Median prices are down again. Down both compared with last month, and compared with last year. Houses saw a modest 2% decline from 2018, but condos are down 16% since this time last year.
We are seeing a lot more change than the sales price. We saw homes take much longer to sell (30 days in August compared to 21 days in July), and we also saw a decline in the total number of available homes for sale. This is the first time in over 10 years where we see the total inventory start to decline in August. Normally inventory climbs throughout the summer and peaks in September. Currently, we peaked in June this year.
Steep declines in median sales prices continue for condos. We are down 16% annually, and down 5% in just one month. We sold, on average, for 98% of list price, a dip from 99% last month. Surprisingly, we are still selling almost as many condos as we did both last month and last year.
For Sale and Sold:
We have a decline in total houses and condos for sale. That is REALLY unusual. As far back as MLS data goes (10 years), inventory always climbs from March and peaks in September. Softening prices may be causing the unrealistic sellers to take their homes off the market, causing few homes for sale but better overall options (since no one likes an overpriced listing!).
We are finally seeing similar year-over-year metrics with one notable exception. This year we have a lot more inventory (total number for sale), and the homes and condos that are on the market have much longer days on market than this same time last year. For example, 41% of all homes for sale have been on the market for 61+ days, and this time in 2018 only 26% of the homes available had been on the market that long.
No matter how hot, cool or cold our real estate market gets, there are always pockets of properties for sale that will be a better deal than the rest of Seattle. This month, we have a HUGE area of opportunity.
If you are looking to become a downtown dweller (living downtown is AMAZING and I would love to have you as my neighbor), or if you are looking to add an easy rental to your portfolio, right now is an excellent time to get a low price on a Belltown condo.
Ramona was adopted by Rachel and Chris, and up until a few weeks ago, has lived her life in a very cool townhouse. But she wanted a yard. She didn’t want any run-of-the-mill yard, she wanted a yard that she could run laps and sunbathe and explore in. So after much begging, she finally got her parents to sell that yardless-townhouse and buy her a house with a proper yard!
Much to Ramonas delight, she not only got the yard of her dreams, but a really great house to go with it. She has room to lounge and gaze out onto her yard, room to nap and room to keep her humans company wherever they go in the house.
And holy moly, did Ramonas parents have to fight to get her this dream house. Even in this shifting market, we ended up in a competitive market situation. It was us and another offer, both willing to pay the exact same for the house. It ended up being a few key details that made us the winners over the other offer. Rachel and Chris had a FANTASTIC local lender, and I had a friendly relationship with the listing agent. Combine those factors with the fact that Chris and Rachel were so organized, responsive and did everything right, it all combined together to be the winning recipe that got them the house!
Ramona is now one happy girl! Her parents seem to like the new house too.
I hesitate to even say this. It seems like us Realtors are always telling you that now is a great time to buy. Or sell. And it seems confusing. But you know me, I live and die by the data. And the data is telling us that no matter how hot, cool, or cold the Seattle real estate market is or has been, the last few weeks of August and the first few weeks of September are the best time to be buying a home.
In absolutely every year for the last the last 10 years (as far back as the NWMLS stores data), the month of September has had the most number of total available homes for sale. September also happens to be the month where the number of pending sales (our strongest indicator of buyer demand) drops. So that means we have the largest discrepancy between supply and demand in September. And supply and demand is everything!
So combine the greatest excess of supply, couple it with record low interest rates, and you have a rare window to really score a great home at a good price. Wake up buyers. NOW is your time!