King County Housing Market: Inventory Shortage Keeps Prices UP

BryceandRuthAlthough the market usually slows during the holidays, it remains slow due to the lack of inventory.

While the number of homes for sale in King County is down, the price of homes is up compared to a year ago. The median price of homes sold in King County was 17% higher, but still below the median peak of $434,000 last July. Buyers in January paid a median $410,000, down from $419,825 in December.

In Seattle, January’s closed sales were up 2.9% over a year ago at 395. The median price was up 16.2% over January 2013 at $459,950.

For well-located homes in good condition, bidding wars are still happening. However, the rise in interest rates is forcing some buyers to look at homes in a lower price range—where inventory is lacking.

Mike Grady, president and COO of Coldwell Banker Bain, expects activity to continue picking up until May. “Inventory levels are pretty much the same as they were a year ago. Now we’ll have to wait and see if the sellers come out,” he remarked. Supply of homes in King County was at 2.5 months (well below what real estate analysts deem a balanced market of 4-6 months).

Article adapted from NWMLS.

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