Check out this absolutely delightful paid advertisement masquerading as a “guest editorial” in today’s Seattle Times. It’s penned by Mr. Samuel L. Anderson, the executive officer of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties.
The media have been all abuzz over the past year about the softening in the housing market.
At the same time, local analysts point out that even though home sales in the greater Puget Sound region have slowed, now is still a good time to buy a home, particularly in our area.
What does this slowdown really mean for consumers? Is it wise to sit back and wait for a home in the hopes that prices may drop? Most real-estate experts in our region say don’t bet on it.
Oh really? Okay, well why is that exactly, Mr. Executive Builder Man?
One reason we have not experienced the steep decline seen in other markets is that while other parts of the country face an oversupply of housing, we do not.
Here in Washington state, the Growth Management Act (GMA) actually limits the supply of new housing entering the market by directing where new development can occur. As long as GMA is in place, we are very unlikely to find ourselves in a housing glut.
Growth management act, huh? You don’t say.
Another key factor is that the area in and around Seattle has a healthy supply of jobs and a strong regional economy — factors most experts agree help keep prices from falling.
Sitting on the fence waiting for the absolute best deal is a gamble that prevents consumers from taking advantage of buying a home, while prices are moderating.
In today’s housing market, the real risk is in waiting to buy a home.
Unlike some cities where the real-estate market is in a slump, the Seattle area is healthy and analysts feel certain it will stay that way. As a result, the deep discounted prices some consumers have been hoping for simply won’t be happening here.
For consumers sitting on the sidelines, the bottom line is simple. Homeownership is always attractive. Besides being a stepping-stone to a future of financial security, homeownership provides a sense of community and personal satisfaction. In fact, studies show that homeowners are more content with their lives, enjoying a stronger sense of belonging and increased activity in community groups.
The equation is simple: Since housing is always a smart investment and interest rates are still near 40-year lows, savvy consumers know this is a great time to buy a home.
Well dang, I’m convinced. Now is a great time to buy, and I’d better be quick about it or else I’ll be priced out forever, doomed to be a miserable, broke, dissatisfied loner, renting from the man for the rest of my life.
(Samuel L. Anderson, Seattle Times, 01.24.2007)