Hi all. It has been a while. Somebody got a hold of my website and was using the blog page to advertise Viagra. I worried what you all would think of me, so I took the site down. There were the holidays too. I’m back now, so hold on.
But we really HAVE been hacked. I have been writing and talking for months about the market. If I could put what I’ve been saying in the least number of words it would be “don’t believe everything you read, or what people tell you.” So, I’ve been hacked because I hacked myself. There is no reason for you to keep reading this. Why believe me when I say there is no bubble, it’s a correction, the market will continue to rise, STOP READING THE SEATTLE TIMES! And why would you have believed me 3 months ago when I said all that balderdash. You’re reading this and I have told you not to believe. So, click the back button and find a cat video. At least you’ll be entertained.
So much of what happens in the real estate market is fueled by perception in spite of the facts. The average first time home buyer does not have an economics degree, or even subscribe to Financial Times, or, or, or. Bloggers and columnists are trying to hack your perception just long enough for you to buy the rag and/or finish the article. I’m no exception. Look at the title of this piece, and notice I mentioned Viagra in the third sentence. Pretty sneaky, right?
Many people coming to open houses in the last few weeks have the idea that the market is just starting to dip. It started to dip last May! So, perception in the pool of buyers is pretty slow to turn. I’d say it’s usually 3-6 months behind the curve. It has been a particularly slow turn this time and that is due to political uncertainty I think.
If you go back and read my blog posts you will see me contradict the ‘doom and gloom’ forecasts that kept popping up in the Seattle times. I used real numbers and objective facts to fight bold headlines yelling “Seattle home prices drop by $70,000 in three months as market continues to cool.” I pointed out the fallacies in their cockamamie statements that were designed to make you think about bubbles and crushing loss. Did you know that squirrels often forget where they hide their nuts and the concept of average has almost no place in a real estate conversation? They are non-sequiturs. You follow? I did some real math.
Then, right before the Christmas break, when a black moon dangled over the vast inventory of unsold homes, along comes an article, in the same rag I had been cursing, saying what I had been saying all along. It talked about jobs and growth and how Seattle would slow down but, continue to grow. We weren’t going to experience the unrealistic growth of the recent past BUT, we would all continue to increase in value and gain equity.
When you read this article, I bet a bell went off in your head. The warmth that comes with the possibility of financial stability surrounded you like an aura. Something clicked and it all came rushing back to you. You remembered. You remembered I had been saying this all along. You probably went straight to my website to see what I had to say. Was I still on board? Was my outlook still rosy? And that’s when you found out I was so frustrated with you people not hearing me a few months ago that I left the business so I could sell Viagra, something we can all believe in.
Well, I’m back. I have some things to say about the coming year in real estate. The same things I said months ago. Prices will continue to climb in 2019. Interest rates will rise. Job market will remain strong. It is NOT a bubble. And now, all of those things are actually coming true, to one degree or another.
For some time now, the number of new listings has been about half the number of pending and sold from week to week. (Do we need to go over the concept of supply and demand?) Several agents in my office are reporting multiple offer situations. My open houses are seeing 10-15 shoppers a day since the new year as opposed to 0-2 shoppers during most of the last quarter of 2018. The jobs outlook in Seattle is still one of the best in the country.
Nobody wants to believe a real estate agent who says NOW is the time to buy. That is, however, what I am saying. If you’re in the market to buy you have two choices. You could buy now and a year from now realize I was right, or wait 6 months and find out I was right.
I heard a prediction from one of my colleagues that I agree with 100%. More than 65% of the real estate business in 2019 will happen before May 15th as people try to chase rising interest rates. He said the first half of the year but I think it will happen until the sun comes out in May. It is generally accepted that rates will rise to 5.5% by the end of 2019, which will make millennials gasp with fear and disgust. Then, there are the older (and wiser) people who remember 12-18% interest rates when the general rule was, anything below 8% is a good investment. But, the buyers now are mostly first-time-buyer millennials, and they’re the ones who will be scooping up the inventory in the rush to avoid 5.5%.
A note on the last Wedndsdays, So There.
If I have finally convinced you then read it again. (Click Here)