Seattle area house prices continued to fall:
House prices in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties dropped 1.4 percent from September and 10.2 percent from October 2007, according to Standard & Poor’s S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. Area prices now have fallen 11.4 percent from the July 2007 peak and are back to where they were in the spring of 2006.
The year-over-year decline was the first double-digit annual drop for S&P’s Seattle index, which goes back to the start of 1990, and put Seattle eighth among the 20 areas S&P tracks. The monthly drop was unchanged from September’s and good for fifth place.
The Portland area seems about the same:
The Portland-Vancouver area saw housing prices decline an average of 10.1 percent in the 12 months ending in October, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index report Tuesday.
The region’s price decline was not as bad as many other parts of the U.S. with urban areas such as Phoenix, Detroit and Las Vegas down more than 20 percent. Prices in the 20-city index have plummeted more than 23.4 percent from their peak in July 2006.
It’s good that our region might not be facing the kind of insane declines in value as some other places, but high inventory and economic uncertainty means more bumpy sledding lies ahead. It may be a “great time to buy a house,” as industry advertising suggests, but only for those with stellar credit. Not sure there are enough of those folks left to really stabilize things right now.