It’s been a frenetic year-and-a-half for the real estate market, particularly in Seattle and on the Eastside. Even as the state fully reopens and the number of new listings increases, demand for housing across King, Snohomish and Pierce counties remains insatiable, continuing to drive up prices.
The most recent report from the NWMLS does offer some hope for buyers. While demand is still high, new listings for single-family homes and condos across King, Snohomish and Pierce counties increased 14.5% from May. Across all Washington counties, last month saw 6,358 new listings become available, the highest monthly increase in the last 17 months.
In King and Snohomish counties, this translated to an increase of 15% in total active listings, with an 11% increase in new listings since May.
Windermere’s chief economist, Matthew Gardner, cautions that while the new listings do offer more options and hope for buyers, the market is likely to stay this competitive for the foreseeable future.
And although there is slightly more inventory on the market, being able to afford it is another story. In basic terms of supply and demand, with so many eager buyers on the market and only two to three weeks of inventory in larger counties, prices are skyrocketing.
In King County, the median sale price for single-family homes was up nearly 19% to a whopping $860,000. Pierce County saw a 26% increase up to $516,000 and Snohomish County rose by 32% to a median sale price of $716,000. In Snohomish County, inventory is running particularly low, with a 44% decrease in the number of single-family homes and condos available compared to a year ago; this leaves the county with only a 10-day supply of inventory — the lowest of any county in the NWMLS.
Builders are responding to the continued high demand as well. Across Kitsap County and other areas, new apartment buildings and condo projects are being approved to try and meet the demand for housing.
Some real estate analysts predict that the increase in inventory may be short-lived, with closed sales up 43% in the four metro counties and listings surging due to the state’s lifted covid restrictions. For buyers looking to enter the market, the best approach might be to practice patience.