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Greater Seattle Real Estate Trends for February, 2016

Seattle real estate trends - stack of business cards

The Greater Seattle real estate market picked up in 2016 right where it left off, and the consensus amongst analysts is another year of price gains in Seattle.

The simple explanation continues to be a lack of inventory and strong demand keeping an upward pressure on prices, and the data suggests that relationship will continue to push home values higher in 2016.

The picture I chose for this blog post tells the story pretty plainly. It’s a picture I took of a stack of business cards left from agents who had showed a property I visited; there were four pre-inspections performed on that particular listing. That’s some fierce competition.

As of February 1st, there were 442 actively listed single family homes for sale in Seattle, which was a 19.6% drop compared to last year. Meanwhile, closed sales held nearly flat compared to last year (341 in January of 2016 compared to 345 in January of 2015).

The dwindling inventory and steady demand led to a 17% year over year growth in January’s median selling price ($585,000 in January of 2016 compared to $500,000 in January of 2015).

King County wide, the amount of active listings fell 27.9% compared to this time last year and the median selling price rose 11.2% to $490,970.

If there’s any good news for home buyers, it would be the expectation of further price gains (future equity) as well as the month over month growth in active homes for sale in Seattle (31.5% increase) and King County (9.6% increase).

As a result of the uptick in active listings, “supply” hit an 11 month high in both Seattle and King County (supply is defined as the amount of months it would take to clear out the existing homes for sale based on the current pace of sales). That being said, supply is only at 1.3 months in Seattle and 1.47 months in King County, well below the 4-6 month range analysts point to as a neutral market.

Hence, the data suggest the barometer is pointing to additional price gains.

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