Even Inman News is having a hard time denying the Nortwest's housing slowdown (link becomes subscription-only after today):
Home sales in western Washington declined for the sixth straight month in August amid surging inventory, while home prices maintained double-digit annual growth, according to the latest report from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.It's an interesting implied assertion that prices will continue to climb indefinitely at a faster rate than wages. I suppose eventually only Bill Gates and Paul Allen will be able to afford homes, and anyone that allows themselves to be overtaken with costly indecision, not buying a home before they are priced out forever will just have to rent from the new upper class—the homeowners. Say, that sounds familiar...
In Pierce County, the "biggest story is the multitude of choices buyers are enjoying," according to NWMLS director Dick Beeson. "Many buyers feel empowered and are waiting to see if prices will start to fall," said Beeson, the broker/owner of Windermere Real Estate/Commencement Associates.
What these buyers might not realize is even though inventory has expanded, prices have continued to climb, so their indecision can be both costly and frustrating when the house they're considering gets sold to someone else, NWMLS reported.
Beeson expects prices will continue to climb, but at a more modest rate, probably in the range of 4 percent to 7 percent annually. Interest rates will remain very reasonable, he believes, and may even drop slightly.
(Inman News, 09.14.2006)