For the first time in nearly two years, the Seattle area no longer leads the nation in home price increases. The monthly Case-Shiller home price index, released Tuesday, showed Las Vegas now claims the title as the nation’s hottest housing market.
The Case-Shiller numbers don’t reflect the full scope of the slowdown however, do in large part to the fact that it includes a three-month moving average through June (things have cooled even more since then), and also because it reflects the entire metro area (Pierce and Snohomish counties haven’t slowed down quite as much as King).
A new analysis from Zillow, using more recent numbers, showed Seattle had the biggest slowdown in housing prices in the country, falling to the 12th hottest housing market in the nation, among the 35 largest.
Still, things are not exactly dire for home sellers. We are simply moving towards a more balanced market with the rates in increase slowing. With that said, the metro area registered a 12.8 percent increase in single-family
home prices in June compared to a year earlier, down from 13.6 percent growth a month prior. And while that difference may not sound like a lot, it was actually the biggest one-month deceleration in home prices in four years.
The bulk of the Seattle-area increase was driven by 16 percent growth in thecheapest homes in the region – typically those on the outer edges of the metro area, in places like North Bend, Tacoma and Everett. Seattle remains No. 2 nationally. It has been in the top two hottest housing markets in the country for 30 consecutive months. (Before Seattle became No. 1. in August 2016, it was second, behind Portland, for about half a year.)
Locally, the most recent home sales data shows the median single-family house costs $699,000 in King County, $495,000 in Snohomish County and $353,000 inPierce County. All three counties have seen prices fall since the spring; notably, prices have dropped $25,000 in Seattle and $30,000 on the Eastside compared to the peak levels earlier in the year.
Still, that’s far too little, too late for many buyers already long-since priced out of the market. The Case-Shiller data shows home values have doubled since bottoming out in 2012 and are up 35 percent over the old bubble peak in 2007.
Adjusted for inflation, prices here are up 11 percent over the old bubble high, making Seattle one of the few places in the nation where home prices are at an inflation-adjusted record.
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