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Seattle-Area Housing Inventory Keeps Dropping To Historic Levels

Every month we see a new inventory low and new housing price highs.

Last month we heard that lack of housing inventory was "overwhelming" the Seattle-area market. Well what does it mean now that inventory is even lower?

One widely-watched gauge of supply — the ratio of active listings to pending sales — hit its lowest level since at least 2003 in all three counties in February, according to the Times’ analysis. King and Snohomish counties each had less than a month’s supply, while Pierce had just over a month’s supply.

The historic shortage of homes for sale, combined with a recent drop in interest rates, has caused the dramatic run-up in prices, experts say. In February, King County had 1,923 homes listed for sale, the MLS reported, but a greater number of pending sales that hadn’t yet closed: 2,299.

For those keeping track, King County inventory is down 32 percent from a year ago.

As for those prices, median price of King County single-family homes sold in February was $514,975. As you've probably guessed by now, that's an all-time high.

The gains are going on all around but the biggest ones remain focused on Seattle. While King County's median price is seven percent higher than the 2007 peak right now, Seattle's median price is 29 percent higher. You can thank the never-ending influx of employees for Amazon, Expedia, Weyerhaeuser, and other tech companies.

As this trend just keeps on growing, you have to wonder when it's finally going to cool down, or drop off a cliff.

"We cannot continue to sell more homes than we list," said Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate. "When are we going to start seeing some listings? That scares me more than anything else."

· Scarce listings drive King County home prices to new highs [ST]
· King County housing: buyers are squeezed [CC]
· Lack of Seattle-Area Inventory 'Overwhelming' the Market [CS]