Seattle Housing Market Watch 10/24/23
Hey all, it’s Zach McDonald, your real estate agent with Real Property Associates, and this is my Seattle Housing Market Watch for October 24th, 2023.
The past few weeks for the mortgage market have been quite hectic as I think about the scenario here as we saw rates hovering in the upper sevens, jumping into the eights, jumping down, jumping back up, and now back to 7.92 on Mortgage News Daily’s report. I was thinking of the Disney ride, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. If you’ve ever been to Disneyland or taken that ride, it’s quite the adventure and that’s what it’s felt like here over the past few weeks for the mortgage market. If you’ve been following along with these videos for a while, you’d know that we’ve been talking about the rates climbing and the rates going down a little bit earlier in the year when we saw prices jumping almost time with the spring market this year.
And now we’re finding ourselves in a lower inventory environment again, as the listings slow down and we’re heading towards the holidays. But rates are also coming to more longer term highs here recently. So buyers are finding themselves with larger monthly payments. Some are even a little surprised if their agents aren’t telling them and talking about these things on a regular basis. They’re surprised to find out that their rates and their monthly payments are even higher than what they thought they would be.
So if you’re somebody that’s in the process of looking, or maybe you’ve started looking into your pre-approval and you don’t have that dialed in yet, or you do and you haven’t looked at it recently, it would be a good idea to run a scenario and see how your payments might be affected with these increased rates. If you were thinking you were going to be in the low sevens and now you’re in the low eights, that changes things a little bit on the monthly payment. And when I say a little bit, I really mean significantly if your income is relatively tight with your qualification.
Now as we’re looking at the stats for the week, things are about what I would’ve expected. We’re getting this last push before the holidays with listings. We’re in mid-October at this point, almost end of October, and we’re seeing that final round of listings. And then I think we’re going to start to see things tighten up a lot. I had some clients this week say, Hey, we’re seeing a lot more listings that are a good fit for us than we have in the last couple weeks and even months. And that’s true, and I think that’s been true for multiple clients. We’re seeing more houses right now, but that’s going to change here very quickly, and there’s really not a lot out there. So I don’t expect the supply to remain a little bit higher. But last week we saw 476 new listings in King and Snohomish County versus 467. As I mentioned, that the client I was referring to, they saw more houses coming on the market that were a good fit for them. And although that’s the case, if we look at the number here, 476 versus 467, it’s not a massive difference for the new listings in King Snohomish County. Although in Seattle, we’ve been seeing a little bit more of an uptick maybe than in some of the other places back on the market.
We saw 69 houses come back on the market. I don’t always talk about that number, but we are this week. Last week we had 60. These are some of those expired listings or canceled listings that are now coming back into play. The list price reductions 411 versus 351 last week. So that’s a pretty significant jump in price reductions. There are still houses that are selling really quickly, but there are also some that are sitting on the market. And again, a lot of it comes to pricing strategy and the type of house.
Some houses by nature will sell quicker than others, and then also some price points will sell quicker than others. And in this video, as a reminder, we’re looking at King and Snohomish County single family homes over the past week, the contingent sales down a little bit, 14 versus 21 last week. I’ve mentioned here over the past month or so, you have a chance to buy contingent. And that’s the situation on my home that we’ve been working on selling since the summer. Really, we were one of those people that pushed the price a little bit and didn’t get offers, and then we finally got to the point where we were willing to list it for what people wanted to buy it for and well aah, the house sold quickly and we got a contingent offer. And a lot of that was because we’d been on the market for a while and we were at that point willing to wait for the buyer to sell their other house, which thankfully happened relatively quickly.
Now as we’re looking at the pending sales. Pending sales are about the same 619 versus 628 last week. Those numbers remaining similar, which just means that we’re not seeing a big buildup of the supply or inventory in the market. And then the sold listings here, 512 is actually up versus the 504, and we’ll see that number get bigger at the end of the month. At this point, we’re headed into the holidays, and typically we’re seeing fewer listings during the holidays, and we’re already seeing fewer listings throughout the year, about 25 to 30% fewer listings in King and Snohomish County, depending on where you’re at. I wouldn’t be surprised if we actually saw less of a decline in percentages than we’ve been seeing throughout the year, because typically people that are selling during the holidays, they need to sell. It’s not a super popular time to list your house.
I could give you multiple reasons why as a seller, you might want to list during the holiday season, especially right now when there’s not a lot of inventory, but just historically speaking, fewer people are listing their house during the holidays and the people that are selling usually bought another house. They’re relocating out of the area, they’re getting divorced, maybe the family member passed away. They’re usually have to sells versus want to sells. So you just have less people. And I would think that during the holidays this year, you’re going to have a similar number of those type of people than you would normally see. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see that decline in listings be a little bit less dramatic as we finish the year than in normal, but we always see a decline. So we’re going to see less inventory, we’re going to see a little bit more competition coming into the new year.
So what I would say is if you’re thinking about buying in 2024 and you have the perspective of we’ve got some deals coming up, and if people are selling during the holidays, they need to sell, there is some sense of urgency. And as a buyer, that’s what you want. You want to seller who has a sense of urgency to sell. Now, I won’t guarantee there’s not going to be competition because there has certainly been competition and multiple offers here recently in the Seattle area housing market, but if you want to make a purchase earlier in 2024, starting now while there’s more options is going to help you out with your goal because as we head into January, February, March, there’s going to be even fewer options and more competition on the home search.
On the flip side, if you’re thinking about selling in early 2024, this would be the time to get started with that process. The prep work sometimes takes time. It can be really stressful to do all the prep work in a week or two or three. So if you have a plan or an idea about selling and it’s not time sensitive, this would be where I personally would start taking some of those steps during the holidays. Maybe you have a little extra time to get yourself ready for success in the new year.
Thanks so much for watching this week’s Seattle Housing Market update. If you got some value out of this video, please show some love with a thumbs up or a comment below. And if you know somebody who could benefit from seeing these videos, please share the channel with them.