As we head towards the end of the year, the housing market traditionally slows down. This year activity was even slower than normal, with record-low inventory and correspondingly fewer sales. Prices aren’t appreciating at the pace they were in the spring, but they continue to be up as compared to a year ago. While potential home sellers usually wait until after the holiday season to list their homes, those who opt to put their home on the market now can count on strong buyer interest.
With the number of buyers far outstripping supply, inventory is at historic lows. King County as a whole has less than two weeks of inventory. The supply of homes is especially strained on the Eastside where there was just one week of inventory at the end of October – 61% fewer homes were on the market than the same time last year. Snohomish County is starved for supply as well, with just over one week of inventory. The entire county had just 492 single-family homes for sale at the end of October.
Strong buyer demand has kept prices steady. Most areas saw home prices increase from a year ago but remain fairly flat over the past few months. The median price of a single-family home in King County rose 11% from twelve months ago, increasing from $745,000 to $824,270. Within the county, the Eastside experienced the greatest gain. Home prices soared 30% to $1,365,000, inching above the previous all-time high of $1,364,000 set in June of this year. Prices in Seattle registered the smallest gain at 6%, up from $800,000 a year ago to $850,000. Homes that sold in the North, Southeast and Southwest parts of the county saw price gains ranging from 16% to 20%. Buyers may find some relief with condominiums. The median price of a condo in King County was $459,970, an increase of 3% from the prior year. Tight inventory kept prices strong in Snohomish County. The median price of a single-family home jumped 20% in October to $695,000. Like most of King County, home prices In Snohomish County have been fairly flat over the past few months.
Have home prices plateaued? Will strong buyer demand continue? The real estate market can change quickly. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, your broker can provide you with the most current data so you can make the best decision for your situation. Let us know how we can help.