Seattle Housing Market – November 2019

This was another interesting month in Seattle real estate.  We don’t see strong price appreciation, but November showed a tightening of the market with a 25% reduction in the total number of homes for sale all while maintaining stronger than average (for this time of year), buyer demand.

#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:

  Although the opposite of what typically happens, this month we had modest price growth for condos, with a 2% monthly increase and a only a 3% decrease from November 2018.   Houses did the opposite, with a 7% decrease in median sales price from last month and a 3% decrease from November 2018.

  The last time house prices were $725,000 or below was December 2018 through February 2019.  Houses prices WAY back in November 2017 were $727,000.  So essentially, we are at about the same median sales price for houses that we had this time in 2017.

  Condos, which have been seemingly struggling for over a year, outshine houses this month.  At a median sales price of $460,000, we had a 2% price increase from last month, and a modest 3% price decrease from November 2018.   Oddly enough, as of this month, condos have had more stable prices over the last 2 years than houses.  Not a sizable difference, but worth noting.

 

#2 – How Long??!?!?

The Seattle real estate market slowed down in November.

All Seattle property types took longer to get an offer this month.   Houses took an average of 34 days before they went pending, which is 7 days longer than October, and and 3 days longer than this time last year.   Condos are the slowest!   It takes an average of 42 days for a condo to get an accepted offer, up 3 days from October and 10 days from this time in 2018.

#3 – How Close To List Price??!?!?

Below list price for all property types this month.

  Not a huge change.  Both Seattle condos and Seattle houses dipped one percentage point this month, with houses selling for 99% of list price, and condos selling for 98% of list price.  This is the same as it was this time last year.

#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 1.4 months of supply.  That is a dip from the 1.8 months of last month and 2.3 months 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.   This sharp decrease in months supply is driven by the 25% reduction in total number of homes for sale.

  Condos are a little bit of a different story.  There is currently 3.2 months of supply.  That is still technically a sellers market, but just barely.  Last month and last year we had 3.5 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, despite the modest price growth.  Combine the long days on market with higher than usual months of supply makes for a seemingly sluggish condo market.

In Conclusion:

  We may not see skyrocketing prices, but Seattle real estate is still alive and well.  We have been on a bit of a wild ride this year, but the Seattle housing market 2019 seems to wrapping up fairly unscathed.   Seattle home prices are still below the peak of May 20118, but remain stable.   Things should get a little sleepier here in December, but I imagine we will end the year out with a soft landing.

Watch the Video Here

Download the video transcript here.

Seattle Real Estate Trends – Episode 5 – 11/29/19

This was (obviously) the week of Thanksgiving, therefore we had a pretty sleepy week.  The most notable thing that happened this week is that the total number of houses and condos continues to decline at a rate that exceeds the decrease in number of pendings.  Or in other words, the number of active buyers is far outpacing the number of new properties for sale.   This always puts pressure on the real estate market, and often leads to price increases and more competition, especially for well-priced houses.

 

This week in Seattle Real Estate:

Seattle Houses: 

  I find it amazing that during the week leading up to Thanksgiving, 73 buyers got under contract on houses in Seattle.  That’s only 8 fewer than last week.   More and more signs point to buyers getting serious about taking advantage of low interest rates and reduced competition this time of year.   

And it looks like the buyers still prefer the “fresh” listings.  In just one week, we went from 17% of the total homes for sale to 13% of the total homes in the “Fresh” category.  We also saw a 1% increase in the amount of stale homes (homes that have been on the market for over 90 days).

Seattle Condos: 

Almost half as many new listings this week when compared with last week. Yet we had 2 MORE condos go pending this week than the week before.  Fewer overall condos for sale again this week, 28 fewer compared to last week and 57 fewer than last year.

Only 11% of the condos for sale have market times of less than two week, and 32% are stale as the stuffing will be next week.  Buyer demand has stayed consistent week over week, so with dwindling numbers of new condos coming online, we will hopefully see less than 500 total condos for sale when we report back next week.

Watch the video here.

Access the transcript here.

Belltown HOA Dues – 2019 Edition

Howdy Belltown!

Not make you feel exposed, but let’s talk about your HOA dues:

A fact-of-life when living in a condo is monthly HOA dues.  Each condo community is different.  Different ages, sizes and levels of amenities.  And a WILD swing in average HOA dues.  The HOA dues impact both our monthly expenses and our resale value, so they are kind of a big deal.

And let’s talk about the impact of HOA dues on your wallet. 

 If we assume you lived in a 700 square foot condo, here is what your dues would look like:

Living at the Matae (the lowest dues) = $378 per month

Living at the Parc (average dues) = $518 per month

Living at Bay Vista (the highest dues) = $777 per month

You pay almost $400 MORE per month at Bay Vista than you do Matae.  That is $4,788 per year in additional expenses. 

HOA dues also impact your resale value.

  For every $100 per month in HOA dues, it reduces the buyers purchasing power by 5%.  So if a buyer could afford a $500,000 condo at the Matae, they could only afford a $465,000 condo at The Parc or a $400,000 condo at Bay Vista.  Condo communities with higher that average HOA dues have a smaller pool of potential buyers and end up selling for less, on average, than similar condos with lower HOA dues.

For all you potential condo owners…
No matter where in the City you buy your condo, plan for dues to increase over time.  Check out the growth in average HOA dues over the past 7 years in Belltown:

Interested in the archives?

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2018

Seattle Real Estate Trends – Episode 4 – 11/22/19

The Seattle real estate market continues to see a seasonal slowdown.  And condos are back to their old bad habits, behaving almost exactly opposite of houses.

This week in Seattle Real Estate:

Seattle Houses: 

We finally see the number of available houses dip below 1,000 this week.

Last week we saw an unusual combo of fewer new listings with a spike in the number of pending listings.  That trend does not continue this week.  The Seattle real estate market is continuing to slow down (meaning fewer people are putting their homes up for sale and fewer buyers are out putting in offers on homes) as it always does during the Holiday Season.  Seattle real estate is still more robust this year than it was this same time in 2018.  We have more buyers (higher pending numbers this year) and fewer overall houses for sale.  

Seattle Condos: 

This was a tough week for condos.

50 new condo listings this week.  That is a 28% more new listings that last week OR last year.  And to top that off, we only had 17 condos go pending.  That is HALF as many buyers as we had the week before, and 25% less than we had last year.  Thanks to several sold properties, and some canceled and expired condos, we did see a decline in the overall number of condos for sale.  The Seattle condo market continues to be soft, with lots of opportunities for buyers.

Watch the Video Here.

 

Access the transcript here.

 

Seattle Real Estate Trends – 11/8/19

The Seattle Real Estate Market if Finally Behaving!

If the real estate market was a dog, this week it would be the Golden Retriever at the dog park that is friendly with everyone.

This week in Seattle Real Estate:

Seattle Houses: 

We continue to see the seasonal slowdown in the number of new houses and townhouses that are coming to the market.  The more surprising thing is that we saw 99 houses go pending this week.  That is more than last week or last year.  When we combine fewer new listings with increasing number of pending listings, we see an unusual pick-up in the tempo of the real estate market.  It is likely just a fluke, much like running into the worlds friendliest golden retriever at the dog park.  If we continue to see declining number of new listings and an increase in pending listings, it could be signs we are heading back into a more competitive market.

 

Seattle Condos:

  The Seattle condo market behaved a lot like the Seattle house market this week.  We saw a DRASTIC decline in the number of new listings, and a substantial increase in the number of pending listings.

 

  This is the 6th consecutive week that the total number of condos for sale in Seattle has gone down.  The Seattle condo market has been soft for about a year, it is good news that we see fewer and fewer total condos for sale each week.  We currently don’t have a big enough buyer pool to purchase (or absorb) the current number of condos for sale.  And since buyer demands historically continues to decline through the end of the year, a decreasing number of total properties for sale will help keep the market stable. 

Other fun metrics:
  • 34 condos canceled their listing (compared to 19 last week).
  • 21 condos had their listings expire (compared to 10 last week).
  • 44 officially sold last week (compared to 57 last week).

Watch the Video Here

 

Get the video transcript here.