Seattle home values continued their seemingly endless ascent last month, reaching a median sale price $630,800. That’s up 14 percent from sales in March 2016.
The numbers are even more extreme when you exclude condos. The median sale price for houses in Seattle in March was $700,000, nearly a 10 percent increase year-over-year. For condos — an increasingly attractive option for buyers working with less cash — the median sale price in March was $434,000.
There are a number of factors contributing to Seattle’s feverish housing market. One is, undeniably, a rapidly growing population of high-paid workers drawn to the region for tech jobs. Those people need homes and can afford to pay more for them.
“We are seeing more multiple offers than ever on new listings, and all cash offers are dominating the winning bids,” John Deely, Northwest MLS chairman and principal managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain, said in a press release. “Last year they were advising a buyer to bid 10 percent above the list price, this year they’re advising 20 percent over in certain Seattle neighborhoods.”
Another cause is a lack of inventory. The number of for-sale listings in Seattle is down about 20 percent from a year ago, according to the MLS. The city is experiencing a historic boom in new development but it will be a while before that is translated into enough inventory to stabilize the market.
These trends aren’t just restricted to Seattle. In Greater King County, the median price for all residences rose to $530,000, a more than 15 percent increase year-over-year. For single-family homes, it was about $600,000. Snohomish and Pierce counties saw eight and 11 percent increases, respectively.
“It’s a straight up crazy, frenzy market in King and Snohomish counties,” said J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott, in the press release.
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