According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, Seattle’s new median price for a single-family house is $729,000. That’s up a full $7,000 from a month ago and up 13.7 percent from a year earlier.
In an even more extreme jump, median prices have hit $997,000 for the area centered on Capitol Hill and Madison Park, stretching from I-5 to Lake Washington and from I-90 to the 520 bridge. That’s up an extra $100,000 from a year ago, reports the Seattle Times. If that number keeps climbing, Seattle will soon have its first million dollar neighborhood.
It’s not just the upscale areas that are seeing a price spike. In Southeast Seattle, the cheapest area of the city, prices soared an astounding 31 percent from a year ago. Only the Eastside’s median price dropped, falling $5,000 from last month’s record, to sit at a still sky high $875,000 — that’s 15.1 percent year-over-year increase.
The situation is dire for condo seekers as well. Those prices are up 22.2 percent from a year ago in Seattle, although down slightly from a month ago.
These increases are significant because prices have not been this high since 2007, right before the housing bubble burst. This is the first time since that crisis that every county in the central Puget Sound region has set a new median home price record, ranging from $300,000 in Kitsap and Pierce counties to $630,000 in King County.
Now that Seattle is the city with the most bidding wars in the country, buyers are forced to waive inspections and offer more cash upfront. Buying a home is now a process that often takes six months to a year.
The high prices are driven in part by a lack of inventory. But according to an analysis by the Seattle Times, the number of new listings, year-over-year, increased for the first time in 2017. The homes were purchased so fast that the overall inventory dropped, but if more people continue to post homes for sale, it could help balance out the market, which is overwhelmingly stacked against buyers.
Till then, for home buyers on the hunt for a reasonably priced place to live in the Greater Seattle area, there’s not much hope.