Summary: Seattle inventory continues to be really tight compared to the rest of the country, but the numbers show that inventory is loosening up a little, which is a good thing for buyers.
For the last couple of years, Seattle has generated countless headlines due to rapid home-price growth and scant inventory. Now it’s in the news for a different reason. Housing inventory in Seattle and across King County has actually increased in recent months.
This is good news for home buyers who are planning to enter the local real estate market during the latter part of 2019, or in 2020. Here’s the latest news on this front.
Reports: Seattle Housing Market Inventory Increased
Let’s start with a real estate reality check. While the market in Seattle has cooled over the past few months, the Seattle housing market is still suffering from a below-average level of supply. A “balanced” market has about a five- or six-month supply of homes for sale at any given time. As of July 2019, however, Seattle had about a 1.7-month supply.
This housing inventory shortage has presented some challenges for buyers, forcing them to compete for limited supply. And that’s been the “norm” for the last couple of years.
But recent reports show that inventory in Seattle and across King County has increased, giving buyers more options to choose from in some areas. That said, even though inventory is growing, it’s still rather tight.
In a June 6 article for The Seattle Times, Mike Rosenberg wrote:
“Although the number of homes listed for sale is rising, inventories remain far below the six-month level that is a considered a balanced market. In King County, the inventory of listed homes would last just 1.71 months at current sale rates.”
Related: Will 2019 be a good year to buy?
More Homes on the Market During Summer 2019
From June 2018 to June 2019, the total number of single-family homes listed for sale across King County decreased by 10.7%. And the number of closed sales decreased 1.5% year over year.
But why? As industry reports show, slower sales are one reason for the increase in housing market inventory across the Seattle area. Homes are sitting on the market longer today, on average, than in recent years. This gives inventory a chance to “accumulate” more so than in the past.
King County is the only county in Washington state where prices are decreasing, and its inventory has increased by 24.4% year over year.
he local real estate scene shifting slightly from sellers to buyers. Seattle is still considered a strong seller’s market, due to the dearth of inventory. But it’s nice to see a bit more supply coming onto the market to balance things out. Home buyers could benefit from this trend, especially those planning to buy in late 2019 or early 2020
Prices Expected to Dip in 2020
All of the forecasts we have seen for the Seattle-area real estate market predict that home values will decrease slightly over the coming months.
Related: Will mortgage rates rise 2019?
The region’s strong economy and natural beauty attract new residents from elsewhere in the country, at a time when housing inventory is tigh
With that being said, a lot of projections are calling for a decrease in housing prices in Seattle stretching into 2020 (compared to the double-digit gains of the last couple of years).