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 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.

Seattle Housing Market – January 2020

The Spring market decided to start 4 months early!  

#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:

When compared to December 2019, prices were up $4,500 for houses, and down $31,000 for condos.   If we zoom out and compare January 2020 to January 2019, prices for houses are UP $34,950 over the past year, and condo prices are down $7,250.    It is worth noting that since the peak in 2018, condo prices are still 10% below peak prices and condos are 16% below peak.   And that is a good thing!   

  Why would lower prices be a good thing?   Our Seattle real estate market had gotten to dang expensive.  It is still highly unaffordable, but thanks to the swift correction of prices we had in 2018, the market is at a price level that is healthier.  Folks worry about the next recession and another housing crash.  But I don’t.  We had a swift “crash” in 2018.  And guess what… You didn’t even notice!

#2 – How competitive??!?!?

    Things REALLY heated up in January.  We saw new listings going pending in a just a few days, we saw the Crusty Rusty listings (those that had been on the market for 90+ days) finally go pending, and we are even seeing the return of the offer review date.   The main thing driving this increased competition is the lack of houses and condos for sale.

   In January 2019, we had 771 houses and 424 condos for sale.  During that same time, we had 368 houses sell and 125 condos.   So we had twice as many houses for sale than sold, and three times as many condos for sale than sold.  Last month, we had 509 houses and 305 condos for sale.  And we sold 429 houses and 132 condos.   So we had 34% fewer houses on the market, but we sold 16% more houses.  Fewer choices and more buyers creates a very competitive situation.

#3 – How long??!?!?

   If you just look at the days on market, you could be fooled into thinking the market was sluggish.  In January, the homes that sold had been on the market an average of 42 days (compared with 36 days in December or 40 days last January), and condos took 64 days (compared with 52 days in December or 60 days last January).  So we had longer market times for sure.  The reason for those longer market times is that buyers were so eager to get out and buy homes, that they were finally forced to buy all those Crusty Rusty properties that had been sitting on the market FOREVER.

#4 – Other Fun Metrics

Inventory tightened, and that caused us to absorbs some of those old listings.  Even with higher competition, we did not drive up the prices, indicating that buyers are still not willing to grossly overpay, even in our tightening market.

  • Houses and townhouses sold for an average of 99.6% of list price
  • Condos sold for an average of 98% of list price
  • Houses have 1.2 months supply of inventory, up 0.2 from December, but still lower than we have seen in 16 months
  • Condos have 2.3 months supply of inventory, up 0.2 from December, but 1.5 months higher than this time last year.

Watch the Video Here.

Download the video transcript here.

Seattle Housing Market – December 2019

This month for Seattle real estate was anything but predictable and sleepy.  

#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:

The past 10 years of median sales prices for condos and houses in Seattle

Seattle home prices dipped $10,000 from November, but are exactly the same as they were this time of year in 2018.  Seattle condo prices went up $22,500 from November prices, and the median sales price is down only $2,500 from this time last year.  The Seattle housing market turned out to be a lot more stable and healthy that I had predicted at the start of the year.

When we look at the past decade, we easily see the sharp rise in values from 2011 to 2017.  And what we have had for the past two years resembles more of a balanced and healthy market, even if it has felt a bit chaotic and unbalanced.  It’s funny to look back and realize that we had been so accustomed to the madness of every increasing prices and competition, that once we got what we wanted, a more balanced market, we acted like the sky was falling.  SMH.

#2 – How competitive??!?!?

December is historically a FANTASTIC month to be a buyer,  You often have reduced choices, but far less competition from other buyers, and really motivated sellers.  This month turned out to be the opposite.

WHOA!  For the first time since the peak of the market (May 2018), we saw the number of sold houses exceed the number of houses for sale.  Now it seems crazy to sell what you don’t have, but it was common to have the sold number exceed the total available homes number during 2016, 2017 and early 2018.  In 2018, there were 826 houses for sale, and only 484 sold.  The buyers came OUT this December.  If this continues, we will see steep month-over-month price increases follow.

#3 – How long??!?!?

  The market is still moving slowly, despite the increase in number of properties sold and the steady prices.   It took condos, on average, 52 days on the market before they got an accepted offer.  That is 10 days longer than November, and 12 days longer than December 2018.  What likely happened is that the surge of buyers was enough to finally get all those “Crusty Rusty” condos (the ones that had been on the market for over 90 days) interested buyers.

  Houses and townhouses took an average of 36 days to get an offer.  That is just 2 days slower than November, and the same as December 2018.  Only 19% of the homes that sold in December were Crusty Rusties, and 38% of the houses sold had been on the market for less than 2 weeks!

 

#4 – Other Fun Metrics

We saw inventory tighten in December, but not to the point where it had a huge impact on median sales prices.

  • Houses and townhouses sold for an average of 99% of list price
  • Condos sold for an average of 98% of list price
  • Houses are worth, on average, 82% more than they were a decade ago
  • Condos are worth, on average, 52% more than they were a decade ago

**  Stay tuned for my 2020 real estate predictions coming by early February  **

Watch the Video Here

Download the transcript here

Seattle Housing Market – November 2019

This was another interesting month in Seattle real estate.  We don’t see strong price appreciation, but November showed a tightening of the market with a 25% reduction in the total number of homes for sale all while maintaining stronger than average (for this time of year), buyer demand.

#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:

  Although the opposite of what typically happens, this month we had modest price growth for condos, with a 2% monthly increase and a only a 3% decrease from November 2018.   Houses did the opposite, with a 7% decrease in median sales price from last month and a 3% decrease from November 2018.

  The last time house prices were $725,000 or below was December 2018 through February 2019.  Houses prices WAY back in November 2017 were $727,000.  So essentially, we are at about the same median sales price for houses that we had this time in 2017.

  Condos, which have been seemingly struggling for over a year, outshine houses this month.  At a median sales price of $460,000, we had a 2% price increase from last month, and a modest 3% price decrease from November 2018.   Oddly enough, as of this month, condos have had more stable prices over the last 2 years than houses.  Not a sizable difference, but worth noting.

 

#2 – How Long??!?!?

The Seattle real estate market slowed down in November.

All Seattle property types took longer to get an offer this month.   Houses took an average of 34 days before they went pending, which is 7 days longer than October, and and 3 days longer than this time last year.   Condos are the slowest!   It takes an average of 42 days for a condo to get an accepted offer, up 3 days from October and 10 days from this time in 2018.

#3 – How Close To List Price??!?!?

Below list price for all property types this month.

  Not a huge change.  Both Seattle condos and Seattle houses dipped one percentage point this month, with houses selling for 99% of list price, and condos selling for 98% of list price.  This is the same as it was this time last year.

#4 – How Competitive??!?!?

   Real estate markets are typically categorized as either a buyers market, a sellers market, or a neutral market.  Months of supply is the main way that we can statistically judge if it is a buyers, sellers or neutral market.  

Traditional Wisdom Says:

  • 0-4 months of supply create a sellers market
  • 4-6 months of supply create a neutral market
  • 6+ months of supply create a buyers market

  Houses are currently at 1.4 months of supply.  That is a dip from the 1.8 months of last month and 2.3 months last year.  We do have a much different real estate environment in Seattle than we had in years past, so it may not feel like as much of a sellers market as it used to, but it is still clearly a sellers market for houses and townhouses in Seattle.   This sharp decrease in months supply is driven by the 25% reduction in total number of homes for sale.

  Condos are a little bit of a different story.  There is currently 3.2 months of supply.  That is still technically a sellers market, but just barely.  Last month and last year we had 3.5 months supply.  Anyone that is trying to sell a condo in Seattle right now can tell you that it certainly does NOT feel like a sellers market, despite the modest price growth.  Combine the long days on market with higher than usual months of supply makes for a seemingly sluggish condo market.

In Conclusion:

  We may not see skyrocketing prices, but Seattle real estate is still alive and well.  We have been on a bit of a wild ride this year, but the Seattle housing market 2019 seems to wrapping up fairly unscathed.   Seattle home prices are still below the peak of May 20118, but remain stable.   Things should get a little sleepier here in December, but I imagine we will end the year out with a soft landing.

Watch the Video Here

Download the video transcript here.