Seattle Area Market: Prices Are Rising, People Are Buying

812 W GalerS&P/Case-Shiller released its Home Price Index for April today, and the numbers paint a familiar picture of the Seattle-area housing market: prices are rising, and people are buying. The average price for a single-family home in the area comprising King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties rose 0.9 percent in April from March, and was up 7.5 percent over the year. Despite the rise in prices, homes are selling in an average of 8 days in Seattle, and the number of completed sales in the three-county region was up a staggering 38 percent from last April. According to Zillow, the median single-family home in the area will now cost you $366,100.

Compared to the blistering pace of price gains at this time last year, when prices were up 11.2 percent on a yearly basis, gains seem to be moderating. In reference to the housing market as a whole, Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries said in a statement that “Normal home value growth is usually between 3 percent and 5 percent annually, well below growth rates of just a year ago, so the current pace is far more sustainable.” While the Seattle area’s growth has not fallen into that threshold yet, we’re not seeing the sustained growth of last year, when prices in the area grew by double digits on a yearly basis for 14 consecutive months. San Francisco and Denver are leading the nation in appreciation, with home prices having risen by 10 percent and 10.3 percent respectively.

It is still a great time to sell in the Seattle area, so if you are interested in listing your home, contact your local real estate agent today!

Home Price Growth In Seattle Area Appears To Be Slowing

housingThough it may not appear so, considering the seemingly sky-high prices for homes in the Seattle area, the growth in average price for existing single-family homes in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties seems to have leveled out in late spring. The average price grew by just 1.4 percent from April to May, compared to a 2.3 percent increase from March to April, according to the S&P/Case Shiller 20-City Index released today.

Though price growth is slowing in the short term, average prices in May for single-family homes in the Seattle area were still up 9.3 percent from May 2013, and in many Seattle-area neighborhoods, median prices are nearing their pre-crash highs. In King County as a whole, the median price was $430,000 for the first six months of this year, just 5 percent below the 2007 peak. According to this article in The Seattle Times, the Seattle market is 13 percent below its 2007 peak.

In the same article, Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow, says that all of these numbers point to a normalizing housing market, but that there is a wide variation among markets and submarkets, such as lower-priced homes appreciating at a higher rate than more expensive homes.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Seattle area, contact your local real estate agent today.



King County Home Prices Rising More Slowly, Inventory Still Low

housing market

While home prices have continued to rise in King County over the past year, they are rising at a slower rate than they were a year ago. According to The Seattle Times the median home price in January was 17 percent higher than it was over the previous 12 months, but in February it was only 11 percent higher. In March, the median home price in King County was $414,950, up just 6 percent from $392,000 a year ago. In the Seattle market, the median home price actually fell by almost 3% over the last 12 months to $450,000.

It appears that buyers are also using more discretion with their money, as the number of active listings has increased, but the number of pending deals has decreased in the tri-county area comprising King, Snohomish and Pierce counties.

In some good news for local buyers, investors bought far fewer homes in February (40) than they did in January (126), which could mean more entry-level housing inventory available to first-time home buyers. Investors have been purchasing homes in lower price ranges and turning them into rentals, especially in South King County and Pierce County. Real estate agents are hoping for a jump in inventory as we progress further into spring, but believe the market will continue to see low inventory through the rest of the year and into 2015.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in Seattle, contact your local real estate agent today.