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Seattle Home Prices Still Growing – Just at a More Normal Pace


December 1, 2023


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There is confusion surrounding home prices, with some claiming prices are falling despite evidence to the contrary. This misunderstanding stems from unreliable sources and media coverage that distorts the actual data. It’s important to rely on accurate information and not be swayed by misrepresented narratives when assessing the real state of home prices.

In essence, reliable data refutes claims of falling home prices. To simplify, it’s crucial to trust accurate information and not be misled by unreliable sources or misrepresented data in media coverage.

Normal Home Price Seasonality Explained

The housing market experiences regular patterns known as seasonality, with peak activity during spring—the prime homebuying season. Summer maintains strong market activity, but as the cooler months approach, there’s a gradual decline in housing market vigor.

Home prices are influenced by seasonality, as they tend to appreciate when demand is high. This creates a consistent long-term trend in home prices. The graph, utilizing data from Case-Shiller, illustrates the typical percentage change in monthly home prices from 1973 through 2022, showcasing this reliable trend over the years (not adjusted, so you can see the seasonality):

The data illustrates that at the start of the year, home prices experience growth, albeit not as substantial as during the spring and summer markets. This is attributed to lower market activity in January and February due to fewer people moving in the cooler months. As the housing market transitions into the peak homebuying season in spring, there is a notable increase in activity, resulting in a more significant uptick in home prices. Subsequently, as fall and winter approach, prices continue to grow, albeit at a slower pace, mirroring the easing of market activity.

This Year, Seasonality Has Returned

Now, let’s look at how this year compares to that long-term trend (see graph below):


The most recent data for this year, depicted with dark bars representing the long-standing trend and green bars indicating this year’s changes, reveals a positive alignment with the normal market patterns. The green bars are starting to follow the established trend, suggesting a return to more sustainable price growth, which is a positive development compared to the potentially unsustainable growth observed in recent years.

In summary, national home prices are not declining; instead, there is a shift toward normalizing price growth. There’s a risk that the media might misinterpret this slowdown as a fall in prices. It’s crucial not to blindly trust headlines and seek additional information. The provided data offers the context necessary to comprehend the situation accurately. If headlines are confusing, consulting a trusted real estate professional can provide further clarification.

Remember, it’s normal to see home price growth slow down as the year goes on. And that definitely doesn’t mean home prices are falling. They’re just rising at a more moderate pace.

Bottom Line

The positive news is that home price appreciation is reverting to normal seasonality, which is a favorable development. If you have inquiries about local price trends, feel free to connect for more information and clarification on what’s happening in our specific area.

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