The Seattle market is inundated with technology workers, both newly relocated and those that have been
renting and are ready to set down roots. Additionally, Investors both large and small are stepping
up their purchasing, signaling strong confidence in the Greater Seattle area.
Strong demand is not confined to Seattle.
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
Market conditions are set for another robust market in the year 2018. We expect 2018 will be slightly less glamorous with 6-to-8 percent appreciation for the next 8-to-12 months.
Considering the modest gains in income locally at around 2.5 percent it’s wonder buyers in the market are so frustrated and 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.
Until we see a balanced rate of 4-to-5 months of supply, instead of hovering around one month, we’re
not likely to see much change. However, since we have seen these low inventory levels since 2013, maybe this is going to
be the new normal and bidding wars, escalations and waived contingencies standard practice.
The majority of new listings are selling within their first 30 days on the market. November’s pending sales
of single family homes outgained new listings by nearly 41 percent.
Despite improvements in new listings, brisk sales kept inventory well below year-ago levels. King
County is still experiencing double-digit reductions in inventory compared to this same time last year, but
the shortage is even more pronounced in some outlying counties.
Significant decreases in inventory are found in Thurston (down 31 percent), Mason (down more than 26
percent), and Cowlitz (down more than 39 percent) counties. MLS figures show inventory is down more
than 24 percent in Snohomish County and nearly 29 percent in Kitsap County. Across the 23 counties, it’s
down about 15.9 percent.
Measured by months of supply, there is about 1.4 months of inventory overall. In King County, supply has
dwindled to 0.79 months, and only slightly better, at 0.89 months, in Snohomish County.
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.