GOP tax plan leaves housing market in a wait-and-see mood

By Annie Gustafson | John L. Scott Real Estate
Special to the Reporter

Similar to the number of hours of daylight this time of year, the number of homes for sale in Kirkland shrunk in November. This tendency is typical for the local winter real estate market. The reduction in available inventory, however, does not mean prices have gone down.

“The median selling price for a home in Kirkland in November was $681,000,” said Mona Spencer, branch manager of John L. Scott Real Estate. “This is an increase of almost five percent compared to last month and — looking at the year over year trend — home prices are 19 percent higher now than in November of 2016.”

Kirkland is attractive to buyers because it offers the best of both worlds, according to Spencer.

“Kirkland offers a quaint, walkable downtown area and it also has more traditional single family residences with a yard,” she explained.

With last week’s news of Microsoft’s significant expansion on their Redmond campus and additional quality-of-life enhancements such as the anticipated opening of the new bicycle and pedestrian path along SR-520, Spencer predicts Kirkland’s residential real estate market will remain robust.

One top-of-mind issue for both buyers and sellers and their brokers is uncertainty about the GOP tax plan approved by the Senate on Dec. 2.

“Buyers are understandably concerned about anticipated changes to mortgage interest and property tax deductions,” Spencer said.

Until a final bill is signed into law, she summarized the current mood as wait-and-see.

Ultimately, the decision to buy or sell is deeply personal.

“The timing has to be right for you,” explained Spencer. “As long as you buy and sell within the same market timing, the result is often the same net seller equity.”

According to Spencer, the quality of life and community focus in Kirkland continues to attract residents.

“From special events such as the annual tree lighting ceremony, to the rotating costumes of the cow and coyote statue, Kirkland is family friendly and has a little spunk, too,” she said.

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