This summer’s local housing market is seeing low inventory feed higher prices, putting the squeeze on would-be buyers. June is typically the month where home prices reach their apex, and last month was no exception as King and Snohomish counties’ prices neared the peaks seen during the sugar high of the pandemic market.
Approximately 80% of recent transactions have been in the more affordable and mid-price ranges, which are nearly sold-out at the moment. Because of this, multiple offers and offers over list price were more prevalent in June’s closed home sales than at any other point this year.
Windermere’s Chief Economist Matthew Gardner addressed the inventory shortfall. “The number of homes for sale in the Central Puget Sound area in June was down 48% from the same month in 2019 (pre-pandemic),” he said. “I believe much of the reason for this is that almost 33% of in-state homeowners have mortgage rates at or below 3%, and 87% of owners have rates below 5%. There is little incentive to list your home for sale if you don’t have to.”
In King County, the median sold price for a single-family home landed at $935,000 in June. This is just a notch below the median price of $938,225 in June 2022. The scarce inventory has caused buyers to compete more aggressively and sellers to list higher, thus leading to comparable peaks as the pandemic market in summer 2022. Likewise, condos were up from $525,000 June 2022 to a median of $529,975 last month.
In Seattle, June’s median sold price for a single-family home was $930,000, down 7% from June 2022. Condo prices in the city were up year-over-year, with a median price of $550,000—an increase from $538,700 last June. This jump could be due in part to rising residential prices pushing some buyers into the more affordable condo market.
The Eastside, meanwhile, is seeing sales activity slow because of extremely limited supply. The level of new inventory coming onto the market is just 44% of the 10-year average. As a result, median prices have held strong. In June, the median sold price for an Eastside single-family home was $1,450,000, barely off last June’s mark of $1,500,000.
In Snohomish County, the median price for a single-family home last month was $774,975, down from $799,950 in June 2022. Condos actually saw a year-over-year price increase, from $500,000 last June to a median of $506,000 last month. The strength of Snohomish County condo prices is likely tethered to low inventory—there is just over a two week-supply of condo units in the area.
Economist Matthew Gardner notes that “Sale prices in King and Snohomish counties rose for the fifth consecutive month and are only modestly lower than a year ago. It will be interesting to see if this trend can continue given the stubbornly high mortgage rates.”
Despite the high interest rates and scant supply, buyers who are educated on the market and working with a trusted broker should be able to navigate these changing market conditions. For more information on how you can make the most of your real estate endeavors, reach out to your Windermere broker.
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