Nationwide home price growth is now at its lowest in six years, according to recent Redfin analysis. Home prices went up just 1.2 percent, to a median sale price of $289,800 in December 2018, as compared to the same time last year. Redfin stated it’s the smallest increase since March 2012.
“December may feel like a foot on the brake, but the housing market was going over the speed limit,” said Daryl Fairweather, Redfin chief economist. “Home prices have been growing faster than wages since 2012, and that can’t go on forever. Now that price growth has slowed down and more homes are sitting on the market, buyers will have the upper hand in 2019.”
While the nationwide market has slowed, local markets continue to be competitive. In Tacoma, for example, 32.8 percent of homes sold above list price, making the city one of the most competitive markets in the country.
Seattle is experiencing a boost in inventory, with the number of homes for sale last month 117.8 percent higher than in December 2017. Accordingly, the number of homes sold dropped by 22 percent.
But even with the overall decrease in price growth across the U.S., there is still plenty of uncertainty about the future of the housing market.
“Buyers shopping now are benefiting from sellers who are willing to negotiate, since it’s anyone’s guess what the spring real estate market will look like,” said Seattle-based Redfin agent Jessie Culbert. “Well-priced, appealing homes are seeing the return of pre-inspections and even multiple offer situations, so it may be too soon to get comfortable with the idea of a slower market.”