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Seattle housing prices, inventory
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Report: Seattle seeing more homes for sale for less money in 2019

(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images for Redfin)

A recent report from Redfin reveals that while significantly more homes are available for sale in Seattle, the city is still seeing a decrease in prices over last year.

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The report notes a 1.3 percent drop in the median sale price for homes in Seattle over April 2018. Of the 85 metropolitan areas Redfin tracks, Seattle was among just five that saw a year-over-year decline (joined by San Jose, New Haven, CT, San Francisco, and Portland).

That dip comes alongside a 57 percent increase in total homes for sale, second only to San Jose.

While the rest of the country has seen decreases in supply and flattened sales, the opposite has occurred in Seattle. Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather points to low mortgage rates as one of the primary reasons behind this shift in the Emerald City.

“When mortgage rates go down, as they began to do in late November, it takes a few months for buyers to react,” said Fairweather. “Expensive metros like Seattle and Los Angeles have been the most sensitive to changes in rates because you have to borrow more to afford a home in those markets.”

That said, demand for homes in the Greater Seattle Area has still been significant.

Seattle and Tacoma share the title of being the fastest markets in Redfin’s report — homes in both cities boast a median of nine days on the market before selling. Tacoma also ranked as one of the most competitive cities in the country for home buyers, with 47.2 percent of sales coming in above list price.

The buyer’s market in Seattle tracks with larger trends in the rest of King County, where inventory increased 78.5 percent over last April, while prices dipped 4.83 percent.

That’s a downturn Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner labels “a move back to reality” that the region has been awaiting “for almost 20 years.”

“The big pitch we’re looking at right now is a move back towards balance,” Gardner told KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross in early-May.

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