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Greater Seattle Real Estate Trends for March, 2016

The median selling price of single family homes in Seattle surpassed $600,000 in February, as a lack of supply and a strong job market continued to push prices higher.

February’s $625,000 median selling price was a whopping 27.5% increase compared to last year and a 6.8% increase compared to a month prior.

Much of the dramatic increase can likely be tracked back to the beginning of the year, when many of the sales in February first went under contract during a period where supply (ratio of available homes to closed sales) was at the lowest I’ve tracked during the recovery.

King County saw similar, significant increases; the median sales price in King County jumped 4.9% month over month and 19.8% year over year to $514,975.

What’s driving the price increases? Demand has been persistent and inventory has been falling.

Closed sales in February fell slightly compared to last year in both King County (down 3.8%) and Seattle (down 6.2%), while the number of active listings as of March 1st fell 29.3% in King County and 25.0% in Seattle.

It’s reasonable to speculate that the lack of inventory is contributing to the decrease in sales, with countless active buyers having nothing to show for the offers they’ve already made.

Also of note is the utter lack of “distressed” sales (short sales and bank owned sales); of the 408 closed sales of single family homes in Seattle last month, only 9 of them were distressed (5 bank owned and 4 short sales). Over in Bellevue, there was just one of each.

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