Seattle home prices are up 10.3 percent year over year, while inventory has decreased 29.2 percent from last year according to Redfin’s May market tracker. Across the nation, home sales surged seven percent, while Seattle’s only increased 0.4 percent from last year.
A large part of that was lack of inventory. The 4,803 homes for sale in the Seattle market in March was a 29.2 percent drop-off from the previous year. That puts the region’s home supply at one month, far below what would be considered a healthy market.
Redfin agents have noticed the competition through multiple offer situations and bidding wars, and weren’t surprised by the news that Seattle is one of the hottest housing markets of 2016. But, is buyer fatigue going to impact future home sales and price growth?
“I’m starting to see a bit of a cooling off period as buyers are becoming more and more leery of multiple offer scenarios and wild bidding,” said Seattle Redfin agent Allie Howard. “The early spring inventory was ferociously gobbled up, and it has left the remaining buyers feeling demoralized, especially in the step-up housing market.”
Another reason for the cool-off could be that potential buyers have had enough and are looking elsewhere to buy. While we’d normally assume that means they’re looking to Tacoma or Bellingham, it sounds as though some might be looking specifically for places with growing tech industries. Places like Grand Rapids, Michigan, which has seen 54 percent growth in home sales over the last year. According to local Redfin agent Kent Selders, it’s partly because of West Coast talent transplants.
“We’re seeing an influx of buyers from places like San Francisco, Southern California, Seattle and Washington, D.C. Most new residents are lured by tech jobs and opportunities to work remotely,” said Selders. “Locals are watching prices rise, and many realize if they don’t buy soon, they’ll miss out while homes are still affordable. The result is incredible demand and rapid sales. Nothing like this has ever happened in Grand Rapids.”
You’re welcome, Michigan.