Seattle Home Prices Still Leading Year-Over-Year, But Inch Downward for a Second Month in a Row

S&P/Case-Shiller’s Home Price Index for October 2017 showed the Seattle Metropolitan Area as remaining 12.7 percent higher than twelve months ago, and continuing to lead all Pacific Coast gateway cities as well as cities across the nation. However, this was the second straight month in which the Seattle index declined on a monthly basis, although by a shallower percentage (-0.07%) than the -0.28% seen in September. October’s decline appears to confirm the end of the historic 31-month streak of continuous price growth in the Puget Sound region, even while it retains its nationwide lead for a 14th consecutive month.

As of January 2nd, 2018, Northwest Multiple Listing Service data indicated that single-family home prices for the Seattle metropolitan area had fallen from $464,998 in September 2017 to $461,000 in October.

This is the first time since the fall of 2014 that the Seattle home price index has gone negative, albeit slightly, for more than a month. Indeed, it’s the first time that this has happened in any Pacific Coast metro since San Francisco home prices stumbled in early 2016.

This observed halt in price growth may be a temporary blip, or a signal of something longer term; but it should not be taken to indicate more than a plateau having been reached for single-family home prices in most areas of Seattle and the Eastside. Forecasts by William Hillis, Research Editor of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, indicate that Bellevue, Kirkland, and Redmond home prices in the third quarter of 2018 will not be lower than they were at the end of September 2017. This is the outlook for all price segments, not just the median home price; and it would mean that homes in the top quarter of selling price in these cities will still be selling for well over one million dollars a year from now.

For Seattle’s performance on the Case-Shiller Index, see the chart below, and for more details, download Case Shiller’s summary report.