Local real estate market update – December 2017


• Accepted Deals Outpace New Listing Again
• Inventory Levels Continue to Tighten
• Home Values Increased 10.8% from Last Year

Both inventory and pending sales dipped to their lowest levels since April, while prices still increased by double-digits in most of western Washington.

Current market supply is about one month and, until we have at least a three-month supply, we won’t see a normal market. But, we’ve seen these low inventory levels since 2013, so maybe this is going to be the new normal. In Western Washington, overall inventory is about 1.4 months of supply; in King County, supply has dwindled to 0.79 months, and only slightly better, at 0.89 months, in Snohomish County.

The Seattle market is inundated with technology workers, both newly relocated and those that have been renting and are ready to set down roots; also, investors, both large and small, are stepping up their purchasing, signaling strong confidence in the Greater Seattle area.

Every time a new listing comes on the market all eyes focus like a laser beam to see what just happened and, as the information is streamed through every device known to man, buyers know it instantly and step up and buy, quickly and efficiently. Buyers are often so frustrated they are willing to make significant concessions to secure their next home. It’s like chasing a train where you just cannot catch up and only the fastest can get on.

Home values continue to escalate across the region. The system-wide median price of $379,000 was up 10.8 percent from a year ago, with 15 counties reporting even sharper gains. In King County the median price for single family homes and condos combined jumped 15.6 percent, from $497,254 to $575,000. For single family homes (excluding condos), the median price was $630,750, up nearly 14.7 percent from last year. Condo prices surged 17.1 percent, due to a combination of depleted inventory (down 28 percent from a year ago) and higher prices for new condos. (In King County, the condo component classified as new construction that sold during November had a median price of $873,490.)

Strong demand is not confined to Seattle.

In Snohomish County, the median price for homes and condos that sold in Mill Creek was $590,000, while in Darrington it was $191,475. In King County, the median price for Bellevue homes and condos was $875,000; in Tukwila the sales price was $321,194. Brokers tend to concur prices may moderate in the coming year, probably between a 6% and 8% price increase compared to the current increases of almost 11%.

Brokers tend to agree that some of the provisions in proposed tax bill have the potential to
negatively affect home values nationwide and a drop in sales is expected if the proposed bill is passed as it stands.

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