Early snow and questions around the D.C. Republicans’ tax plans could amplify the usual seasonal slowdown, although housing sales continue at a high pace, according to industry leaders from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.
“The challenge for buyers actually isn’t lack of choice, it is the rapid pace of sales,” suggested Ken Anderson, president/owner of Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty.
“The market in Thurston County has never been better for sellers, and they’re getting the message,” Anderson remarked. His analysis revealed a 10-year high for sellers coming to market during October. “These savvy sellers are not waiting until spring to sell. They are taking advantage of today’s great market and making their move now,” he reported.
Buyers may find themselves in a quandary as the year winds down as they contemplate limited supply, possible upticks in interest rates and tax reform. Last week’s announcement of a provision in a GOP tax proposal to cap the mortgage interest deduction is concerning to buyers, brokers and builders.
“Imagine if the proposed plan to cap the mortgage interest deduction at $500,000 is approved in a market that is starved for homes and where the median price (for a single family home in King County) is now $630,000,” said O.B. Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate. “Homeowners may be less likely to sell because they would be giving up their grandfathered tax credit on their current home. That’s fewer homes for sale in a market where we really need them,” he stated, adding, “There could also be a flood of new buyers trying to purchase before the plan is passed, adding to the already hyper-competitive market conditions.”
Northwest MLS brokers reported 7,740 pending sales in the four-county central Puget Sound region (King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap), bettering the year ago mark of 7,487 mutually accepted offers.