Significant Changes in the Seattle Real Estate Market


When people learn I'm a realtor, many comment, "Wow, the market is on fire. You must be killing it." While it’s true, our Seattle real estate market is hot, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s an easy market to navigate. 

Many people don’t realize how seasonal the real estate market can be and how much fluctuation happens throughout the year. Historically the Seattle spring and fall seasons saw an accelerated real estate market, but in 2018 we're seeing many more properties come to market during the summer months. This means that Seattle is actually experiencing a market shift.

The Seattle real estate market has been a sellers market for several years. But what does this mean? Experts believe that a healthy housing marketing inventory is one where there are at least 4-6 months supply of homes on the market. The current Seattle real estate market has less than 2 months of inventory across the region, and that’s an increase from where the market has been. In the past couple of months, the area has experienced an unusual increase in inventory with continued low rates. For instance, in King County, we're seeing as much inventory as we had back in September 2016.

Because the Seattle real estate market experienced a serious lack of housing inventory from 2016 to 2018, homebuyers have had to put in multiple offers and escalation clauses became the norm. With this increased inventory, sellers are now facing pressure on pricing, leading to reductions and longer days on market. Simply putting a sign in the yard isn't cutting it. New listings need to be well-priced and marketing is more important than ever. The increase in inventory has also given buyers a better chance at their home-ownership dream and is great news for buyers who were feeling burned out by the rabid competition.

If you're looking to buy…

Make sure to align yourself with a reputable lender and feel confident in the price point that you afford. (This is different than what you qualify for) Interest rates are slated to increase and slight changes will significantly impact your purchase power.

If you’re looking to sell...

Pricing and presentation are key. You want to stand out from the crowd and attract the right buyer quickly. Hiring a professional to price and market your property will help get you the most for your home in the least amount of time.

Real estate is cyclical, and a market shift is nothing to fear. Our region continues to grow, unemployment remains low, and the demand for housing is showing no signs of slowing down. If you have questions about how the change in the market affects your real estate goals, I'd love to talk with you!

Ashley Breunich