April 2020 Recap
The Coronavirus disrupted the Kitsap real estate market in April, causing a huge drop in new listings—36% down compared to this time last year—and double digit growth in home values (up 14.4% over last year). The median sales price increased significantly, from about $350,000 to $400,000 (compared to April of last year). That’s largely due to the severe housing shortage, with barely more than a month’s supply of inventory. The housing supply is incredibly low right now, while buyer demand remains high.
A Hot Seller’s Market
Homes are selling in about 23 days, which is 36% faster than April of last year (and it’s actually much faster for well-priced homes, which go under contract in just days). On average, homes are also getting offers OVER the asking price, selling at 101.2% of the list price (bidding wars still happen).
Tips for Sellers
If you are thinking about selling your home, there’s never been a better time! Buyers are still out in full force, watching more virtual tours and setting records for online traffic, and taking precautions for in-home showings. Brokers and buyers should be practicing social distancing at all times, wearing face masks, using hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes, and allowing no more than 2 people in a home at a time (6 ft. apart).
Listing your home with a digital-savvy broker is critical, as open houses aren’t permitted right now… but with strong online advertising, you can get thousands more views on your home listing. And all the research shows that buyers start their home search online, especially during this difficult season. We don’t yet know the long-term economic effects of this pandemic, and home values may not continue to increase at the same rate in the future, if buyers struggle to afford housing.
Tips for Buyers
Mortgage interest rates are still historically low, and right now there may be a bit less competition because of the economic shutdown and tragic job losses. However, in some cases it can be more difficult to qualify for a loan, as lenders tighten their requirements due to economic uncertainty. And with homes selling fast, it’s never been more important to get pre-approved before you start looking at houses. Because of the stay at home order, only pre-approved buyers should be touring homes at this time.
It’s a tough seller’s market, so if you’re planning to buy a home soon, don’t wait to make a solid game plan with me and your lender. Talk with me first about recommendations for a trusted lender! Deals have been falling through due to poor lender practices, so an experienced and responsive mortgage broker can make all the difference in a successful closing.
Economists and real estate industry experts are predicting a strong and resilient real estate market, despite the economic downturn and rising unemployment. So far, that is proving true in our current Kitsap housing market, as demand is still much higher than the supply. Click here to learn more about the impact of COVID-19 on housing in Kitsap County. The current crisis is not like 2008, when the real estate market was unhealthy. But these are likely to be “bridge” months, where market activity is less predictable than usual.
P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for my VIP Newsletter to receive free reports, Kitsap County housing market updates, community news and events, homeowner tips, and occasional Dad jokes…
Thinking of buying or selling? Call or text me at 360-979-6411 to set up a free, no-pressure consultation. I am a skilled negotiator who will advocate for your best interests.