Uh-oh, looks like Seattle is starting to get some negative national attention. As in, coverage that isn’t saying “wow, look what a strong, resilient housing market,” but rather “looks like Seattle’s housing market is poised to fall.”
Seattle, wake up and smell the coffee, your housing prices may be falling faster than foam on a latte.
Seattle, whose job growth from such companies as Boeing Co, Microsoft Corp, Google Inc and Starbucks Corp, is seeing the strength of its housing market eroding, Jonathan Miller, Radar Logic director of research, said on Tuesday at the Reuters Housing Summit.
Seattle has ranked about the top of all the U.S. housing markets over the past few years, Miller said. Prices have appreciated at about 12 percent to 16 percent yearly.
This past summer, the appreciation rate fell to 9 percent. Today its stands at about 1.5 percent. Meanwhile, the inventory of unsold homes in that market climbed at 40 percent over the last year.
“You can really see a top market like Seattle, which has been consistently performing well, going into the red,” said Miller.
It’s nice to hear something about Seattle’s housing market in the national media that isn’t of the “real estate party in Washington” variety. It’s true, things really are slowing down here. Prices have been falling since the summer, and not just in the usual seasonal way.
If you’re interested in checking out Radar Logic’s data, head over to their website, where you can generate nifty graphs of home prices and transaction volumes so you can see for yourself what Mr. Miller is talking about.
(Ilaina Jonas, Reuters, 02.19.2008)