It’s a hot summer, and we don’t mean the weather. We aren’t seeing the usual summer slowdown this year, due to the high home prices and inventory shortage that have frustrated buyers all spring. This seller’s market continues to sizzle.
But Seattle’s real estate market is barely cooling down. When July’s numbers rolled in, they showed that things have slightly—only slightly—taken a turn toward normal.
The cost of buying in Seattle hasn’t dropped, but the rest of King county is experiencing a faint dip.
July ‘15 June ‘15 July ‘14
Seattle median home price: $575,500 $575,500 $543,500
King County median home price: $485,000 $500,000 $468,000
Here’s where we see that slight cooling. Inventory is up from June’s 1.18 month’s supply to a 1.22 month’s supply. But when you compare that to a “healthy” 4–6 month, you see just how far we still have to go before anyone can consider Seattle normal. In some areas, such as Ballard, Fremont, and Green Lake, current inventory is down to a miniscule 0.5 month’s supply.
July ’15 July ’14
New King county listings: 11,198 11,437
King county sales: 11,216 9,615
Total active King county listings: 21,069 26,813
This isn’t good news yet.
According to a Seattle Times poll last month, “the single biggest reason” keeping people from buying a home was affordability. Another one-fifth said lack of inventory prevented them from finding a home they wanted to buy. Those reasons will, unfortunately, remain.
At the rate Seattle is growing, and with very little land left to develop, you can expect prices to stay high and inventory to stay low. It is possible to find a home in this real estate market, but a real estate agent is all but a requirement. Fortunately, we’re here to help.
It’s still your market.
If you want to sell your home high above what you paid for it, there’s no time like the present. According to RealtyTrac, for the first half of this year, sellers in King county averaged a 20 percent gross profit. To put that in perspective, the average national gain was 13 percent. Seattle sellers enjoyed one of the highest average profits of any U.S. metro area.
Selling your house only to re-enter Seattle’s market as a buyer isn’t necessarily a good choice at this point (it depends on how much you can upgrade), but if you’re looking for a new city? Sell, sell, sell.