Coming out of the winter months, the Seattle housing market experienced a steep 14% drop in pending sales compared to February of last year, according to the experts at Northwest Multiple Listings Service. But the market is expected to make a comeback this spring, which is typically peak season for home sales.
Strong recovery after low winter sales
February 2019 saw Seattles snowiest month in over 50 years. Frigid temperatures and snowstorms slowed down Seattles housing market.
The number of home showings decreased as high as 41% during this time, with brokers putting up 1,037 fewer listings compared to last year.
But by the end of February, the Northwest MLS had 11,275 active listings, a 42.3% increase from 2018. 13 of the 23 counties covered also saw significant year-over-year increases in inventory.
Despite weather conditions and the slow momentum of the market, 6,878 homes went pending in February. This is not far from the number of homes that went on the market at 6,247.
Rising home values
Even as temperatures dropped, home prices started rising in many counties in February 2019. In fact, home prices in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties already increased significantly between January and February. This saw an end to the month-over-month declines that began in May 2018.
The median prices for single-family homes sold jumped from $385,000 in February 2018 to an impressive $407,000 in February 2019. Prices also increased by 6.6% from January to February 2019.
Brokers in King County saw a price gain of almost 2.4%compared to a year ago. The median sales price went up by $14,000 from the same time last year, increasing from $590,000 to $604,000. Price comparisons with January 2019 show a price increase of 6.9%.
The odds will be in favor of buyers this year
While the increase in home prices was likely due to the drop in interest rates in December 2018, it laid the foundation for Seattles return as a buyers market. Steady price growth and stable federal interest rates are expected to encourage buyers in 2019.
Housing activity was particularly impressive in Pierce County, which is seeing great strides in demand. This is due to the increasing popularity of neighborhoods like Proctor District, Stadium District, and Old Town in terms of living conditions and housing options.
Buyers can choose from coveted single-family homes, townhomes, and condos in the $450,000 to $650,000 price range in these neighborhoods.
The growing inventory will also favor buyers this year. From 2015 to 2019, home inventory shot up by 36.9% from 2015 to 2019.
Factors affecting buyers decisions to buy in 2019
Seattles growing economy will only continue to draw in buyers in 2019.
Job growth is expected to stay strong at 2.4% this year. The tech sector is particularly expected to strengthen in the metro area with major employers like Microsoft driving Seattles economy and job outlook.
In King County, the tech industry is projected to grow by 5%.
Retail is another leading industry, with companies like Amazon headquartered here. The sector is expected to grow by 2.11%.
Transportation is another hot topic among buyers. High profile transportation projects like the new state Route 99 tunnel will provide easier access from other cities.
Buying or selling in Seattle this spring? Preparation is the key to a successful transaction. Let the Metropolist Group assist you. Call us at 206-623-5118 or send us an email at [email protected].