Sellers finally have an edge in Seattle's housing market

by MEG COYLE / KING 5 News

SEATTLE -- It may not look like it, but the Seattle housing market may be starting to boom again.

The most recent Case-Shiller Home Price Index found home prices are at their lowest point since 2004.

Homes are now getting snapped up faster than you can hold an open house.  Why? There's a science to Seattle's flat housing market, said Redfin real estate analyst Tim Ellis.

Ellis said everyone wants to live in the 206 area code, where inventory on move-in ready homes is down 30 percent from a year ago. That's driving up competition. So, sellers can cash in quick if they're willing to sell at today's prices, which are still a far cry from 4 or 5 years ago.

"If you're a buyer right now, especially north of Downtown, [in] Wallingford, Greenlake...those areas, it's a really bad time to be trying to buy.  It's just so hard to find a home," said Ellis.

One potential buyer, Lauren Kicknosway, said she's been looking for three weeks, going to at least a house a day and has already lost out twice in the bidding for homes that had multiple offers.

"Every time we think we're getting closer, so we'll see," said Kicknosway.

So is this a housing boom?  Not quite.  But experts say supply and demand is finally giving sellers the edge.  Redfin reports low inventory means roughly half of all home listings have had multiple offers.

Experts also say there are still plenty of deals to be had on short sales and foreclosures, if you have the patience to go through what tends to be a much lengthier process.