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Realtors: Housing market slowdown on the horizon

September 21, 2018

A slowdown in the Seattle housing market is expected to bring about a similar cooling off for the Skagit County market, according to the North Puget Sound Association of Realtors.

The region’s housing market is beginning to level out after several years of catching up from the 2009-2011 housing crash, Windermere Skagit Valley Realtor Jamie Yantis said in a news release.

After two years as the hottest housing market in the country, Seattle was recently dethroned, according to the release. A 48 percent increase in the number of listings has caused the market to slow.

Whatever happens in the Seattle housing market is usually felt in Skagit County about six months later, Windermere Skagit Valley Realtor Megan O’Bryan said in the release.

Skagit County has not yet seen the increase in listings that Seattle and other markets have in the past few months, she said. New listings in Skagit County are 23 percent behind what they were last year.

Over the past year, home prices in the county have gone up 13 percent, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

With change on the horizon, O’Bryan advises sellers to temper their expectations.

“I feel the winds have shifted, and now we need to adjust our sails,” she said in the release.

Now, sellers will need to improve their home before putting it on the market and not expect to have inspections waived. Sellers will also have to lower their expectations on what they can get for their homes, O’Bryan said.

A slowdown in the market does not indicate another housing bubble, according to the release.

Tighter lending guidelines and a more thorough review of the ability of homebuyers to repay their loans have “virtually eliminated” the possibility of another housing crash.

As the market levels out, Yantis said home prices should continue to increase, but at a rate of about 4 percent.

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