What a year! Wally’s 2020 Real Estate Review

[Guest post by Wally Cruz, local real estate extraordinaire with a contribution from colleague Randy Starkel. They can be reached at Wallycruz@remax.net and Randy at Randystarkel@remax.net]

Wow, 2020, huh? We started the year with the loss of a basketball superstar to ending the year with planets aligning and creating an actual superstar’s appearance. A pandemic brought the world to a screeching halt.  What did it not do? Slow down the real estate market! It sent us in quite the frenzy.  People quickly realized that their current living situations were not going to work in this new environment. Also helping influence the change, mortgage rates were at record lows.  Our problem was we lacked sellers. Let’s get into the numbers for a minute.

According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service:

King county had 55,218 listings in 2019, compared to 37,814 in 2020.  That amounts to a 31.50% decrease in residential home and condominium listings/Inventory.  If you were to remove condominiums, in 2019, King county had 42,304 residential homes, and 2020 was down 40.02% coming in at 25,373.

Now let’s get local; the best way to explain how this significant decrease in inventory relates to Snoqualmie valley is to use the homes within’ the Snoqualmie valley school district.  In 2019 the median sales price of a home in the Snoqualmie valley school district was $731,500.  2020 brought that price up to $820,050, which amounts to an increase of $88,550 or 12%.

 Fellow local RE/MAX Integrity broker, Randy Starkel, said “Last year was a very interesting year in real estate.  With all the potential challenges to the market, it was an exceptional year to sell a home. Mortgage rates kept buyers in the game and built a much stronger demand than would otherwise be expected.”

 Historically, the winter months and the beginning of the year tend to slow down the market.  I often tell clients, “let’s wait until winter.”  Well, that is far from the case.  If the beginning of 2021 indicates what is to come, we are in store for another strong real estate year.  I have personally experienced numerous clients being outbid by thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

Photo: Mary Miller

 Randy mentioned, “with so many folks adjusting to new work arrangements…I would expect it to be a great year for folks considering making a move this year!”

 I never want anyone doubting their abilities to purchase a home, so don’t see this as a dream killer article. Personally, I feel with home values increasing and the flexibility to work from home, inventory will increase in 2021 compared to 2020.  If you’ve considered selling recently or have thought about a change, contacting your local real estate expert would be better to do it sooner rather than later.  There will be plenty of sellers cashing in on this opportunity, in all price points.  At some point, this could lead to a slowing of the market due to increased inventory.  Someone might have more than a few hours to decide on whether or not to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into a home.

 Speaking of moving, let me take this moment to share a big change with our RE/MAX Integrity office.  In February, we are moving from our current location on Main Ave to the office space next to Huxdotter Coffee at  101 W Park St Suite C. Hopefully, 2021 will allow us to open our doors to the public, talk local real estate and grab a fantastic coffee next door.

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