For many months now, we’ve heard about the tight inventory conditions within the Seattle real estate market. Like many cities across the country, Seattle and the surrounding metro area has suffered from chronically low supply levels within the housing market.
Recent data showed there were fewer homes coming onto the market across the Seattle metro area last year. This makes things a little tougher for home buyers who are considering a purchase in 2024. However, it’s expected that slightly more hoes will come to market over the coming months.
Here’s what you need to know about housing market inventory growth in the Seattle area.
Seattle Housing Market Supply Down Year-Over-Year
According to RedFin, fewer homes came onto the market in the Seattle-area real estate market last year. That significantly impacted home buyers.
Let’s get to the data. From December 2022 to December 2023, the total number of homes sold in Seattle decreased by 17.5%. As a result of this trend, home buyers in the area had a tougher time finding a home available for sale.
However, experts agree that as mortgage interest rates continue to go down, more listings may come on the market in 2024.
And it’s not just the Pacific Northwest. Many housing markets across the U.S. are experiencing similar trends in 2024.
3 Ways Supply Growth Could Change the Market
With more inventory potentially hitting the market, the Seattle real estate scene could change in fundamental ways. Over time, these changes could provide buyers with benefits and advantages they haven’t enjoyed for quite some time.
Here are three trends we might see over the coming months, related to supply growth:
- Motivated sellers: With inventory rising in the Seattle housing market, sellers today have more competition from other sellers. So they could be more willing to negotiate with buyers, when it comes to the sale price and other terms. Some sellers might even offer “concessions” for buyers, such as closing cost contributions.
- Less frustration: While the Seattle housing market remains challenging for buyers, it’s a lot more buyer-friendly than it was just 12 months ago. There are more homes on the market today, so buyers could have a less stressful house-hunting experience. The “buyer fatigue” we heard so much about in past months could become a lot less common.
- Price cooling: Historically speaking, home prices tend to rise more slowly when the real estate market experiences significant inventory growth. We’re seeing the early signs of this right now. After rising steadily for more than two years, home price growth in the Seattle metro area have slowed. This makes things more sustainable and might give wages a chance to “catch up” with homeownership costs.
There are a lot of changes taking place within the Seattle metro area housing market, and most of them stem from the inventory growth mentioned above.
In fact, one could argue that supply growth will change the market more than any other single factor, as we get further into 2024. Especially if inventory levels continue to rise going forward.
Better House-Hunting Conditions, However…
This latest data brings good news for home buyers in the Seattle-Tacoma metro area. Even so, house hunters will still want to bring their ‘A’ game when shopping and negotiating.
One thing you can do to increase your chance for home-buying success is to work with an experienced real estate agent. Agents deal with purchase offers and negotiations on a daily or weekly basis. They understand the current mindset among Seattle-area sellers and can guide you accordingly.
You’ll also want to allow plenty of time for the house-hunting process. The housing market inventory situation in the Seattle area has improved. We’ve gone from a 2-month supply of homes for sale at the beginning of 2024.
Even so, there’s still a shortage of properties relative to the number of buyers seeking them. So your home search could take longer than expected. As the saying goes: hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
Ready to Apply For a Mortgage?
Do you have questions about mortgages? If so, Sammamish Mortgage can help. We are a local mortgage company from Bellevue, Washington, serving the entire state, as well as Oregon, Idaho, Colorado & California. We offer many mortgage programs to buyers all over the Pacific Northwest and have been doing so since 1992. Our programs include the Diamond Homebuyer Program, Cash Buyer Program, and Bridge Loans. Contact us today with any questions you have about mortgages.