Huge 2017 Apartment Boom Should Soften Housing Market

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Good news for renters (and maybe hopeful home buyers, as well): 2017 should see the beginning of relief for the Seattle area’s crazy rental housing market. The infamous $750-a-month 130-square-foot ‘prison cell’ apartment just might have marked the market peak. According to the Seattle Times, Seattle’s record apartment boom is ready to explode.

And not a moment too soon. The last few years have seen some serious imbalance in housing supply and demand in the Seattle area:

Seattle Area: Yearly Addition of Housing Supply & Demand

Here’s the same data, but with the imbalance between supply and demand shown more directly:

Seattle Area: Yearly Balance of Housing Supply & Demand

In 2015 and 2016, the Seattle area added 23,800 more new households than housing units. That’s nearly twice as large as the next-largest deficit we’ve seen since 2000.

Meanwhile, after bottoming out in 2013 and 2014, occupancy rates are rapidly climbing in all three counties:

Seattle-Area Housing Occupancy Rates

According to the Seattle Times, nearly 10,000 new apartments are expected to come on the market in the city of Seattle alone this year, followed by another 12,500 in 2018. If we see a similar trend across the whole Seattle metro area, we can expect to see a lot more balance in the rental market soon. When you combine that with an increase in mortgage interest rates, it’s entirely possible that we will also see the local real estate market start to soften in 2017.

Hit the jump for additional individual charts of housing supply and demand for King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties.

NWMLS: Record Low Inventory As Home Prices Flatten

December market stats were published by the NWMLS yesterday afternoon.

Basically another terrible month for home buyers. Inventory hit an all-time low, but despite that, sales were actually up from a year ago. The one good note is that prices have been flat for the last three months. Small comfort.

December Stats Preview: New Record Lows For Inventory

December is done, so let’s take a look at the local housing market stats for the month. Short story: Record-low inventory and sales falling just slightly.

Sales came in weaker than last year, and also fell from November to December. Listings dropped to new all-time lows in both counties. Foreclosures are still at their historic lows.

Case-Shiller: Seattle Home Prices Strong In October

Happy New Year everyone!

Yes, it’s late (vacation), but I wanted to post these charts anyway. I’ll post again later today with the monthly stats preview for December data.

Let’s have a look at the latest data from the Case-Shiller Home Price Index. According to July data that was released this morning, Seattle-area home prices were:

Up 0.2 percent September to October
Up 10.7 percent YOY.
Up 6.6 percent from the July 2007 peak

Over the same period last year prices were up 0.5 percent month-over-month and year-over-year prices were up 8.8 percent.

Seattle home prices as measured by Case-Shiller inched up to another new all-time high in October.

NWMLS: Closed Sales Strong (For A November)

November market stats were published by the NWMLS this morning. Here’s their press release:

Real Estate Brokers Expect No Holiday Breather
Sales Stay Strong and Supplies Remain Low

Pending sales of homes hit an all-time high for the month of November according to the latest statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. The report covering 23 counties around Washington state also shows the number of new listings added during the month plunged to the lowest level in 11 months, prompting MLS leaders to predict a busy winter for residential real estate as buyers compete for the smallest inventory since March.

“November’s pending sales for the four-county area of King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap were the highest since 2005. There were 44 percent more pendings than new listings,” noted J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate, who described market activity as a mini power surge. “Every time interest rates increase 0.5 percent we see these surges because buyers become anxious about increasing rates – but on a historical basis rates are still amazing,” he remarked.

You can always count on Lennox. Breathless as usual…

Case-Shiller: Seattle Home Prices Flat August to September

Let’s have a look at the latest data from the Case-Shiller Home Price Index. According to July data that was released this morning, Seattle-area home prices were: Up less than 0.1 percent August to September Up 11.0 percent YOY. Up 6.4 percent from the July 2007 peak Over the same period last year prices were […]