DAVE ROSS

Economist: Seattle’s slow housing market only a blip

Dec 10, 2018, 5:38 AM | Updated: 4:07 pm
house 620 ap...
(AP)
(AP)

You may have heard that the big chill has suddenly hit the Seattle housing market. According to the Case-Shiller home-price index, Seattle home prices are falling faster than the rest of the country. The Emerald City was leading only a few months ago.

But we mustn’t read too much into it, says Chief Economist Matthew Gardner at Windermere Real Estate.

“In terms of overall house prices, in the last couple of months we’ve seen some significant softening,” Gardner told Seattle’s Morning News. “There are some out there that are projecting a bubble, a major correction in housing values — I don’t see it.”

RELATED: Seattle commission targets single-family zones for housing solutions

According to the Case-Shiller home-price index, single-family home costs declined 1.3 percent in September, following a 1.6 percent drop the month before. What’s especially striking is how widespread the drop is; it extends from Pierce to King to Snohomish counties.

“We’ve certainly reached a peak with a lack of affordability. There must be a ratio between home prices and incomes — we’ve breached that, but it doesn’t mean that housing prices are going to correct in the downside,” he said. “Housing is not a stock. You shouldn’t look at it on its value day-to-day, month-to-month, or even year-to-year. It’s shelter, first, and an asset, second.”

Regarding the ideal type of housing that could potentially mitigate the housing crisis, Gardner would like to see far more town homes, duplexes, triplexes, ADUs, and small cottages, among others. He also believes we need to improve transit substantially and increase density around transit centers as means of making it easier for people to live somewhat near job centers, where Seattle home prices are normally higher.

RELATED: Seattle actually leading the nation in home price decline

Gardner says that part of the reason that prices have softened is that plenty more units are coming on the market and that people are trying to time the market. Invariably, when you get more supply, with a still reasonable demand, home price growth softens.

“I think a lot of those will trail off this month as they classically do in December. The big question is going to be is how many more units we see coming online in the spring market.”

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

signatures...
Dave Ross

Ross: Lawsuit challenges election officials for a better process

Right now, there are 26,933 ballots statewide being challenged, and some are suing for rejecting ballots just because the signatures don’t match
9 days ago
election...
Dave Ross

Ross: Another year without any major election fraud issues in sight

We’re three weeks past the election - and, based on what I’m reading, there’s no indication of any organized attempt to change or steal votes
10 days ago
Thanksgiving dinner...
Dave Ross

Ross: How to keep your Thanksgiving peaceful this year

I know Americans define Thanksgiving as a holiday to remind us all why we moved away from our relatives. But it doesn't have to be that way.
15 days ago
pilot...
Dave Ross

Ross: Could planes only have one pilot someday?

Just one pilot in the cockpit. That would free up more pilots to compensate for crew shortages, and of course, save money.
15 days ago
holiday...
Dave Ross

Ross: Want to solve holiday travel? Just live closer to your family

The answer to solving holiday travel is always the same – the best time to fly is when nobody else is flying.
16 days ago
young voters...
Dave Ross

Ross: Young voters are key to Democrat wins, if they can get a high turnout

It said that young voters “delivered on President Joe Biden’s hopes they would turn out in the mid-terms,” and that voters under 30 were key.
17 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Economist: Seattle’s slow housing market only a blip