Seattle housing market is on the mend

The Seattle housing market is looking up, as more and more houses for sale in Seattle achieve higher closing prices. Metro-area housing prices are seeing significant increases in year-over-year and month-over-month comparisons, reports the Seattle PI.

Home prices increased 10.4 percent in April 2012 compared to the same time last year. King County median home prices rose 3 percent, claims the source.

In addition to the increase in home prices, improving sales numbers and a tightening inventory continue to positively impact the regional market. Sales were up an astounding 15 percent in the past year with 1,769 homes sold, reports the Seattle Times, while the total sales for Seattle increased 8 percent.

"We’re at the beginning of the prime selling season, so to see this sort of strength coming out - this is very good news for the industry," Glenn Crellin, associate director of research at the University of Washington’s Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies, told the news source.

Not only were home sales up, but inventory was down. For the ninth month in a row the number of houses listed for sale decreased an estimated 38 percent from just one year ago, and almost 50 percent from April 2010.

"The very tight inventory of homes available for sale coupled with the stabilizing prices are probably going to convince some sellers that it’s now safe to come back into the marketplace," Crellin continued.

According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, overall inventory is down, but specific counties show a varying degree of this truth. Inventory in Snohomish is down 46.2 percent, King is down 39.4 percent and Pierce is down 28.6 percent. The average property in Seattle sold during the month of April spent approximately 148 days on the market, claims AltosResearch.

However, housing experts warn that there is still a large shadow inventory of foreclosed and repossessed homes that have not yet come onto the market because they are being held back by banks. Bank-owned houses for sale in Seattle represented less than 16 percent of total sales in King County in April 2012 - down from the 20 percent experienced in April 2011, reports the Seattle Times.

All of these factors could make purchasing a home in the greater Seattle metro worthwhile if suitably backed up with the appropriate residential financing option.