A couple new reports on the housing market are out today and depending on you read either of them you can make a case that it’s business as usual for the hot Seattle market or that it’s a little too good for its own good (if that makes sense).
First up is the Case-Shiller Index, which has June Seattle home prices up 11 percent over the previous year, which is second only to Portland (12.6) in terms of growth. That’s also twice the growth rate for the nation’s 20 biggest metros. Seattle was also up 1.4 percent from May to June and is among the three metros with the highest price gains over the last five months (Portland, Denver).
Redfin, however, has some concerns about the Seattle housing market in the form of buyer apathy. While they say that homebuyer demand picked up nationally in July, that wasn’t the case locally per the Redfin Housing Demand Index, which measures housing activity prior to a home purchase (home tours, writing offers, etc.).
Homebuyer demand continues to fall short of last year’s above-average (greater than 100) levels. The Demand Index fell 13.8 percent in July, the sixth-consecutive month of year-over-year declines in early-stage homebuyer activity. The number of Redfin customers requesting tours in July was up 15.7 percent year over year, nearly double the 8.4 percent growth recorded in June. The number of people writing home-purchase offers was essentially flat, up just 0.5 percent year over year in July.
Per one Redfin agent, it’s less about a change in the market and more about the summer slowdown:
“We’re seeing our typical summer slowdown in Seattle, where things calm down before Labor Day hits. Demand is still a bit lower than we saw last year, but it’s important to note that in a competitive market like Seattle, multiple offers are to be expected on homes that are priced correctly. We just won’t see as many of those crazy 10 to 20-offer bidding wars as we did during the spring rush.