While the median home prices in Puget Sound flattened for August to October after the seasonal decline, they are still up year over year by 9.1% in King County and 6.5% in Snohomish County.
Over the past 3 years, appreciation in King County topped 40.4% rising from $434,900 to today's $610,750. In Snohomish County, prices rose 26.8% from $429,950 to $545,000.
Since 2011, King County median home values rose a staggering 117% and Snohomish County rose 80%.
After coming out of the Great Recession through restoring responsible lending practices nationwide, our region experienced massive growth of population, economy and job opportunities. Unfortunately, the same tighter lending standards which helped shore up the housing economy also constrained builders and developers ability to borrow resulting in fewer homes built and an inability to keep up with demand. This is complicated with enhanced regulations on land use, condos and other types of building which limited the construction of smaller, more affordable homes both limiting supply and driving up prices at all levels.
Will It Last?
Recent increases in interest rates and affordability will likely mean 2019 growth will be slower than 2018. We are still seeing:
- Increased Immigration to the Area
- Historically low unemployment
- Broad economic growth
- No significant growth in new homes being built
- Strong mortgage availability & underwriting standards
We don't see our housing market truly shifting or giving back a significant part of it's gain unless one or more of the above points shifts substantially in a negative direction.