Summary: Over the past few years, the Seattle real estate market has favored sellers over buyers due to tight inventory and soaring demand. But change is in the wind. This article will go into more detail about what the Seattle housing market will look like during the coming months and whether it will favor buyers or sellers.
Buyers and sellers are used to sky-high prices in Seattle, as one of the most expensive housing markets in Washington State and the country as a whole. But what type of market will Seattle look like throughout the remainder of the year?
Will Seattle Be a Buyer’s Market in 2020?
Over the past decade, the average home price in Seattle has skyrocketed. To put things into perspective, the average price for a home went from $372,000 in 2012 to $787,000 by mid-2018, according to Zillow. Things were definitely in sellers’ favor during that time period as strong demand among buyers continued to fuel home prices. And the lack of housing inventory didn’t help much.
But from mid-2018 to mid-2019, there was a shirt in market temperature. Prices actually dropped during this time period, with the valley of home prices dipping to $741,000 in June 2019. Reports showed an increase in inventory, which helped feed buyers and cause a slower rise in housing prices than in the past. That said, an increase in housing still did not meet the demand for housing in the city.
Again, gears shifted from that point, and prices in Seattle started back on an uptrend right up until recently. Today (April 2020), the average home price in Seattle is currently $767,900, so prices have certainly increased over the past year.
Yet with the coronavirus pandemic looming, forecasters are hesitant to anticipate much growth in home prices in Seattle. Zillow actually predicts a 0.1% dip in home prices in the city after seeing a 2.2% increase over the past 12 months.
These developments have a lot of people asking the same question: Will Seattle become a buyer’s market in 2020? The short answer is “probably not.” But it seems to be shifting in that direction.
Inventory Still Tight
Seattle is notorious for having very tight inventory. There is typically not enough housing supply to meet buyer demand.
We’ve covered these inventory changes in previous blog posts. For example, we wrote about a significant increase in the number of homes and condos for sale in the Seattle area. And then we shared a report that revealed a surge in condo development in both Seattle and neighboring Bellevue, Washington.
But as of right now, inventory in the city of Seattle, the Seattle Metro Area, and King County as a whole is very tight. A balanced market is one that has anywhere from 5- to 6-months’ worth of housing inventory. But in Seattle, there’s around a 1-month supply, which goes to show how far off a balanced market it currently is.
The question is, will the inventory situation change over the coming months? As sellers start holding off on listing their properties for sale to ride out the current health crisis, many might say that the inventory situation might remain very low as fewer homeowners may be listing their homes. Considering how fluid the current pandemic is, it’s tough to say how sellers will react before the health crisis dies down, which will in turn impact housing inventory available for willing buyers.
All of these trends are affecting the buyer-to-seller dynamic in the area. It’s much too early to call Seattle a buyer’s market.
Need a Home Loan in Seattle?
Will you need mortgage financing to buy a home in Seattle? We can help. Sammamish Mortgage has been serving buyers across the Pacific Northwest since 1992. We offer a wide variety of mortgage programs and products to buyers across Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and Colorado. Please contact us today with any financing-related questions you have.