Despite ‘wait-and-see’ approach from Feds on interest rates, real estate ticking onward

Though the feds are in a wait-and-see mood there are benefits to buying and/or selling now versus waiting.

  • Thursday, February 7, 2019 8:30am
  • Life

By Erin Flemming

Special to the Reporter

As January came to a close, the Federal Reserve chose to hold its key interest rate steady, noting the central bank will be “patient” when deciding on future rates. This new “wait-and-see” approach means that for the time-being, federal interest rates will remain stable, which can directly influence adjustable-rate mortgages and home equity lines of credit.

Though the Feds are in a wait-and-see mood, Mona Spencer, branch manager for John L. Scott’s Redmond office said there are benefits to buying and/or selling now versus waiting, due to historically low rates, continued home appreciation (though at a slower pace) and a strong local economy. For sellers, Spencer said it can be worth it to put your home on the market now, rather than waiting for increased competition to hit in the spring.

“What we are seeing in the Kirkland area is that buyers in the market during January were truly motivated purchasers who want to buy now,” said Spencer. “With limited inventory currently available in most markets, sellers are still in a great position to negotiate. A seller should consider if they can price their house a ‘little ahead’ of the market and still ensure it sells. This depends on many factors, with key factors being location, nearby schools and home condition.”

For many people, their home is their family’s greatest financial asset. Accordingly, Spencer said many consumers who are considering selling their home want to know things like how strong buyer demand is currently and how much competition listings have right now versus in the springtime.

“Consumers must get past fearful headlines and gain a deep understanding of what is truly happening in the local housing market in order to make educated decisions,” Spencer said. “Understanding the individual pieces that influence the sale or purchase of real estate is important. The best way to build a complete understanding of the current market is to get help from a professional who can expertly guide you on the journey to reach your housing goals.”

Transportation in Seattle has been top-of-mind for many in the Seattle area in the past month, with the Alaskan Way Viaduct closing in January and preparations being made to open up the new State Route 99 tunnel. It’s one of many transportation projects in the works in Seattle and beyond.

“Some buyers are focused on purchasing near Sound Transit light rail stations or other areas serviced by convenient bus routes,” Spencer said. “These buyers may value convenience as well as the probability of home appreciation due to the proximity to public transit options.”

Currently, the South Kirkland-Issaquah Link is in the voter approval stage. If approved, this light rail route would begin near the current South Kirkland Park and Ride and would end in downtown Issaquah. Already under construction is the East Link Extension, a 14-mile route that begins in the International District and travels through Mercer Island, Bellevue and eventually ends at the Redmond Technology Station.

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