Seattle Housing Market – December 2019

This month for Seattle real estate was anything but predictable and sleepy.  

#1 – How much??!?!?

  What we care most about is the home prices in Seattle.  Let’s take a look at the median sales price in Seattle:

The past 10 years of median sales prices for condos and houses in Seattle

Seattle home prices dipped $10,000 from November, but are exactly the same as they were this time of year in 2018.  Seattle condo prices went up $22,500 from November prices, and the median sales price is down only $2,500 from this time last year.  The Seattle housing market turned out to be a lot more stable and healthy that I had predicted at the start of the year.

When we look at the past decade, we easily see the sharp rise in values from 2011 to 2017.  And what we have had for the past two years resembles more of a balanced and healthy market, even if it has felt a bit chaotic and unbalanced.  It’s funny to look back and realize that we had been so accustomed to the madness of every increasing prices and competition, that once we got what we wanted, a more balanced market, we acted like the sky was falling.  SMH.

#2 – How competitive??!?!?

December is historically a FANTASTIC month to be a buyer,  You often have reduced choices, but far less competition from other buyers, and really motivated sellers.  This month turned out to be the opposite.

WHOA!  For the first time since the peak of the market (May 2018), we saw the number of sold houses exceed the number of houses for sale.  Now it seems crazy to sell what you don’t have, but it was common to have the sold number exceed the total available homes number during 2016, 2017 and early 2018.  In 2018, there were 826 houses for sale, and only 484 sold.  The buyers came OUT this December.  If this continues, we will see steep month-over-month price increases follow.

#3 – How long??!?!?

  The market is still moving slowly, despite the increase in number of properties sold and the steady prices.   It took condos, on average, 52 days on the market before they got an accepted offer.  That is 10 days longer than November, and 12 days longer than December 2018.  What likely happened is that the surge of buyers was enough to finally get all those “Crusty Rusty” condos (the ones that had been on the market for over 90 days) interested buyers.

  Houses and townhouses took an average of 36 days to get an offer.  That is just 2 days slower than November, and the same as December 2018.  Only 19% of the homes that sold in December were Crusty Rusties, and 38% of the houses sold had been on the market for less than 2 weeks!


#4 – Other Fun Metrics

We saw inventory tighten in December, but not to the point where it had a huge impact on median sales prices.

  • Houses and townhouses sold for an average of 99% of list price
  • Condos sold for an average of 98% of list price
  • Houses are worth, on average, 82% more than they were a decade ago
  • Condos are worth, on average, 52% more than they were a decade ago

**  Stay tuned for my 2020 real estate predictions coming by early February  **

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