Seattle Real Estate Trends – Episode 13 – 4/3/2020

We are finally starting to see the effects of the Stay at Home Order.   

The above graph is the number of new listings (houses) each week for February and March for the last 3 years

  In looking at the number of new listings of houses in Seattle, we see a HUGE drop off of people putting their homes on the market starting the third week of March.  Until that point, we were seeing a similar pattern of rapidly increasing numbers of new homes coming up for sale. What we were also seeing was a surge of pending listings, indicating really strong buyer demand:

The above graph is the number of new pendings (houses) each week for February and March for the last 3 years

These charts show that demand has dropped in an even more exaggerated fashion than new listings did.  Buyers tend to get nervous and hold back on major purchases during times of economic uncertainty.  That hesitation is now showing up in the data.

We are seeing some big drops in the number of new listings as well as the number of pending listings for all property types in Seattle.  As we see the decrease in both people buying and people listing, we see a slight increase in the total number of properties for sale.

Another timely metric to watch is the number of properties that WERE actively for sale, but the sellers have chosen to take off the market:

Such strange activity!  The number of canceled properties is about half of what it was last week.  Houses also had about a 50% decline in the number of houses that went temporarily off the market, while condos saw a 20% increase in units coming off the market temporarily.  The offer review date vanished for condos, but saw an increase for houses.  This market can not be predicted, and it’s hard to make sense of it all!

Watch the video here.

Access the video transcript here.


Seattle Housing Market – March 2020

March. What. A. MONTH!  

  The data below summarizes what happened in March.  Keep in mind that most of the transactions that produced this data were initiated in February, long before COVID-19 was even on the radar in Seattle.

#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:

Houses and Townhouse = $781,000 median sales price in March

   Compared to $715,000 in February, and $745,000 back in 2019.

Condos = $484,000 median sale price in March

  Compared to $467,500 in February and $488,975 in 2019.


#2 – How competitive??!?!?

  The first week of March, almost half of all new listings had offer review dates, and as each week went by, that number plummeted.  Actual numbers of new listings with offer review dates:

March Week 1 = 93 houses with offer review dates

March Week 2 = 121 houses with offer review dates

March Week 3 = 79 houses with offer review dates

March Week 4 = 17 houses with offer review dates


#3 – How long??!?!?

   Homes and condos sold faster in March than in any month since 2018.   Homes sold in an average of 21 days (compared with 35 last month and 30 last year), and condos sold in 28 days (compared to 52 days last month and 47 days last year).

#4 – Other Fun Metrics

  • Houses and townhouses sold for an average of 104% of list price.  We haven’t seen that percentage since June 2018.
  • Condos sold for an average of 100% of list price
  • Houses have 1.1 months supply of inventory.
  • Condos have 1.7 months supply of inventory.

Watch the Video Here

Access the video transcript here.

Seattle Real Estate Trends – Episode 12 – 3/28/20

As of this week, the governor has issued the “Stay Home” order.   Real estate services are NOT considered essential services, so as of midnight on Wednesday, no showings of homes, no inspections, no nothing!  You would assume that would bring real estate to a grinding halt, but these numbers don’t seem to show much of a slowdown.

Looking at what happened this week:

This is NOT what I would expect for a real estate market in the middle of a global pandemic and during a full state-wide shut down.  We had a 35% reduction in the number of new house listings and a 25% reduction in the number of condo listings compared with the previous week.   We had a total of 219 properties come on the market this week.   To give you some perspective, that is almost TWICE the number of new listings that came on the market during the week of Thanksgiving and Christmas last year combined.   

  And in even stranger news, we saw only a slight decline in the number of pending listings.  Several of my active buyers rushed to get under contract before the deadline of “Stay Home”, so lots of lucky sellers got offers in on their houses right under the wire.

  Total number of houses for sale dipped just a bit, and we have just 3 more condos for sale this week than we had last week.  We are currently sitting at about 30% – 35% fewer total properties for sale than we saw this time last year, and that has been the trend all year.  We had a VERY hot start to the real estate market this year, and I predict that once the governor lifts the Stay Home order, we will have a surge in buyer activity.  That surge may be short lived, but I bet that the first 30 days after the order is lifted will be VERY busy for Seattle real estate.

  Two metrics I’ve never shared with you before is the number of canceled listings and the number of temporary off market properties.  Canceled properties are just that, sellers that decided to take their homes off the market before the end of the term of the listing agreement.  In a normal week we see 2-5 houses and 1-3 condos cancel.   This week we had 30 houses and 15 condos cancel their listings.  In this uncertain time, especially if the seller is still living in the home, it is easy to see why you would just take your home off the market all together.  Under the “temporary off market” category, a seller can go off the market for a minimum of 7 days and a max of 45 days.  Pre-pandemic this was used during family emergencies, during holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas, or if a seller needed time to complete repairs or upgrades.  In a usual week, we see 5-10 houses and 2-4 condos go temporary off market.  This week we had 44 houses and 15 condos go temporarily off the market.  This is a wise move.  Since brokers are not allowed to show any properties until this Stay Home order is lifted, homes that are currently on the market risk becoming “stale”, lingering on the market and by the time buyers are able to get back out to see homes, they may be enticed by newer listings.

In Conclusion:

It shocks me that we are still seeing new listings and pending listings.  I appreciate a robust real estate market.   And what I appreciate more than anything else is a healthy, safe city.  I am 100% committed to keeping my butt at home until the governor gives us the green light to resume normal activities.  We can’t have a healthy Seattle real estate market without a healthy Seattle.  So let’s unite on this one.  Stay home. Stay healthy.  I promise you we can buy and sell houses very soon.

I love you Seattle! 

Watch the Video Here.

Access the video transcript here.




Seattle Real Estate Trends – Episode 11 – 3/21/20

Nothing is normal, yet real estate is still, at least for now, chugging along.  The NMWLS removed the open house field from the website, essentially causing all open houses to stop.  Smart and tech savvy brokers (like me) are offering video tours, FaceTime showings and other distance-friendly, tech enabled ways to help buyers still “see” homes they are interested in.

Watch the Video Here.

This really caught me by surprise.  We saw MORE houses and condos come on the market this week than we did the week before:

What is not surprising is that we saw far fewer properties go pending this week.  And of the properties that came on the market this week, the percentage of them with offer review dates dropped by almost half.   Every seller that is coming on the market now seems just as unsure as the buyers as to what this pandemic will do to Seattle real estate.

  Note this.  In Seattle, last week, a total of 326 properties came up for sale, and 178 buyers got into contract on a property.  That is more people than got into contract the week of February 15th (the last week before we had an understanding of the COVID-19 virus and that it might be bigger than anyone anticipated).

  It is NOT my place to say if now is a good time to buy or sell real estate.  NOW is a good time to take care of yourself and do what feels right for you.   It is my place to keep bringing you these weekly data updates.  I love you Seattle!

Access the video transcript here.


Seattle Housing Market – February 2020

It’s old news now, but the market continues to heat up.   Let’s look at what happened in Seattle real estate in January:

#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:

We have a strange turn of events.   House prices are EXACTLY where they were one year ago (and even down a bit from last month), but condo prices are up 10% from this time last year.  WHAT!?!?

#2 – How competitive??!?!?

  Well, the offer review date is back!  About 60% of houses *excluding new construction and homes over $1.5 million) are hitting the market with an offer review date.  Only 25% of condos are currently using offer review dates, but considering how many condos sold, and how steep the median sales price climbed when compared to January, we will likely see the offer review date become more and more common with condos.


#3 – How long??!?!?

   We continued to have eager buyers scoop up most of the available properties for sale, including the Crusty Rusties (properties that have been for sale longer than 90 days).  Houses had an average market time of 35 days (down from 42 days in January), and condos were on the market for an average of 52 days (compared to 64 last month).  Those numbers are higher than we saw in the frenzy of 2016 and 2017, but back then we didn’t have a large percentage of our available homes for sale have such long market times.  The fact that these “too long on the market” properties are finally getting purchased means the buyer demand is fierce and the available choices are too slim.

#4 – Other Fun Metrics

  • Houses and townhouses sold for an average of 101% of list price.  HELLO offer review date….
  • Condos sold for an average of 99% of list price
  • Houses have 1.2 months supply of inventory, the same as we had in January, but lower than the 1.7 months last year.
  • Condos have 1.5 months supply of inventory, down from 2.3 months in January and the 3.3 months this time last year.

Watch the Video Here


Access the video transcript here.