Seattle Economy and Housing Market Snapshot
Local economist, Matthew Gardner, of Gardner Economics, stopped by our Premier Properties networking breakfast this morning to share his thoughts on the local economy and housing market. The long of the short of it is that the Seattle area economy is doing better than most. We have declining unemployment, positive job growth, and an expanding economy. Companies like Facebook and SpaceEx agree, which is why they’re not only opening up Seattle area offices, but making bold statements about their plans to grow. All of this is well and good, but as Mr. Gardner pointed out, it’s adding pressure to an already tight housing market where there isn’t nearly enough supply to meet the demand. So far this year, the lack of inventory is having a somewhat negative impact on sales, but not on prices; they continue to appreciate at a healthy pace. The one thing our market is missing? Move-up buyers. These are the folks that currently own a home, but want to “move up” into a new home. These buyers, for the most part, are staying put because there are so few homes to choose from. But by staying put, they’re not adding much-needed supply to a barren market. It’s a vicious cycle that Mr. Gardner thinks should start to rectify itself later this year, albeit, very slowly. Overall, we walked away with a sense that the state of our city is strong, and despite the shortage of homes on the market, we’re fairing quite well in our little moss covered corner of the country.