It’s no secret that Seattle, Washington has one of the hottest housing markets in the country right now. But how does one measure the “hotness” factor within a particular real estate market. Here are some recent statistics that show just how competitive the Seattle real estate scene is, as we enter fall of 2017.
A Data-based Look at the Hot Seattle Housing Market
An imbalance between housing supply and demand has made the Seattle real estate market very competitive over the last couple of years. And this remains a factor even today. In short, there just aren’t enough homes to go around to satisfy the current level of demand.
Here are some numbers that show just how hot the Seattle housing market is:
Median sale price — In July 2017, the median sale price for homes in Seattle rose above $680,000. By some estimates, it’s now above $700,000 if you exclude condos and only look at detached single-family houses. Home values in and around Seattle have risen by double digits within the last year alone. Nationwide, the median sale price is closer to $300,000. So clearly, house values in the Seattle real estate market are outpacing the nation as a whole.
Months of supply — A “balanced” real estate market has about five to six months worth of supply, according to economists. Seattle is well below this level. During the summer of 2017, the city had less than a one-month supply of homes for sale. Nationally speaking, the U.S. real estate market had about three months worth of supply as of July 2017 – and even that is well below the norm. This shows why the Seattle real estate market is so hot right now.
Days on market— You can get a feel for how “hot” or active a local housing market is by looking at the median number of days on market. This gives us some insight into how quickly homes are selling, which is a basic indicator of market activity. Nationwide, homes listed for sale in July spent a median of around 37 days on the market, before going under contract. In the Seattle housing market, the median number of days on market was less than 10. This is yet another indicator that shows how hot the Seattle real estate market is, as we approach the fourth quarter of 2017.
12-month forecast — The housing analysts and economists at Zillow expect home prices nationwide to rise by around 2.7% over the next 12 months. This forecast was issued in August 2017 and extends into the summer of 2018. The outlook for Seattle’s real estate market was more than double that figure. The research team at Zillow expects the median home value in Seattle to rise by around 6.5% during the same 12-month period. This is only logical, given the current supply-and-demand situation within the local housing market.
How Home Buyers Can Succeed
Based on supply and demand, the Seattle real estate market is one of the hottest in the country as of August 2017. And these conditions could persist through the end of this year and into 2008.
As a result, home buyers need to do everything they can to increase their chance for success. Among other things, this means having your financing arranged ahead of time.
We’ve written about the importance of mortgage pre-approval in the past, but it bears repeating since it’s relevant to this topic.
In a hot real estate market where homes sell quickly (like Seattle), buyers need to make strong offers in a timely fashion. They also need to show sellers that they have their financial “ducks in a row.” Attaching a pre-approval letter to a purchase offer can increase the chance that the seller will accept it.
It’s also wise to enter a hot real estate market like Seattle with some sense of what you can get for the money. This is where market research comes into the picture. Home buyers can benefit from researching the market ahead of time, with an eye out for recent sales prices within their desired neighborhoods. This kind of research allows you to make a strong offer based on real-world market conditions.
In conclusion, the Seattle real estate market is one of the hottest in the country in 2017. Housing forecasts suggest that it will continue to outpace the nation in 2018 as well. Home buyers should be prepared, both financially and emotionally, before entering the market.