Sep 23, 2022 - Real Estate

Seattle has fastest cooling housing market, report finds

Illustration of an upside-down house forming a downward-pointing arrow.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Seattle's housing market is cooling faster than any other in the country, according to the real estate brokerage Redfin.

Driving the news: Of 100 major cities, Seattle ranked No. 1 when it came to several signs of a slowing market, per a Redfin report released Wednesday.

By the numbers: Homes in Seattle are staying on the market longer and selling prices are dropping, Redfin found.

  • In August, about 34% fewer Seattle homes sold within two weeks compared to a year earlier.
  • Meanwhile, the typical home sold for 2% less in August than in the previous month, per Redfin's analysis.

Between the lines: Rising mortgage rates and inflation are major factors in why Seattle's real estate market is cooling so rapidly, according to Redfin's report.

  • The company analyzed prices, price drops, supply, pending sales, sale-to-list ratio and speed of home sales to come up with its rankings.

Zoom out: Many of the markets cooling the fastest are West Coast cities that have long been known as expensive places to live — think San Jose, Denver, Oakland and San Diego.

  • Other rapidly-cooling markets include ones that recently became less affordable as people migrated there during the pandemic.
  • That includes Tacoma, which also ranked among the country's top 10 fastest-cooling real estate markets.

What they're saying: "These are all places where homebuyers are feeling the sting of rising home prices, higher mortgage rates and inflation very sharply," said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather.

  • "They're slowing down partly because so many people have been priced out and partly because last year's record-low rates made them unsustainably hot."

What we're watching: Whether the Federal Reserve's latest interest-rate hike could lead to Seattle’s real estate market leveling off even further.


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