Seattle falls from top spot in home price growth for first time in years

SEATTLE — The latest report from S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller shows that Seattle's home prices have considerably cooled.

RELATED: Could Seattle’s housing market finally cool off in 2019?

The last two years, Seattle has topped the Case-Shiller index for annual growth in home prices. Recent months, though, have Seattle tumbling all the way down to fourth, behind Las Vegas (12.8 percent increase), San Francisco (7.9 percent), and Phoenix (7.7 percent).

And while Seattle's annual increase in home prices was 7.3 percent through October, prices in King County have also plummeted 11 percent over the last six months as of November, per the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

This falls in line with a decrease across the country, with the National Association of Realtors reporting that sales of existing homes in the United States fell 7 percent in November from last year. Looking to 2019, expect this trend to continue.

“With little sign that home buyers’ purchasing power will strengthen into 2019, expect the housing market to stagnate well into next year,” Cheryl Young, a senior economist with the real estate firm Trulia, told the Associated Press.

That being so, some would argue that it’s less a crash in the market, and more a much-needed righting of the ship.

“I expect this trend to continue into 2019, which will cause appreciation to slow somewhat, while giving buyers more options,” OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate, said in a recent NMLS report. “This does not mean the real estate sky is falling, rather it’s a much-needed shift towards a more sustainable, balanced mark.”

If you’re looking to take advantage of that right at the beginning of the new year, though, you might want to pump the brakes. That report predicts a sellers’ market to start 2019, as the backlog of holiday home-buyers begin searching in January.

In a city that’s struggled with a housing crisis for years now, this new data makes for a long-awaited reprieve for potential home buyers in the greater Seattle area.

Additional reporting from The Associated Press.