The Seattle housing market as well as housing markets around the globe were undoubtedly impacted by the coronavirus outbreak that hit the United States in 2020. Over the last two years, the virus has not only changed the way people make large purchases such as cars and property, but has also altered the way people learn, work, eat, travel, and gather.
While the pandemic initially slowed the real estate market down to a crawl, sellers are now seeing an increase in demand for home purchases—but supply is still scarce.
Here’s a summary of Seattle’s current housing market.
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After the pandemic’s initial boom and state shut down orders in February of 2020, many sellers took their homes off the market. The health risks associated with showing homes and meeting face-to-face were too large of a gamble, and overall the housing market (both supply and demand) cooled down for the next few months as we learned how to adapt as best we could to a “new normal.”
While the pandemic is in no way over, society has adapted the best it can with safety measures including PPE, testing sites, vaccinations and booster shots, and virtual incarnations of our day-to-day processes.
Inventory has since increased, but is still in major recovery mode. Compared to pre-pandemic numbers, housing supply in Seattle is at a low. In October 2019 Northwest Multiple Listings Service reported that King County had 4,808 active listings. In April 2022, Redfin reported that King County sold only 3,286 homes.
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While supply continues to be low, demand has continued to steadily increase since the initial drop at the start of the pandemic in 2020. Since vaccines are becoming available, offices are opening back up, and remote working has become a new norm, the real estate industry in Seattle is heating back up.
Mortgage rates are still at a historical low, and home prices in the Seattle area aren’t increasing as rapidly as they typically do each year, which is giving buyers more incentive to get out there and purchase a home. This combined with a low amount of active listings makes Seattle a white-hot seller’s market as of June 2022.
Seattle’s home prices have always been high, and with demand outweighing supply, the market is definitely leaning in favor of sellers in 2022. Since home sellers aren’t struggling to find interest in their homes, they can keep higher price points without consequence and have the upper hand in negotiations.
Year over year, King County’s median home price increased by a jaw-dropping 17.33% to $880,000. This median price is extremely high compared to the rest of the nation, where the average price of homes sold is $428,000.
Since demand outweighs supply so heavily, Seattle is seeing homes sell and close oftentimes under a week, with 87% of homes selling in under a month.
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Data for April 2022
The following is data from the April 2022 Seattle Housing Market Report collected by Northwest MLS.
Active listings in Seattle: 803
Decrease of 31% over April 2021
Active listings in all King County: 2,108
Drop of nearly 4.7% as compared to April 2021
1,449 new listings were added to the market in Seattle
Decrease of 232 listings compared to April 2021
4,199 new listings added to the market in King County
Decrease of 403 compared to April 2021
1,071 closed sales were registered in Seattle
11.6% year over year decrease
3,060 closed sales registered in King County
Represents year-over-year decrease of approximately 10%
Seattle’s median price increased by 13.12% to $888,000
Last year in April the median price was $785,000
King County’s median price increased by 17.3% to $880,000
Median price in King County in April 2021 was $750,000
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Housing Forecast for 2022
Is Seattle’s housing market going to continue with a large supply and demand imbalance? Or is the eventual containment of the coronavirus and return to “normal” going to balance out the scales later in 2022? When’s the best time to purchase or sell a home in Seattle these days?
Norada Real Estate Investments predicts that seller demand will grow. The lack of new construction, low interest rates, and home inventory being less than a month will continue this gap between supply and demand. All of this will also make sure prices won’t fall anytime soon. Seattle’s market is anticipated to continue to be white-hot.
Better for Sellers or Buyers?
As of spring 2022, the Seattle housing market is still leaning dramatically in favor of the seller. With such low inventories, sellers can expect less competition from other homesellers and more offers from buyers. They can also keep their prices at the high end, since sellers have the negotiating power in the buyer-seller relationship.
Contact Seattle Mortgage Planners
If you’re looking to take your first steps toward homeownership or are thinking of relocating to Seattle, we can help. Seattle Mortgage Planners are experts at assisting new and experienced homeowners in finding the right rates, researching great neighborhoods, going through the loan process, and deciding on the best financing options.
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Send us a message or give us a call at (206) 799-9966 for a consultation — and to get one step closer to your dream home.