In article after article, the media has reported falling home sales in recent months, saying the market is "cooling down," and the Seattle Times has stated that large drops in stock prices of Redfin and Zillow have resulted from that cooling. However, a look beyond the headlines reveals a strong market in Seattle with an upside for sellers as well as buyers.

House for Sale

Last month, King5 News reported a significant increase in the number of houses for sale in the Seattle area in June. This was soon followed by an online article in the Seattle PI describing an increase in housing inventory and reduced competition among buyers.

In response, Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist of National Association of REALTORS, provided a pragmatic overview of the market in Forbes in an article titled, "No Housing Recession Over Horizon." As he notes, existing home sales inched down by 2.2 percent in the first half of 2018 with a five-percent increase in prices, likely caused not by a lack of interest but a lack of inventory. As he also states, while bidding may not be so fierce, multiple bidding is still common, indicating continued demand outstripping supply.

About Seattle in particular, Yun notes that the job growth rate is nearly twice that of the growth rate for the US as a whole, which may indicate continued strong housing demand.

Aerial Architecture

Two days ago, Mike Rosenberg at the Seattle Times wrote that while Washington State is no longer the top state for increases in real estate prices, the market from June 2017 to June 2018 still rose by 12.1 percent. And yesterday, MarketWatch cited rising inventory in Seattle between July 2017 and July 2018 as moderating the rate of price increases.

What to make of all this?

At Russell Jones Real Estate, Broker Joe Klarman remains positive about the housing market in the Puget Sound area. "Of course, it's impossible to predict the future of any market," he said, "but the job market in Seattle remains strong and Seattle is a great place to live. We should also keep in mind that a similar situation with increased inventory occurred about two years ago in the Seattle market, but that additional inventory dried up a few months later."

On a more general note, he added, "However the market changes going forward, a healthy balance between supply and demand is good for everyone in the long run. When the inventory isn't so excessively low, it's easier for people to find homes that they love, which makes buying a home more pleasant and that is a great win for our community."

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