Skagit County is sought out for its breathtaking landscapes, outdoor recreation and community spirit. With the Salish Sea to the west and the Cascades to the east, Skagit County is filled with fertile farmland and small towns. Like much of the country, however, there are few homes available for sale in Skagit County, frustrating homebuyers.
According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, there are currently 255 residences for sale in all of Skagit County. In addition, there are nine condominiums for sale. These are very low numbers.
In fact, as of July, there were fewer than two months of housing inventory in Skagit County (see the NWMLS graph below). The months of inventory refer to how long it will take to sell all of the homes currently on the market. Between four and six months is considered a balanced market. Fewer months is a seller’s market, so the current housing market in Skagit County is a strong seller’s market.
Nevertheless, as discussed below, few sellers are interested in selling.
Factors in Low Inventory
In recent years, relatively lower housing costs in Skagit County have increased demand for housing. Some of this demand has come from homebuyers in King County and Snohomish County seeking to escape the prices that have skyrocketed over the past 20 years.
At the same time, the housing crash in 2008 resulted in a loss of construction jobs. Many workers in the industry left and never returned when demand for construction came back. In addition, Skagit County has many land use regulations that make it difficult to build, limiting the options for new construction.
Furthermore, interest rates have more than doubled since 2022, making houses more difficult to buy because of the higher payment needed on a home mortgage. Those who already own a home generally have a lower interest rate on their mortgage. They are therefore reluctant to sell and move because they do not want to enter into a new mortgage with a higher interest mortgage. This has further reduced inventory.
How to Buy a Home in Skagit County
As widely reported in the press, it appears that interest rates may fall in 2024. If that happens, there may be a surge of homebuyers, causing more upward pressure on prices in Skagit County.
This is a challenging market. One way to handle the current market is to move forward with the current rates and buy. If interest rates drop in the future, you can refinance your mortgage.If, however, interest rates go up instead, you will be insulated from the higher rates.
If you are ready to buy, the first step is to get prequalified for a mortgage loan to find out how much you can buy. Also, there are many homebuyer programs that you may qualify for to help! With a prequalification in hand, you can begin to explore your options.
Give us a call today at (206) 323-0800 or email us at [email protected] for a free, no-obligation consultation on buying your dream home in Skagit County.