Warm Weather, Hot Housing Market

Historically, the South Sound’s residential real estate market heats up when summer arrives
 It’s undeniable that Pacific Northwest summers, with their warmer temperatures and longer daylight hours, make fall and winter worth enduring. Locals forget all those months of hunkering down against cold temperatures, steady rain, and snow, and turn their attentions to the outdoors. It might be anecdotal, but gorgeous South Sound summers have a way of putting us in a good mood.

Shawn Viguerie, President,
253 Realty. Courtesy Shawn Viguerie

But does summer weather also make for a better South Sound residential real estate market?

“Summer is a busy time of year,” Shawn Viguerie, president of 253 Realty in Tacoma, said. “(Whereas) a farmer (will) take a vacation in the middle of the harvest, I typically plan our vacations in the winter in preparation for this time. I also plan to work long hours because I know families are depending on me to find their perfect home, in many cases, before school starts in the fall.”

Viguerie noted that with inventory levels low, this summer is expected to be like summers prior — busy and competitive.

Data compiled by Northwest Multiple Listing Service in 2017 show summer months produce increases in sales of single-family homes and condominiums in Pierce and Thurston counties.

June through September, NWMLS recorded more than 6,700 closings in Pierce County, and nearly 2,300 closings in Thurston County. Those summer months accounted for 38 percent and 41 percent of the total 2017 closings for Pierce and Thurston counties, respectively.

Heather Redal

Heather Redal, Broker, Windermere Real Estate. Courtesy Heather Redal

“Summer is great because we have daylight until 8 or 9 p.m., so buyers have time to look at homes after work,” Heather Redal, a broker at Windermere Real Estate in Tacoma who sells homes in Pierce and Thurston counties, commented.

But Redal added that a spike in activity usually begins before summer. “Historically, spring is where I have seen the most multiple offers,” she said. “It’s usually the best time for sellers and the toughest time for buyers. By summer, more sellers have had time to get their homes ready to sell, and we see a little bit of the ‘frenzy’ tame down.”

Still, no matter the season, homebuyers will be well served by taking some preparatory steps. Redal recommends getting a strong letter of approval, setting aside money in advance to pay for closing costs, and finding an experienced Realtor who knows how to navigate the process. Viguerie encouraged prospective buyers to respond quickly when a dream home hits the market.

“When a good deal comes (along), be ready to run out and see it,” he said. “After all, if it’s truly a good deal, it won’t last long.” 

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