Seattle Home Prices Temper their Pace


At just over 12 percent year-over-year, residential prices in Seattle in July 2018 sustained their rate of increase from June, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index. The Index showed Las Vegas, Nevada widening its lead nationwide with a twelve-month increase of 13.68 percent. Seattle remained second in the nation at 12.05 percent growth. Competing Pacific Coast gateway cities Los Angeles and San Diego were neck-and-neck, with home price increases of 6.37 percent and 6.18 percent, respectively, while prices in San Francisco rose by 10.8 percent.

“Rising home prices are beginning to catch up with housing,” David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices was reported as saying in S&P Dow Jones’ official release. “Year-over-year gains and monthly seasonally adjusted increases both slowed in July for the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Index and the 10 and 20-City Composite indices. The slowing is widespread: 15 of 20 cities saw smaller monthly increases in July 2018 than July 2017.” This was the case for Seattle, as well as San Diego and Los Angeles. It was not true in San Francisco or Las Vegas, were prices rose more quickly.

As reported by Nevada’s own state Financial Inquiry Commission and described in our report last month. Las Vegas residential prices had much catching up to do over the past ten years. Prices fell 56.6 percent after peaking in August 2006. In a dramatic reversal, single-family home prices in Las Vegas rose by over one percent per month from July 2017 to July 2018, and accelerated to 1.36 percent per month with effect from February.

Consequently, Seattle’s second-place showing isn’t due to a change in the trajectory here, but rather because prices in Las Vegas are rapidly regaining lost ground.

While the monthly Index result for Seattle was lower by the smallest of margins (-0.1 percent), prices in fact were higher year-over-year for July in key areas of the city (Central and West Seattle), and in smaller cities nearby (Federal Way and Redmond).