Market Update: Seattle Area Home Prices Falling

Home prices in Seattle are falling faster than anywhere else in the country according to the latest Case-Shiller home price index. Single family homes across the Seattle metro area declined 1.3 percent from August to September. This followed a 1.6 percent decline in August and a 0.5 percent drop in July. No other metro area saw prices go down more than 0.3 percent in September.

Earlier this year home prices were increasing as much as 8 percent every three months, compared to now where they have decreased 3.3 percent over the last three months. Prices haven’t fallen this fast since 2011. Home values hadn’t dropped even 1 percent over any three-month period since the market began rising from the recession in 2012.

Despite the decline, home prices were still up 8.4 percent over the last twelve months (ending in September)—enough for third highest in the country behind Las Vegas and San Francisco. Nationally, home price growth slowed to 5.5 percent. Seattle-area home prices previously rose at more than twice the national average.

According to the latest NWMLS Market Update, the year-over-year volume for NWMLS’ 23 counties rose from 11,193 homes and condos to 15,830. The region’s inventory levels continue to rise improving to 2.32 months, however, it still remains below the 4-to-6 month gauge of a balanced market.

King County registered the largest gains in the region as its active inventory increased 135 percent from a year ago. Overall, inventory increased to 2.32 months compared to just 0.79 months in November 2017.

Meanwhile, the median single-family home price fell to $644,000 in November, down from $726,000 this spring–an 11.3 percent decline over the past six months. The Seattle median price is now $760,000 and $885,000 on the Eastside, both down about $70,000 from their spring highs.

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