The Spring market decided to start 4 months early!
#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:
When compared to December 2019, prices were up $4,500 for houses, and down $31,000 for condos. If we zoom out and compare January 2020 to January 2019, prices for houses are UP $34,950 over the past year, and condo prices are down $7,250. It is worth noting that since the peak in 2018, condo prices are still 10% below peak prices and condos are 16% below peak. And that is a good thing!
Why would lower prices be a good thing? Our Seattle real estate market had gotten to dang expensive. It is still highly unaffordable, but thanks to the swift correction of prices we had in 2018, the market is at a price level that is healthier. Folks worry about the next recession and another housing crash. But I don’t. We had a swift “crash” in 2018. And guess what… You didn’t even notice!
#2 – How competitive??!?!?
Things REALLY heated up in January. We saw new listings going pending in a just a few days, we saw the Crusty Rusty listings (those that had been on the market for 90+ days) finally go pending, and we are even seeing the return of the offer review date. The main thing driving this increased competition is the lack of houses and condos for sale.
In January 2019, we had 771 houses and 424 condos for sale. During that same time, we had 368 houses sell and 125 condos. So we had twice as many houses for sale than sold, and three times as many condos for sale than sold. Last month, we had 509 houses and 305 condos for sale. And we sold 429 houses and 132 condos. So we had 34% fewer houses on the market, but we sold 16% more houses. Fewer choices and more buyers creates a very competitive situation.
#3 – How long??!?!?
If you just look at the days on market, you could be fooled into thinking the market was sluggish. In January, the homes that sold had been on the market an average of 42 days (compared with 36 days in December or 40 days last January), and condos took 64 days (compared with 52 days in December or 60 days last January). So we had longer market times for sure. The reason for those longer market times is that buyers were so eager to get out and buy homes, that they were finally forced to buy all those Crusty Rusty properties that had been sitting on the market FOREVER.
#4 – Other Fun Metrics
Inventory tightened, and that caused us to absorbs some of those old listings. Even with higher competition, we did not drive up the prices, indicating that buyers are still not willing to grossly overpay, even in our tightening market.
- Houses and townhouses sold for an average of 99.6% of list price
- Condos sold for an average of 98% of list price
- Houses have 1.2 months supply of inventory, up 0.2 from December, but still lower than we have seen in 16 months
- Condos have 2.3 months supply of inventory, up 0.2 from December, but 1.5 months higher than this time last year.