Interest rates for mortgages are now around the low 4% range for a 30-year fixed loan.
There’s a general rule of thumb for interest rates that goes like this: for every 1% change in interest rates, you gain or lose 10% buying power. So if you were pre-approved to buy a $500,000 house a few months ago when rates were around 4.5%, you might now be able to afford a $525,000 house (5% more buying power).
It’s also a good time to refinance into a lower rate, which could save you tens of thousands of dollars in the long term.
Talk to your mortgage consultant today, and if you don’t have one already, I’m happy to provide references to a few that I know and trust.
Stats for the Seattle real estate market for February 2019 are out, so here’s the market update condensed into some highlights.
- Pending sales are down about 14 percent compared to February 2018.
- Inventory in Seattle rose from January to 1.8 months (0-3 months of inventory is considered a seller’s market).
- Median prices increased compared to January but were still down compared to February 2018.
- Median sale prices in Seattle:
- residential – $730,000 (down 6% compared to Feb 2018)
- condo – $444,000 (down 14% compared to Feb 2018)
- combined – $690,000 (down 3% compared to Feb 2018)
- 47% of homes took a price cut before selling, with 20% selling above list price. Compare that to February 2018 when only 14% took price cuts before selling and 64% sold over the asking price!
- We are seeing more homes go under contract than new homes coming on the market.
- We are seeing more offer review dates.
- Homes that are priced well are getting multiple offers.
As we continue towards the spring market (the busiest time of year for buyers and sellers), I think we’ll see a lot of buyers taking advantage of low interest rates but they may be competing for homes due to the limited choices.
If you’d like to see market update graphs that are updated each month, check out the market update section of my website.