The story of the Seattle housing market has become uncomfortably familiar to anyone looking to buy a home. Prices continue to climb while supply continues to fall, and the question for some has turned into more of a desperate plea: When will home buyers start to see some relief?
If the past 10 years of home sales data from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service are any indication, relief may never come.
Data pulled on five Seattle neighborhoods by RE/MAX Eastside Brokers agent Rowena Toguchi on behalf of seattlepi.com paint a dreary picture.
The figures were compiled by looking at the median monthly sale price of homes in five Seattle neighborhoods — Fremont, Capitol Hill, the University District, Ballard and Columbia City — and averaging them over 12 months to get the average median sale price for the entire year. The figures also include the number of homes sold in those neighborhoods in 2006, 2011 and January through July of 2016.
Median home price in Seattle hits $589K; here’s what that buys you
Prices have shot up in all neighborhoods, and the average median sale price has increased by anywhere from 25 to 52 percent since 2006. The number of homes sold has also fallen consistently since 2006, with neighborhoods seeing a drop in sales anywhere from 33.8 to 50.9 (keep in mind the data for 2016 only accounts for sales from January through July, and therefore is likely to change by year end).
The drop in number of homes sold is particularly dramatic from 2006 to 2011, which likely reflects the ongoing struggle of the housing market to recover after the 2008 collapse. The data show Ballard saw the biggest slow down in home sales from 2006 to 2011, with number of sales dropping 44.6 percent.
The only neighborhood that didn’t see a consistent drop in home sales through the three years we looked at was Columbia City. There, just 74 homes were sold in 2011, while 84 have already been sold in 2016. While that’s still down from 2006, when 127 homes were sold, it could reflect the new construction and development that has inundated the South Seattle neighborhood in recent years.
Three homes to check out in Columbia City
Scroll through the slideshow above to see how median home prices and number of home sales have changed since 2006. And keep saving those pennies — MLS data puts the median sale price in Seattle for August at $625,000, meaning you’ll need annual household income of at least $106,000 to afford a home in the current market according to seattlepi.com calculations. Happy house hunting!