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Redfin study: Rise in pending sales could indicate Seattle housing rebound

(AP)

The latest report from the Case-Shiller home price index portrayed an ongoing downturn in the Seattle housing market, but a new study from Redfin paints a different picture.

According to the report, the market cool down may already be ending, as pending sales — which tracks homes that went under contract — rose 15 percent in Seattle in January.

“The second half of 2018 was frustrating for sellers who listed just as the market began to cool,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. “Since then, more sellers have dropped their prices and as a result more homes are going off the market.”

RELATED: Report: Seattle housing market continues downward trajectory

“Buyers who are still taking the wait-and-see approach, knowing the market is shifting in their favor, may want to take another look at the homes they favorited in the fall.”

The Case-Shiller index indicated that home prices in the Seattle metro area fell by 0.6 percent month-over-month in December, while year-over-year prices grew 5.1 percent, the smallest margin since 2012.

Redfin’s study in turn found that January was Seattle’s first increase in pending sales since November 2017 and the largest since December 2016. Along with the uptick in home touring activity seen by Redfin agents, the report points to an upcoming climb in closed sales as the years progress, which were down 8 percent in January.

RELATED: Economist says Seattle’s slow housing market only a blip

“In the last month we’ve seen more buyers touring our homes for sale and we’re receiving more offers, especially on those that have been on the market for a while,” said Seattle Redfin agent David Palmer.

“I don’t think this year will be as crazy as the last five were, but things are already picking back up. Even as buyers return, home sellers should expect to negotiate more than they have in the past few years. The days of buyers waiving all contingencies are behind us.”

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