King County housing prices fall 3 percent as supply increases, economist says

Jul 7, 2022, 10:41 AM | Updated: Jul 8, 2022, 6:32 am

real estate...

(Jacquie via Flickr Creative Commons)

(Jacquie via Flickr Creative Commons)

King, Snohomish, and Pierce Counties added a combined 9,213 new listings of single-family homes in June. Last month’s total was the highest volume of new real estate listings since May of 2019, according to data compiled by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

“What is most important for a lot of people is that we’re seeing more inventory. That’s gonna cause price growth to start slowing. That’s going to be a positive for home buyers,” Windermere’s Chief Economist Matthew Gardner told KIRO Newsradio.

The median home price in King County landed at $851,000, representing a 9.1% increase year over year. However, prices are still down 3.4% from May’s figure of $880,000.

“The pandemic heavily influenced the housing market with inventory levels essentially drying up in 2020/2021,” Gardner said. In analyzing June’s data, he noted that single-family home listings in the tri-county area of King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties rose more than 144% compared to a year ago. “This still represents the fourth-lowest number of listings in any June for this region since 1999.”

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In tracking the median sale price of homes against the cost of oil to predict the trajectory of real estate prices — the price of per-barrel crude oil dropped to below $100 Thursday —Gardner noted that, historically, lowered price of oil is correlated with falling home prices.

“That means that we’re seeing lower yields on treasuries, which tends to happen when the economy is starting to slow. We’re also seeing inflation start to slow as well. So that means the big jump in mortgage rates that we’ve seen over the course of this year to date, we’ve probably peaked out at, least for the time being,” Gardner continued.

While the rising amount of inventory is a positive sign for prospective home buyers, “it is nowhere close to flipping to a buyer’s market,” said Frank Wilson, Kitsap regional manager at John L. Scott Real Estate.

“Often change is good for one group but bad for another. In this case, the change is good for buyers but does not really hurt sellers. Sellers who correctly price their homes in today’s market are still able to get top-of-market prices. Buyers have more choices and may see a little bit of flexibility on price and terms from the seller.”

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King County housing prices fall 3 percent as supply increases, economist says