It comes down to three things: Jobs (61,700 of them added in King County in the last 12 months); fewer housing starts (the West region saw just 1/3 of the starts of a decade ago); and low inventory of resale homes for sale (21-34% lower than this time last year). Couple that with intense demand and this trifecta is creating undue pressure on those seeking homes to buy.
Seattle’s supply of homes for sale, at decade low levels, fell 34% from 1121 to 737 homes in June. Pending sales were up from 871 to 988. How is that possible, homes are coming on the market and selling so quickly that the available inventory remains small while pending sales typically take just over a month to close. The median sale price in the Seattle Metro area rose 15% over the past 12 months from $487,000 to $560,000 with no sign of slowing in sight.
The Eastside followed a similar but more moderate path. Inventory was down 21% from 1626 homes for sale in June ’14 to 1278 for sale now. Pending sales also increased from 872 last June to 992. The median sale price had a more sustainable gain of 4.7% increasing from $662,000 to $672,000. The Eastside is poised for stronger growth as new technology development and announcements like GIX capture national attention.
Mercer Island’s marked low supply of homes for sale is unprecedented as buyers struggle to compete for the fewer homes for sale. Inventory is down 32% to 66 homes available in June compared to 97 this time last year. Pending sales have remained strong with 40 homes sold last month compared to 28 last June.
King County provides the largest pool of data in our region and allows us to follow trends from a high level overview. Overall, inventory was down 23% from 4583 homes for sale to 3547 this June. Pending sales rose from 2626 to 3062 equating to about 1.2 months of inventory available on a given day. The median sale price rose from $459,000 in June ’14 to $500,000 in June of this year.
Mortgage interest rates have been inching up bringing average monthly payments up along with them. Rental rates have been rising even faster…both providing solid motivation for buyers to find homes to buy now. Given the current state of the market, we are likely to see higher than typical sales activity in July and August of this year.
Click on each report below to view detailed data: