According to a recent article featured in Seattle Times, Seattle is finally seeing inventory increase “as the rapid-fire market that has led to extreme bidding wars and lightning-fast sales slows a bit.” To be sure, looking at numbers from June 2018, the number of single-family homes “jumped an eye-popping 43 percent” while “condo inventory rocketed up 73 percent.” Neighborhoods such as Ballard/Green Lake/Greenwood and SODO/Beacon Hill doubled their inventory, while downtown Seattle condos saw a three-fold increase.
As Northwest Multiple Listing Service data reveals, it isn’t that there has been a flurry of new homes added to the market, but rather, that it is taking homes currently on the market longer to sell than it has in the recent past. The region saw inventory gains for the past three consecutive months, however it’s key to note that “the region has a long way to go to make up for a decade of declining numbers of homes for sale: even with the recent rise, inventory is just over half its long-term average.”
Despite an uptick in inventory, home prices in King County as a whole were still up just over 9 percent compared to June 2017, marking the lowest growth rate seen in the past 18 months. The Times says that these new market conditions mean “buyers get to slow down and evaluate their options a bit, instead of making the biggest purchase of their life in just a few days.” Buyers might even be able to avoid some of the conditions they’ve had to agree to in months past, such as “waiving inspections and putting down huge, nonrefundable cash deposits.”
Though conditions are slightly better for buyers, it is still a decidedly seller’s market: “within the Seattle city limits, the median house price reached $812,500 last month, up 8.3 percent from a year ago but down from a record $830,000 reached a month prior.” And though downtown Seattle condos saw the largest inventory jump, those prices still grew at a double-digit rate of 11.7 percent.