State of Real Estate

Seattle's Housing Market Has Entered "The Great Reversion"

Where did prices stall the most?

By Seattle Met Staff October 11, 2022

Downtown and Belltown are still in a real estate slide.

We now have a new moniker for the current state of Seattle's housing market: "The Great Reversion." So far this year, our city has been named the biggest loser of major metro areas in the United States, with the fastest cooling real estate scene. Even our once-blazing rental market has finally slowed. Still, it's all about perspective.

The market may feel like it's stagnating after the bonkers competitive pandemic years, but compared to 2019, inventory is still tight and prices are still higher than they once were in some areas.

“The ‘Great Reversion’ continues with the number of homes in the tri-county market of King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties up 106 percent from a year ago,” said Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate, in a release from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. “It’s worth noting that current inventory levels in King and Snohomish counties are still around 13 percent lower than they were in September 2019 prior to the pandemic-induced market shift.”

Here are the Seattle neighborhoods where prices rose and fell the most last month. Where they go next is anyone's guess.

Rising

3. SoDo and Beacon Hill

Inventory of available properties here is one of the highest in the city, yet that hasn't bogged down year-over-year price growth. That median sale price had once ballooned to over $800,000 earlier this year. Although it's down in the $700k range, that's still quite an increase compared to the median sale price of $662,000 in September 2021.
September 2022 median sale price: $714,000
Price growth year-over-year: 7.85 percent

The bridge is back, and West Seattle appears to be in high demand.

2. West Seattle

Earlier this year, West Seattle flirted with a median sale price near $900,000. Now it's back in more reasonable territory for what was considered one of our more affordable enclaves only a few years ago. That solid price growth, however, indicates demand here is still high.
September 2022 median sale price: $765,000
Price growth year-over-year: 8.51 percent

1. Queen Anne and Magnolia

As we mentioned in last month's State of Real Estate report, these northern neighborhoods live and die by their single-family home sales. Things were down in August, but last month, the year-over-year price growth for single-family properties was 34.58 percent.
September 2022 median sale price: $896,000
Price growth year-over-year: 15.02 percent

Falling

3. North Seattle

NWMLS designates everything north of Portage and Union Bay, and east of I-5, as the vague North Seattle area. It's normally one of the most sought-after real estate spots in the city, with a median sale price that broke the $1 million mark earlier this year. In light of all that, the modest price decline doesn't seem too shabby.
September 2022 median sale price: $840,000
Price growth year-over-year: -4.82 percent

2. Southeast Seattle

Head down Martin Luther King Jr. Way South and look east toward the lake, and that's everything in this NWMLS-designated real estate area. Columbia City, Rainier Beach, Rainier Valley, and Seward Park saw striking growth during the pandemic as residents sought affordability, but as last month's numbers show, that reversion is in full swing.
September 2022 median sale price: $745,000
Price growth year-over-year: -5.34 percent

1. Belltown and Downtown

The core of the city has over four months of inventory, the highest in Seattle, putting buyers squarely in the driver's seat. Belltown and Downtown especially took a hit during the pandemic, and while businesses and tourists are back, clearly, the housing market needs a little more time.
September 2022 median sale price: $560,000
Price growth year-over-year: -11.81 percent

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