Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
If you’re trying to buy a house in the Seattle metro area, you may finally get a break.
What’s happening: The value of a typical Seattle-area home fell 5.8% between April and November, a much steeper drop than the normal seasonal decline, according to Zillow’s latest market report.
- Nationwide, by contrast, November home values were down only 0.5% from their high point in June.
Meanwhile, in another sign of a fast-cooling market, the number of homes listed for sale in and around Seattle this month was more than double the number listed a year earlier, per Zillow data.
Why it matters: Local buyers have been battered by rapidly rising prices during the pandemic, coupled with a rise in interest rates, which have caused mortgage costs to skyrocket.
Yes, goal: Those high costs have caused homes to stay on the market longer, giving local buyers — at least the wealthy ones — more options to choose from.
- Among the 50 largest US metros, Seattle had the second-highest year-over-year increase in housing inventory as of Dec. 10, per Zillow. Only Salt Lake City saw a bigger percentage spike in home listings.
The big picture: Earlier this fall, Seattle-based real estate brokerage Redfin pegged Seattle as having the nation’s fastest-cooling housing market.
- That trend has continued, Redfin deputy chief economist Taylor Marr told Axios, with Seattle seeing “the sharpest cooldown in the nation.”
What they’re saying: “It’s gone from blazing hot to icy cold,” Marr said.
- Marr said that reflects how Seattle—a major hub for tech jobs—has been hit hard by high interest rates, which have taken a particular toll on tech stocks.
- Jeff Tucker, senior economist for Zillow, said because competition for homes in and around Seattle is down, buyers are less likely to end up in bidding wars.
- “Those are much friendlier shopping conditions now,” Tucker told Axios.
Realitycheck: Still, the typical Seattle-area home cost $761,311 in November, according to Zillow.
- That makes for a typical monthly mortgage cost of $3,841, up 105.6% since 2019.
What we’re watching: If mortgage rates tick down over the next few months, that would further improve the market for buyers.