Seattle has had an incredible summer this year. As Seattleites, we joke that summer doesn’t really start until the 5th of July. Not this year. We had sunny days starting in June. Pair that with a Fourth of July that lands in the middle of the week and one of the busiest travel months of the year, and it is natural to expect a decline in the housing market. So, what does this mean for buyers and sellers in the market? We touched base with Seattle Real Estate Broker Heidi Ward to discuss the trends in July and predictions for August.
360modern: July is one of the busiest months for summer travel. Did you see this impact the Seattle market this month?
Heidi Ward: Definitely! It’s also a killer when the 4th of July lands mid-week as it did this year. I’ve been joking that we had a 9-day 4th of July! I’m seeing some indications that buyers are poking their heads back into the market, but still hearing anecdotally (as well as experiencing myself with some listings) that activity is much slower than it was in the early spring.
360modern: As the market changes, what advice do you have for buyers and sellers?
HW: To sellers: Don’t price like it’s March! It is so very critical to price to current market conditions, which can shift rapidly. When I’m preparing to launch a listing, my sellers and I discuss a broad pricing strategy, but we don’t select the ultimate list price until the very last minute. The buyers didn’t all just disappear, they are still out there, but they are behaving in a more cautious manner these days. They’ll pounce quickly if they perceive the price warrants it, but they’ll just as likely take a pass and wait things out watching for a possible price reduction. My advice to buyers is get back out there! There’s typically an uptick in market activity after Labor Day, so now is the time to be on the hunt for a good deal. And inventory levels are higher than they’ve been in recent memory.
360modern: Do you see the market inventory going up or down in August?
HW: Well, we have listings queued up throughout August and September already, and stagers and photographers are reporting that they are busy, so I predict inventory levels will continue to increase.
360modern: Was there anything about the market in July that was unusual or interesting to you? How can buyers/ sellers use this information to get the most out of their home purchase/ sale in the future?
HW: The most unusual thing was the never-ending 4th of July! Seriously, it was like someone just turned the lights off for both weekends flanking the 4th and that entire week. For buyers I would say that summer in general is a good time to be on the hunt. Your competition may very well be on vacation, so it tends to be less heated than in the spring. For sellers it’s tougher because often they need to list in the summer because they were waiting for their kids to finish the school year, etc. Just keep in mind my point from question #2, which is to price to whatever the specific market conditions are whenever you decide to list your home.