While the sunny days of summer — and the heightened real estate action that comes with the season — are now over, the residential real estate market in Kirkland shows some positive signs.
According to Kirkland statistics from Trendgraphix, the number of new listings and sold homes in September went down by 1.8 percent and 28.7 percent respectively. However, the number of homes that went under contract increased by 29.7 percent; in other words, the number of homes that closed decreased, yet the sales activity during the month was livelier than the prior month.
Mona Spencer, branch manager for John L. Scott’s Redmond office, said buyers and sellers should be cognizant of current market conditions for the best chance at success. She said brokers in her office are seeing homes with deferred maintenance that are also overpriced and un-staged sit on the market for quite some time without getting any offers. Making these mistakes when listing a home puts more negotiation power in buyers’ hands as the home sits on the market, she added.
“Competition in our area has slowed down since the same time last year. Last year, most offers faced competition,” said Spencer. “I am currently seeing less competition than last year but well-priced homes in great locations can still garner more than one offer. The winning offer is often still the one that is above the list price with waiver of contingencies.”
Looking ahead, John L. Scott Redmond broker Angelina Wallent said sales activity may pick up in the month of October.
“A couple months ago, Seattle was the only major market showing negative year over year returns but the latest data shows that now we’re up a bit, suggesting that the dip was a blip,” said Wallent. “I expect that in October, motivated buyers and sellers will try to wrap things up before the holidays and before daylight savings time ends, resulting in a burst of activity.”
Citing tariffs and other current events on a national scale, some see a potential for instability in the current economic climate, which could impact the housing market. However, a report from the Associated Press cited a recent bump in home sales as a “sign of U.S. consumers’ resilience despite a darkening outlook for growth.”
Reflecting on consumer sentiment locally, Wallent said she was surprised recently when she went on vacation expecting business would be quiet, but rather received three calls out of the blue from buyers who had been searching in earnest years ago, then abandoned the search out of frustration.
“I was surprised to hear from these clients, and asked them why they decided to call now,” said Wallent. “They said interest rates are excellent, and they felt that finally they can be successful negotiating a fair price and including contingencies so they can do their due diligence to their satisfaction. Despite recession fears, all these buyers felt that the strength of our local economy mitigates fears of recession.”