Rarely do we get to say this, but last month was a nice and mellow month for the Seattle real estate market. Let’s break down the real estate data into the 4 important categories.
#1 – How much??!?!?
What we care most about is the house prices in Seattle. Let’s take a look at the median sales price in Seattle:
What a pleasant surprise that both houses and condos saw modest price increases in October (when compared with September). While house prices in Seattle were up 0.5% year-over-year, condo prices in Seattle fell 8% when compared to October 2018. While we celebrate small price increases month-over-month, we are still feeling the pain of tiny price growth for Seattle single family houses, and the hefty price decline for Seattle condos.
#2 – How Long??!?!?
The Seattle real estate market moved much quicker in October!
Condos in Seattle were on the market for 39 days, on average, before getting an accepted offer. That’s 10 full days faster than September, but 10 days longer than October 2018. Seattle houses moved a lot quicker. Just 27 days, on average, before houses got an accepted offer. Last month that number was 32, and last year it was just 21 days.
The market picked up the pace a little bit in October. We are still moving at a slower, and more reasonable, pace than we did last year, but not as slow as the “dark days” of January and February, where houses were on the market for 40 days before getting an accepted offer.
#3 – How Close To List Price??!?!?
List price (or almost) for all property types this month.
Houses in Seattle are selling for an average of 100% of list price. This metric could be a bit distorted, since we are seeing a lot of price drop (as usually happens with longer days on market), and if a property drops the price, then sells for that new (lower) price, it is recorded as selling for at list price.
It is so nice to see Seattle condo prices holding at 99% of list price. The Seattle condo market has been soft for 16 months, and having a near list-price average sales price indicates that the market is steady, even if the Seattle condo market is far less robust than in 2016, 2017 and the first quarter of 2018.
#4 – How Competitive??!?!?
Real estate markets are typically categorized as either a buyers market, a sellers market, or a neutral market. Months of supply is the main way that we can statistically judge if it is a buyers, sellers or neutral market.
Traditional Wisdom Says:
- 0-4 months of supply create a sellers market
- 4-6 months of supply create a neutral market
- 6+ months of supply create a buyers market
Houses are currently at 1.8 months of supply. That is a noticeable dip from the 2.3 months of both last month and last year. We do have a much different real estate environment in Seattle than we had in years past, so it may not feel like as much of a sellers market as it used to, but it is still clearly a sellers market for houses and townhouses in Seattle.
Condos are much different story. There is currently 3.5 months of supply. That is still technically a sellers market, but just barely. Last month and last year we had 3.7 months supply. Anyone that is trying to sell a condo in Seattle right now can tell you that it certainly does NOT feel like a sellers market.
Seattle real estate news only tells a part of the story. There are still neighborhoods and property types that are in high demand, and almost all property types are still selling quickly when priced appropriately. In October, 706 houses sold. That is a lot more than the 603 of September and the 626 of October 2018. So people are still buying homes, we just aren’t seeing the frenzy and corresponding rapid price increases of years past.