Seattle Housing Market Update – December 2020

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is because what used to be the “bread and butter” of condo sales (in-city, studio and small one bedroom condos) has been replaced by the sales of larger condos outside the city core.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?!?!?

Seattle Housing Market Update – November 2020

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch the video HERE

Seattle Condo Market Update – November 2020

We’ve been discussing the struggling condo market for months, and now it’s time for a deep-dive into WHAT is going on with the Seattle condo market.

 

The biggest impact is that we have more supply than we have ever seen, and diminishing buyer demand:

Buyer demand has dipped a little, but we are seeing a rate of condos going up for sale that we have not seen in the 10 years I have been collecting this data.

Why are so many people selling?

Several reasons. 

  1. Some want more space.  With the seemingly endless work from home life, along with a lot more time at home, condo dwellers are seeking different homes with more space that can accommodate their new needs.
  2. Some folks are taking advantage of the work from home to really become remote workers. They are leaving Seattle all together and are selling their condo and starting fresh somewhere else.
  3. Job loss.  Condos are often the most affordable option for home ownership, and those buyers are most susceptible to job loss during times of economic uncertainty.

What neighborhoods are most impacted?

Easy answer – the neighborhoods with the most density and proximity to the downtown core.

   

 

 

 

 

 

When we look at the discrepancy between number of condos for sale and number of condos going pending, the “gap” between them is even more extreme for condos in downtown and Capitol Hill.

 

 

 

Are all condo markets struggling??  Is this the end of condo life as we know it?

No.  If we look at some of our friendly neighbors to the North, we can see that condos have gotten MORE popular and more competitive:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buyers are reaching to “the burbs” in all of the ways right now, including condos.  This is an indicator that maybe it isn’t the small space or germy shared areas, but actually the City of Seattle and resident fatigue with all the Big City Issues we face in Seattle.

 

When will the Seattle condo market rebound?

If 2020 has taught me anything, it is that we really have no idea what the heck will happen next.  My guess is that the popularity of condo living will return once we hit 50/50/50:

50% of the major employers (Amazon, Google, Facebook, Expedia etc)

bring 50% of the workforce

back to the office at least 50% of the time

Until then, I don’t see an event that will trigger a wave of buyers to want to live in condos.

Watch the video HERE

Seattle Real Estate Trends – Episode 34 – 10/27/20

Holding Steady…

We are seeing pretty much the same number of new listings and pending listings as we did last week.  This is the first time in recorded history that we have not seen at least a 25% decline in the number of transactions during an elections season.  2020 continues to be the year that no one could predict.

  Demand for houses is still strong, but we are starting to see some houses that we would have expected to get multiple offers only end up getting one offer, or no offers at all.  Buyers are certainly extra skittish right now, with uncertainty over the election and the long term impact of COIVD.  

Watch the video here