Snoqualmie Real Estate: Move-Up Home Buying Opportunities in 2013

This guest piece is by local real estate agent, Tony Gilbert, who originally wrote the article for his real estate website blog, The RealFX Group.  The interesting information highlights statistics currently seen in the Snoqualmie real estate market as it recovers from the housing market recession.  Although, Tony uses Snoqualmie Ridge real estate statistics for his article, the information might be useful for other Valley areas.

Currently own a smaller home at Snoqualmie Ridge and feeling a bit “squeezed?” Thinking of buying a bigger house? Move-up home buyers have a great opportunity going into 2013 at Snoqualmie Ridge due to the VERY strong demand for homes priced at, or near $400,000, compared to the somewhat weaker demand for homes priced above $500,000.

To demonstrate the move-up opportunity compared to years past, let’s compare the number of sold homes on Snoqualmie Ridge in 2006 and 2012.

snoqualmie-ridge-sales-2006snoqualmie-ridge-sales-2012

Notice the statistics have completely flip-flopped. Affordability and loan qualification standards are among several reasons for this – but many home buyers are now uncomfortable buying a larger home as in years past, unless they truly need the space. In 2012, it’s clear that the majority of home buyers in Snoqualmie Ridge were looking for homes priced at, or below $500,000, and this will likely continue into 2013. We do expect to see continued improvement in higher price brackets, but the rate of increase will obviously be slower.

By Comparison, Lower Priced Homes Often Sell at a Premium

I had a conversation today with a friend of mine who is a resident of Snoqualmie Ridge. She indicated their family would like to move into a larger home sometime in 2013. They own a smaller home in excellent condition which presently fits into a $375K – $400K price range. With demand being exceptionally strong in that price range, they are in a prime position to both sell their current home at a potential premium (compared to other price ranges), and “move-up” by buying a pre-owned home of $500K or greater at a potential “discount” by comparison, since the pace of the market is clearly slower in the higher price brackets.

More Affordable Home Inventory Needed

Home buyers are looking on Snoqualmie Ridge in impressive numbers – and they’re especially attracted to more affordable new construction. But, this is partly due to thelack of affordable resale homes for sale on The Ridge in a comparable price range – roughly between $400,000 – $475,000. For several months, new home builders have been filling the demand in this price range – and building activity is picking-up steam as I write this. However, when a pre-owned home comes up for sale under $450,000, if it’s priced according to recent market activity, there should be strong buyer interest.

Margins for Negotiation Will Decrease in 2013-2014

All buyers looking for homes over $500K will find more homes to choose from, and likely a wider margin for negotiation. However, as more move-up buyers return to the market in 2013 and beyond, homes in the upper price ranges will also likely begin to enjoy increasing values. Accordingly, the window of opportunity for buyers to get the elusive “good deal” is definitely shrinking.

anthony gilbertAnthony Gilbert, REALTOR® – is a Snoqualmie Valley resident, and Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Danforth, serving the communities of Snoqualmie, North Bend, Fall City, Issaquah & Sammamish. Have questions regarding the local real estate market?  You can contact him RealFX.com.

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