Buying a Home in Seattle in 2015 – A Buyer’s Guide

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Seattle was one of the hottest West Coast housing markets over the last couple of years, with home prices rising steadily. With a good job market and quality of life, Seattle attracts home buyers from elsewhere in Washington State and from across the country. Here’s what you need to know about the current market, if you are thinking of buying a home in Seattle in 2015.

Zillow: Seattle Home Prices Rose 7.4% Last Year

According to the housing economists at Zillow, home prices in the Seattle metro area rose by 7.4% in 2014. This is higher than the national average. This housing market has seen solid appreciation for the last two years, actually.

What buyer’s should know: If you are buying a home in Seattle in 2015, you should know that the market has cooled a bit compared to the last couple of years. There is a better balance of supply and demand. This means that home prices probably won’t rise as much in 2015 as they did last year. Just note the word “probably” — no one can predict these things with 100% accuracy.

As of February 2015, Zillow was offering a 12-month forecast for home prices in the Seattle area. According to their economists, local house values could rise by around 5.4% through the end of the year. That’s less than last year, but still a strong return.

Home buyers who buy a house in Seattle in 2015 will likely see their property values rise over the next year or so, and possibly beyond that horizon as well. Prediction model prove less accurate once you move beyond a one-year forecast. But the Seattle real estate market traditionally performs well, due to a variety of positive economic indicators. As a result, buying a Seattle home in 2015 could be viewed as a sound investment.

Stiff Competition for Those Buying a Seattle Home in 2015

At the start of 2015, this real estate market had only a two-month supply of homes for sale. This is according to data released by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. That’s very limited inventory. A supply of four to six months is considered balanced. So the inventory situation at present favors sellers over buyers. When buying a house in Seattle in 2015, you will quickly realize there’s a lot of competition among buyers. Plenty of people want to buy a home in this market — there just aren’t enough properties to satisfy the demand.

According to Alon Bassok, a researcher from the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle is a “fast-growing area with not enough houses and condominiums on the market. We can expect to see housing prices go up.”

Bottom line: Is 2015 a good time to buy a home in Seattle? Based on current trends, it would seem to be a solid investment. Home prices are expected to continue rising for the foreseeable future. The market is tight though, with limited supply and a high level of housing demand. As a result, anyone buying a house in Seattle in 2015 should be prepared to move quickly, when the right home comes along. Make a strong but reasonable offer, and do it quickly. Otherwise, it could slip through your fingers.

Disclaimer: This article includes forward-looking statements about the real estate market in Seattle, Washington. Such statements should be viewed as opinions — not facts. We make no guarantees or assertions about future home-buying conditions in this or any other housing market.

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