Statistics July 8, 2022

Local Market Update – July 2022

Cooler temperatures and a cooler regional real estate market have been this summer’s hallmark thus far. After months of blazing hot sales and a breakneck pace, buyers are finally seeing inventory levels accelerate and price gains slow. With inspection and financing contingencies once again becoming the norm, the region may at last be shifting toward a more balanced market.

Area home prices were down across the board last month. The median sold price for King County single-family homes dropped to $938,225, slightly lower than May’s near million-dollar price ($998,888). Year-over-year, however, King County prices were still up by 9%, despite the higher 1.5 months of available inventory.

Seattle mirrored the county’s trend, with the median price dropping from $1,025,500 in May to an even $1,000,000 in June. This price was still up 12% year-over-year, indicating continued demand for housing in the city.

Real estate experts have pointed out that areas that saw the greatest appreciation earlier this year will likely see a more significant dip in prices as the market rebalances. The Eastside market bore out this theory in June as the median sold price for single-family homes was $1,500,000 — down almost $100k from May’s median price of $1,590,000. That said, last month’s Eastside median sold prices were still up over June 2021, increasing 10% year-over-year in the residential market and 12% in the condo market. And with two months’ supply of homes currently listed, Eastside buyers have significantly more options to choose from than they would have had earlier in the year.

Snohomish County — long a refuge for buyers seeking more bang for their buck — followed a similar trend. The median sold price for single-family homes dropped to a more attainable $799,950, down from May but still up 11% year-over-year. Snohomish County condo prices dipped in June as well, with the median sold price of $500,000 down 9% from May and up a meager 1.6% from June of last year.

While these recent price dips may cause concern for some sellers, local real estate experts reiterate that this is a necessary step toward a more balanced market. “The increase in listings has started to slow the rabid pace of price gains that we’ve experienced,” said Matthew Gardner, Windermere’s Chief Economist. “This is a good thing, not a cause for concern.”

Other factors influencing the summer real estate market are higher mortgage rates, higher post-pandemic rates of travel, and typical seasonal buyer patterns. With graduations occurring and school years finishing up, many potential buyers are scratching their itch for travel and family time, putting off their home search until a little later in the year.

For sellers looking to make the most of the current market, flexibility is key. Pricing their home correctly from the get-go and being willing to negotiate with buyers on terms can still result in a top-of-market sale, albeit one in which multiple offers are less expected.

If you have questions about real estate opportunities in the current market, please reach out to your Windermere broker for additional insights and analysis.

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StatisticsJune 9, 2022

Local Market Update – June 2022

The tides of our local real estate market may at last be shifting, as buyers find relief in increasing inventory and the frenetic pace of sales slows noticeably. At the end of May, inventory across the 26 counties served by the Northwest MLS had increased by 59%, with 8,798 active listings in the database, compared to 5,533 active listings just a year ago. While this shift may cause concern from some who anticipate a drop in the market, Windermere’s Chief Economist Matthew Gardner had this to say: “What’s more likely to occur is that the additional supply will lead us toward a more balanced market, which after years of such lopsided conditions, is much needed.”

While inventory has increased, the meteoric price hikes seen in this first part of 2022 – including again in May’s closed sales – is expected to slow dramatically in the next half of the year. Seattle saw a historic first in April, with the median sold price for a single-family home topping $1 million for the first time. May home sales continued that trend, with the median sold price inching up to $1,025,500, which is a 12% increase from $919,000 in May 2021. King County as a whole mirrored this trend, with the median price of single-family homes reaching $998,888 in May, up from $995,000 in April and up 14.8% from last May’s median price of $869,975.

May closings reveal that the Eastside and Snohomish County didn’t follow this same pattern, instead experiencing a much-needed cooling of prices. On the Eastside, the median sold price for single-family homes fell from $1,722,500 in April to $1,590,000 in May. While last month’s median price is the lowest since January of this year, it was still up 22% year-over-year. The Eastside saw an increase in the percentage of homes that had a price change before selling, hitting 10% in May — double that of April. This is likely due to Eastside sellers needing to adjust their price expectations. While a majority of listings in the area — about 66% — still sold over list price last month, a full month of inventory and a 403% increase in active inventory on the Eastside from February to May means that buyers have more choice and agency than they’ve had in some time. Homes are still selling, but multiple offers are far fewer and sellers are more likely than before to accept an offer written with contingencies.

Snohomish County also saw a shift in May, likely due to the combination of increasing inventory running headfirst into decreasing buyer budgets thanks to rising mortgage rates. With .85 months of inventory, prices reflected this, with the median sold price for single-family homes falling slightly to $815,000 last month, down from $839,298 in April. However, a majority of homes sold for over list price and quite quickly, averaging less than two weeks on the market. It’s worth noting that these statistics largely reflect home sales that went under contract in prior months when competition was at its fiercest. The median sold price for Snohomish County condos dropped just slightly to $545,000 last month, down from $550,000 in April. With only two weeks of inventory on hand, the county’s condo market is likely to remain competitive for a while.

Falling prices in the Puget Sound region may have caused concern for some, but most analysts see this as a necessary and long-overdue price correction. Prices for single-family homes (excluding condos) in King County rose from $775,000 in January to a whopping $995,000 in April, a change of $220,000 in only four months, or 28.4%. Last month, the Eastside saw prices decrease by only 8%, and this was likely only because prices had previously risen so astronomically in the area. Neighborhoods that saw the highest appreciation will likely experience a sharper correction, but this may serve to help some previously unlucky buyers re-enter the market and finally find success.

If you have questions about pricing trends in your neighborhood, or how to make the most of your purchase or sale, please reach out to your local Windermere broker to see how they can help.

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StatisticsMay 10, 2022

Local Market Update – May 2022

After a long stint of suppressed housing inventory across our region, buyers may at last have more options as the supply of available homes ticks up ahead of the summer market. The month-over-month increase in inventory has been as much as 50% in some areas, offering renewed opportunities for those buyers who are not dissuaded by high home prices and rising mortgage rates.

The Eastside appears to have experienced the most dramatic inventory growth, with .79 months of available single-family homes last month compared to .46 in March. Seattle increased slightly to .59 months of inventory, while Snohomish also had a notable increase up to .67 months of inventory compared to .46 in March.

The increase in supply is likely occurring because rising home prices and mortgage rates have put a slight damper on sales in the area. Last month, the median sold price for a single-family home in Seattle surpassed $1 million for the first time—landing at a historic $1,019,950. This is up 16.6% year-over-year from $875,000 in April 2021. The median price for single-family homes on the Eastside last month was an eye-watering $1,722,500, with 80% of homes selling over list price. Although inventory has increased in the area, Eastside homes are still selling quickly, with 96% of listings selling in under two weeks. King County as a whole also saw prices increase, with the median sold price for single-family homes reaching $995,000, up from $830,000 a year ago.

Snohomish County home prices have kept pace with the market, with the median sold price for a single-family home reaching $839,298. That’s an increase of 24.3% year-over-year from $675,000 in April 2021. This is likely due to increased demand from buyers who can’t compete in the intense Seattle and Eastside market, seeking more bang for their buck in the relatively more affordable Snohomish County market.

Affordability issues have also trickled into the condominium market, as some prospective homebuyers divert from the single-family market to condos. Eastside condo prices have increased 29.7% year-over-year to $674,444 last month from $520,000 in April 2021. In Snohomish County, the median sold price for condos rose to $550,000 year-over-year from $432,250 last year. That’s an increase of 27.2%.

Despite rising home prices and heftier mortgage rates, many buyers are still eager to take advantage of the financial benefits of homeownership. According to Windermere’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, “Owning real estate is a hedge against rising inflation. Homeowners with a fixed rate mortgage will always have the same monthly payment, even as other costs rise.”

If you have questions about how to find the opportunities presented by today’s market, please don’t hesitate to connect with your Windermere broker. They’ll answer based on a real-time analysis of the market and a nuanced consideration of your specific needs and goals.

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StatisticsApril 18, 2022

Local Market Update – April 2022

The spring market continues its frenzied pace, with soaring prices and stiff competition testing the resolve of buyers. Despite these obstacles and rising mortgage rates, inventory remains low across King County, as pending sales keep pace with new listings, demonstrating a strong demand from buyers.

This demand has factored into the way sellers are approaching the market. Windermere’s Chief Economist Matthew Gardner notes that median listing prices continue to rise, saying “this suggests that sellers remain quite bullish when it comes to pricing their homes.”

This was certainly true in March on the Eastside, where the median closed sale price for single-family homes was $1,700,000, an all-time high. This was up 26% year-over-year, and slightly up from February, when the median was $1,697,500. In Seattle, the median price for single-family homes achieved an all-time high of $970,000, up 18% year-over-year. Snohomish County continues to feel the impact of this voracious demand, with a median closed sale price of $1,298,000 for single-family homes — that’s an increase of 38.1% year-over-year.

Not only are asking prices increasing across the region, but many homes are selling for well over list price. On the Eastside, a staggering 85% of closed sales in March 2022 sold for more than the list price. Overall, that’s down from an all-time record last month of 87%, but tied for the second-highest month ever with April 2021. Of the Eastside homes that sold over asking last month, the median difference was 21% over asking, and they spent an average of just 4 days on the market.

Seattle is experiencing a similar pattern, with 71% of the closed sales in March going over the list price. This is a high for Seattle; in March and April of 2018, 63% and 68% of listings closed over asking, respectively. Last month, the Seattle listings that sold over list price sold for a median of 15% over the list price, and were on the market for 5 days.

In Snohomish County, homes that sold over list price went for a median of 21% over the asking price.

With these conditions, many buyers are looking to condos as a more affordable way to break into the market. Consequently, condo prices have also seen a year-over-year increase. In King County, condos remain relatively more affordable, with a median price of $540,000 in March 2022. That’s up from $470,000 in March 2021, a 14.9% increase. Snohomish County has seen a more dramatic increase, as the median condo price in March 2022 was $555,000 — up 33.1% year-over-year, from $417,000 in March 2021.

Matthew Gardner expects mortgage rates to continue trending higher in the coming months, but so far he says there’s nothing to be too concerned about, as the interest rates have not yet caused sales to taper off. Savvy sellers can still easily benefit from the opportunities presented by this market, and although rates are higher, buyers can finance their home purchase with rates still far lower that the historical norm.

If you’re looking for knowledgeable advice as you consider when might be your best time to enter the market, whether as a buyer or a seller, please connect with your Windermere broker. They’ll give you their professional insight to help you make the best decisions possible.

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StatisticsMarch 10, 2022

Local Market Update – March 2022

As we head into the traditionally busy spring season for homebuying, the market seems to be keeping up its intense pace, with low inventory across the board and multiple offers the norm. A marginal increase in listings across King and Snohomish counties has done little to counter fierce buyer demand, with certain areas on the Eastside virtually unable to sustain new inventory. With these trends likely to continue, buyers will need to be aggressive and ready to compete.

Prices continue to rise across Seattle and the Eastside, with the median sold price for single-family homes on the Eastside increasing to an eye-watering $1,697,500 in February — a 34% year-over-year increase. Seattle saw a 16% year-over-year increase last month, with a median sold price of $925,000 for single-family homes. These median home prices for the Eastside and Seattle were all-time record highs.

Fierce competition on the Eastside last month drove price increases, with 87% of homes in the area closing above list price and the median sold price coming in at a whopping 23% over list. At the start of this month the Eastside had just under two weeks of inventory, and 94% of last month’s listings sold in under two weeks. The pace of home sales in Seattle was almost as hot, with 86% of homes selling in two weeks or less.

Snohomish County saw a year-over-year price increase of 19% in February, with a median sold price of $745,725 for single-family homes, a record-high for the area as well. The continuation of remote and flexible work options continues to encourage buyers to purchase in the area, and by month’s end Snohomish County inventory had dropped to less than two weeks’ supply.

The competition and rising prices have some buyers torn between jumping into the market while they still can, or waiting to see if a price correction will occur within the foreseeable future. The last correction occurred in 2018; in the three years from May 2015 to May 2018 King County home prices rose 51% from $480,942 to $726,275. During the same time, interest rates increased from 3.84% to 4.59%. Prices then dropped 16% from $726,275 to $610,000 and took 18 months to rise above $726,275 again. While this context is helpful, it’s also extremely difficult to predict when and if a price correction will occur in the near future.

Amid rising concerns over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its impact on the American economy, many homebuyers are wondering if mortgage rates — which have generally been rising since the beginning of the year — will be affected. Windermere’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, tied the beginning of the war to a short-term drop in rates. “In general, when there’s any sort of global or national geopolitical event, investors tend to gravitate to safety, and this invariably means a shift out of equities and into bonds. So at face value Russia was actually responsible for the tiny drop in rates we saw immediately following the invasion, and also the more significant drop we saw last week when the market saw the biggest two-day drop in rates in over a decade.”

Nonetheless, Gardner said that according to his model, there is actually likely to be a “significant jump” in rates over the first two quarters, though these increases will slow in the second half of the year.

If you’re looking for additional insight and extra support as you consider whether now is the right time to buy or sell a home, please feel free to reach out. We’re here to help you make the best decisions as you navigate the real estate market, today or any time in the future.

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StatisticsFebruary 10, 2022

Local Market Update – February 2022

The local market in January looked a bit like the calm before the storm. Home prices took a pause from the frantic surges of last year, but if the sales we’ve seen in the last few weeks are any indication, the market looks like it’s heating up again. Inventory inched up in January, but remains far short of buyer demand. Homes are selling fast, and for well over asking price. Expect this spring, traditionally the busiest season of the year for home sales, to be hotter than ever.

Concerns about future mortgage interest hikes appear to have added fuel to an already overheated market, further depleting already meager inventory. The number of homes for sale was lower than any January on record, according to Matthew Gardner, Windermere’s chief economist. There were 59% fewer homes on the market in King County than the same time last year. Snohomish County’s inventory was down 35%. Based on current demand, it would take less than two weeks to sell all the properties on the market in both counties. Buyers competing for scant inventory snapped up available homes quickly. In King County, 72% of the homes sold in January were on the market less than two weeks. On the Eastside, 81% of homes sold in less than two weeks, as did 61% of homes in Seattle, and 76% of homes in Snohomish County.

Homes prices continued to trend upward compared to the same time last year. In January, the median price of a single-family home in King County rose 7% year-over-year to $775,000. Home prices on the Eastside jumped 32% over a year ago to $1,515,000, virtually unchanged from the all-time high of $1,529,500 set in December. With 71% of homes on the Eastside selling for over asking price, the market is expected to stay very competitive. Prices in Seattle have been fairly level for the past few months. The January median home price of $790,000 is flat compared to a year ago. In Snohomish County, the $715,000 median home price was up 19% over the prior year. While January’s statistics (which reflect sales that closed in December) hinted that the market may be easing off, the housing activity we’re seeing today indicates that buyers are stepping on the gas. Expect even more competition for homes in the coming months.

Despite the pandemic and remote work, large companies continue to hire new workers and invest in large office projects in the area. Matthew Gardner weighed in on how he sees that affecting the housing market. “One of the biggest questions for 2022 is how the market will be further impacted by the work-from-home paradigm given that many companies have postponed their long-term WFH plans. This is likely holding back sellers during a time when we desperately need additional inventory, as well as buyers who are concerned about rising mortgage rates.” Gardner expects more sellers will list their homes and more buyers will start their searches once they know how often they need to commute to work, which may result in a busier spring market than expected.

If your plans for 2022 include buying or selling a house, we’re here to help. Get in touch and we can get started.

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StatisticsJanuary 11, 2022

Local Market Update – January 2022

Record-low temperatures combined with record-low inventory put a chill on housing activity in December. With very few homes available to buy, sales were down. Lack of supply and high demand continued to push prices up. Since the winter months historically bring the smallest number of new listings, buyers should not expect relief anytime soon.

While up from a year ago, home prices in general were relatively flat from November to December. In King County, the median single-family home price rose 9% from last December to $810,000. Despite high demand and low inventory, prices in Seattle continue to level off. While down slightly from November, the median price increased a modest 5% over a year ago to $839,000. The Eastside was again the outlier. After breaking price records in October and November, home prices soared 37% year-over-year to set yet another all-time high of $1,529,500 in December. That represents a 7% increase from November. In further evidence of just how hot the Eastside market is, 75% of the properties there sold for over list price. Prices in Snohomish County continued to inch closer to King County. The median home price there jumped 22% to $700,000.

The driving force affecting affordability is lack of inventory. In both Snohomish and King counties it would take less than a week to sell the homes that are currently on the market. At the end of December, Snohomish County has just 210 single-family homes for sale in the entire county. Seattle had only 167 homes for sale; the Eastside just 55. That represented 70% less inventory for both Seattle and the Eastside as compared to a year ago. To give some historical perspective, the ten-year average inventory for the end of December is 545 homes in Seattle and 743 homes on the Eastside.

Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist at Windermere, registered his concern. “The Puget Sound region is in dire need of more housing units which would function to slow price growth of the area’s existing housing,” he said. “However, costs continue to limit building activity, and that is unlikely to change significantly this year.”

The demand side of the equation isn’t expected to wane any time soon either. With millions of square feet of new office space and new light rail developments in the works, the area continues to be a draw for employers – and more potential homebuyers.

What’s ahead for 2022? Matthew Gardner expects the market to continue to be strong, but believes the pace of appreciation will slow significantly from this year. “I predict single family prices will increase by around 8% in King and Snohomish counties. Affordability issues and modestly rising interest rates will take some of the steam out of the market in 2022.”

From working remotely to finally retiring, life events often trigger housing decisions. If you find yourself looking to buy or sell a property, we’re here to help.

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StatisticsDecember 9, 2021

Local Market Update – December 2021

While the housing market typically slows down in the winter, fewer buyers are taking a break this year. High demand and scant inventory still favor sellers, who continue to see multiple offers. In one bright spot for buyers, home prices – while up from over a year ago – appear to be evening out in most of the region. Potential home sellers who’ve been sitting on the fence may want to consider taking a leap into the market now.

With the exception of the Eastside, Puget Sound median home prices were essentially flat in November compared to the previous month. However, prices increased by double-digits in most areas from last year. In King County, the median single-family home price rose 12% from last November to $820,000. Home prices in Seattle continue to level off, with the median price of $850,000 up just 4% from a year earlier. The Eastside maintained its strong appreciation, with prices soaring 35% from a year ago to a new record. The median home price there of $1,428,000 topped the previous all-time high price of $1,365,000 set in October. Prices in Snohomish County jumped as well, rising 23% to $695,000.

Despite the traditional winter slowdown, the supply of homes for sale just isn’t budging. Snohomish County has just three weeks of inventory. In King County it would take just over a week to sell through all the homes for sale. Inventory is at an all-time low on the Eastside, where there are only 100 single-family homes for sale in the entire area, which stretches from Issaquah to Woodinville. Homes there are snapped up quickly, with 85% of properties selling within two weeks. With demand at a peak, the inventory crunch is expected to continue. Developers are particularly bullish on the Eastside, where plans are in the works for numerous projects, including a new condo tower in Bellevue, a $500 million transit-oriented development, and over 7,500 new apartment units that are being built in Redmond.

What’s ahead for 2022? Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist at Windermere, expects the market to continue to be strong, but believes the pace of appreciation will slow significantly from this year. “I predict single family prices will increase by around 8% in King and Snohomish counties. Affordability issues and modestly rising interest rates will take some of the steam out of the market in 2022.”

Do your New Year’s plans include buying or selling a home? Your broker can keep you up to date on the latest trends and help you create a plan to meet your goals. Let us know how we can help.

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StatisticsNovember 10, 2021

Local Market Update – November 2021

As we head towards the end of the year, the housing market traditionally slows down. This year activity was even slower than normal, with record-low inventory and correspondingly fewer sales. Prices aren’t appreciating at the pace they were in the spring, but they continue to be up as compared to a year ago. While potential home sellers usually wait until after the holiday season to list their homes, those who opt to put their home on the market now can count on strong buyer interest.

With the number of buyers far outstripping supply, inventory is at historic lows. King County as a whole has less than two weeks of inventory. The supply of homes is especially strained on the Eastside where there was just one week of inventory at the end of October – 61% fewer homes were on the market than the same time last year. Snohomish County is starved for supply as well, with just over one week of inventory. The entire county had just 492 single-family homes for sale at the end of October.

Strong buyer demand has kept prices steady. Most areas saw home prices increase from a year ago but remain fairly flat over the past few months. The median price of a single-family home in King County rose 11% from twelve months ago, increasing from $745,000 to $824,270. Within the county, the Eastside experienced the greatest gain. Home prices soared 30% to $1,365,000, inching above the previous all-time high of $1,364,000 set in June of this year. Prices in Seattle registered the smallest gain at 6%, up from $800,000 a year ago to $850,000. Homes that sold in the North, Southeast and Southwest parts of the county saw price gains ranging from 16% to 20%. Buyers may find some relief with condominiums. The median price of a condo in King County was $459,970, an increase of 3% from the prior year. Tight inventory kept prices strong in Snohomish County. The median price of a single-family home jumped 20% in October to $695,000. Like most of King County, home prices In Snohomish County have been fairly flat over the past few months.

Have home prices plateaued? Will strong buyer demand continue? The real estate market can change quickly. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, your broker can provide you with the most current data so you can make the best decision for your situation. Let us know how we can help.

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StatisticsSeptember 13, 2021

Local Market Update – September 2021

Price appear to be cooling, according to Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. In King County, the median list price was lower in August than in July, and the median sales price also dipped slightly from the prior month. “I believe this is because we are hitting a price ceiling and that the rabid pace of home price appreciation will continue to cool as we move through the rest of the year,” said Gardner.

While up by double digits year-over-year, home prices in August did cool off slightly throughout the region as compared to July. The median single-family home in King County last month sold for $850,000, up 14% from a year ago, and a drop from the record-high $871,000 set in July. Seattle saw the median price rise 6% from a the same time last year to $875,000, down from $896,500 the prior month. Home prices on the Eastside were up 24% year-over-year to $1,300,000, a dip from the $1,330,563 median price in July. Snohomish County’s median price jumped 25% from a year ago to $694,900, just shy of July’s median of $700,000.

While a slight softening of home prices may be welcome news for buyers, inventory is still a big problem. King County has under three weeks of available homes for sale. Lack of inventory is especially severe on the Eastside. At the end of August there were just 278 homes for sale in the entire area, 62% fewer than the same time a year ago. And 85% of homes sold in less than two weeks. As companies continue to invest in large office projects on the Eastside, demand for homes is expected to continue to rise. Snohomish County reported the smallest supply of homes of any county in Eastern Washington, about two weeks. The Puget Sound area as a whole remains well below the four-to-six weeks of inventory that is considered a balanced market, favoring neither buyer nor seller.

An uptick in condo sales indicates that in-city living is on the rise again. In King County, the number of closed sales were up 20% in August compared to a year ago. The median condo price on the Eastside rose 14% to $544,000. The supply there remains tight, with just two weeks of inventory. Seattle offers much more choice, with six weeks of inventory available. Condo prices there dropped slightly year-over-year to $480,000. With Amazon looking to hire 12,500 corporate and tech employees in Seattle, demand for in-city living there is predicted to remain strong. As single-family home prices have soared, condo living remains an affordable option for those wanting to live close to urban centers. At $460,000, the King County median condo price is 46% less than that of a single-family home.

The real estate market can change quickly. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, your broker can provide you with the most current data, and help you create a strategy to meet your specific goals. Just reach out and let us know how we can help.

EASTSIDE

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