Bellevue real estate market transitions into fall

A monthly real estate snapshot from John L. Scott Real Estate.

By Erin Flemming

Special to the Reporter

While the sunny days of summer – and the heightened real estate action that comes with the season – are now over, the residential real estate market in Bellevue shows some positive signs. Julia Nordby, office leader and business coach of John L. Scott’s Bellevue-Main office, said her office is continuing to see a lot of new listings coming on the market.

“Lately, our brokers have shared that they have seen many people locally get ready to put their home on the market,” Nordby said. “Changes to our state excise tax structure will go into effect in 2020. Some homeowners in the higher price ranges have looked at the changes to see what kind of difference they’d see and depending on the results, many are choosing to put their home on the market.”

Nordby added that Bellevue’s market truly is hyperlocal – with numerous factors at play that help determine the demand for a home. Those looking to buy in October typically will encounter less competition, more inventory and motivated sellers – but that isn’t the case everywhere. Connecting with a broker to understand the hyperlocal area you’re looking in can help you make strategic and educated moves to find a new home, Nordby said.

Anne McIntosh, a John L. Scott Bellevue-Main broker who primarily works with new construction, noted that the Eastside saw an uptick of pending sales in September.

“With summer ending and school starting, this increase in sales activity is typical for this time of year and should continue through October, before the busy holiday season is upon us,” McIntosh said. “With Amazon, Google and Facebook expanding into Bellevue, this will have an impact on inventory levels on the Eastside, as commute times and great schools rank high on buyers’ wish lists. These young tech employees are often drawn to the appeal of new construction homes in Bellevue, Issaquah and Sammamish.”

McIntosh said working with clients purchasing a new construction home is unique, as buyers often have the opportunity to personalize their home by selecting things like home finishes and kitchen features.

“The process of purchasing a new construction home is often fun and exciting, as buyers make their selections and then we all can gradually watch their vision unfold and come to life,” McIntosh said.

Citing tariffs and other current events on a national scale, some see a potential for instability in the current economic climate, which could impact the housing market. However, a report from the Associated Press cited a recent bump in home sales as a “sign of U.S. consumers’ resilience despite a darkening outlook for growth.”

Reflecting on consumer sentiment locally, Nordby said she thinks there is some hesitancy in the market due to volatility on a national scale. However, she noted that overall the local market feels pretty balanced.

“Though the frenzy in the market is off from 18 months ago, our local job outlook is strong and we’re finding that excellent interest rates are encouraging people to make decisions sooner rather than later,” Nordby said. “Since everyone needs a place to live, a home isn’t affected as strongly as other commodities that consumers can deem inessential during a recession. The recession in 2008 was unique for the housing market and isn’t likely to be duplicated again with the lending safeguards we have in place now.”