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.

Seattle Housing Market – October 2019

Rarely do we get to say this, but last month was a nice and mellow month for the Seattle real estate market.   Let’s break down the real estate data into the 4 important categories. 

#1 – How much??!?!?

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

What a pleasant surprise that both houses and condos saw modest price increases in October (when compared with September).  While house prices in Seattle were up 0.5% year-over-year, condo prices in Seattle fell 8% when compared to October 2018.   While we celebrate small price increases month-over-month, we are still feeling the pain of tiny price growth for Seattle single family houses, and the hefty price decline for Seattle condos.

#2 – How Long??!?!?

The Seattle real estate market moved much quicker in October!

Condos in Seattle were on the market for 39 days, on average, before getting an accepted offer.  That’s 10 full days faster than September, but 10 days longer than October 2018.  Seattle houses moved a lot quicker.  Just 27 days, on average, before houses got an accepted offer.  Last month that number was 32, and last year it was just 21 days.

  The market picked up the pace a little bit in October.   We are still moving at a slower, and more reasonable, pace than we did last year, but not as slow as the “dark days” of January and February, where houses were on the market for 40 days before getting an accepted offer.

#3 – How Close To List Price??!?!?

List price (or almost) for all property types this month.

Houses in Seattle are selling for an average of 100% of list price.  This metric could be a bit distorted, since we are seeing a lot of price drop (as usually happens with longer days on market), and if a property drops the price, then sells for that new (lower) price, it is recorded as selling for at list price.

It is so nice to see Seattle condo prices holding at 99% of list price.  The Seattle condo market has been soft for 16 months, and having a near list-price average sales price indicates that the market is steady, even if the Seattle condo market is far less robust than in 2016, 2017 and the first quarter of 2018.

#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 1.8 months of supply.  That is a noticeable dip from the 2.3 months of both last month and 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.

  Condos are much different story.  There is currently 3.5 months of supply.  That is still technically a sellers market, but just barely.  Last month and last year we had 3.7 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.

In Conclusion:

  Seattle real estate news only tells a part of the story.   There are still neighborhoods and property types that are in high demand, and almost all property types are still selling quickly when priced appropriately.  In October, 706 houses sold.  That is a lot more than the 603 of September and the 626 of October 2018.  So people are still buying homes, we just aren’t seeing the frenzy and corresponding rapid price increases of years past.

Watch the Video HERE