Demand is also lagging. The number of new single-family listings in central Puget Sound in April was 42% less than a year ago.
According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, King County saw a 12% drop in median sales price over last year, to $875,000. Other counties experienced a less dramatic decline.
In Pierce County the median price dropped 9.5%, to $525,000. Prices in Snohomish County and Kitsap County decreased by 8.5%, to $767.500, and 8%, to $520,000 respectively.
In a press release, J. Lennox Scott, CEO and Chairman of John L. Scott Real Estate, said that the supply of homes for sale is still limited because owners are waiting to sell after locking in low interest rates on mortgages during the pandemic.
The 30-year fixed interest rate was 6.4% by the end of April. This is 133 basis point higher than it was a year earlier.
Matthew Gardner, Windermere Real Estate's chief economist, predicts that rates will continue to fall and remain below 6% during the second half of this year.
In the press release, he and other quoted individuals sought to calm market fears. Gardner stated that he does not see signs of panic and places the probability of an economic recession at 50-50.
He said: 'I don't see any reason why buyers should lose confidence in their decisions to buy a home based solely on economic factors.'
John Deely is the executive vice president of Coldwell Banker Bain. He acknowledged that the market was slower this year than last, but added that it would be a mistake to compare the current market with those record years during the pandemic.
He cited the year-to date and month-overmonth figures, which showed that prices in King were up 12% since January. They were also 4% higher in March.
Deely stated that "we are moving in the right direction."
Prices have risen by nearly 10% year to date in Snohomish County. Kitsap has seen a 6.2% increase and Pierce County 1.5%.
The Eastside of King County saw the largest drop in median prices, falling by nearly 16% from $1.45m to $1.4m.
Seattle's median sale price fell 13.1%, to $86,000. In Southeast King County it dropped 10.3%, to $700,000.
Southwest and North King County median prices fell 5.2% to 625,500 dollars and 3.3% at $885,000.
Dean Rebhuhn of Village Homes and Properties, Woodinville, says that despite the current inventory shortage, buyers continue to look for homes.
Rebhuhn said that motivated sellers who are aware of the current market conditions, with prices about 10% lower than last year, are attracting buyers. We do see a lively spring market, both for buyers and sellers.
Gardner pointed out that this data analysis shows median listing price is rising in most regions compared to the previous quarter. He said that if listing prices continue to increase, home prices are likely to follow suit.