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Real Estate Sponsor Berkshire Hathaway: Average sales price up +9% vs 2013

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Real Estate Sponsor Berkshire Hathaway Northwest has released their first quarter numbers for 2014:

  • Average sales price is $316,184 up +9% from the 1st quarter 0f 2013
  • Units or sales are up +7% from the 1st quarter of 2013
  • Sales volume meaning dollar volume of homes sold are up 19% from 1st quarter 2013

Here’s more info:

Our pending sales in the NWMLS are down slightly this March from a year ago but are up 26.7% from February. The only reason our pending sales are down locally for the month of March is because of our lack of good quality inventory. We are continually experiencing multiple offers on many homes we are selling. Many of them could be sold three, four or more times to separate buyers. This is a very difficult market to work in for buyers, sellers and the real estate agents. For everyone that gets a home others have just lost out even at prices far above the original list price. In this type of market the need for an experienced real estate practitioner is more important than ever before. The knowledge, skill and advice of the agent can make the difference of winning or losing the home of your dreams. Every situation is different and needs to be properly structured to protect both buyers and sellers.

The number of closed sales in the Northwest Multiple Listing Service were the same as they were last March. However the prices are still increasing and were up 6% regionally and 8% ahead of last March in King County. At the offices of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices representing King, Pierce and Snohomish counties our closed sales were up 3% in March and our average prices are up 10%.

Although listings are up slightly at 2.8% ahead of last March and active listings are up 6.7%, we have way more people wanting to buy than we have appropriate available homes to sell in the right locations being offered at the right prices. Real estate sales has always has been about location and price. We are literally starving for good homes to sell in the right locations.

There are more 1st time buyers wanting to buy now than I’ve seen in many years. Many are very well qualified for a mortgage and have more than minimum down payments. Just one example. We turned out a resale townhome listing in West Seattle for $439,950 last Saturday. By Monday morning there were four offers all with accelerator clauses and the property sold for $459,950. It’s heartbreaking to have so many good purchasers and not enough good inventory to satisfy their needs. The lack of supply is definitely driving up the prices. This is just one of many similar stories. As I have been saying for months, our real estate market is literally starving for good inventory in desirable neighborhoods.

There are many reasons potential sellers should consider selling now. Locally the spring time selling season that begins in April is usually the busiest time of the year. There is less competition now so don’t wait until all the other sellers decide to put their homes on the market. Interest rates are still very low and will continue to rise. Now is a great time for move up sellers/buyers who can sell their home quickly today and secure another at today’s prices at today’s low interest rates.

Home prices nationally climbed an average of 13.6% in the past 12 months according to Standard & Poor’s/Case Shiller 20 city home price index in which Seattle is one of those cities. Most forecasters are predicted home prices to rise about 5% in 2014 and for interest rates to rise as well. Buying a home today is going to prove to be a smart investment in the long run. When one rents, at the end of the year all you have is a pile of cancelled checks and will continually be experiencing rent increases. When buying a home and making a mortgage payment you will be building equity, having a nice income tax advantage and your monthly house payments will remain the same. Now is the time to buy.

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