Lately, when I read real estate stories, hear them on the radio, or see them on television, it feels like a lot of doom and gloom.
Yes, mortgage rates trended up, very quickly. Yes, the market cooled. And the price growth we saw happening in real estate over the past few years has flattened out. But I believe that’s old news, and, at least anecdotally, 2023 is already promising to be different.
As a real estate broker, investor and local expert who specializes in new construction, I have my eye not only on the new construction listings for Tim Sunny & Co, but also on the pace of new construction moving across the city. In conversations with builders and other investors, we have insight into how this submarket is doing across the area, and by the time the data is released, we already have a grip on how the tides are changing.
And in January, the market picked up. It’s good news for us and great news for buyers and sellers on their real estate journey. Traditionally, you’ll hear that the fourth quarter is the slowest for real estate — the motivation to add buying a home to your to-do list during the holidays? It’s not big. But compared with last year and the year before, this fourth quarter was particularly slow. In the entirety of the fourth quarter, we sold six houses. Eighteen days into January of 2023, we’ve already sold six houses. The demand is here.
Interest rates have finally leveled off. While the Fed has indicated they might raise them again in the next year, it still feels like the right time for many buyers who had to readjust their budgets and expectations, when rates suddenly started climbing in mid-2022.
Plus, after the slow market period of the last few months, prices have bottomed for many listings, including our projects. Amid more interest and multiple-offer situations arising once again, we’re anticipating those prices to start ticking back up.
Is now the right time to buy new construction? Absolutely.
We do continue to experience some hang-ups in this sub-market. Slowdowns from builders, most often related to the ongoing supply-chain issues, have put a few of our projects behind schedule, meaning they won’t be available to buyers for another month or two.
A delay in concrete has prevented one of our new developments from hitting the market — the homes are complete and beautiful! The only thing missing is the concrete steps to literally get buyers through the front door.
So, what does this mean for you? A strong showing in early January can mean a lot, so if you’re like me and listing home(s) on the market, the buyers are out there, and I believe they’ll continue to be in 2023. If you’re a buyer, it sure seems like prices have bottomed out, and waiting for them to lower more, or again, could cost you more than it would save.
If you have questions about new construction product types in Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland and Tacoma, Tim Sunny & Co offers real estate services for many client types, from builders to people trying to find a home. Reach out to start a conversation.
Tim Bower | Tim Sunny & Co. Real Estate
Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty