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Hot or Cold - What will the housing market be like in 2018?

A quick internet search on real estate trends will yield varying answers to this question. Some experts point to November sales jumping 7 percent annually as a sign that the market will pick up even more steam as we head into the more traditionally busier real estate months.  While others say there will be a cooling effect due to rising costs, mortgage rates and tax law changes that will discourage some buyers. Add to this that more homeowners are going to take advantage of recent price increases and put their homes up for sale and we might see a more even buyer/seller market.  So what will 2018 bring?

What the trends say

What we know right now is that November was the third straight month seeing a sales increase year over year so prices are rising and sellers are remaining in the driver’s seat. These months have traditionally been slower, so if this trend continues, spring will be a hot, hot time in the real estate market. What we may see is potential buyers getting out earlier this year to get a jump on that spring market.

While some areas in the country might see a slight shift in bargaining power, most say it won’t be dramatic. The West Coast continues to see solidly rising prices according to economists.

What does this mean for you?

So do you buy or sell this year? The best rule of thumb is to do what works best for you. If it’s time you moved out of your current house, it’s a great time to sell in Seattle and on the Eastside as prices continue to see great growth and multiple offers are not uncommon. If you’re looking to buy, try starting your search a bit earlier to avoid the crazy April/May timeframe and more dramatic price increases fueled by multiple offers. Mortgage rates are expected to increase as the year progresses, so buying sooner may save you some money in the long run. Most importantly in a hot market, know what your budget is and that there will be a house for you.

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