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December King County Home Prices Up 8.3% YOY

By January 5, 2017

Market Report

The numbers for December are in and have been reported by the Seattle Times in, Seattle-area home-price gains slow, but number of houses for sale at record low:

After the Seattle area finished 2016 as the priciest year ever for real estate, home-price gains have started to slow slightly, and most experts think the worst increases might be behind us. But there is already an ominous sign heading into the new year: a record low number of houses for sale, which could drive up already-heated competition for homes.

King County had only about 1,600 single-family houses on the market in December, the fewest since records began in 2000, according to data released Thursday by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. The vast majority of those are in the suburbs.

And here is the Northwest MLS’s take on the situation, Limited selection, ongoing increases in prices and interest rates:

Like many other months of 2016, December was frustrating for buyers across Washington state as they encountered depleted inventory and rising prices. Post-election hikes in interest rates – with more on the horizon — added to would-be homeowners’ worries.

Northwest Multiple Listing Service statistics for December show year-over-year drops in new listings, but gains in pending sales, closed sales and prices. Pending sales (mutually accepted offers) in the four-county Puget Sound region reached their highest level since 2005.

We think 2017 will be different from 2016 in so much that at the beginning of 2017 listing agents will price homes closer to “market” meaning less outrageous bidding wars like we saw in spring 2016 as everyone tried to figure out what market pricing was.

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