When will ‘enough be enough’ for Puget Sound region home buyers?

Apr 9, 2022, 7:57 AM
Puget Sound, Seattle single family zoning, homebuyers...
A row of homes in Seattle. (Joe Mabel, Wikimedia Commons)
(Joe Mabel, Wikimedia Commons)

Rising home prices are nothing new in the Puget Sound region, but when can prospective buyers expect that trend to relent?

‘No relief in sight’ for hyper-competitive Puget Sound housing market

According to the latest data from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, the median price of a residential home in King County rose 12% year-over-year in March, with increases of 16% and 25% in Pierce and Snohomish counties respectively.

The hope, as Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner notes, is that a recent increase in interest rates would provide some semblance of relief, but that has yet to occur.

“We saw a massive jump in mortgage rates — they jumped by a point and a half in the space of 12 weeks,” he told KIRO Newsradio’s Dave Ross. “The assumption would be that we’ll see prices decline or demand decline, but that hasn’t happened.”

Gardner theorizes that may be the result of people trying “to get ahead of the fact that mortgage rates are rising,” as they rush to lock in a lower rate before it’s too late. And while there’s still a chance that eventually that may slow demand sometime down the road, it’s difficult to pinpoint when that might actually happen.

Economist: Unsustainable for Puget Sound home values to be up every year

“It has yet got to a point whereby we’ve seen any form of contraction in demand, but hopefully, at some point, actually we will see home price growth start to soften,” he said. “That’s what we’ve been waiting for — at least I have — for a very, very long time now.”

“Home sellers, obviously, they’ve been in the driver’s seat for a very long time,” Gardner added. “At some point, when are buyers going to say enough is enough? It doesn’t appear as if we’ve reached that yet.”

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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When will ‘enough be enough’ for Puget Sound region home buyers?