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Relief in sight for US homebuyers in high-priced West Coast cities

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Seattle

IT'S been tough being a homebuyer on the West Coast of the US. Prices have been surging for years as house hunters fight for the few available listings. The tide, however, could be shifting.

As sellers come off the sidelines to lock in gains, they are starting to boost inventory.

New data by brokerage Redfin Corp shows that supply in several US markets is rising in the places that need it the most, like Seattle (Washington), Portland (Oregon), and San Jose (California).

sentifi.com

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The rise in inventory in these West Coast housing markets has slowed the torrid price increases in the region and, in turn, in the US as a whole, where prices grew at their slowest pace since December 2016.

The cooling includes the pace of sales as well. While sales increased in June in many of the nation's biggest markets, including Chicago (9.8 per cent), Washington (5.7 per cent) and Houston (2.4 per cent), declines out west were so sharp they dragged the national figure down to a drop of 3.3 per cent.

The pain is not over yet. The inventory shortage is still very real in many West Coast markets - some have only a few months of supply.

And if the skyrocketing trajectory of prices has eased, the increases still consistently outstrip wage growth. The median home in San Jose was sold for US$1.23 million in June. BLOOMBERG