Home Price Increases in the Puget Sound Finally Slow as Buyers Take a Break & Inventory Increases


For the first time in well over a year, Seattle’s real estate headlines were marked by a bit of good news for buyers as home price increases have begun to slow amidst increasing inventory and a period in which it appears that many buyers decided to take a break from their home searches. As a recent article published by Puget Sound Business Journal outlines, “the year-over-year median sale price of a single-family home increased less than 3 percent to $669,000 in King County in August,” according to data released by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. The change in the market is a stark one, considering that in January 2018, home prices had increased 19.7-percent on a year-over-year basis. However, market experts say it doesn’t provide any indication that we are moving into a buyer’s market, at least not anytime in the near future.

Moving outward to other counties across the region, only Pierce County reported double digit gains, with homes increasing in value by 12.5% compared to this same time last year; Snohomish and Kitsap counties grew by 8.2% and 4.9%, respectively. Values were slightly different in the condominium market, where growth settled near or at double-digits in all but Snohomish County. And with buyers seeming to take a “summer vacation” over the past three months, inventory of single-family homes and condominiums for sale in King County was a staggering 74 percent higher than it was in August 2017.

Taking a closer look within the Newcastle market specifically, data from August 2018 reveals that the number of homes for sale remained steady on a month-over-month basis but increased at a larger rate than King County, up 82.4% (compared to 74% in the county at large). Months of inventory likewise grew, settling at 2.8 months, which was up slightly compared to the previous month but vastly greater than the 0.9 months reported in August 2017.

As was the case in King County generally, the number of homes closed was down, 8.3 percent on a monthly basis and nearly 40% on the year. Though one would expect inventory gains and a slowing market to impact prices dramatically, the median sales price of $879K in Newcastle in August 2018 was only down slightly from August 2017 (at $888K) and the average price per square foot actually appreciated at an average of $374, a 14.7% year-over-year increase.

For more on the latest market trends, read the full Puget Sound Business Journal article here or contact us today for a complimentary appointment to discuss how this impacts your home.