Heading into 2017, the number of homes on the market in the Seattle metropolitan area had dropped 10 percent from the previous year—a crunch that was felt all year long. Now, at that same time in 2018, inventory is even worse, dropping an additional 19 percent from this time last year, according to a report by real estate group Zillow.
In the metropolitan area, which includes Pierce and Snohomish counties, that inventory drop drove bidding wars in 2017; per Zillow, 52.4 percent of home sales ended up above asking. The report speculates that with an even bigger inventory crunch, that’s not expected to stop anytime soon.
Initial listing prices have grown, too—not a huge surprise to anyone who’s been watching home values for the past several years. Specifically, Seattle-area homes saw a year-over-year increase of 13 percent, with a median home value of $472,900 for the whole metro. (In the Seattle city limits, that number is, of course, much bigger; Zillow estimates $727,400.)
As prices have grown, sales times have shrunk to less than half what they were in 2010. Average days on the market in the metro was 51 days in 2017, per Zillow, compared to 58 in 2016 or 114 in 2010.
The bottom line: Zillow’s numbers point an exaggerated version of the same this year, with a cutthroat market, rising sales costs, and not enough homes to go around.