Matt Holmes

Matt Holmes

Co-founder at CoBuy
Global explorer. Dual US/UK national. Former investment banker. Real estate enthusiast. Rock&roll lover.
Matt Holmes

We surveyed 20 top real estate pros from our network of agents, loan officers, and builders in and around Seattle to get the skinny on what’s going down in the Seattle housing market.  Data is a funny thing – often sliced, diced, and compiled to suit a purpose.  Our goal is simple: ask people who are well-positioned in the market what they’re seeing.  We asked 10 multiple choice questions + 1 open-ended question, and we’ll do the same next month.  

Things look up for buyers in Greater Seattle as inventory improves, home price growth slows

According to NWMLS data, we are seeing a notable improvement in the inventory of homes on the market. Month-on-month active listings increased by 27.7% from May to June with the total inventory of homes now at 1.5 months.  This is well below the 3-6 months of inventory considered “healthy” in a normal market. As buyers have more options to choose from, we have seen the rate at annualized price growth slow to 9.5%. Our network of real estate professionals reports further anecdotal evidence that the supply/demand dynamic is re-adjusting marginally in favor of home buyers. If anything, we think this is a good thing.

For many months, the housing market has been characterized by a distinct lack of supply in context of increasing demand. The result has been incredibly competitive market conditions that place considerable pressure on anyone looking to buy a home in and around Greater Seattle. Bidding wars have been commonplace and many homes have sold in a matter of days. Some homebuyers, after multiple unsuccessful offers, have developed such fatigue that they have simply decided to defer their purchases.

This moderation we are seeing is, all else equal, a step in the right direction. Far from a return to “normal” markets, the improvement in inventory and competition for homes should be a welcome development for folks looking to buy a home in Greater Seattle.

Key Takeaways Across Seattle Housing Market

 The majority of respondents expect home prices to remain flat over the next 3 months.

 Roughly half of respondents said competition amongst buyers is unchanged versus one month ago, while nearly 45% reported less competition month on month

Inventory shows signs of improvement month on month, in line with NWMLS data

 Two-thirds of respondents said buyer traffic was flat month on month, while one-third reported less buyer traffic

 Two-thirds of respondents said buyers are placing 3-5 offers on average before reaching mutual acceptance

75% of respondents said new listings are receiving 3-5 offers

40% of respondents said they are seeing seller concessions

Some respondents to our poll said they are seeing low appraisals come in, though there was no notable change month on month

Here’s what some of our respondents had to say about the Seattle housing market:

“Typically the spring market starts in late January in Seattle, Late February for other King/Pierce/Snohomish cities. This year, it started on January 2nd everywhere. We typically see the market slow a little in mid-summer right after the 4th of July. This year, it appears to have slowed right after Memorial Day. I believe the entire cycle for 2018 is about 2 months early.”

“Seems to be a bit slower and I am assuming that is due to the summer and kids getting out of school.”

“Pierce County is way different than King when it comes to multiple offers and bidding wars. Not as common in Pierce County, but depends on area. We do see it in Tacoma.”

“Market is fairly steady. I am seeing more inventory and starting to see more home price reductions than I have seen in a long time.”

“…the number of price reductions and missed offer review dates seem to suggest we are entering a more balanced market. This is actually great news for buyers with a longer-term vision.

“We are starting to see properties go past their review dates in some areas. A tuned up house in a popular neighborhood will still get multiple offers, maybe 6 or 7.


Survey Responses

Here are the raw survey results from our network of real estate professionals:

For more info on how to get in on the housing market, check out CoBuy or subscribe to our mailing list.  Our online platform makes it easy to buy a home with friends, family, or a loved one.  We guide you through the process from start to finish, assisting with planning, joint financing, and preparing a co-ownership agreement.


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