The first part of 2010 is going to be the best part of the year for Seattle area real estate.
This was the message over 2000 Windermere Real Estate agents heard at last week’s kick off meeting held at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall. The good news, according to economist Matthew Gardner, is “the recession is behind us.” However, the last 6 months of 2010 are “murky,” said Gardner.
Here are some highlights from his talk:
- Home sales skyrocketed by 25% in the fourth quarter of 2009.
- There was some stability in home pricing in late 2009.
- The stimulus package has not been as effective as hoped.
- Jobs will be a prime concern.
- Banks need to start lending again.
- Rates should be about 6% later this year.
- Foreclosures will still be a concern.
- Boeing’s move of the Dreamliner and layoffs at Microsoft will not have a huge affect on the economy.
- Seattle unemployment to peak at 9.5%
- Seattle was late to the recession and is later on recovery.
- Prices and sales will continue to improve in the first half of 2010.
But as Mr. Gardner said, the rest of the year looks murky. With changes in FHA guidelines, projected increases in interest rates, and costly jumbo loans, the latter half of 2010 is not clear.
Given the information available to us now, I think Matthew Gardner is right. I’ve been recommending to potential home sellers to make a move early this year, since the latter half of the year is so unclear. We may be doing just fine with our economy and with real estate, but no one knows where we will be once the second half of 201o begins. Our crystal balls are a bit “murky,” as Mr. Gardner said.
What do you think about his predictions for 2010 Seattle real estate? What are your predictions for 2010 and beyond? Of course, when 2012 arrives, we only have to worry about surviving, never mind real estate or the economy!