Market Watch – September 2016

To follow up on last months prediction for a “cooling”:


Prefer to watch the news instead of read it?  Watch the full market recap video here.

A look at Single Family Homes:
  • Average sales price = $583,332 (down from August average of $594,550)
  • Average Days on Market = 18 (up from 15)
  • Homes sold for 103% of list price (down from 104%)
  • 617  homes sold in Seattle in September (down 16% from August)

Why is that interesting?!?!?  Well, we have a 2% price decrease from last month, and a 9% price increase from last year.  That is the the second month in a row that we have seen less than double-digit price increases when looking at year-over-year data.

When we combine the fact that the average sold price decreased, and combine it with a lower list-to-sales price ratio, and much longer average time on market, we can now clearly see that the tides are turning.  We also have a decrease in the total number of homes sold, down 16% from August and 3% from this time last year.   When we have a decline in the number of sales, we usually see price increases, not decreases.

I suspect that the lack of affordable homes, the uncertainty of the general public due the election, and the seasonal slump real estate faces this time every year are all combining to bring us flattening prices, more inventory and homes selling for closer to their original list price.

A look at condos:
  • Average sales price = $492,147 (up 10% from last month and up 23% from last year)
  • Average Days on Market = 32 (that is DOUBLE last months average days of 16)
  • Condos sold for 102% of list price (same as last month)
  • 342 condos sold in Seattle in September (up 8% from last month and up 31% from last year).

Condos are moving in an entirely different direction than single family homes.  Prices are UP, and so is total volume of condos sold.   The only stand-out data point this month is that the average days on market was WAY higher than it has been in years.  I suspect that the demand for condos is so high, that the buyers are finally forced to buy the “less desirable” condos that have been lingering on the market for months and months.

In summary:

I predict that the next 60 days are going to offer a rare window of relief for buyers trying to get into single family homes.   I expect increased inventory, fewer buyers to compete with, and flattening prices.   Condo buyers will likely still face the same frenzy of the last few years, even through the winter months, since condos are not as impacted by the Spring “buying season” as single family homes are.

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