The local real estate market is finally experiencing a little bit of relief as home prices dropped last month for the first time since the recession. The summer season has reduced buyer competition as temperatures increase, meanwhile the number of listed homes has surged.
In June, the inventory of single-family homes available in King County rose a surprising 43 percent, while condos saw a skyrocket of 73 percent in available inventory. According to the NWMLS, the reason for the increase in inventory is that homes that were already on the market are staying unsold for longer. The number of new listings last month was down just over 500 in total from the total 13,658 NWMLS listings made in June 2017, showing an improvement in active listings and months of supply.
Many real estate brokers expect that now through October will be the best time for homebuyers to close on a sale.
Inventory actually doubled in neighborhoods including Ballard, Green Lake, Greenwood, Renton-Benson Hill, SODO and Beacon Hill. Meanwhile, in Lake Forest Park, Kenmore, Skyway and the Renton-Highlands, the number of homes on the market increased over 75 percent. And in Seattle’s Downtown area with only condos, the inventory almost tripled.
Comparing year-over-year changes, nearly 100 fewer single family homes were sold in June 2018 as compared with last year’s home sales in the same month, while the median home price increased 8.3 percent from $750,000 in June 2017 to $812,500 last month. Around the same number of condos were closed sold in June last year compared with last month (a difference of three listings), but the median condo price increased more than 11 percent from $475,000 in June 2017 to $527,950 in June 2018.
Real estate brokers have echoed this turn of events, referring to fewer bidding wars and sales at or below list price since about mid-spring. Sellers who attempted overpricing their homes, which they were able to get away with before, found that strategy ineffective last month. There’s more selection than there’s been in a long time, meaning reduced competition.
Despite slower sales, home prices are still on the rise, increasing 9.2 percent in King County last month. However, the median home price in the county is $715,000, which is down from the record-high home prices we saw in the spring; the first time we have seen home prices decrease between May and June since the recession.
King County isn’t alone in this change of events; 20 out of the 23 counties the NWMLS covers had median sales price increases in the double digits.