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Do Falling July Home Prices Signal a Market Cooldown?

According to the numbers, the median price of King County single-family homes sold in July was down 3 percent to $485,000, though they're still 4.1 percent higher than a year ago. Whether or not that means the housing market might have begun to cool down depends on who you ask.

The Seattle Times (Yes!): The numbers suggest a cooling in an overheated market. From April through June, prices had jumped 9 percent to 12 percent from their year-earlier level, a pace far above the market's historical average of about 4 percent.
John L. Scott chairman and CEO J. Lennox Scott (No!): "The Puget Sound housing market is sizzling hot, with the best July on record."

Windermere Real Estate chief economist Matthew Gardner (Kinda!): "The market is starting to normalize...We are still in dire need of greater inventory."

PSBJ (Probably Not!): "...median sale prices traditionally start to decline during the summer, so what occurred in King and Pierce counties is not unusual."

One thing that is clear, the region continues to suffer from inventory shortages. July saw the overall supply slip to 1.18 months, which is down 34.5 percent from last year at this time.

Among counties in the central Puget Sound region, Kitsap County registered the largest year-over-year increase at 9.2 percent, and King County registered the smallest gain at 3.3 percent. The median sales prices in the four-county area ranged from a low of $245,000 in Pierce County to a high of $439,000 in King County. Here in Seattle, the median price checked in at $575,500, six percent higher than it was a year ago.
· King County median home prices slip as market cools a bit [ST]
· NWMLS: Closed Sales May Show First Signs of Cooling [SB]
· Pent up demand boosting Western Washington home sales and prices [NWMLS]
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