A dear friend (and client) of mine, who also owns a condo in the historic Austin Bell, has tossed around the idea of selling and heading for more remote pastures. He asked me simply “how is the market in Belltown?” Well that sent me on a rampage to dig up as much data as I could to support what my gut and my experience is telling me. Things in Belltown are slowing down.
A good judge of how a housing market is doing is by taking a look at the inventory. At the end of July, Belltown had 2 months of inventory. From a historical perspective, that is a really low amount, but it is still the highest we have had since February.
When we compare our inventory to that of all of Seattle, Belltown has a bit more inventory than the city average of 1.8 months.
To look at inventory as a “big picture event”, here is a graph of the past 10 years of Belltown inventory:
Another good measure of what a market is up to is the average price of sold and for sale units. In Belltown, our average sales priced dipped from the April peak of $440,000 down to $380,000. Typically when the average price for sold properties goes down, that is an indicator that rapid price increases and high demand environments are starting to fade.
Let’s compare Belltown condos to all Seattle condos:
The current average sales price for Seattle as a whole is $313,000, just pointing out that Belltown will always have stronger home values than the majority of other Seattle neighborhoods.
And just for fun, let’s look at the number of condos for sale, sold and pending in Belltown:
For the first time since December, we have twice as many active listings as we do sold listings. Solds and pendings took a dip in July, and I forecast that that downward trend will continue.
In summary, Belltown has begun to stabilize. Property values will likely continue to increase, just at a more modest level. And with more listings likely to hit the market and fewer buyers, especially in the entry level homes, that should add to the general market stabilization.