(Flickr Photo / Tom Smith)
The King County housing market is starting the year off hot after a record breaking 2017. According to the latest NWMLS Market Update, single-family home prices were up nearly 20 percent in January compared to the year prior. The county median surged from $475,000 to $571,250.
Home values in northern King County increased by 28 percent, 19 percent in Seattle, and 18 percent on the Eastside. Both Mercer Island and Enumclaw saw prices go up 1 percent, the smallest increase in the county. There was not an area within the county that had a drop in home prices compared to the year before.
The region’s priciest area was West Bellevue, where prices increased 93% in just a year, reaching a record high of $2.72 million for the median home. As a whole, the Eastside’s median value is now up to $938,000, just shy of its record in set the month before. Then Seattle’s median price is now up to $757,000, exceeding last summer’s record.
King County’s number of new listings (both single family homes and condos) in January outgained pending sales for the first time since September. We saw 45 more new listings than pending sales last month compared to 685 more pending sales than new listings in December. Despite the number of new listings, there was only about 1.5 months of inventory in January, well below the 4 to 6 month level used by industry experts as a gauge of a balanced market.
In both 2016 and 2017, January was the cheapest month to buy a single-family home in King County. The tight inventory and continuous demand, whether it be buyers still looking from last year or the influx of newcomers moving here for high-paying Amazon or other tech jobs, buyers can’t afford to be as picky as they once were.