The real estate market has been very active throughout 2013, at least up to October. Suddenly in October and so far in November buying activity has slowed down. Home showings have dramatically slowed. Buyers seem to have taken a reprieve from their visits to Sequim and to look at homes. This doesn’t mean buyers are not showing up at all, nor does it mean that homes are not selling in October and November. They are, but at a substantially slowed pace compared to earlier in the calendar year. Many homeowners are asking why they aren’t seeing many buyers walk through their homes lately. What has changed suddenly?
Real Estate Market Reacts
I believe there are a variety of factors that have come together in October that have caused buyers in the real estate market to either stay put or pause. First, the obvious is that cold weather has arrived in many parts of the country. Sequim buyers come from Colorado, Montana, Alaska, and elsewhere. Cold weather alone would not cause such a slow down in buyer activity, but there are other things going on that effect buyers right now.
Second, while most buyers in the Sequim real estate market are retirees, some buyers make their moving and buying decisions based on the fall and spring times because of children and the school year schedule. That would represent only a small percentage of buyers in Sequim. Third, we are still in a time of economic and financial uncertainty, which is compounded by other factors this year. We had the government shutdown and debt crisis. That was a big setback. Retirees are smart, and they are cautious, and the national scene in this country with respect to both economics and politics is perhaps the ugliest it has been in 2013. All of this happening at the beginning of winter seems to have cast a dark cloud over the real estate market, and we can only hope it is short-lived.
Real Estate Market and ObamaCare
Fourth, and certainly a major reason buyers have hit the pause button suddenly is Obamacare. Regardless of what your ideology is on the subject of healthcare and the implementation of Obamacare, the financial uncertainty has created a serious problem in the real estate market. How you ask? There are two major financial impacts for buyers. I just learned of a couple who planned on buying a home but their insurance premiums are increasing by $200 per month, which meant they were no longer qualified for their home loan. Apparently, people across America are learning that their medical insurance premiums may increase, some by substantial amounts, and for many retirees, they have put their plans to buy a home in Sequim on hold until they find out what their monthly expenses will be. Right now, very few know precisely how much their premiums will be, and all of this has logically caused many buyers to hit the pause button. This is especially relevant to Sequim, since the vast majority of our buyers are retirees who are now grappling with how to handle their medical insurance and how much their insurance premiums will be next year.
ObamaCare has effected the Sequim real estate market, and we can only hope that we will get past all this uncertainty soon.
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