Seattle Housing Market Update – September 2020

HOLY SMOKES!  I did NOT see this coming.

 

Houses hit a new record high price.

For all of 2015, 2016 and 2017, each month I kept saying “it is another record high price for Seattle houses”.  And then in 2018, prices took a steep drop, and we have stayed under peak pricing since.  Until now.  The median sales price for a single family house in the City of Seattle is now $817,000.  That breaks the peak price of $802,000 in May 2018.

What is driving this crazy price increase?  Three things:

  1. People want BIGGER houses and bigger lots.   Until COVID, we had continue to see a buyer preference for smaller homes in more dense and walkable neighborhoods.  But with all this extra time at home, buyer demand has shifted to wanting more rooms and more outdoor space.
  2. Low inventory.   With new construction being put on a 3 month delay due to COVID and the outrageously expensive cost of goods and lack of skilled labor, new homes are not being completed as expected.  And folks don’t really want move in the middle of all this, and they don’t want to have to be buyers in this competitive market, so we have some would-be sellers opting to stay in their home instead of sell.
  3. Crazy low interest rates.  Money has never been this cheap in my lifetime, and it is helping prop up buyers spending power so they can afford these rapidly rising prices.

Let’s look at all the data:

Prices are up across the board.  Condos are still below their peak price, but this is the highest the condo price has been since October 2018.   

Let’s talk about condos:

Condos sold for an average of 103% of list price?!!?!?!   Haven’t I been telling you all year how soft the condo market is, and how hard it is to sell a condo?   Well, that still rings true if you have a small condo, or a condo close to downtown.  What happened this month was REALLY unusual in 2 ways:

  1. One condo sold for $6M, one for $5.25M, one for $2.7M and one for $2.5M.  That really skews pricing when we only had 235 condos sell.
  2. And the condos that did sell were HUGE!  Over the past 3 years, really consistently, the average size of sold condos is 950 square feet. This month it was 1,536 square feet!!!  We also had a disproportionately high number of 3 bedroom condos sell (8% of all condos compared to a typical 5%) and 10% decline in the number of studios and one bedroom condos that sold.

Let’s talk about houses:

Not only did the median sales price jump up $37,000 in one month, we also saw the AVERAGE sales price jump $51,000 compared to last month.  That is a prime indicator that not only are houses getting more expensive, but the bigger and more expensive houses are selling at a high rate than normal.  Seattle had 47 homes priced over $2M sell in August,  and 25 of those were over $3M.   We saw a lot more houses sell this year than last year, but that is likely due to the delay COVID caused in the usual Spring rush.  Faster faster, homes sold in just 16 days and are still selling for 102% of list price.   Although things do seem to be slowing down.  The popularity of the offer review date continues to decline week over week.  Speaking of decline, this was the first week since mid February that we saw a decline in total number of homes for sale.   More signs of us starting to wind down the peak home buying season.

 

Seattle Housing Market – August 2020

Holy SMOKES!  The real estate market was as hot as our summer temperatures this month.

 

#1 – Houses are HOT

What we care most about is the home prices in Seattle.  Let’s take a look at the median sales price for houses in Seattle:

The median sales price for houses (including townhouses) is up 5% from this time last year.  That is a very healthy and sustainable rate of price growth.  As the offer review date continued to gain popularity, we also saw homes sell just a bit faster and also for a bit more over list price.  On average, houses in Seattle sold for 102% of list price in July!  We finally got above 1,000 total homes for sale, but held steady at just 1.1 months of supply.  All metrics point to a competitive market for houses in Seattle.

#2 – Condos are WARM

Our median sales price is up!  It is up more than houses.   And condos are finally selling for 100% of the list price, and are selling faster than they have been.  We see a lot more total condos for sale, and only a slight increase in the number of condos sold.   I would say condos are HOT, but we have a bit more supply when compared to demand than we do with houses, and condos are still taking an average of over 3 weeks before they sell.   Last month I claimed the condo market was in BAD shape.  This month I will say the condo market is okay.

 

Seattle Housing Market – July 2020

 

 

 

#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:

Prices for houses and townhouses are up, both year over year and month over month.   Despite the fact that we have less than 2/3 the number of homes for sale this year compared with last year, we still have more houses selling now than we did last year.

Condo prices continue to soften, and we are seeing far fewer condos sell this year than we did this same time last year.

 

#2 – How competitive??!?!?

  The offer review date was really hit or miss this month.   The offer review date for condo is less than 12% of all new listings each week, but the offer review date is more common with houses and townhouses:

June Week 1 = 37% of new listings had offer review dates – Only 43% of those with offer review dates this week went pending on the offer review date

June Week 2 = 42% of new listings had offer review dates – 67% of those with offer review dates this week went pending on the offer review date

June Week 3 = 45% of new listings had offer review dates – 68% of those with offer review dates this week went pending on the offer review date

June Week 4 = 42% of new listings had offer review dates 

House sold for an average of 101% of the list price, indicating that many homes were still seeing multiple offers.

Condos sold for an average of 99% of the list price, and have been for many months now.

 

#3 – How long??!?!?

   Homes and condos took longer to sell in June than they did in May.   Homes sold in an average of 19 days (compared with 16 last month), and condos sold in 27 days (compared to 25 days last month).   Both houses and condos sold in the same number of days that they did back in June 2019.

 

#4 – Other Fun Metrics

  • Houses have 1.1 months supply of inventory.  Last month was 1.7 months and last year was 1.9 months
  • Condos have 3.6 months supply of inventory.  Last month is was 3.9 and last year it was 3.3 months.
  • The total number of available houses for sale was 899, only a 2% increase from last month, but a 41% decrease from 2019.
  • The total number of available condos for sale was 638, a 22% increase from last month, but a 13% decrease from 2019.

Watch the Video Here.

Seattle Housing Market – June 2020

Again we see the tale of two very different markets.  Single family houses continue to see competitive situations, high demand and rising prices.  The condo market continues to soften, with a drastic reduction in the number of condos sold and condos selling for less than list price, on average.  

Now let’s dive into the specific data:

#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 = $750,000 median sales price in May.  A $50,000 decrease over the previous month.

   Compared to $800,000 in April, and $758,000 back in 2019, and $788,500 in 2018. 

Condos = $477,495 median sale price in May

  Compared to $465,000 in April and $494,500 in 2019, and $517,000 in 2018. 

#2 – How competitive??!?!?

  The offer review date was really hit or miss this month.   As an agent, it is SO tricky to predict buyer behavior, so confidence in the offer review date was a lot lower in April than it was in March.

May Week 1 = 65 (out of 206 total) houses with offer review dates – 38 of those went pending on the offer review date

May Week 2 = 69 (out of 212 total) houses with offer review dates – 47 of those went pending on the offer review date

May Week 3 = 82 (out of 225 total) houses with offer review dates – 61 of those went pending on the offer review date

May Week 4 = 67 (out of 213 total) houses with offer review dates – (it’s too soon to tell!)

House sold for an average of 101% of the list price, indicating that many homes were still seeing multiple offers.

Condos sold for an average of 99% of the list price, indicating decreasing buyer demand.

 

#3 – How long??!?!?

   Homes and condos took longer to sell in April than they did in March.   Homes sold in an average of 16 days (compared with 13 last month and 20 last year), and condos sold in 25 days (compared to 18 days last month and 31 days last year).

 

#4 – Other Fun Metrics

  • Houses have 1.7 months supply of inventory.  Last month was 1.6 months and last year was 1.9 months
  • Condos have 3.9 months supply of inventory.  This is the highest since September 2018
  • The total number of available houses for sale was 880, a 12% increase from last month, but a 40% decrease from 2019.
  • The total number of available condos for sale was 521, a 19% increase from last month, but a 36% decrease from 2019.

Watch the Video Here

Seattle Housing Market – May 2020

April was the month where we finally get to see the impact of the COIVD crisis on home values.

 When digesting the data below, keep in mind that it is typically 30 days from the time a property goes under contract to the time it closes.  Our monthly data is based off of closed sales, so it is a lagging indicator.  We can assume that all the closed sales in April were initiated in March (or last week of February or first week of April on the extreme ends).   

We all want to know how prices are impacted by our COVID crisis.  So let’s take a look at the COVID timeline in Seattle:
  • January 21st – First confirmed case
  • February 26th – First death
  • February 29th – Governor Inslee declared a state of emergency
  • March 3rd – Seattle Mayor Durkin declared a civil emergency
  • March 9th – Inslee announced first set of “new “rules”
  • March 12th – All public schools closed
  • March 15th – All sit-down restaurants closed
  • March 23rd – Stay At Home Order issued

  Politics and public health isn’t something that is normally covered in this blog, but it is important to understand the severity of the situation in Seattle during the time that all the transactions I am reporting on today were initiated during the same time ALL of those frightening and terrible things were happening.  

#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 = $800,000 median sales price in April.  A $19,000 increase over the previous month!

   Compared to $781,000 in March, and $745,000 back in 2019, and $800,000 in 2018.  We are officially back to peak prices.

Condos = $464,000 median sale price in April

  Compared to $484,00 in March and $475,000 in 2019, and $535,000 in 2018.  Condo prices are not as robust as house prices.

 

#2 – How competitive??!?!?

  The offer review date was really hit or miss this month.   As an agent, it is SO tricky to predict buyer behavior, so confidence in the offer review date was a lot lower in April than it was in March.

April Week 1 = 22 (out of 110 total) houses with offer review dates – 16 of those went pending on the offer review date

April Week 2 = 55 (out of 172 total) houses with offer review dates – 23 of those went pending on the offer review date

April Week 3 = 38 (out of 169 total) houses with offer review dates – 24 of those went pending on the offer review date

April Week 4 = 53 (out of 159 total) houses with offer review dates – (it’s too soon to tell!)

House sold for an average of 102% of the list price, indicating that many homes were still seeing multiple offers.

Condos sold for an average of 100% of the list price, indicating stable buyer demand.

 

#3 – How long??!?!?

   Homes and condos sold faster in April than they did in March.   Homes sold in an average of 13 days (compared with 21 last month and 22 last year), and condos sold in 18 days (compared to 28 days last month and 36 days last year).

 

#4 – Other Fun Metrics

  • Houses have 1.6 months supply of inventory.
  • Condos have 3.1 months supply of inventory.
  • The total number of available houses for sale was 786, a 16% increase from last month, but a 40% decrease from 2019.
  • The total number of available condos for sale was 437, a 12% increase from last month, but a 30% decrease from 2019.

Watch the Video Here

Access the video transcript here.

Interested in the historic info?

Check out last month here

Check out 2019 here

Check out 2018 here

Go WAY back to 2017 here

Even FURTHER back to 2016