January King County home prices hit new highs, inventory at new lows

Sold SignLow inventory of homes for sale turning Seattle area into an ‘extreme seller’s market’

Would-be homebuyers in the Puget Sound area continue to face slim pickings in a tight housing market. Fewer owners are listing their homes for sale, a trend that for months has made it harder for buyers to find homes… and keeps pushing up prices.Jan2016HomeActiv

The inventory of homes for sale in King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap counties is down by 31%, with just 6,321 active listings in January — almost 2,900 fewer than a year earlier, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

According to a senior economist, Seattle epitomizes the problem of strong population growth due to strong job growth coupled with an incredible lack of inventory.

With the inventory shortage, open houses are packed with most houses receiving multiple offers, often significantly above asking prices.

The median price of a single-family home in King County in January was $490,970, an 11.2% increase from the same month last year. Median means half the homes sold for more than that, half for less.

During the typically slower month of January, the King County median inched down from December, when it had hit $508,000 — a record exceeding the previous peak in July 2007.

In Seattle, January’s median home price soared year-over-year by 19.5% to $618,450.


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