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Originally published November 25, 2014 at 7:38 AM | Page modified November 25, 2014 at 9:15 PM

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Seattle-area home prices keep cooling

The average price of existing single-family homes in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties declined 0.2 percent in September over August, the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index showed.


Seattle Times business reporter

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@Wise Grandfather Only by you. MORE
That's not true at all. Scarcity of land in desirable areas in an increasingly wealthy city means that home values can... MORE
@Little_Lord_Fauntleroy I think you mean nationally. Inflation vs. housing holds true on the nation wide aggregate.... MORE

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Housing prices showed further signs of cooling in September, with prices falling in the Seattle area and almost half of the cities in the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index, officials said Tuesday.

The average price of existing single-family homes in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties declined 0.2 percent in September over August, which saw no price change from July.

On an annual basis, the average price rose 6 percent, the lowest gain since October 2012. September marked the seventh consecutive month of diminishing price gains, a stark contrast from 2013’s double-digit price appreciation.

Average prices in the 20-city index were flat over the month and increased 4.9 percent over the year. September was the 10th consecutive month of slowing price gains in the 20-city index.

Nine cities saw declines over the month, led by Washington, D.C., where prices fell 0.4 percent. Los Angeles and New York showed no change. Nine cities posted increases over the month, led by 0.6 percent gains in both Charlotte, N.C., and Miami.

“The days of double-digit, home-value appreciation continue to rapidly fade away as more inventory comes on line, and the market is becoming more balanced between buyers and sellers,” said Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries in a statement.

Miami was the only city in the index to post a double-digit annual gain, at 10.3 percent. Charlotte was the only city in the index that saw higher annual price gains in September than in August. Eighteen of the 20 cities saw annual price gains slow in September.

September’s price level in Seattle was back to the market’s level in March 2006. Average prices are still 11.3 percent below the July 2007 peak, though prices have surpassed the last peak in some neighborhoods.

“Other housing statistics paint a mixed to slightly positive picture,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, in a statement.

Sales of existing homes have picked up and builders sentiment is improving. “With the economy looking better than a year ago, the housing outlook for 2015 is stable to slightly better,” he said.

Sanjay Bhatt: 206-464-3103 or sbhatt@seattletimes.com On Twitter @sbhatt



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