Seattle-area home prices rose only 1.6% in the 12 months through March 2018, a sharp contrast from the 13% growth they experienced in the previous year.
Nationally, U.S. home prices rose at the slowest pace in more than six years in March, a sign that weaker sales are keeping a lid on price increases. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home-price index rose 2.7% from a year earlier, down from an annual gain of 3% in February.
Seattle, which consistently outpaced the nation in rising home prices for years before shifting into reverse last spring, now has rising prices once again. But like some other high-priced markets, it has not returned to its previous torrid pace of growth.
The Seattle metro area’s 1.6% yearly increase was smaller than 16 of the 20 cities in the Case-Shiller index. Only San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles saw slower price increases.
Nationwide, home-price increases have run ahead of wage growth for five years, leaving many homes out of reach. That has slowed sales, forcing would-be sellers to rein in price increases. The 20-city price index has fallen sharply from a year ago, when it increased 6.7%.
“The patterns seen in the last year or more continue: year-over-year price gains in most cities are consistently shrinking. Double-digit annual gains have vanished,” said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.