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 Active inventory fell by 32.6% year over year in Seattle last month — that’s among the highest rates of decline in the entire country, according to the latest NWMLS report.

 A year ago, prospective buyers had over 8,000 properties to shop through. Last month, however, active inventory fell to 5,422 properties.

Housing availability continues to plague the Puget Sound market, with buyer numbers growing month-over-month while the number of homes listed continues to languish. Contributing factors include seller disappointment that their homes have slipped in value since the last market peak and reluctance to trade a low-interest mortgage for current high rates.

Housing Market Locked Down

To illustrate, in the current market, a borrower will pay approximately $2,600 more per month to borrow $1 million than they would have in 2021. That type of difference is really making buyers and sellers looking to buy take pause. While interest rates haven’t stopped those who need to buy a home, they have certainly discouraged those who already have homes from trading them.

High mortgage rates have effectively frozen the US housing market. And while lower rates could be on the horizon, Americans might have to wait awhile.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is over 7.4%, up from roughly 3% at the beginning of 2022. This has deterred prospective first-time homebuyers from taking the plunge and made existing homeowners reluctant to sell their homes and buy another — they'd rather stick with the super low rates they already locked in. 

Meanwhile, in Seattle, sales were down 16.8% year over year, although closings rose 7.2% month over month. Meanwhile, home prices remained stable, with the median price at $686,500.

When Will Mortgage Rates Come Down? 

Posted by Cary W Porter on


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