The housing market was slightly more favorable to buyers in August compared to prior months but it is still a seller’s market. Homes took slightly longer to sell last month and home prices plateaued in most areas. This is normal for Seattle’s summer market when many are traveling and are enjoying time off from school/work rather than house shopping.
Aside from the usual summer slowdown, this could also be a sign that we are hitting a price ceiling and that appreciation is slowing. But with inventory still low and favorable mortgage rates, we predict that homes coming on the market in September and early October will move quickly if priced correctly and that buyers will still face stiff competition for desirable and affordable properties.
Housing is a very interest rate-sensitive part of the U.S. economy, so we will closely watch changes in mortgage interest rates as higher rates usually translate into lower home prices. COVID-related disruptions to consumer spending and supply chains, as well as inflation could also affect economic activity in the housing market for the rest of the year. Here we go from summer limbo into the yet undetermined autumn market.
Huge Hike in Homeowner Insurance Rates
If you have good credit, prepare for a huge hike (20-50% increase) in your homeowner insurance bill. If you have poor credit, your rates will likely go down. If you haven’t seen such an increase or decrease yet, you will the next time your insurance policy renews.
Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler issued an “emergency rule” without any public input or process back in March, asking the state Legislature to ban insurers’ use of credit scores when determining how much you pay for personal insurance. His ruling means that new rate plans can no longer consider a consumer’s credit history in any way. You can read more about this here.
In addition to rate changes as a result of the “insurance credit scoring ban”, homeowners are also starting to see slight increases in premiums, bigger deductibles and fewer coverage options for extreme weather coverage as insurance companies reassess their risks as a result of a sharp rise in wildfire, flood and storm losses.
We’d love to hear from you
Any questions, comments, or feedback? Contact us any time.
Kerstin & Krisanne
Brooks & Heinze Team at Skyline Properties, Inc.
Kerstin Brooks: 206.276.5827 – Krisanne Heinze: 206.920.2541