December is not slowing down the Seattle real estate market as much as it usually does! We have more than TWICE as many houses hit the market this year than we did last year, and 70% more condo listings. Yet pending numbers for houses are *only* up 56%, and 53% for condos. So although we are seeing more new listings and more pended listings, the overall demand is lower this year than it was in 2019 when compared to available inventory.
Fewer total homes and condos are available, and that decline in overall properties for sale should continue to dip until mid-January, when many savvy sellers will be putting their homes up for sale to capture the backlog of eager buyers and beat out the rush of new listings we will likely see in March, April and May. If you are thinking of selling in 2021, do it as early in the year as possible for best results!
I love to keep an eye on the offer review date and the percentage of price drops, as they are great metrics to determine how competitive the market is. We saw a decline in the popularity of the offer review for houses (and just don’t mind the condos. Since only 3-5 condos each week have an offer review date, it is almost not worth discussing, especially because normally only 1 of those actually goes pending on the set offer review date), and we are also seeing fewer of the homes with offer review dates going pending on the date. Last week, only 42% of homes with an offer review date went pending. Compare that to the average of 68% in July and August, we can see that the market is still hot, but not as red hot as it was in the late summer.
Over half of all the available homes for sale have been on the market for over a month. There is opportunity in houses with 31 or more days on market. When looking at condos, over 2/3 of all the condos for sale have been on the market for longer than a month, and 34% of all condos have been on the market longer than three months!
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.
Usually I like to have 4 weeks of consecutive data showing fewer new listings and total listings, but I am going to call this one early. We are past the peak of new listings and total listings for sale. But that doesn’t mean that buyer demand has changed. Again we are seeing a stark contrast between the supply and demand for houses and that for condos.
Fewer new listings (for all home types) and fewer total properties for sale! That is tough news for the large pool of eager home buyers, as we are still seeing multiple offers and homes selling in just a few days. Fewer condos is the smallest relief for those trying to sell a condo, as the condo market has been over saturated and continues to see depressed buyer demand.
* The people that are really winning in this market are sellers of single family homes on decent sized lots and anyone wanting to buy a condo within 10 miles of downtown Seattle, especially a studio or one bedroom condo*
Other interesting notes:
We saw more price drops this week than we have in the last 3 months. 12% of all houses and 11% of all condo actively for sale did a price drop last week.
Two weeks ago, we saw a notable increase in canceled listings. This week, we were back to the “new average” or 6% of all houses and condos canceling their listing
Even with slightly fewer properties for sale, we saw an uptick in number of pending properties, meaning buyer demand is not slowing down at the same pace as the number of new listings are
More houses hit the market this week than last week, and a lot more than last year. We had a much needed drop in the number of new condo listings compared with last week, but still 70% more condos hit the market this week than back in 2019. We really have two drastically different real estate markets happening, as noted in these charts below:
Supply and demand for houses runs almost parallel. This shows that the buyer demand is so strong, even as the total number of available houses for sale continues to climb.
Condos, on the other hand have a very steady (and low) demand, but a rapidly increasing amount of condos for sale.