This week was, well… slightly uneventful. Our total number of available homes and condos for sale ticked up a bit, and we had slightly fewer new listings this week than we did last week, and a LOT less than we had last year.
We still have steady and strong buyer demand. If we are following the historical trend, we will continue to see more and more homes and condos come up for sale through April and May, with buyer demand rising at equal rate. It will be exciting to see if we have buyers start phasing out of the market in July like we see each year as the inventory starts to out-pace demand and conditions become more favorable for buyers as we get deep into summer months.
As we settle into a new, and more balanced real estate market, sellers need to understand that unless a home is priced perfectly, at our current fair market value, it will not be selling fast. Or at all.
From 2016 to mid-2018, selling a home was like selling a pair of vintage Ray-bans on E-bay. You just took a few photos, wrote a brief and uninspiring description, started the bid low, and watched all the bidders clamor over the product. It was much that way for selling a home or condo in Seattle. A few photos, a few descriptions, and an offer review date. As long as you didn’t grossly over-price the home, you had several eager buyers all stomping on each other to buy your home. There was even the “buy now” equivalent (Zillows Make-Me-Move feature).
And then, seemingly overnight, Seattle real estate started to closer resemble the Price is Right. Homes started to not get offers on the offer review date. Homes were sitting on the market for (gasp!) weeks. Sellers were actually dropping prices. No longer did we have a frenzy of buyers to scoop the unreasonably high prices.
So now, when you are selling your home, you need to get that list price EXACTLY right. If you price your home even a bit over what the fair market value is, you will end up lingering on the market, doing price drop after price drop, while you chase the market down.
In order to be successful in our current market, you can’t hope for 2017 prices. You need to find the exact, current and fair market price of your home or condo. Homes that are well priced are still selling quickly. It is possible to have a quick and relatively painless sale, as long as you are willing to offer your home for what is worth in THIS market.
As has been the trend for three weeks now, we currently have over double the inventory we had at this same time in 2018, yet we are seeing less pended properties each week when comparing that metric to 2018 also. With double the inventory, and slightly less demand, we are managing to have a less competitive real estate market this Spring than we have seen in the last 4 years.
It is nice to note that the balance of new listings and old listings has continued to show signs of a healthier market. Less than 3 months ago, over half of the number of available homes and condos for sale had been on the market for over 60 days (the Crusty Rusty), and each week it has slowly lost that stronghold, and this week the Crusty Rusty listings are less than 25% of the total properties for sale.
Double!!! We now have more than double the number of available homes AND condos for sale that we had at this same time in 2018. More new listings this week for all property types, and continued level pending numbers. Interestingly, we had the EXACT same number of homes go pending this week as we had this same week in 2018.
We are now face to face with the 2018 time period of peak frenzy. The fact that we are still seeing similar pending numbers from this time last year indicates that buyer demand still exists. The absorption rates continue to go up, and we see a steady decline in the Crusty Rusty listings.
Spring Has Sprung in Seattle – Both In the Sunnier Weather, the Cherry Blossom Trees AND the Housing Market.
The median sales prices for both condos and houses ticked back up this month. We are now back to prices for homes that we had in August of 2018 and for condos we are back to the prices of October 2018. We saw total time on market drop for houses, but stay the same for condos. We also have a lot more condos and houses actively for sale than we have had since late Fall. Total number of homes sold stayed fairly steady while total number of condos sold jumped 35%.
Since this monthly data is almost “lagging” information, I feel comfortable predicting that April numbers will bring continued increasing median sales prices, higher sales volume, and both homes and condos selling (on average) for just a little bit above list price. Remember, statistically the best time to sell your place in Seattle is April and May, so if you are thinking of selling, jump in NOW!