Seattle Real Estate Trends – Episode 9 – 12/27/19

Who the heck buys a house the week of Christmas?  Who the heck puts their condo up for sale during Hanukkah?  

 

Turns out, lots of people!

 

Houses:

34 people put their home up for sale this week, and 45 people put in an offer on a house this week.   That is almost 80 people that went all-in on late December real estate.  And it might have worked out well for both buyers AND sellers this week.

We have only 10% of all the houses for sale in Seattle having been on the market for less than 2 weeks.  The Seattle housing market is over 50% of all houses for sale having been on the market for over 60 days!

Condos:

  8 brave souls decided to put their condo up for sale this week, and 6 buyers came out and put in offers on condos this week.  The Seattle condo market is sleepy.  Snooze fest.  Boring.  36 lucky buyers closed just in time for Christmas, and Hannah and Tim were one of those sets of people.  Congrats and welcome to the family kids!

Only 6% of all condos for sale have been on the market less than 2 weeks.  Any condo that goes up for sale this coming week and is priced right has a great chance of getting an offer the first week on market.  That would be a nice change of pace from the 30+ days it is taking for most condos to get an accepted offer lately.

It was a sleepy week, but a few bright spots here and there.   Watch the video below for more details.

Download the transcript here.

 


3 Things New Landlords Need to Know

Today we team up with Brett Waller of Washington Multi-Family Housing Association to go over the top 3 things all new landlords need to know.

Watch the Video Here

Before you ever list a property for rent, make sure you have these three covered:

  1. Have a great lease.  
  2. Know your local and state laws
  3. Make sure you understand operations and vacancies.

Y’all know I’ve been a landlord for over 20 years, so I would love to chat with you one-on-one if you have any specific questions about turning your property into a rental.

You can reach Brett at Brett@wmfha.org or 425-565-9077.


Seattle Real Estate Trends – Episode 8 – 12/20/19

The window of opportunity for buyers has officially closed.   We have seen a seasonally appropriate decline of total homes for sale, but we have not seen the buyer decline to match. 

For houses, buyer demand is down 12% over the last month, but the number of homes for sale is down by 35%.  That leaves a lot fewer homes for the active buyers, therefore increasing demand and creating competition.   Overall condo supply is down 31%, but buyer demand is actually 15% HIGHER than it was a month ago.  Since we had a surplus of condos for sale, the buyer demand has moved us entirely into a competitive market yet, but it has put some life back into a lagging condo market.

 

 

Watch the Video Here.

Download the transcript here.

 


Emmy and Rob – Third Time is a Charming House with VIEWS

   You think buying your first house is stressful?!?!?   Try buying your NEXT house.   Emmy and Rob can tell you all about it.

  Emmy and Rob bought their sweet Ballard house 6 years ago.   They were recently engaged and ready to start a life together.  Buying the Ballard house was a HUGE step, and a big financial commitment.  To say that we looked at a lot of houses and went over a lot of financial spreadsheets would be an understatement.  But they bought they house, and loved it!  They also took what I consider to be the ugliest backyard ever into a peaceful, stunning outdoor oasis.  But this isn’t a blog about that first house.

  Emmy and Rob are now Emmy+Rob+Mel (pictured below)+Fitz+Sir Pounce (the two black cats).   All those additions to the family have made the Ballard house now feel WAY too small for their growing family.   So they had to make the hard decision to start looking for a bigger and better house. 

So it was off to find their dream home.   Buying a dream home is a lot different than buying your first home.  Your first home is exciting and scary and you are pretty sure you won’t be there forever.   Your dream home is a different story.  You are now a seasoned home-owner and know what you do and don’t like about how a house lives.  You know that hot water heaters and furnaces and old windows can be a costly hassle to replace.  You know that you DO want covered parking and a fenced yard.  And you also are spending a lot more money, and emotionally committing to a house for a much longer amount of time.

  When are spending the big bucks and staring down 15+ years of living in a home, you have different criteria. You know what your must haves and want to haves are.  You know where you can improve a house to make it what you really want compared to dealing with structural elements that prevent you from living in the house the way you want to.   Keeping all that in mind, we set off on the hunt for Emmy and Robs dream house.  We saw about 20 houses.  We found one we LOVED but wasn’t sure if we wanted to pay the price it was listed at.  We spent weeks analyzing the potential value of the home, the new monthly payments and tons of other data that was in one of our many spreadsheets.  We dragged our feet a little too much doing our analysis, and ended up putting in an offer only to be beaten out by a different buyer.   That taught us to be a bit more decisive and quick moving the next time around.  Then we found ANOTHER amazing house.  It was more than we wanted to spend, so we were letting it rack up some days on market before we submitted a low offer.   But before we could submit that low offer, the house went pending and sold.   Second bust on this house-hunting adventure.

  Then we found THE house.  It had just hit the market.  We wrangled our busy schedules and got out to see it right away.  Then Emmy and Rob went into recon mode and “innocently” visited the open houses. Real estate agents love to chat, and Emmy was able to get all sorts of great info out of the listing agent that we were able to use to our advantage in negotiations.  We put in an offer within 4 days of that house hitting the market, and our offer was accepted!  Using the info Emmy gathered at the open house, along with a few inspection findings, we were able to negotiate a bit of credit from the seller.  Could it be that Emmy and Rob got an amazing house at a good price in a great neighborhood??  Third time is a charm πŸ™‚

Dream house it is!   This house has plenty of space.   The master suite is everything they wanted and more, and they even got the water view they had wanted but were afraid they couldn’t find.   The house needs some updates, and Emmy and Rob are already knee deep into totally remodeling all 3 of the bathrooms.  One those bathrooms are done, they will have a house that is perfect for living, entertaining AND having guests.   Congrats kids!  You earned this and I am so happy for you.  I bet you have your housewarming party before Joe and Jenna πŸ˜‰

 


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.