Buyers Have Upper Hand in Spring Market

March 14, 2019
Seattle skyline
Photo: Unsplash/Luca Micheli

The recent slowdown in hot housing markets has given the upper hand to buyers ahead of the spring house-hunting season.

According to Bloomberg, he market slowdown is being driven by several factors, including rising mortgage rates and volatility in technology stocks. But it is mainly the result of years of rising home prices putting properties out of reach for the majority of buyers. Now, with available inventory rising and not enough demand for high prices, the going rates for properties is being forced to fall.

Seattle is a prime example of the reversal. The area’s median single-family home price doubled since 2012 to $560,000, fueled by an Amazon-led tech boom that brought in a flood of highly paid workers. Houses regularly sold within a week, sometimes garnering 10 or more offers, with buyers waiving home inspections and financing contingencies.

Now, the tables are turning. The median single-family home prices in King County, which includes Seattle, fell 3 percent on a price-per-square foot basis in January, the first annual decline since 2012, according to brokerage Redfin. Roughly a sixth of the metro area’s listings had price cuts in the 12 months through January, twice the previous year’s rate, Trulia data show.

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