday.

For Mike Beck, a managing broker out of the John L. Scott Redmond office, July didn’t have the “craziness” his team saw last year, but he did note that a busy June this year did lead to healthy closings in July. The current market gives buyers a bit of breathing room, and solidifies for sellers the importance of ensuring your home will be positioned well to stand out and make a positive first impression.

“I’m not seeing as much craziness as I saw last year in our local market,” said Beck. “We’re in a stable, healthy market, and I don’t expect that to change. We may see prices drop a bit more in the months ahead.”

In John L. Scott chairman and CEO J. Lennox Scott’s monthly housing update remarks, he noted that it can feel like the market slows down a bit during the summer, due to an increase in new listings, which creates disbursed buyer energy. However, he noted that strong growth locally and interest rates in the upper threes are positive signs for the housing market.

As the summer winds down, some sellers may be affected by this disbursed buyer energy and may not see the movement they’d like on their listing. Beck said if a seller has a home on the market and it hasn’t sold yet, they have two main courses of action.

“Sellers in this situation can choose to either stay the course and keep it listed, or they can take it off the market and re-list,” said Beck. “If they re-list, they can opt to wait 60 days for the listing to reset, which would give the home a new number and fresh start on the Multiple Listing Service. If they need to do anything like re-stage or make improvements to the home, they’ll have some time to do so before it will go on the market again.”

If a seller decides to take their listing off in early August and then re-list, Beck noted by the time the 60-day period is up the listing will be in early October, which is still within a good early fall listing window. If someone is looking to list their home, both Beck and Spencer agree that the window from after Labor Day up until mid- to late October is a good time to sell.

According to U.S. Census data, it appears that suburbs are on the rise, with many millennials who may be priced out of city cores choosing to move to the suburbs. As the Seattle metropolitan area grows, we’ve seen major growth in the last few years in areas many consider suburbs of Seattle. Factors like more space, more parking and good schools are often considered when choosing to lay down roots in a more suburban area, said Spencer.

“In many areas outside of Seattle, we’re seeing cities really come into their own,” said Spencer. “Cities like Kirkland boast restaurants, great schools, plenty of parks and good walkability. In the summer time, you can really enjoy the walkability and culture of more suburban cities.”

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