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Seattle’s Cooling Real Estate Market Could Be a Warning to Homeowners Elsewhere

Seattle has been one of the hottest real estate markets in the country for years. But for the first time since 2014, homes in that area are selling below their listing price. And that slow down could be noteworthy for homeowners across the country.

Just six months ago, the average Seattle home sold for 6.3% above its listing price. These days, it’s averaging 6.6% below that price. And that comes as listing prices themselves are falling, dropping 7% since the spring.

It is, of course, possible that Seattle’s market cool down is just a sign that buyers reached their limit after years of frenzied sales. But the news comes as some real estate experts warn of a looming slowdown in the overall market.

Meanwhile, earlier this week, the August Case-Shiller Index noted that national home price gains were up just 5.8%, the first time that number has fallen below 6% in a year.

“Following reports that home sales are flat to down, price gains are beginning to moderate,” said David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, in a statement. “Rising prices may be pricing some potential home buyers out of the market, especially when combined with mortgage rates approaching 5% for 30-year fixed rate loans.”

Blitzer did note that there were no signs that the current weakness would become a repeat of the 2006 real estate crisis. However, for people looking to sell their homes, the glory days might be coming to an end.