The Seattle housing market as well as housing markets around the globe were undoubtedly impacted by the coronavirus outbreak over the last year. 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.
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 virtual incarnations of our day-to-day processes.
Inventory has since increased, but is still in 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. As of November 2021, MLS shows that King County has only 1,149 active listings.
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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 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 the end of 2021.
Seattle’s home prices have always been high, and with demand outweighing supply, the market is definitely leaning in favor of sellers at the close of 2021. 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, Seattle’s median home price only increased by .66%. Although $765,000 is still high compared to the rest of the nation ($374,900 median price on average), it’s a relatively low year-over-year increase for the area.
Since demand outweighs supply so heavily, Seattle is seeing homes sell and close oftentimes within a week, according to Redfin. According to MLS, closed sales are up by nearly 5% compared to November 2021.
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Data for November 2021
The following is data from the November 2021 Seattle Housing Market Report collected by Northwest MLS.
Active listings in Seattle: 698
Decrease of nearly 58% over November 2020
Active listings in all King County: 1,149
Drop of nearly 53% as compared to November 2020
749 new listings were added to the market in Seattle
Increase of 118 listings compared to November 2020
2,068 new listings added to the market in King County
Decrease of of 237 compared to November 2020
1,041 closed sales were registered in Seattle
4.94% year over year increase
3,045 closed sales registered in King County
Represents year-over-year decrease of 1.71%
Seattle’s median price increased by .66% to $765,000
Last year in November the median price was $760,000
King County’s median price increased by 8.03% to $740,000
Median price in King County in November 2020 was $685,000
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Housing Forecast for 2021
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 in 2022? When’s the best time to purchase or sell a home in Seattle these days?
As of November 2021, Redfin predicts a more balanced market starting in 2022. New listings will continue to climb, and mortgage rates will start increasing, closing the gap between supply and demand. Before mortgage rates start rising, Redfin predicts that there will be a boom in housing sales as buyers try to lock down deals.
Better for Sellers or Buyers?
As of 2021, 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.
But that might all be changing with the prediction of higher mortgage rates and an increase in available home listings (which means more options for homebuyers thinking about relocating and purchasing a new home in Seattle.)
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.