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Seattle registers steepest home sales decline in nation, new report says

KOMO News photo

Seattle's red-hot real estate market had to begin cooling sometime, and that time apparently is now, according to a new report by real estate brokerage Redfin.

Newly released data from August show that Seattle had the steepest home sales decline in the nation, falling 18.5 percent from the same month last year, the report says.

At the same time, Seattle's inventory of homes for sale also was up nearly 50 percent from 2017. The increase in inventory is the combination of more people putting their homes on the market as fewer buyers are stepping up to purchase.

As a result, Seattle home prices notched their lowest price growth in nearly three years - about 6 percent year-over-year, or about half the rate of a few months ago.

Despite all that, Seattle was still the second-fastest market in the country for home sales. Homes here took an average of only 12 days to sell, compared with a national average of 37 days.

Meanwhile, in Tacoma, home prices continued to soar at 12.1 percent over the same time last year - the third-highest increase in the nation.

The Redfin report says the slowdown in Seattle's real estate market is mirrored across the nation.

Average August home prices were up by 4.7 percent nationwide - the lowest price growth in four years - while the number of homes sold across the country dropped by 2.4 percent.

“While sale prices moderate, new listing prices keep accelerating,” said Redfin senior economist Taylor Marr. “This mismatch between seller expectations and reality is fueling an increase in price drops in metros across the country.”

Nearly 30 percent of homes on the market in August had a price drop, the largest share on record since Redfin began tracking this metric in 2009, and a 3.4 percentage-point increase over last August.

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