Cooler temperatures and a cooler regional real estate market have been this summer’s hallmark thus far. After months of blazing hot sales and a breakneck pace, buyers are finally seeing inventory levels accelerate and price gains slow. With inspection and financing contingencies once again becoming the norm, the region may at last be shifting toward a more balanced market.
Area home prices were down across the board last month. The median sold price for King County single-family homes dropped to $938,225, slightly lower than May’s near million-dollar price ($998,888). Year-over-year, however, King County prices were still up by 9%, despite the higher 1.5 months of available inventory.
Seattle mirrored the county’s trend, with the median price dropping from $1,025,500 in May to an even $1,000,000 in June. This price was still up 12% year-over-year, indicating continued demand for housing in the city.
Real estate experts have pointed out that areas that saw the greatest appreciation earlier this year will likely see a more significant dip in prices as the market rebalances. The Eastside market bore out this theory in June as the median sold price for single-family homes was $1,500,000 — down almost $100k from May’s median price of $1,590,000. That said, last month’s Eastside median sold prices were still up over June 2021, increasing 10% year-over-year in the residential market and 12% in the condo market. And with two months’ supply of homes currently listed, Eastside buyers have significantly more options to choose from than they would have had earlier in the year.
Snohomish County — long a refuge for buyers seeking more bang for their buck — followed a similar trend. The median sold price for single-family homes dropped to a more attainable $799,950, down from May but still up 11% year-over-year. Snohomish County condo prices dipped in June as well, with the median sold price of $500,000 down 9% from May and up a meager 1.6% from June of last year.
While these recent price dips may cause concern for some sellers, local real estate experts reiterate that this is a necessary step toward a more balanced market. “The increase in listings has started to slow the rabid pace of price gains that we’ve experienced,” said Matthew Gardner, Windermere’s Chief Economist. “This is a good thing, not a cause for concern.”
Other factors influencing the summer real estate market are higher mortgage rates, higher post-pandemic rates of travel, and typical seasonal buyer patterns. With graduations occurring and school years finishing up, many potential buyers are scratching their itch for travel and family time, putting off their home search until a little later in the year.
For sellers looking to make the most of the current market, flexibility is key. Pricing their home correctly from the get-go and being willing to negotiate with buyers on terms can still result in a top-of-market sale, albeit one in which multiple offers are less expected.
If you have questions about real estate opportunities in the current market, please reach out to your Windermere broker for additional insights and analysis.