Seattle-Area Homebuyers Feel Some Relief Amidst Increasing Inventory

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Though the Seattle-area real estate market has decidedly been in favor of sellers for the past couple of years, buyers felt a bit of relief in July, as inventory increased for the third consecutive month. As Puget Sound Business Journal reports, the median sales price for July 2018 was up just 5-percent on a year-over-year basis, a stark decline from the 18-percent surge from the spring sales season. The root cause comes down to inventory, as there were just over 5,000 homes and condominiums available for sale last month, marking “a remarkable 48 percent more than July 2017.” After three months of inventory gains, supply is now higher than it’s been since early 2015.

Many buyers appear to be taking a break from their home purchase endeavors, as PSBJ reports that “pending sales were down 9 to 12 percent across the four-county region” and many real estate agents say they’ve noticed an approximate 50 percent decline in traffic for listing appointments and at open houses. In response, some sellers are lowering list prices in order to present a more attractive opportunity for the buyers that are still looking.

The slowdown appears most prominent in the luxury market above the $2 million price point, while those below the $1 million mark have “gone from ‘extreme frenzy’ to ‘just frenzy.’”

While inventory was up in King and Snohomish counties, it has not risen across the entire region. Fewer homes and condominiums came onto the market in July 2018 in Kistap and Pierce counties, driving prices up 13.9 percent and 11 percent, respectively. Buyers are driven to these regions for their affordability, which has left these areas supply constrained.

For additional details, review the latest NWMLS Market Snapshot below: