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From ‘brutal’ to ‘boring:’ Puget Sound housing market projected to mellow out in 2023

SEATTLE — Zillow Economist Jeff Tucker says the 2023 housing market will be far less volatile than what the Puget Sound region experienced in 2022.

“We’re finally going to have a normal, boring year in the housing market,” said Tucker.

Seattle and Tacoma are among the fastest-cooling housing markets in the nation. According to Tucker, that dramatic slowdown we saw in the second half of this last year will continue.

“The good news for buyers is that now, they won’t feel that pressure,” said Tucker. “They won’t be rushed for the biggest purchase of their lives like they were last year.”

Tucker speculates sellers will have to put in more work.

“They can’t just throw up a for sale sign and count on offers pouring in,” said Tucker.

Economists and real estate agents agree affordability remains a major issue in the area.

John L. Scott Real Estate agent Nelya Calev says rising interest rates have taken away buying power.

According to Calev, interest rates fell as low as 3.5% last year, but today they’ve risen over 6%. Her hope for 2023 is that the federal government stops messing with the rate.

“People get adjusted to the new rate, and then the market just starts moving slowly; buyers are like, okay, that’s the new interest rate, I can do this, and then bam, we get whacked again,” said Calev.

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