Buyers in the Seattle area are welcoming a relief in competition after a heated market the last few years. While lower-priced and higher-end homes still face heavy competition, middle-priced homes are now receiving fewer offers than in April of 2018.
The current median price of a single-family home in King County is now $690,000 — down 4.8% since spring of 2018. While this is general data for the area, it’s imperative to understand specific neighborhood data. For example, Queen Anne/Magnolia experienced a 7.6% price increase from last year (now averaging $1,100,950). The Seattle Times has an interactive map that allows you to look at market data over the last year in the various neighborhoods throughout Seattle.
Speaking on behalf of the Seattle market in general, buyers now have the opportunity to take a little more time when submitting offers — leaving room for negotiations. However, the market is still one of the busiest in the nation. With historically low interest rates and a strong job market, more renters have been encouraged to buy leading to a significant number of pending sales (up 17.2% in April from last year).
The difference now, is that competition is less intense. This time last year, it wouldn’t be uncommon to receive upwards of five offers on a home. This spring, that number is often unpredictable.
While this story may be true for the median-priced homes, it doesn’t reflect the narrative for homes below the price-point of $500,000 or higher-end homes; there is still significant demand for these areas of the market.
As previously mentioned, mortgage rates are low, the job market is strong, and housing supply is still limited. The lack of inventory is currently under two months’ worth which is around half of what a balanced market would be. This indicates that the market still favors sellers but — luckily for buyers — has offered a sense of relief compared to the last four years.