The spring market continues its frenzied pace, with soaring prices and stiff competition testing the resolve of buyers. Despite these obstacles and rising mortgage rates, inventory remains low across King County, as pending sales keep pace with new listings, demonstrating a strong demand from buyers.
This demand has factored into the way sellers are approaching the market. Windermere’s Chief Economist Matthew Gardner notes that median listing prices continue to rise, saying “this suggests that sellers remain quite bullish when it comes to pricing their homes.”
This was certainly true in March on the Eastside, where the median closed sale price for single-family homes was $1,700,000, an all-time high. This was up 26% year-over-year, and slightly up from February, when the median was $1,697,500. In Seattle, the median price for single-family homes achieved an all-time high of $970,000, up 18% year-over-year. Snohomish County continues to feel the impact of this voracious demand, with a median closed sale price of $1,298,000 for single-family homes — that’s an increase of 38.1% year-over-year.
Not only are asking prices increasing across the region, but many homes are selling for well over list price. On the Eastside, a staggering 85% of closed sales in March 2022 sold for more than the list price. Overall, that’s down from an all-time record last month of 87%, but tied for the second-highest month ever with April 2021. Of the Eastside homes that sold over asking last month, the median difference was 21% over asking, and they spent an average of just 4 days on the market.
Seattle is experiencing a similar pattern, with 71% of the closed sales in March going over the list price. This is a high for Seattle; in March and April of 2018, 63% and 68% of listings closed over asking, respectively. Last month, the Seattle listings that sold over list price sold for a median of 15% over the list price, and were on the market for 5 days.
In Snohomish County, homes that sold over list price went for a median of 21% over the asking price.
With these conditions, many buyers are looking to condos as a more affordable way to break into the market. Consequently, condo prices have also seen a year-over-year increase. In King County, condos remain relatively more affordable, with a median price of $540,000 in March 2022. That’s up from $470,000 in March 2021, a 14.9% increase. Snohomish County has seen a more dramatic increase, as the median condo price in March 2022 was $555,000 — up 33.1% year-over-year, from $417,000 in March 2021.
Matthew Gardner expects mortgage rates to continue trending higher in the coming months, but so far he says there’s nothing to be too concerned about, as the interest rates have not yet caused sales to taper off. Savvy sellers can still easily benefit from the opportunities presented by this market, and although rates are higher, buyers can finance their home purchase with rates still far lower that the historical norm.
If you’re looking for knowledgeable advice as you consider when might be your best time to enter the market, whether as a buyer or a seller, please connect with your Windermere broker. They’ll give you their professional insight to help you make the best decisions possible.