We are now in a Sequim housing shortage. Why would I suggest that? Consider these basic stats. In years past our local MLS (multiple listing service) typically showed that we had a total of about 800 residential listings in Clallam County on any day of the year. Today we only have 561 houses for sale in the entire county in all price ranges. But the real numbers are much smaller. There are only 127 houses for sale in the county in the price range from $200,000 to $300,000. In the Sequim area there are only 73. Limit that to homes with at least 3 bedrooms, and there are only 49 homes for sale in the entire Sequim area from $200,000 to $300,000. By the time you filter through those 49 homes and eliminate the ones that you don’t like, you’re lucky to have a half a dozen to look at. This is the definition of a Sequim housing shortage.
Sequim Housing Shortage
Today, I showed homes to a buyer after we filtered through the Sequim MLS to find her ideal home, and we only found four homes to look at today based on her search parameters. One was old and needed too much work. The second one was near a very noisy highway. The third shared a driveway adjacent to a funky house and had a very chaotic floor plan. The fourth one was better, but still not “the one.” Tomorrow we go back to the drawing board. There are only three homes left to see that even come close to what she wants. She asked me, “aren’t there more homes to look at?,” and I had to tell her there are no more for sale here that fit her basic parameters. We are in a Sequim housing shortage.
This is all part of a longer trend that I first recognized in July of 2007. I wrote on this real estate blog on July 4 of 2007:
The Sequim real estate market is bifurcated. In other words, there are homes that are selling within a reasonable period of time at reasonable prices (consisting of maybe 5% of the market), and then there is the rest of the market (consisting of roughly 95% of the listings). Retirees are still moving to Sequim and Port Angeles and buying houses, not in the large numbers of 2005, but they are still buying. But they are cherry picking the best houses in the best areas at the best prices. The rest of the houses sit on the market for a long time. [Read the original article at Sequim Real Estate Market.]
That precise trend has continued for the past seven and a half years. What has been happening slowly but surely is that the best houses have been selling throughout this past 7+ years, and builders have not been building homes at all. So the best homes in the best areas have been disappearing as retirees slowly buy them, and those homes have not been replaced in the MLS with similar homes. We now have a Sequim housing shortage with many buyers unable to find the home they want.
What Does a Sequim Housing Shortage Mean?
What does this mean for buyers like you? It means you are going to have to work hard to find that ideal home, use the email alerts for brand new listings that do fit your parameters, work closely with a buyer’s agent who can give you sage advice, and don’t dilly dally when you do find the right home. Get an offer in and start negotiating on the price. Get that process wrapped up in a few days, and complete your inspections, but don’t make unnecessary demands on sellers. Sellers now have the upper hand, but only because there is very little inventory left. I believe we are in a Sequim housing shortage.
Last Updated on September 22, 2019 by Chuck Marunde
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