What’s the real story: Market slowdown, or temporary correction?

The Seattle Times recently reported that the number of driver’s licenses issued to new King County residents who moved here from out of state declined in 2018 for the second year in a row. That combined with the housing market slowdown at the end of last year might make it look like Seattle’s boom is coming to an end.

But that’s just one part of the story. The Times also reported in February that the Seattle construction activity won’t end anytime soon, with major projects in Queen Anne, South Lake Union and the Downtown area keeping cranes in the sky. March statistics from NWMLS show a 3 percent increase from last year in pending sales for the four-county Puget Sound area. While the flow of new folks may have slowed down slightly, those projects are still urgent in meeting the needs of businesses, tourism and housing.

“This points out what we see all too often. A media story will highlight one statistic and draw conclusions that don’t necessarily tell the whole story,” said Rich Bergdahl, RE/MAX Northwest broker and President of Seattle King County REALTORS®. “Our market is changing, gaining some balance, providing more choices, but it is still very competitive for buyers in urban areas.”

The Puget Sound Regional Council estimates that 1.8 million more people will move here in the next 30 years. That’s nearly 1.5 times the amount of people that live here now – and is equivalent to adding three “Seattles” to the region. Many are moving here for one of the 1.2 million estimated jobs the region will create, and they’ll need places to live, shop, eat, work and play.

REALTORS® are focused on legislative action to address our current and future housing needs. Though Seattle may not remain the fastest-growing city in the nation – and many in the region would say that’s a good thing – it’s still growing, and fast. REALTORS® support nearly 20 housing bills under consideration by the state Legislature that would address everything from backyard cottages to condo liability.

More on how REALTORS® are fighting for more housing opportunities