More good news for the Seattle Real Estate was released this week, with King County and Seattle home prices showing significant increases year-over-year. Home sales were on the rise as well, with increasing numbers even as inventory numbers continue to be tight.
Seattle home prices increased 10.4% in April as compared to the same month in 2011, while King County median home prices were up 3% in the same time period. King County home sales were 15% higher than in April of 2011, and total sales in the city of Seattle were up 8%. The vast majority of the market is seeing significant improvements and increasing seller strength, while the greatest gains have been in Seattle and the close-in Eastside.
Far more buyers are participating in multiple-offer transactions this year, as total inventory of Greater Seattle homes for sale is down 38% in the past year, one of the biggest drops we’ve seen in at least a decade. Spring selling season feels a lot like it did five or six years ago, with many aggressive buyers, with the big difference being the lack of quality homes available for sale.
More homebuyers chased slim pickings in King County last month, sending house prices to their highest level since December 2010. The median price of single-family homes sold last month was $360,000, up 9 percent from March and nearly 3 percent from April 2011, according to statistics released Thursday by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. It was the second monthover-month gain in median price. There were 1,769 houses sold in King County last month, 15
percent more than a year earlier.
“We’re at the beginning of the prime selling season, so to see this sort of strength coming out … this is very good news for the industry,” said Glenn Crellin, associate director of research at the University of Washington’s Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies. Rock-bottom mortgage rates and improving employment have set the stage for a stronger spring homebuying season than a year ago, but what’s on every broker’s lips is inventory. Inventory — the number of houses listed for sale — slid for the ninth month in a row, down 38 percent from a year ago. In April
2010, there were almost twice as many listings.
“The very tight inventory of homes available for sale coupled with the stabilizing prices are probably going to convince some sellers that it’s now safe to come back into the marketplace,” Crellin said.