Seattle Real Estate Trends – Episode 7 – 12/13/19

Before we dig into the weekly numbers, let’s zoom out.   In case you wonder why I think it’s so important to look at the number of active and pending properties, let’s look at the last 2 years at the drastic change in the levels of inventory:


Houses in Seattle Over the Past 2 Years:

The green line shows how many total houses (including townhouses) we have had for sale over the past year, and the blue area shows the number of pending (the time when an offer has been accepted on a property so it is no longer for sale, but the property has not yet officially sold).  Think back to to 2015, 2016, 2017 and the first half of 2018.  During that time we had record low inventory (homes for sale), and high demand.  That resulted in bidding wars and double digit price increases.  Then in April 2018, everything changed in an instant.   Notice how for the first time, the number of active listings exceeded the number of pending listings.   As the number of total listings almost doubled, we saw the seasonal decline in buyer activity.  This left home sellers and the media convinced that the market was crashing, therefore spurring more people to put their homes up for sale, making the situation even worse.  According to the graph above, the best time to be a buyer is when the green line is furthest from the blue area. 

Condos in Seattle Over the Past 2 Years:

Applying the same logic as we did with houses, you can see that the market flipped on April 2018.   Ever since then, it has been a buyers market for condos.  Sellers, take note that the smallest distance (therefore indicating the best position to be a seller in), is during March and April.  If you are thinking of selling in 2020, I highly suggest you get on the market in early March.

Zooming in on the last week:

  Whoa!   81 new listing AND 81 pending listings for houses this week!!!!  That’s a huge number of pending listings, and a 15% jump in new listings from the previous week.  Last year this week we had 99 new listings, but if you look back at the first chart in the blog, you can see we had too many total listings last year.   Even with the 15% increase in new listings, we saw an 11% drop in the total number of homes for sale compared to last week, and 26% fewer total homes for sale than this time last year.

  Condos saw a lot of the same.  30 new listings this week, 32 last week and 33 last year.  Just 15 pending condos this week, 15 last week, and 20 last year.  Thanks for some sold, expired and canceled listings, the total number of condos for sale dropped 7% from last week and is down 16 from last year.

Watch the Video Here

Download the transcript here.

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