Though it may feel like spring has just begun, when looking at the six phases of the housing cycle – New Year kickoff, spring market, pre-summer, summer market, fall market and winter market – April concluded the spring market. Julia Nordby, office leader and business coach of John L. Scott’s Bellevue-Main office, said April’s market was busy, with more new listings on the way as we head into May and June’s pre-summer phase.
In the city of Bellevue, homes for sale and pended in the month of April were up over 2018 numbers, going up 63.6 percent and 23.3 percent, respectively. While sold homes in April are down from last year, Nordby said it’s still a really positive time for the local market. She added that buyers are entering the marketplace with more confidence and a deeper understanding of what to expect.
“Overall, buyers and sellers have really settled into the rhythm of the year,” Nordby said. “It feels like those in the market currently understand what it means to buy or sell in the spring. The seasons do affect what your experience buying or selling looks like, so being prepared for what could happen can help you avoid any surprises.”
The Pre-summer phase of the housing cycle is good for those looking to buy or sell in the luxury price ranges, Nordby added.
“This time of year is where the real opportunity is when your home will be listed for more than $4-5 million,” Nordby said. “We’re also in a good spot when it comes to luxury inventory, so buyers will have many options in the waterfront and luxury categories.”
Just in time for Earth Day on April 22, the National Association of Realtors released findings from a national survey of their members focused on eco-friendly home features. A majority of those surveyed said clients were interested in energy-efficiency and sustainable housing features. The report also detailed ways sustainability is influencing real estate, from solar panels to commute lengths.
The Pacific Northwest is known as a particularly “green” area of the country, and Nordby said trends she’s noticed in the Bellevue John L. Scott office include an interest in smart home features and walkability. Both the millennial and baby boomer demographics tend to value walkability when looking for a home, she added.
For many homeowners, an interest in all things green can extend to their front and back yards. Sunny days make for great gardening weather, and carefully planned out landscaping can not only make a home look great, but also potentially increase value for potential buyers. Nordby said hiring landscaping help or developing a green thumb can pay off when looking to sell.
“It’s the perfect time of year to show off a yard with green grass, fresh bark and well-chosen foliage,” Nordby said.
“People listing their homes right now benefit from the bright weather. If you plan to put your home on the market in fall or winter, it may be worth considering taking property photos in May to showcase your home in the best light.”