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Seattle Housing Forecast for 2018: Low Inventory, Steady Gains

Recent forecasts suggest that Seattle, Washington could have one of the strongest real estate markets in 2018. Additionally, home prices in Seattle are expected to continue rising over the coming months, and at a faster pace than the nation as a whole. Here are the latest trends, forecasts and predictions for the Seattle housing market in 2018.

View and updated outlook through 2019

Seattle Housing Market Forecast from ULI

Recently, PwC and the Urban Land Institute (ULI) published their latest Emerging Trends in Real Estate report. This in-depth report is based on interviews with more than a thousand real estate developers, investors, homebuilders and other housing professionals. It offers a glimpse at to where the real estate market might be heading, both nationally and at the local level.

The group’s 2018 report makes bold predictions for the Seattle housing market. The general consensus is that Seattle will be one of the strongest real estate markets in 2018, partly due to a growing population and strong demand for housing.

According to that report:

“This year’s survey respondents have selected Seattle as the top-ranked market, up from being ranked number four last year … Many may know Seattle as being home to tech giants or for having a well-educated labor force. However, our survey respondents identified [the city] as being strong across a number of factors, including demographics and liveability, cost, and technology readiness.”

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Other key findings include:

  • Seattle’s population is growing twice as fast as the national rate, with a projection of 29,000 new residents per year over the next five years. Among other things, this could bring more home buyers into the Seattle housing market, boosting demand and prices.
  • Among the experts interviewed for this report, Seattle had a positive outlook for all property sectors. The strongest outlook was for investment and development within the single-family housing sector, in particular.
  • Home prices in the area are currently at 123% of the previous peak, which occurred during 2007. This means that home values in Seattle are higher now, as of January 2018, than they have ever been before.
  • The report also cited walkability, a vibrant culinary scene, and positive job prospects as favorable factors that are attracting people to the city.

Not Surprisingly, Home Prices Are Predicted to Rise

The real estate housing analysts and economists from Zillow also issued a positive forecast for the Seattle housing market in 2018.

By their estimation, the median home value for the city reached $708,600 when last measured in November 2017. That’s a gain of more than 15% from the same month a year before. Looking forward, the company expects home values in Seattle to rise by around 6.2% over the next 12 months. That’s a stronger forecast than the one they’ve issued for the nation as a whole.

Not Enough Properties Available to Meet Demand

Inventory has a lot to do with these bold forecasts for the Seattle real estate market in 2018. Housing demand continues to grow, as more residents move into the city and surrounding areas. But there aren’t enough homes listed for sale to satisfy this steady demand from buyers.

The numbers speak for themselves. A “balanced” real estate market is said to have a five to six month supply of homes for sale. In November 2017, Seattle had about 0.6-month supply of homes for sale. That was the lowest level of almost any major city in the U.S.

By comparison, the nation as a whole had an average 3.1-month supply of homes, during the same month. So we are talking about a very constrained seller’s market with not enough inventory to go around.

This is why we’ve seen such tremendous price growth over the last couple of years. And if these latest forecasts for the Seattle housing market are any indication, prices could continue to move north for the foreseeable future as buyers compete for limited inventory.

Disclaimer: This article includes various forecasts and predictions for the Seattle real estate market in 2018. These views were gathered from third parties not associated with our company. We have compiled them as an educational service to our blog readers.

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Last Updated: May 20, 2019 @ 6:12 am

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