June 15th, 2022 12:23 PM by Sam Kader
After nearly 2 years (2020 and 2021) of bidding wars, skipping property inspections, waiving contingencies, and all cash offers – the housing market is starting to correct itself to find something closer to “normal” in 2022. Home prices skyrocketed after the start of the pandemic in February 2020 when demand for homes picked up as while-collar workers went looking for home offices, more millennials reached homebuying age, and rock-bottom interest rates made more people want to buy while housing markets across the state and across the country faced shortage of houses for sale. However, a combination of high inflation (approaching 9% at time of this writing) and rising rates appears to be causing many would-be-homebuyers to think again on entering the housing market.
Here are 3 takeaway signs of real estate market cooling off:
In King County, 73% more homes were listed at the end of May 2022 than at the same time last year. In Pierce County 74% more in Kitsap 43%. In Snohomish, more than twice as many listings were still active at the end of May. Please click here to view current available homes for sales https://nwmls.stats.showingtime.com/infoserv/s-v1/L79G-Dcf
The number of pending sales dipped across much of the region in May 2022 compared with a year ago. In King County it’s 18%, Pierce it’s 7% and Kitsap it’s up 9%. Some buyers struggle to afford rising interest rates and others are holding off because of uncertainty. Mortgage payments are taking up a larger share of homebuyers’ s incomes and higher inflation is making it more difficult for some would-be buyers to save for down payment and higher monthly mortgage payment. Washington borrowers saw the third-highest median payment in April 2022 behind California, and Hawaii. The higher the number, the worse the affordability. Please click here to view current pending sales - https://nwmls.stats.showingtime.com/infoserv/s-v1/L7kc-0Hp
Median home prices were basically flat across the Puget Sound region from April to May. In King County, the median home sold for $998,888, in Snohomish for $815,000, in Pierce for $582,000 and in Kitsap for $554,550. Median prices are still up by double-digit percentages from a year ago, but those increases are getting less dramatic. Home shoppers are relived to say goodbye to the cutthroat competition for now.