It may seem that Seattle's hot housing market is the new normal; but, remember back a few years when the doldrums seemed like the new normal. It wasn't then. It isn't now. The only thing constant is change.
How can it be that we're talking about a slowdown when jobs are up, traffic is crazy, and the real estate market is bizarre enough for the evening news?
Metrostudy released a report on Seattle's housing market from this spring. Despite anecdotes of phenomenal sales, and data for low inventories, there are trends that suggest parts of the region may help cool things. There may be plenty of jobs, but they see a growing but slowing market there. 40,000 new jobs is a lot, but the trend may be turning. One sign is the first net migration from the state in four years of about 3,400 people. Fewer jobs and fewer people means lower demand.
Supply remains low, though. There aren't enough new lots coming onto the market, and permitting will delay them. Supply is also becoming less of a Seattle issue and more of a regional issue. Data and prices are different from city to city, county to county, and urban versus suburban versus rural. Buyers are recognizing the overlooked supply of properties outside the urban areas. Interest in rural areas and neighboring counties made Pierce County's list price jump 19% in one quarter, and 27% in the last year.
One reason for moving out is price. Pierce County's median house price is $450,000 while King County's has risen to $750,000. (Note: Other studies suggest Seattle's median house price is $666,500, the Eastside's is $746,500, and King County's is $574,000.)
As odd as it all may seem, another study suggested the same possible slowdown. As we said then, "Seattle prices are still rising at extreme levels, just not as extreme as before."
· Seattle Housing 2Q16 – Time for Caution [Metrostudy]
· Tales from the Seattle housing market [CS]
· Seattle median single-family home prices now $666K [CS]
· Seattle's housing prices set a new record but signal a potential cooldown [CS]