Redfin tells us that the number of home sales in Seattle is dropping faster than anywhere else in the country. The online brokerage is also telling us that Seattle’s for sale inventory had its second biggest increase ever in Q2 2018. This increase is due to homes just sitting on the market not selling rather than additional homes coming onto the market for the first time

The median price of a home in Seattle and King County is $669,000. This is the first time since May 2009 when the housing bust was in full swing that Seattle’s single-family home prices did not budge m/m. Annual gains were down to +12.1% from +12.8% the month before and down from +13.6% two months earlier. All of these figures represent Seattle’s largest slowdown in four years.

Inventory in King’s County exploded to +66% compared to last year at this time and home prices dropped an average of $57,000.

Just next door to Seattle in terms of relatively short commutes are Snohomish and Pierce Counties where home prices have jumped +12.1% compared to last year at this time. This +12.1% price jump represents the second biggest price jump in the country, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case Shilling Index. The very least expensive homes in these two counties saw price increases of +16%.

Pierce County’s Tacoma and Gig Harbor and Snohomish County’s Everett were the beneficiaries of Seattle’s lack of affordability. The Q3 median home price in Snohomish County was $492,000 and $352,000 in Pierce County.

Despite these sterling price increases in Pierce and Snohomish Counties, there are signs that Seattle’s cooling may be spreading into those two counties. Both counties are experiencing a small bump in inventories and both are experiencing a slight drop in sales volume y/y.

Two local real estate professionals, Craig Forehand, branch manager of John L. Scott Brokerage in Lynnwood, and Dick Beeson, principal managing broker with Remax in Gig Harbor, agree that prices have crested for the year in the outer edges of Seattle’s regions. That being said, Beeson with Remax continues to believe that the difference in price points between Seattle and outer areas boils down to affordability. “…we are half of what you guys are…” in Seattle.

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