Will We See a Buyer’s Market in Washington Anytime Soon?

September 22, 2018
Last updated:
April 6, 2022
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What are the housing markets like across Washington state right now? Will there be any buyer’s markets coming up? 

Most real estate markets across the state of Washington have seen some heating up over the past year, with price increases increasing in most areas, including Seattle. Right now, Washington’s housing market is pretty hot, so it’s not quite a buyer’s market just yet. The question is, will it be any time soon?

The truth is, we probably won’t see a true buyer’s market in Washington for quite some time. This is largely due to housing supply shortages, combined with steady demand from buyers.

Buyer’s Market in Washington? Not for a While

According to real estate research firm Zillow, the housing market in Washington is very hot right now. The average home price is currently about $573,071 as of February 2022, which is 12.523.2% higher than what it was the same time last year.

Home prices continue to skyrocket in Washington State. There’s plenty of buyer demand, and not enough homes available for sale to accommodate everyone. As such, all the buyers on the prowl for a new home are competing for very few homes listed on the market. And when demand is stronger than supply, that creates some competition among buyers.

Definition: In a real estate context, a buyer’s market happens when there are (A) plenty of homes available for sale, but (B) not enough qualified and motivated buyers to “absorb” them all. In other words, it occurs when housing supply is high but demand is comparatively low.

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A seller’s market is basically the opposite. That’s when there are plenty of buyers in the market but not enough homes listed for sale to meet the demand. Sound familiar? Generally speaking, house values tend to rise faster under these conditions.

Washington State is a special case when it comes to real estate. Strong demand and low supply made Washington one of the hottest housing markets in the country. In terms of year-over-year price gains, it has outperformed many other states over the last couple of years.

Tight Inventory, Fast Price Growth

Home prices are rising quickly across the state. And there doesn’t seem to be more inventory coming onto the market to fill the buyer demand. As such, we probably won’t see a real buyer’s market in Washington for some time yet.

For the rest of 2022, real estate markets across Washington State will likely continue to favor sellers over buyers. It will take time for the inventory situation to change enough to tip those scales.

Take King County, for example. Right now, there’s only a 0.27-month supply. That’s incredibly tight, and the situation seems to be getting tighter.

Major housing markets across the state are still experiencing tight inventory conditions. Most people know about the supply shortage in the Seattle area, since it has generated so many headlines over the last couple of years. But similar conditions are being reported in other cities as well.

That’s why Washington has been a seller’s market for the last few years. There have been plenty of buyers and investors actively seeking homes to buy, but not enough properties to go around. These conditions could change over time, given the cyclical nature of the real estate market. But we probably shouldn’t expect to see a buyer’s market in Washington anytime soon.

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Have Questions About Mortgages in Washington?

Are you ready to apply for a mortgage, or simply have some questions about home loans? Then get in touch with Sammamish Mortgage for help. We are a local, family-owned company based in Bellevue, Washington. We have been offering several mortgage programs to borrowers across the entire state since 1992, as well as Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado. Please contact us if you have mortgage-related questions.

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