Seattle's Housing Market: The Great Reversion

We now have a new moniker for the current state of Seattle's housing market: "The Great Reversion." So far this year, our city has been named the biggest loser of major metro areas in the...

Seattle Met

We now have a new moniker for the current state of Seattle's housing market: "The Great Reversion." So far this year, our city has been named the biggest loser of major metro areas in the United States, with the fastest cooling real estate scene. Even our once-blazing rental market has finally slowed. Still, it's all about perspective.

The market may feel like it's stagnating after the bonkers competitive pandemic years, but compared to 2019, inventory is still tight and prices are still higher than they once were in some areas.

Rising Prices

3. SoDo and Beacon Hill

Inventory of available properties here is one of the highest in the city, yet that hasn't bogged down year-over-year price growth. That median sale price had once ballooned to over $800,000 earlier this year. Although it's down in the $700k range, that's still quite an increase compared to the median sale price of $662,000 in September 2021.

SoDo and Beacon Hill SoDo and Beacon Hill neighborhood

2. West Seattle

Earlier this year, West Seattle flirted with a median sale price near $900,000. Now it's back in more reasonable territory for what was considered one of our more affordable enclaves only a few years ago. That solid price growth, however, indicates demand here is still high.

1. Queen Anne and Magnolia

As we mentioned in last month's State of Real Estate report, these northern neighborhoods live and die by their single-family home sales. Things were down in August, but last month, the year-over-year price growth for single-family properties was 34.58 percent.

Falling Prices

3. North Seattle

NWMLS designates everything north of Portage and Union Bay, and east of I-5, as the vague North Seattle area. It's normally one of the most sought-after real estate spots in the city, with a median sale price that broke the $1 million mark earlier this year. In light of all that, the modest price decline doesn't seem too shabby.

2. Southeast Seattle

Head down Martin Luther King Jr. Way South and look east toward the lake, and that's everything in this NWMLS-designated real estate area. Columbia City, Rainier Beach, Rainier Valley, and Seward Park saw striking growth during the pandemic as residents sought affordability, but as last month's numbers show, that reversion is in full swing.

1. Belltown and Downtown

The core of the city has over four months of inventory, the highest in Seattle, putting buyers squarely in the driver's seat. Belltown and Downtown especially took a hit during the pandemic, and while businesses and tourists are back, clearly, the housing market needs a little more time.

Belltown and Downtown Belltown and Downtown neighborhood

Seattle's housing market is in a period of transition, with prices rising in some neighborhoods and falling in others. While the city has experienced a cooling real estate scene, it's important to remember that compared to pre-pandemic levels, inventory remains tight and prices are still higher in certain areas.

The neighborhoods of SoDo and Beacon Hill have seen a significant increase in median sale prices, despite having a high inventory of available properties. West Seattle, once considered an affordable enclave, is still experiencing solid price growth, indicating continued demand. Queen Anne and Magnolia, known for their single-family home sales, have bounced back with a remarkable year-over-year price growth.

On the other hand, North Seattle has seen a modest price decline, although it remains a sought-after real estate spot. Southeast Seattle, which saw significant growth during the pandemic, is now experiencing a reversion as prices decrease. Belltown and Downtown, the core of the city, have the highest inventory, giving buyers an advantage, but the market is still in the process of recovery.

As we navigate through "The Great Reversion," it's important to keep things in perspective. Seattle's housing market may be shifting, but opportunities and challenges are present in every neighborhood. Whether you're a buyer, seller, or simply a curious observer, understanding these fluctuations can help inform your decisions and expectations in the ever-changing real estate landscape.

Note: All median sale prices and price growth percentages mentioned are based on September 2022 data.

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