Sequim’s housing median sales price went up again in 2022’s second quarter, climbing to an all-time high of $575,000.
“It’s an incredible scenario [with] a 10-year upswing market that is begging to flatten or turn downward juxtaposed against an historic shortage of housing units,” said E. Michael McAleer, managing broker with RE/MAX Prime.
McAleer and his team compile quarterly reports on Sequim’s housing market and continue to see low inventory for homes and land.
Quarter 2 in 2022 (April-June) saw a record-low inventory at 126 homes compared to nearly two decades of the same time period. As of July 27, there were 155 homes for sale with a median price of $599,000, McAleer reports.
Of the 155 homes for sale, 56 have seen price reductions, he said.
While the sample size is small, the median price for July is up too, with 31 sales at a median sale price of $579,000.
For the second quarter, Sequim averaged 53 home sales a month, about a 17 percent decrease from 2021’s second quarter, McAleer reported.
“Even with the decrease, considering the historically low inventory, the sales volume numbers were still impressive,” McAleer wrote in the report.
Marguerite Glover, co-owner of Peter Black Real Estate, said the market has slowed down but “things are still selling.”
She said, “It’s taking a little bit longer. Before we would sell in hours and now it’s a few weeks.
“[Sequim] is still a desirable place to get away from crowding and fires.”
Anecdotally, McAleer said, there have been less inquiries into homes, which could be related to higher interest rates, inflation, low inventory and/or general concerns about the market and economy.
“What’s most telling is that May, June and July are the months when we normally get the most inquiries from buyers,” he said in an interview.
Land and building
Land parcel sales rose to a $155,000 median sale price with 37 sales — 23 in unincorporated Sequim and 14 inside the City of Sequim.
Sequim’s sales totals were the lowest in Quarter 2 in nine years while its 84 parcels available were the lowest inventory since, the McAleers stated their report.
Sequim has 117 land listings with 18 pending sales with a median asking price of $179,950, they noted.
McAleer said building prices remain high and PUD transformer box shortages are impacting construction and may affect the local economy if it continues.
Clallam PUD John Purvis assistant general manager said via email they haven’t received any of the small pad transformers ordered last year with quoted delivery dates for 2022.
“[However] the district has successfully procured and received 73 such transformers that did become available from a canceled order of a large utility with the expectation of receiving 20 more such transformers in the very near future,” he said.
“In the upcoming weeks, the PUD will be installing these transformers that are needed to address the backlog of new service requests.”
Purvis said staff expect in the near future to begin taking new service requests again that require new small pad transformers, but they anticipate those to remain restricted with potential future delays until they receive past due transformers from 2021 or others become available.
For more information, visit www.clallampud.net or call 360-452-9771 or 800-542-7859.
As the federal government tries to curb inflation with raising interest rates, some mortgage lenders say now might be a good time for first time buyers to revisit the market.
Mariia Bush, a loan consultant with Caliber Home Loans, said some buyers got discouraged during the pandemic as they were outbid by multiple offers, and sales well above asking prices.
“Now the market isn’t as competitive,” she said. “Sellers are willing to entertain offers.”
Glover said in recent years for homes “with a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house on an acre, people could ask anything they wanted.
“Now with interest rates up it’s getting more realistic.”
While the interest rates went below 4 percent in February, Bush said, they now fluctuate from about 5.5 to 6 percent depending on qualifications. While that might mean a few hundred dollars more a month in mortgage payments, Bush said people most likely can refinance in a few years.
“It’s almost never a 30-year loan,” she said.
Deon Kapetan, branch manager of Highlands Residential Mortgage, said “even though rates are higher now, it’s highly likely you’re going to refinance at a later date when rates settle down.”
Looking at trends and reports, she said a recession is likely for late 2022, early 2023, and while that’s difficult for the populace, historically interest rates will likely drop.
“Recession is a bad word especially with inflation, but it should help the market readjust a little and come back to a market we’re more accustomed to,” Kapetan said.
She said interest rates may not go as low as we’ve seen over the past couple of years, but economic reports indicate they will still lower in the next few years.
“If you’re a home buyer that’s been discouraged by the market, now is a great time for you get back in the game, get your foot in the door and then refinance in two-three years,” Kapetan said.
“Historically it’s proven that you should still be able to build some equity.”
Bush cautioned that “there’s a cost for waiting to buy” as projections show home values will continue to increase in the coming years.
“A short supply of anything usually creates a rise in prices so the next six months should prove to be very telling,” McAleer said via email.
“With the cost of living rising with no end in sight and many people already living on the margins economically, what Sequim desperately needs is some affordable rentals [like apartment buildings].”
For more information about Team McAleer RE/MAX Prime, visit sequimrealty.com or call 360-683-1500.