The NWMLS and greater Seattle real estate market changed over the course of the year. 2022 started with a very hot (sellers’) market with both historically low interest rates and record low inventory. For example, 2021 ended with the Freddie Mac 30 year fixed rate of 3.05% and NWMLS had 0.40 months of housing inventory. In comparison, at the end of 2022, Freddie Mac 30 year interest rate was 6.42% and inventory was at 2.09 months. Despite these changes, 6.42% fixed rate is well within the normal range of the 50+ year history of Freddie Mac. In addition, inventory of 4 to 6 months is typically considered a balance real estate market. Thus, anything below 4 months is a seller’s market. Nevertheless, since the market conditions change so quickly in 2022, to many buyers and sellers it “feels” like a buyer’s market. Sellers expectations have changed and buyers are not feeling as rushed when searching for a home. Consequently, December saw the first year-over-year price drop across the NWMLS since March 2012. The price drop was minimal: down 0.51% from December 2021. Essentially, the median sales price decreased by a mere $2,900 from $572,900 to $570,000.
Real estate inventory remains tight (2.09 months at end of Dec 2022) despite less sales. For instance, sellers accepted 4,017 offers in December which was a 31% decrease from the previous December (5,850). At the same time, new listings added last month (2,980) was down 35% from December 2021 (4,617). Thus, even with less sales the inventory remains at a manageable level and one of the reason prices remain resilient despite interest rates over doubling in 2022.
The future of the Seattle real estate market is hard to predict. Every real estate market brings new challenges. To navigate the current issues, contact one of Ewing and Clark’s real estate brokers. Ewing and Clark has provided exceptional real estate service to Greater Seattle since 1900. Whether you are looking for a waterfront property in Whidbey, a luxury home in Madrona, or your first Seattle home, please contact us
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