The Seattle housing market may feel scorching hot, but tell that to homebuyers in Phoenix, San Diego, Tampa, and Dallas.

After months of being the country’s third most popular housing market, the Seattle area dropped to fifth in a ranking of single-family home price increases released Tuesday. The rankings are another indicator that a fall cooldown has arrived in the Puget Sound region, with prices leveling off, buyers facing fewer bidding wars, and sellers offering price drops every now and then.

Still, home prices here are up about 24% from last year, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index. That is a stronger increase than in New York, Los Angeles, Portland and San Francisco, among others.


The index, which uses a quarterly moving average of home prices, reflects parts of King, Snohomish and Pierce counties. The measure is two months behind schedule, so this week’s data reflects home sales through August.

For the 27th straight month, Phoenix topped the list, this time up 33% year-over-year.

Nationally, house prices have risen almost 20% compared to last year. That’s roughly in line with July’s gains, suggesting “home price growth, while still very strong, may be starting to slow,” S&P chief executive Craig Lazzara said in a statement.

CoreLogic deputy chief economist Selma Hepp called the numbers a sign that “buyer fatigue is starting to increase, especially with higher-end homes.”

Housing markets across the country rose rapidly after the pandemic hit last year, driven by a combination of low interest rates attracting more buyers, would-be sellers holding onto their homes limiting the number of homes for sale, and investors and millennials trying to into the market.

The spike in prices makes owning a home more difficult — and not just because of bidding wars.

With prices rising, mortgage payments for new home buyers are also rising. For buyers who made a 5% down payment in the Seattle area, the median monthly mortgage payment was 12% higher last month than a year earlier, according to Redfin.

While remote working has taken hold, local buyers have faced the fiercest competition outside major cities such as Seattle.

For example, in King County, median home prices rose 26% in the Eastside, 16% in Southwest King County and 18% in Southeast King County in August, compared to 2020, according to separate data released earlier this month by the Northwest Multiple Listing. Maintenance.

In Seattle, the median home price of $850,000 rose 4% from the same time in 2020. In Bellevue east of Interstate 405, the median home price of $1.3 million was up 29% last month compared to a year earlier.

Areas of Snohomish and Pierce counties have become more competitive for home buyers, said Zillow senior economist Jeff Tucker.

“Demand in these cities has skyrocketed due to the declining relevance of travel times, as more employees expect to visit their office only occasionally or once, and are now confident enough to buy a home based on that expectation,” Tucker said in a statement.

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