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28 Dec 2016
What will happen to the Sequim real estate market this coming year? What will prices do? What will the Sequim inventory look like? What about land prices? How much will interest rates go up? My Sequim real estate prediction for 2017 is an educated view of what the Sequim real estate market will be like this coming year, especially under a Trump administration.
The Sequim real estate market bottomed out about a year and a half ago, and it’s been slowly improving since then. Prices have been creeping upward, and most homes are selling at the listed price as long as it is fair market value. The inventory of homes retirees want has been reduced to a crisis level. [Read Sequim Real Estate Inventory and Sequim Home Inventory written over 3 years ago]. People are starting to build homes again, because they cannot find a suitable home in the existing inventory. Prices have not increased as much as they should have based on the economic formulas of supply and demand in the Sequim real estate market.
We’ve all known that mortgage rates would be going up, and we’ve known that for several years. [Read Mortgage Interest Rates Going Up written in 2013.] We’ve seen a recent bump in interest rates, and as of today the 30 year fixed rate is at 4.18%. You can check on interest rates for 30-year, 15-year, and ARMs at the bottom right of this Sequim Real Estate search page.
Here is my logical prediction for the Sequim real estate market this coming year. While interest rates got a recent bump in anticipation of Janet Yellen’s announcement of a quarter point increase and 3 more likely increases in 2017, I think it is highly likely with a growing and healthy economy that we will see the 30-year fixed rate at 4.75% by the end of 2017.
With respect to the Sequim real estate inventory, it will continue to shrink and new spec homes will not replace them fast enough. This is a small market, and local builders cannot afford to build out large numbers of spec homes for future sales. That means almost all new homes are custom homes started only after you sign a contract with a builder. Then you can expect a construction timeline extending about 8 months out. That assumes you’ve already purchased a vacant lot for your home and drilled a well and put in a septic system (unless you’re on municipal utilities).
Because of the low inventory, prices will continue to slowly increase over 2017. I anticipate that by the end of 2017, home prices will increase by 5% from today (Dec 2016). Because more new homes will be built, land will start to sell again here, which means a steady increase in prices on vacant land.
Increased mortgage rates and a 5% increase in home prices in 2017 will affect some buyers’ ability to purchase their ideal home, but for buyers who will pay in cash, they will have an advantage among buyers. And there will be more competition for homes, so the buyer who finds their ideal home will probably lose it to a more assertive buyer who gets an agreement signed with the seller. Remember, you will have plenty of time to do your due diligence with a home inspection and other inspections once you have a signed agreement with a seller. Days or weeks of research prior to even making an offer is going to be a sure way to lose the home to another buyer in a market like this.
Some are concerned about a Trump Presidency, but his background bodes well for the Sequim real estate market. He certainly understands real estate and the mortgage business, more so than any president in my lifetime. If he can implement his promises for an improved job market, a tax code and regulatory environment more conducive to businesses, we may see an economy that does grow by 4% in 2017. No matter what your political persuasion, a Trump Presidency is going to be a good thing for the Sequim real estate market in 2017. Already, nearly everyone on both sides of the aisle are surprised at the records being set in consumer sentiment, home builder sentiment, and the financial markets. The Dow is up 8.6%, the NASDAQ is up 4.8%, the S&P 500 is up 5.6%, and the Russell 2000 is up 14%, and all this since the election. Excluding weekends and holidays, that’s only 35 days. Never have the pundits and naysayers been so wrong as they were this year. We’re a long way from the vibrant Sequim real estate market of 2005, but I anticipate a healthy 2017.
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