With all the madness of the real estate market, I am surprised that all home prices held steady this month.
As we *finally* ease into the seasonal slowdown, we are seeing 6% fewer houses for sale, 12% MORE condos for sale, and prices holding steady. One of the more notable things is that we had a 27% increase in the number of houses that sold compared to last year, and 48% increase in the number of condos sold.
But Christy, you said the condo market was struggling…
It really depends on which part of the condo market we are talking about. The overall median sales price inched up $1,000 over last month, and is $40,000 higher than this time last year. And that is because what used to be the “bread and butter” of condo sales (in-city, studio and small one bedroom condos) has been replaced by the sales of larger condos outside the city core. Larger condos cost more money, and that is why the median sales price is rising. To get a good gauge of exactly how hot and cold our condo market it, let’s look at how long it takes it sell a condo in different parts of Seattle:
If you are trying to sell a condo on Capitol Hill, it will take 46 days, and that is 3X longer than a Beacon Hill condo and more than twice as long as a Northgate condo. Downtown, Belltown, Capitol Hill, Queen Anne and Magnolia are seeing the most over-supply, low buyer demand, and the longest days to get an offer.
Let’s talk more about prices:
Since “flat” prices are hardly newsworthy, let’s take a look at the median sales prices in Seattle over the last 5 years:
Although prices aren’t doing anything dramatic month-over-month, we can see the overall trend is strong price growth. Even for condos. Even in the middle of a seemingly endless pandemic. Who would have thought?!?!?
Gobble Gobble, wobble wobble. This was a SLOW week for Seattle real estate.
We saw 40% fewer new listings this week as the previous week, but I am surprised that we had as many new listings this week, considering it was the week of Thanksgiving. 150 home owners decided this was the week to put their home (and condos and townhouses) on the market. The thing that was even more surprising than that was that 122 buyers decided to put in offers on properties this week.
The offer review date continues to dwindle in popularity and sellers eased off of the price drops this week. Overall, a sleepy week. Let’s see if the activity picks back up next week.
In this new COVID era, it looks a little different when having a new client meeting. Where we used to meet for coffee, we now “meet” over a phone call. I knew within the first 5 minutes of my phone call with Steve and Rim that they were smart, organized and ready to tackle the crazy process of buying a home.
Just a few days later, these two had already picked a lender, gotten the lending pre approval process started and were ready to look at houses. They moved FAST and knew what they wanted. I was prepared for a long, drawn-out battle to find them their first house. Demand is high and buyer choices are low, so we were all ready for the process to take 3-6 months.
Of course these two would beat the odds. It didn’t even take a month, and they found the perfect for them house. What was truly impressive about them is that they were able to do the hard work and put in a really strong offer right away. Some buyers just can’t fathom how competitive our housing market really is, and often have to miss out on a home or two before they are really ready to battle. But not Rim and Steve. They had done their research, listened to my advice and put in such a strong offer that we were able to beat out all the other offers and get them into the BEST rambler in the cutest part of Edmonds for a reasonable price.
But wait… I really like these kids. We were having so much fun house hunting together. And now they already have an offer accepted? It feels weird to admit this, but sometimes I wish the house hunting process took a little longer because we always have so much fun during that stage of the adventure.
And almost everything else went just as smoothly. Until the last few hours. As you may know, the number of people buying and selling homes is at an all-time record high. And with the really low interest rates, refinances are also at an all-time high. This means that lenders and title and escrow and everyone else is beyond maxed out. Although our lender and title and escrow people did everything right to get the sale officially closed, the county recorders office was so backlogged that they did not have time to record the deed on the day we were supposed to close. ACK! So instead of giving them keys at 9pm on a Wednesday, we ended up giving them keys at 10am on a Thursday.
Congrats kids! You enjoy that beautiful home on a big lot in a dreamy neighborhood. I’m happy for you 🙂
This month had far more sales than is typical of this time of year. The Seattle real estate market is slowed down just a little, but not nearly as much as we typically do this time of year.
Let’s start with prices:
When looking at houses, we see the median sales price held steady month-to-month, but we see consistent year-over-year price growth. Compare that to condos where we had a jump up in median sales price from the previous month, but are still below the median sales price from 2 years ago.
Let’s look at price growth over the last 5 years:
This graph shows that the median sale price for houses sees seasonal ups and downs, but we typically see price growth year over year.
Condos are not as predictable as houses. Notice that the green top line is NOT 2020, it is 2018. Condo prices fluctuate both month to month and year over year.
Other fun facts:
Houses sold in 17 days, while condos took 31 days
Houses sold for 103% of list price, while condos sold for 99%
The number of people buying homes in Seattle is WAY UP:
We have fewer homes, but more condos for sale than we have in previous years. The buyer demand for houses is more intense than we have seen in years.
We are seeing more condos sell than we have in previous years, but when we consider we have more than double the number of available condos for sale than we have in previous years, we can see that the condo market is not nearly as robust as the house market.