A sizeable increase in new listings in April offered some good news for buyers, but it was matched by an even greater increase in sales. With supplies depleted, and homes being snapped up within days, nearly every area saw double-digit price gains. The current forecast as we head towards summer: the market remains as hot as ever.
Despite the influx of new listings, inventory in the region remains one of the tightest in the country. At the end of the month there were 43% fewer homes on the market in King County than there were a year ago. Snohomish County had 49% less inventory, and has just 519 single-family homes for sale in the entire county. There were only 309 homes for sale on the Eastside, which stretches from Renton to Woodinville. Demand is so outstripping supply that 95% of the homes that sold last month on the Eastside sold within two weeks. In Seattle that number was 84%.
Home prices hit record highs in April, with nearly every area seeing double-digit price increases. The median price of a single-family home in King County last month was $830,000. Snohomish County’s median price soared to $675,000. Seattle’s median home price hit $875,000. All were new records. At $1.3 million, the median price on the Eastside was down slightly from its all-time high in March, but up a whopping 39% from the same time last year. In another show of the strength of the market, 82% of homes on the Eastside sold for over the list price. That compares with 60% of homes in Seattle. The Seattle market remains strong, however price appreciation there has slowed relative to other areas of King County and inventory has crept up. Condos present one bright spot for buyers. Price growth has been slower and inventory has been higher than for single-family homes. The $460,000 median price for a condo in King County is 45% less than the median price of a single-family home there.
Needless to say, this is a challenging market for buyers. With multiple offers and escalation clauses the norm, it’s critical to work with your broker on a plan to consider all possible scenarios when looking to buy a home. If you’re thinking about selling, it’s an ideal time to get a maximum return on your property before the prospect of rising interest rates starts to moderate the market.
The charts below provide a brief overview of market activity. If you are interested in more information, every Monday Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner provides an update on the US economy and housing market. You can get Matthew’s latest update here.