But with Seattle condo prices and Eastside home costs still surging, the region remains among the hottest housing markets in the country.
The Seattle area is still among the hottest home markets in the country, but the temperature lately has dropped from scorching to just warm.
King County median house prices increased 6.9 percent from the year prior in January, the slowest growth in a year and a half, according to new figures released Monday. At some points last year, home prices were growing three times faster than that.
Home prices usually cool off in the winter, but this time the change is more pronounced. The median cost for a single-family house in the county was $525,000 in January, the cheapest it’s been in 11 months, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service data shows.
The slowdown hit Seattle especially hard. Single-family home prices in the city ticked up only 2.7 percent compared to a year prior, way down from 24 percent annual growth last winter. It’s the slowest home price growth in Seattle in nearly three years.
Seattle’s median house price of $635,000 is down about $31,000 from the record heights reached last summer.
West Seattle and the Queen Anne/Magnolia neighborhoods actually saw prices drop by double digits. That’s nearly unheard of during the recent price boom.
However, the pickings are slimmer than ever: Fewer than 1,600 houses in the county were on the market at the end of the month, breaking a record-low set just a month before. Few people are selling their homes, and those houses that do hit the market are snatched up faster than in any city in the country.
As a result, the region has the 2nd-lowest level of homes per sale in the country, and brokers say sellers are still fully in control of the market. Sales were up 20 percent across the county.
Seattle-area home prices are still rising faster than in any other major region in the country, according to the Case-Shiller home price index.
And other segments of the market are still on fire. Condo prices in Seattle surged 23 percent from a year ago, and the median now stands at $440,000. Most of the new residential construction in the city is for rental apartments, and there were only about 130 condos in the city for sale as of last week.
The Eastside certainly isn’t seeing relief: The median price there was up nearly 14 percent compared to a year ago, to $793,000.
Other Puget Sound-area counties saw strong but slightly moderated price growth compared to the increases seen in 2016. Snohomish County prices were up 8.2 percent year-over-year, while Pierce County was up 11.6 percent and Kitsap County was up 9.4 percent.
“The real question is whether there will be relief in the near future, and the unfortunate answer is no,” George Moorhead, designated broker of Bentley Properties in Bothell, said in a press release.