While the housing market typically slows down in the winter, fewer buyers are taking a break this year. High demand and scant inventory still favor sellers, who continue to see multiple offers. In one bright spot for buyers, home prices – while up from over a year ago – appear to be evening out in most of the region. Potential home sellers who’ve been sitting on the fence may want to consider taking a leap into the market now.
With the exception of the Eastside, Puget Sound median home prices were essentially flat in November compared to the previous month. However, prices increased by double-digits in most areas from last year. In King County, the median single-family home price rose 12% from last November to $820,000. Home prices in Seattle continue to level off, with the median price of $850,000 up just 4% from a year earlier. The Eastside maintained its strong appreciation, with prices soaring 35% from a year ago to a new record. The median home price there of $1,428,000 topped the previous all-time high price of $1,365,000 set in October. Prices in Snohomish County jumped as well, rising 23% to $695,000.
Despite the traditional winter slowdown, the supply of homes for sale just isn’t budging. Snohomish County has just three weeks of inventory. In King County it would take just over a week to sell through all the homes for sale. Inventory is at an all-time low on the Eastside, where there are only 100 single-family homes for sale in the entire area, which stretches from Issaquah to Woodinville. Homes there are snapped up quickly, with 85% of properties selling within two weeks. With demand at a peak, the inventory crunch is expected to continue. Developers are particularly bullish on the Eastside, where plans are in the works for numerous projects, including a new condo tower in Bellevue, a $500 million transit-oriented development, and over 7,500 new apartment units that are being built in Redmond.
What’s ahead for 2022? Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist at Windermere, expects the market to continue to be strong, but believes the pace of appreciation will slow significantly from this year. “I predict single family prices will increase by around 8% in King and Snohomish counties. Affordability issues and modestly rising interest rates will take some of the steam out of the market in 2022.”
Do your New Year’s plans include buying or selling a home? Your broker can keep you up to date on the latest trends and help you create a plan to meet your goals. Let us know how we can help.