Viaduct shut down, record traffic jams, more housing issues. Where will Seattle go from here? A recent piece in the local BizJournals stated that there are only 2,700 properties for sale in all of King County, where just a year ago there were nearly 1,000 more. Lack of supply is causing prices to rapidly increase. Because of this, soaring prices are making it hard for buyers to find and purchase a house. Bidding wars are becoming the norm again as we once saw in 2004 and 2005. In Kitsap County, across the Puget Sound, home prices rose 16% in March, 13% in Snohomish County and 8% in Pierce, however that still doesn’t compare to King County’s nearly 21% increase from March 2015 to March 2016.
Many new home buyers fear they won’t be able to find and purchase a home in King County without getting into a bidding war, especially with repeat buyers and investors. Because the market is literally almost sold out of inventory, this is leaving a string of hesitant buyers, many of which have resorted to renting rather than buying.
Currently, the absorption rate is at 1 month, which means that if no more homes hit the market from here on out, it would only take a month or less, for all properties to be completely absorbed (sold). A good balance between buyers and sellers is typically 6 months, so sellers are in a prime situation for a great profit and fast sale, however, if they plan on buying again in the area, they may find themselves on the flip side of that real estate coin, unable to purchase once their property has sold.
Today, pending home sales in the Puget Sound area covering four distinct counties including Snohomish, King, Kitsap and Pierce County, are at near record highs. This means that more homeowners are listing their property and the price increases for many single-family homes started to slow down however, prices are still climbing in general and it still is a sellers paradise, especially in the condo market.
The median sales price of a home in King County was up nearly 13% compared to April 2015. This is quite a drop compared to March, which was nearly 20% from March 2015. Across the Puget Sound region, including the major 4 counties, the number of new listings for homes and condominiums was up nearly 4% over April 2015. In March, that number was less than 1%. [Source]
Although inventory remains below the general demand, this last April was actually the third strongest in the last 16 years. Sales were only higher in 2005 and 2015. However, the condominium market remains turbulent to say the least. In King County alone inventory fell nearly 27% with the median sales price for a condominium up 19%. In the central downtown area of Seattle condo prices jumped 37% over last year. Surprisingly, condominiums in other counties soared as well such as in Kitsap County, where condo prices rose nearly 62% however, this number is based on a generally low number of sales overall. Pierce County increased 13% and Snohomish County went up 3.6% for all condominium sales compared to last year at this time.
Real estate agents know that low inventory and low interest rates are putting pressure on high prices. Many brokers feel that last month’s increase in new listings is a great start to a more balanced market.
If you are a homeowner considering selling, now is a great time to get a high price and fast sale. To find out what your King County or Seattle home is worth contact Mary Pong now.
For home buyers, the key is enlisting the help of a seasoned real estate agent that has seen numerous bidding wars and knows how to compete. For expert care in buying and selling in King County, contact Mary Pong now.