The Pacific Northwest region, including the greater metropolitan areas of both Seattle and Portland, is no stranger to wildly fluctuating real estate prices. After the housing market peaked in 2006 and 2007, the years since have seen record lows.
Seattle, however, is one area where the tides of the real estate market may be turning, albeit slowly. Washington State’s largest city saw home prices actually rise between February and March. While still down 7.5% from just one year ago, and after the greater Seattle area hit its recession-era low this last February, last quarter’s housing market rise of 0.1%, according to the Standard & Poors/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, might provide at least some positive indication. However, some economists are not so sure.
According to an article from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, many economists think nationwide prices will continue to fall by more than 5 percent this year:
“Folks are having so much difficulty in getting financing for a home”‘ said Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wells Fargo. “It may be early next year before prices hit bottom.”
The P.I. added, “Thanks to the foreclosure backlog, more declines are ‘etched in stone,’ according to Patrick Newport, U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight.”
With news of at least some uptick in home prices, however, perhaps Seattle has now weathered the worst and can look forward to the housing markets continuing to slowly pick up steam. Portland, though, is one of 12 major cities that the report indicated is at its lowest level in four years.