Nov 7, 2022 - Real Estate

Nervous buyers watch housing prices slide in Seattle

Two people walking into house in front of "open house" sign

Potential home buyers arrive to an open house in Seattle. Photo: Mike Kane/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Though buying a house in the Emerald City remains far from affordable for many, interest rate increases and more listings on the market means a correction is underway, according to a recent RE/MAX national housing report.

Driving the news: The Seattle housing market continues to cool with a 120% rise in inventory and a 30% drop in transactions year over year, the second largest drop of 2022, the report found.

What they're saying: "There is no longer any doubt that the Seattle housing market is in a correction," John Manning, owner of RE/MAX On Market in Seattle, said.

  • "Median prices are down, and the days-on-market have increased."

The big picture: The pandemic-era housing boom brought record-shattering home prices to the U.S., with the national median resale price topping $400,000 for the first time ever earlier this year. In San Francisco and Silicon Valley, the sale price of the typical home approached $2 million. In Seattle, it was near $1 million.

  • But the one-two punch of soaring mortgage rates and increasing affordability challenges means that boom is likely over, according to Bankrate.
  • Seattle and other West Coast tech hubs are seeing the largest home value pullbacks, according to CoreLogic's monthly home price index.

By the numbers: The price tag on homes in four Seattle-area counties ticked down by 2-3% from August to September, according to the Seattle Times, with the median price of single-family homes coming in at:

  • $875,000 in King County
  • $735,000 in Snohomish County
  • $539,997 in Kitsap County
  • $538,000 in Pierce County

The bottom line: Manning said inexperienced buyers may be nervously watching the market from the sidelines, while more experienced buyers — who expect to refinance when mortgage rates come down — will take advantage of the pressure on sellers to negotiate better prices and terms.

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