Two months after predicting that tech hubs like Seattle could be in for a big real estate cooldown in 2019, the tech-powered brokerage Redfin issued a report Wednesday stating that the cooling may already be over.
Redfin pointed to a 15 percent year-over-year rise in pending sales in January, the indicator for the number of homes that went under contract during that month. It’s the first increase in pending sales since November 2017 and the largest since December 2016, the company stated in a blog post.
San Jose, Calif., and Boston were also called out in the report as cities worth watching, with pending sales increases of 8 percent and 4 percent respectively.
While closed sales are still falling year over year in Seattle (down 8 percent) and the other cities, Redfin reasons that the rise in pending sales suggests thsoe numbers could come up soon.
“The second half of 2018 was frustrating for sellers who listed just as the market began to cool,” Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather said in the report. “Since then, more sellers have dropped their prices and as a result more homes are going off the market. Buyers who are still taking the wait-and-see approach, knowing the market is shifting in their favor, may want to take another look at the homes they favorited in the fall. We’re seeing this moment before the spring season arrives as an opportunity to get a home that’s been on the market for a few months under contract for much less than its original list price.”
Seattle held the title of the nation’s hottest housing market for nearly two years, as job seekers flooded the region for high-paying tech work and thus drove up the cost of housing as low inventory fueled bidding wars.
Factors worth watching in 2019 and beyond include Amazon, whose accelerated growth has been at the center of Seattle’s boom. Many are watching to see whether the tech giant will scale back on growth in its hometown.