Seattle’s Home Price Growth Tops the Nation for 13 Months

Despite showing the highest home price growth in the nation for 13 months in a row, the latest S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index indicates that month-over-month gains in Seattle actually decreased slightly in September to 0.28-percent. To contextualize the stats, the Emerald City recorded positive gains for 31 consecutive months before this slip. As the S&P Dow Jones press release describes, Seattle is among the top cities with the highest year-over-year increases, joined by Las Vegas and San Diego. It also led among year-over-year increases for September at 12.9-percent, nearly 3 points above Las Vegas at the second spot.

Many homebuyers were hoping the seasonal slowdown during the autumn months in Seattle may help make ownership more achievable, yet one slower month doesn’t promise full relief. Each of the other Pacific Coast gateway cities have experienced at least one month on the down side within the past three years, with San Francisco having seven such months. So, it seems as though this will be a short breath of fresh air for an otherwise continually appreciating market.

Case Shiller Graph.png

To be sure, the cost of ownership in the Puget Sound region continues to increase, as a recent Seattle Times article proclaims that in order to be able to afford a mortgage in popular cities such as Seattle, Bellevue and Everett, consumers need an average salary of nearly $94,000. This means each household would need a raise of about $11,000 in order to qualify, thanks to high demand and anemic inventory.

After analyzing current market trends, Burrard Group added 28 new units to NEXUS, which were priced below the median condo price of $700,000 with a reconfiguration of some larger units on floors 28 to 35, and the addition of studios within the above-grade parking structure. Upon their release on November 18th, 2017, Burrard and RSIR announced all of the units had sold. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise given the lack of condo inventory in the downtown core. RSIR has reported that approximately 94-percent of the housing units projected to be delivered within the current decade are for rent rather than for sale, and that 85-percent of the nearly 500 new construction condominiums with occupancy planned by 2020 have already presold.

As Dean Jones, President & CEO of RSIR said, in-city condo buyers are forced to reckon with competitive bidding wars and have thus turned to presales as a solution. “While these buyers often have to wait months or years for their new home, there’s a certain comfort that comes from drawing this road map and then preparing for the move.”

If they already own another home, presale buyers also benefit from a form of double equity, as they enjoy appreciation on their current home as they wait to sell, while locking in today’s price on new