Is it a good time to buy Seattle real estate? The NWMLS, including the Greater Seattle real estate market, has seen some positive signs for both homebuyers and homeowners. For instance, at the end of February there was 1.7 months of housing supply across the NWMLS. Traditionally, 4 to 6 months is an even market, so that indicates a sellers’ market. However, last February inventory was at 0.7 months, so in comparison it feels more like a buyers’ market. Pending sales are down 19% and closed sales are down 17.3% from a year ago so there are less transactions, but with about one-third fewer new listings added this February as compared to the previous February the inventory remains tight. Not historically tight, but tight nonetheless.
Buyers can be encouraged since there has been a modest price drop from February 2022. Median prices decreased year-over-year by 1.7% across the NWMLS: $585,000 to $575,000. On the other hand, most sellers have benefitted from prices rising 30%+ in the previous three years.
While the NWMLS overall median price is down 1.7%, King County median home price has decreased 6.73% and condo median price has slipped 12.43%. But not all areas are seeing the same results. For example, Seattle condo, where about 40% of King County condos are sold, the median price is down 6.22%. On the other hand, the Eastside, where about 35% of King County condos are sold, saw a much larger reduction of 14.76% for median condo price.
It seems that one reason for less homes coming on the market is many homeowners are locked in to interest rates that are much lower than the current interest rates. If homeowners sell their homes and buy something else, in many cases there interest rate will over double. This gives current Seattle real estate owners a reason to pause before they make their decision to move.
Is it a good time to buy? Buyers have less choices than in the past, but the bidding frenzy is no longer common (but not unheard of) so buyers have time to make a decision. Prices have also cooled. If you buy now and interest rates drop in the future, then you can always refinance. So yes, it does seem like a time to buy. But the market is ever changing. Contact one of Ewing and Clark’s local real estate brokers to get the most current pules on the market. Ewing and Clark has provided exceptional real estate service to Greater Seattle since 1900.