Even thought we have 40% fewer homes for sale this year than we did last year, we have just as many going pending. That means we have INCREDIBLY strong buyer demand for houses in Seattle right now.
Condos are a different story. We have very similar buyer demand week over week and compared to last year, but a jump up in the number of new listings, and total condos for sale. With the rate of supply (number of new listings) is significantly higher than the demand (number of pending listings), we see an ever softening condo market.
Let’s talk more about houses. We are still seeing strong buyer demand, but not an increasing number of homes with offer review dates. The percentage of homes with an offer review date dropped a bit this week. And of the homes that had offer review dates last week, only a little more than half of the homes got an offer on the offer review date. Without multiple offers, prices do not drive up quickly. While it is a good time to be a seller since buyer demand is high, we are not yet seeing metrics that show that we have a frenzy that will jack up prices. At least not yet.
Summer is the new Spring.
We typically have the surge of new listings and overly eager buyers in the Spring. We saw that behavior start early again this year, with February and early March being record breaking months for Seattle real estate. The COVID outbreak and corresponding city shut down brought real estate to a crawl. Now that we are settling into our new rhythm, the real estate market has picked back up.
New Listings Each Week in 2020:
As you can see, we ramped up in February, then a steep drop in mid-March. This week we have the most number of new listings of any week so far this year.
For the second week in a row, we see more houses going pending this year when compared to both last week AND last year.
We have 42% FEWER houses for sale, but 34% MORE houses going pending.
When looking at houses, all signs point to a heating up market. Increasing number of pending homes AND an increase in the percentage of homes with an offer review date.
But the condo market is behaving much differently. We have 11% fewer listings than this time last year, and 12% fewer people putting in offers on condos. Only 11% of condos have an offer review date.
This week the odds favored sellers of houses and buyers of condos.
Now Let’s Look At Interest Rates:
According to Freddie Mac, a 30 year fixed loan was at 3.21% last week. Last year at this time it was 3.82%. Low interest rates help ease the affordability issue we have in Seattle and spur buyers into action, therefore increasing demand.
We are seeing the seasonal rise in the number of new listings like we always do this time of year, just on a reduced scale:
Just the Facts:
Week over week, no big changes in the numbers of new listings, pending listings, or total number of homes for sale. But when we compare this to last year, it is EYE OPENING!
We have 40% fewer new houses come on the market this week when compared with the same time last year. That doesn’t seem shocking at all considering we are still in the most restrictive phase of the Stay Home Order. What is surprising is that we only have a 13% decrease in the number of pending listings. That is a loud indicator that buyer demand right now is strong. I believe if we had only 20% fewer listings, we may be seeing MORE pendings (for houses) than we did last year, but because supply is short, it is restricting the number of houses that are going pending.
Condos are not seeing such robust metrics. The decrease in buyer demand is double the decrease in new listings. That equates to an even more challenging condo market than we had this same time last year. It would make sense that as people long for a little more personal and physical space, they would be less attracted to condo buildings considering all the communal spaces one has to navigate in a condo building.