Seattle lost the title of the nation’s hottest housing market in August 2018 — but looking at home prices, which have stayed sky-high, that might be hard for shoppers to believe.

New monthly data shows the median price of a single-family home in Seattle — $760,000 — is exactly the same as it was one year ago. The same holds true for Bellevue, where a typical home ran $935,000 in August.

And while King County as a whole charted an infinitesimal bump in year-over-year home prices, it was so small that you might miss it if you blink: The price of a median home in the county was $670,000, compared with $669,000 twelve months ago, according to the monthly report from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, released Monday.

In the past four months, prices have dropped from a peak of $700,000 in May. This kind of almost predictable seasonal movement isn’t what home shoppers were used to seeing during the frantic years of bidding wars and weeklong listings. Between 2015 and 2018, home prices at the end of the summer buying rush were as much as $100,000 higher than they’d been the same time the year before.

No longer: The new watchword of the Seattle housing market, in terms of both sales and prices, is a return to stability, brokers say.

It’s a big change from 18 months ago, said Anna Morgan, a Bellevue John L. Scott broker who started with the firm in January 2018, the height of the feeding frenzy.

 

“Last spring, where houses were selling in a weekend with multiple offers, it was like drinking from a fire hydrant,” she said. “It was fantastic, but it wasn’t sustainable.”

Now, home inventory in Seattle is up 20% even over 2014 levels, spelling more choice for buyers entering the market. And an increase in pending sales is having ripple effects into the construction industry, said Matt Motzkin, the owner of House Doctors of Eastside Seattle. Last year, most of his work came from remodels. This year, he said, “we’re seeing folks putting in a lot more effort to sprucing up their house for sales.”

“Before, even if the house was a piece of crap, folks were fighting over it,” he said.

 Condo market

 As the market for King County’s single-family homes stabilizes, condo sales continue to slow. In Seattle, median condo prices are down by 11% over last year, to $450,000.

The Eastside also saw a slight contraction in the condo market. Prices there fell by 3.1% over last year, to $479,500. Together, Seattle and the Eastside account for almost all of the county’s condo market.