Last week, S&P Case-Shiller released the latest Home Price Index and shortly after, the Seattle Times proclaimed the rapid decline of residential home prices in the Seattle metropolitan region. Contrary to headlines, however, the trendlines paint a much more nuanced picture. To be sure, Seattle was still named among the top three fastest growing regions on the Index, reporting an 8.4 percent year-over-year gain in home prices. Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty analyzed the data, revealing that our seasonal housing market paired with inventory gains and a balancing of the market, are contributing to slowing—not declining—growth.
The Bainbridge Island housing market is closely tied to the same fundamentals in Seattle; whenever demand falls and inventory grows in the city, fewer people turn to Island living as a desirable alternative to an urban lifestyle. All of the positives that bring people to Bainbridge—less congestion, clean air, good schools, a reliable commute, better price per square foot—haven’t changed. This news may in fact draw residents from other parts of the country, such as California, but overall, buyers are feeling significantly less pressure than they have in recent months. As Seattle Times reported over the weekend, roughly four in five Seattle homebuyers are facing no competition when bidding on homes; the frenetic market conditions and run-up bidding wars on both sides of the Sound have gone to the wayside.
This is healthy news for the Bainbridge Island market as it has stalled the spiraling prices we saw in recent years and means we are less likely to experience a bubble burst. Most people will continue to make decisions about whether to buy or sell based on family and job circumstances. And the homes that sell quickly will be the ones most competitively priced and in the best condition for their micro-market.
You can read more about the current market trends throughout Puget Sound at Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty.