Record low inventory has placed the area in an extreme seller’s market. 70 percent of homes sell in the first 30 days. With 30 percent less inventory than a year ago, multiple offers are all but guaranteed. If you’re selling, you can name your terms. For those looking to buy, it’s critical to work with a broker to arrange for financing, and create a strategy for escalation clauses and back-up offers.
The supply of homes on the Eastside has reached a critical point with just one month of available inventory. To put that in perspective, there are currently fewer than 100 single family homes on the market in the City of Bellevue. And 80 percent of those listings are priced above the Eastside median sale price of $697,500. With the median price of a single family home sold in January up 12 percent over a year ago, sellers can count on making excellent gains if they decide to list their home.
Strong population growth fueled by the area’s healthy job market continues to starve the region’s already limited inventory of homes. Depleted inventory resulted in sales that were down nearly 15 percent compared to last January. Not surprising, since inventory was down more than 31 percent. Limited supply pushed single family home prices up 11 percent over a year ago to $490,970. Those shopping for a relative bargain searched outside the city core. The median home price in Southwest King County was $304,103. The median price in Southeast King County was $350,000.
After hitting all-time highs in the past few months, home prices here reached a new peak. The median sale price of a single family home in Seattle rose to $618,450 in January, a whopping 20 percent increase over a year ago. Inventory is razor thin. The Ballard neighborhood has just 20 homes currently for sale. Sellers are solidly in the driver’s seat, and have the luxury of choosing from multiple offers and being able to drive terms to their advantage, whether it’s closing time, amount of earnest money, or other concessions.
Snohomish County outpaced King County for price growth. The sale price for a single family home soared 17 percent over last year to $378,950. Even with that increase, Snohomish County home prices seem reasonable when compared to King County, where the median price is about 30 percent higher. More homebuyers are realizing that a longer commute is an acceptable trade-off to get more home for their money. But with Snohomish County now suffering from the same shortage of inventory as the rest of the region, prices are expected to continue to climb.