Here is the Olympia WA real estate market update for mid-December 2017.
It's been quite a record-breaking year in Olympia and the surrounding areas in Thurston County WA.
We had more closed sales:
All of 2016 - 4,912 sales
YTD 2017 - 5,212 sales so far with two more weeks left in the year
The number of new listings is up slightly from last year:
All of 2016 - 5,930 new listings
YTD 2017 - 5,932 new listings so far. The last time we had these many listings added to the market was in 2005 to 2008 BUT the STANDING INVENTORY was higher in those years compared to today. You can see that in 2005, standing inventory numbers started a very steep climb. In the last two years, our standing inventory has been at record lows.
Average sales price continues to go up:
All of 2016 - $283,052
YTD 2017 - $329,054
So what's going to happen in 2018?
Inventory expected to increase – right now in Thurston County, we are averaging 1.1 months of inventory, which is historically low. (In contrast, a balanced market is 4-6 months of inventory.) I expect to see this increase in inventory in the first and second quarters of 2018 as many sellers are waiting to list their homes in the spring. Buyers - be ready for more new listings to hit the market!
Home price appreciation – the Thurston County market is still experiencing “pent-up demand,” meaning from our history, we still have a lot of growth to do to catch up to our historical trends. I still see home prices going up even though we will have more homes available for sale for buyers early on in the year.
Mortgage rates may increase by the end of 2018– every year, we predict mortgage rates are going to climb to 5% and every year, they have not. Right now, the average interest rate is about 4%. But it would make sense for rates to increase by the end of 2018 due to the several years of stronger economic growth and the pressure to address inflation, which has been put off year after year. Historically, any mortgage that starts with a 4 or a 5 is very, very good. (In the 1980s, interest rates were over 10%.)
What does this mean for buyers and sellers?
For buyers, the same advice for the last couple of years applies:
--Be ready and prequalified to buy.
--Be able to make decisions quickly.
--Be prepared to look at homes under your budget in case you need to bid over the asking price.
--Preparing your home for sale is still required to lure in buyers (staging, decluttering, cleaning, etc.).
--Pricing right for the market.
--Having professional representation when selling your home.
Quick Stats for Other Counties
Statistics compiled by Francine Viola from Northwest Multiple Listing Service data. Statistics not compiled or published by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.