53 equestrian properties were sold in the first quarter of 2020 in Pierce, King, Kitsap and Thurston counties – a dramatic 29% increase in overall sales activity when compared to the first quarter of 2019.

First Quarter Equestrian Home Market Update

The median sale price for equestrian properties in the Puget Sound region continues to trend upwards, albeit at a relatively modest pace. We saw year over year price gains in Pierce and Thurston counties in the first quarter of 2020 and a slight drop in prices in King.

Despite a significant uptick in sales activity in the first quarter of 2020, inventory levels are on the rise. If buyer demand for equestrian properties cools in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, inventory levels could continue to rise, putting buyers and sellers on a more even footing than they have been in recent years.

What’s happening with the broader economy?

  • Most experts agree that the U.S. economy has entered a recession. The severity of that recession will depend in large part on the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Federal Reserve Board’s recent efforts to stabilize the economy with interest rate cuts have been unsuccessful, but rates are likely to remain low for the foreseeable future. That’s good news for the real estate market.
  • Goldman Sachs predicts a difficult first half of the year (not a surprise) with recovery beginning in the second half.

What impact will the pandemic and associated recession have on home values? That remains to be seen, but we’re guardedly optimistic.

  • Recessions aren’t typically associated with a significant drop in home values. The Great Recession of 2008 was the exception to the rule because it was CAUSED by questionable lending practices and a resulting wave of foreclosures.

  • The current recession’s impact on the housing market is predicted to be similar to the impact of the recession that followed the dot.com crash and 9/11 in the early 2000s. Though the S&P 500 lost 45% of its value between September of 2000 and October of 2002, home prices increased from 6.6% to 8.6% each year during that same period of time.
  • Recognizing that an uptick in foreclosures could trigger an unwanted housing crisis, the federal government has put mortgage relief measures in place for government-backed loans, including a 60-day moratorium on foreclosures and the option to defer payments (and extend the life of a loan) for up to 12 months. Many large banks are following suit, offering up to three months of payment deferrals and/or mortgage forbearance.

Because the housing market was strong when the COVID-19 pandemic began and because the federal government has implemented measures to keep the housing market strong as we head into a recession, we’re guardedly optimistic that home values will remain stable. If we do see a drop in home prices, that drop should be modest.

Spacious patio off the great room overlooking the horse facilities

Given the uncertainty associated with the current health crisis, it’s critical for buyers and sellers to seek expert advice. If you’re thinking about buying or selling a horse property in the Puget Sound area, please give me a call to discuss how I can put my knowledge and experience to work for you.

Jeff Williams

Jeff Williams has been riding and showing American Quarter Horses since childhood and is a top-producing Realtor with Windermere Chambers Bay, specializing in equestrian property sales in King, Pierce, Kitsap and Thurston counties.

Jeff Williams: (253) 303-1135
JeffWilliams@windermere.com

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