Nov 16, 2022 - News

Buying a house in Seattle is finally easier, but not cheaper

Change in monthly mortgage payments, by loan size
Data: Freddie Mac; Chart: Madison Dong/Axios Visuals

The Seattle metro's real estate market is starting to level off, according to the latest data from Redfin/MLS.

Why it matters: After two-plus years of plummeting inventory and sky-high home prices, buyers in the Seattle area have waited a long time for a little relief.

What's happening: Mortgage rates started to surge in May and have since passed 7%, squeezing homebuyer budgets.

By the numbers: Inventory is up 10.2% and pending sales are down 36.8% since May.

  • Median home sales prices fell from $850,000 to $760,000 from May to September.
  • Sellers are increasingly dropping their asking price. In September, 46% of listings saw price cuts, up from 35.8% in May.
  • Meanwhile, a shrinking share of homes sold above the listed price. More than 21% of homes sold above list price in September, down from 67.6% in May.
  • Homes are now sitting on the market more than four times as long. In May, homes sold in five days on average, compared with 21 days in September.

Yes, but: Monthly mortgage payments are significantly more expensive than they were a year ago.

The bottom line: While Seattle's market is calmer, rising mortgage rates may keep homeownership out of reach for many.

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