Will 2017 bring price increases? | Just Ask Jan

Dear Jan: Now that we are in a new year, do you see house prices going up again this year? Should we sell now or wait? — DHDW

Dear DHDW: 2016 was a fantastic year in real estate. In Kitsap County, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, home prices increased by 9.3 percent last year. That is fantastic. The greater Seattle area was at a 14 percent increase, so we are not far behind them.

We have a shortage of inventory in the overall market. Trendgraphics shows that there are only 1.3 months of inventory on the market today. (If no new homes come on the market, that is how long it would take to empty the inventory.)

Lennox Scott, the owner of John L. Scott, spoke at our office meeting this week. He keeps tabs on the financial forecast nationally and locally. He said the forecast is for us to have another great year, seeing about a 10 percent increase in prices.

Now, for your other question about selling now or later … That is something only you can answer. If you are buying another home in the area, it too is going up in price. Brainstorm with your local real estate broker; he or she can help you make that decision.

Because I work in Kingston, I am excited about my sellers seeing a healthy increase in price if they sell. Of course, the flip side is that I, along with other taxpayers, will be paying more in property taxes as prices go up. No way around that one! Bottom line: 2017 will be another fantastic year in real estate.

Best wishes with your decision,

Jan

— Jan Zufelt is a broker for John L. Scott Real Estate in Kingston. Contact her at janz@johnlscott.com.

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