I just have two links for you this. The first is this article which has been passed around pretty extensively amongst the local real estate folks. Everybody likes rose-colored glasses, and this article is tinted pink like a Tiffany window. Most of the quotes from Matthew Gardner demonstrate a finely crafted ability to look at selected pieces of the big picture and take comfort. If you like that comfort, stop there.
If you’d prefer a broader take, you might want to click through to The Seattle Bubble’s response to the article. Tim isn’t willing to say that we’re in a bubble, and he’s more qualified on economics and stats than me, but I’m pretty comfortable coming down on the side of saying yes Seattle is definitely in a bubble. We’re still at the beginning of it, but looking at our market numbers compared to the national trends, we’re outstripping national averages by more than can be justified by local economic forces. Unemployment is down and inventory is low everywhere, but Seattle is having a unique response, and I don’t think it’s a sustainable one.
What that means for people looking at buying or selling in the local market will depend on the individual, but broadly speaking, if you want to buy in the next 1-3 years, now is probably better than waiting, and if you want to sell, now’s good. Next year will be too. The year after that is probably good, but I’m not comfy with predicting continued growth beyond there at this point in time. Recognizing a bubble and behaving accordingly is savvy. Forgetting that bubbles burst isn’t.