Will the Seattle Housing Market Slow Down in 2017?

Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen headline after headline about the red-hot Seattle housing market. Stories about fierce bidding wars and purchase offers well above the asking price have been common. It’s enough to make a would-be home buyer run the other direction.

But now, there’s a lot of talk about a slowdown in the Seattle housing market. Many analysts and economists are saying we could see a cooling trend through the end of this year and into 2017. But why are they saying these things? What do they base their predictions on? Will the Seattle housing market really slow down in 2017?

Here are the latest trends, reports and commentary on this subject.

Will the Seattle Housing Market Slow Down in 2017?

This article serves as a follow-up to our previously published housing forecast for the Seattle area. So you might want to read that piece as well, when you’re done with this one.

A new report from the housing data company Metrostudy suggests that the Seattle real estate market could, in fact, be entering a cool-down phase. According to the report, published earlier this month:

“Metrostudy’s 2Q16 survey of the Seattle housing market shows that the first signs of the slowdown have begun to show up: slowing job growth along with a dramatic change in migration numbers.” (source)

This is based on only a few months worth of data, so it doesn’t necessarily indicate a trend. But it’s worth noting all the same — especially when so many housing analysts are predicting the Seattle real estate market will slow down in 2017.

Here’s another clue that suggests a slowdown could be coming. KOMO News recently shared stories from local real estate agents that suggest the level of home buyer competition in the area has eased a bit.

“Now, when we submit an offer, we’re up against two or three others,” Redfin agent Karlyn Goetz told KOMO. “That’s opposed to 10 offers, which I experienced a few months ago. Almost every time you wrote an offer, you knew you were going to be up against others.”

According to Redfin, there is less demand for homes today than there was back in the spring of this year.

Lastly, the real estate company Zillow offers a home-price forecast that suggests the Seattle market might slow down in the months ahead. According to Zillow, home prices in the city rose 16.7% over the last 12 months. They’re predicting a gain of 8.1% over the next 12 months. That’s a pretty strong forecast, bit it also indicates a slowing of home-price appreciation through 2016 and into 2017.

Related: Will the seller’s market stretch in 2017?

So the general consensus appears to be this: House values in Seattle will likely continue to rise between now and this time next year, though possibly at a slower pace. Additionally, home buyers across the metro area could face less competition in the months ahead, as the market strikes a better balance between supply and demand.

Buy a Home Now or Later?

What home buyers really want to know is: “Should I buy a home in Seattle now, or wait until 2017?”

Unfortunately, no one can predict future housing conditions with complete accuracy. So the best you can do is examine current conditions and forecasts, and make an educated decision based on that information. To help you accomplish this, we recently published a two-part series on buying a home in 2016 versus 2017.

Here’s the gist of that two-part series: Home prices across the Seattle metro area will probably continue rising through the end of this year and into next. So buyers who postpone their purchases could end up paying more. The market might slow down a little in 2017, as mentioned above, and hopefully we will see a healthier balance of supply and demand. But prices will likely continue moving north for the foreseeable future.

Disclaimer: This story contains forward-looking statements (forecasts and projections) from third parties not associated with our company. We have presented them here as an educational services to our readers.