Seattle Housing Market Watch 12/12/23

 In #Buying Real Estate, #Real Estate Investing, #Real Estate Tips, #Thoughts, Seattle Market Watch

Hey y’all. Zach McDonald, your real estate agent with Real Property Associates, and this is my Seattle Housing Market Watch for December 12th, 2023.

Well, we’re almost to the end of a wild year in the Seattle housing market and really it’s been a wild last few years in the Seattle housing market ever since Covid, it’s been a bumpy ride. We saw everything skyrocket in the Seattle housing market. Prices were 20, 30% up. We saw them drop off quite a bit last year in 2022. And here we are in 2023 with prices recovering a little bit despite the increase in interest rates. And speaking of interest rates, we’re looking at right around 7% right now on mortgage News dailies Daily survey. It’s a great resource for looking at and following the mortgage rates on a daily basis. They take an average of many different lenders. Of course, some are a little bit lower, some are a little bit higher, but they’re at 7.09 as of today. There may be some more volatility they’re predicting, and I would agree that with the new CPI numbers coming out today, that we might see some more volatility in the market here over the next few days.

But as of today, 7.09%. And last week the mortgage rates were at 7.08 on average. So similar to the same time last week. And really we’re at about a three month low. We saw rates climb into the low eights, low to mid eights, and now we’re in the low sevens knocking on the door of upper sixes in some people’s cases, depending on credit score, down payment, et cetera. So I think it’s good news for home buyers and for sellers, really, it brings people back to the market. And as we’re looking at last year’s numbers, we were at 6.27% rates the same week last year. So things are certainly trending up year over year, but I would say it’s been positive news as of late seeing the rates start to come down. And speaking of people coming back to the housing market, the sentiment is that things are getting better.

I’ve had multiple people come back to me this last week and get started with their search again, people that texted and said, Hey, I’m thinking about getting started again. And I would say a couple of those specifically said things like, you know what? It’s not the best time for me. And it wasn’t because they didn’t want to buy. They in some cases really wanted to buy, but some of their stock positions were down and it wasn’t as beneficial of a time to buy. Even though they could get a better price, they weren’t able to or weren’t comfortable with doing it, selling stocks for considerably less than they could be selling them for. And now a lot of the tech stocks in the Seattle area have improved dramatically in some cases hitting all time highs again. And that is an encouraging thing for people in the tech industry who rely on RSUs for income.And so if you find yourself in that situation, you may be starting to think about a purchase too.

Let’s talk about the stats now because we do that every single week in these housing market watches. And we’re looking at, again, king County and Snohomish County residential data, not condos over the past week, new listings this week, 227 and last week we had 289 and for reference last year in the same week, it was December 14th, but come on, it’s close 287. So we did see a drop off year over year here in listings for this week, but also week over week. It’s normal to see the week over week drop. But to illustrate that, we’re just seeing an even tighter market in King Snohomish County than we have seen in previous years, especially year over year. We did see a drop off as well in the price reductions.

So last week we had 222 price reductions this week, 118. And for perspective, last year we had 316 price reductions. And at that point in 2022, we were still trying to figure out where the bottom was. Where are people willing to pay? What price are people willing to pay to buy a house in the Seattle area given the new rates, given the market conditions? And even though we find ourselves in a higher interest rate environment now than at the same time last year, things are a lot more stable. The stock market’s doing better, it’s getting close to all time highs. People have hope. Whereas last year we didn’t have very much hope. And I think that’s the biggest reason that we’re seeing the market start to pick up people, start coming back to the market is because they have hope in what’s to come. And confidence versus last year, a little bit of unease, anxiety, fear.

Now let’s look at the pending listings 477 pending listings this week, last week, 4 76. So pretty much the same amount of buyer activity. Last year we had 530 pending listings, and I would say that’s not super significant because we had a lot more houses available, if that makes sense. There were a lot more houses on the market last year and prices were lower last year. In the most recent market updates, I talked about how prices are actually up year over year in King County and Snohomish County. And that is because things have stabilized. And even with the higher rates, there is not a lot of inventory and people are out buying houses even in the current conditions now, sold listings 430 this week, 478 last week. I bet we’ll see a little bit of a surge if you want to call it that towards the end of December.

But really December is usually the slowest month of the year. And even with the talk about how we’ve had less activity this year and considerably over last year, the difference in sold listings 4 37 this week last year versus 430 this week. So very similar numbers as far as the amount of closings, and that’s something we talked about a couple months ago, is that during the holidays, we’re probably going to see a smaller drop off than we have been seeing in some of the other months because this is a historically slow time of year for people to be buying and selling. And the people that are buying and selling right now in December specifically, the sellers I would say are the have to move sellers. They need to sell their house, and that is why they’re selling right now, and that’s why they would’ve sold at the same time last year.

Thanks so much for tuning into this week’s Seattle Housing Market Watch. If this was valuable to you, please consider subscribing and following along on a regular basis. And if you want to connect about your individual real estate situation, I would love to be a resource for you.

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