Seattle Housing Market Watch 10/31/23
Hey y’all. Zach McDonald, your real estate agent with Real Property Associates, and this is my Seattle Housing Market Watch for October 31st, 2023.
Happy Halloween everyone, and if you’re watching this, maybe a few days later, happy belated Halloween, excited to go trick or treating with my kids this week. It’ll actually be the last time trick or treating in our old house, and I get to say old house because the house officially sold today earlier in the day. So I own one house now instead of the two. And for those that have been following along with the channel for a while, we moved primary residences. We sold our house in Edmonds and moved to Shoreline. The goal, as some have been asking, is to repurpose that money and invest it elsewhere. I think long-term, we’ll probably have some rentals, but right now we didn’t want to keep the cash in the former primary residence. Instead, we cashed it out. We’re going to take the tax-free gain for our sale of our primary residence, and we’re going to repurpose that money in other ways. But we’re at the end of the month or so.
Next week we’ll do the monthly market updates. We’ll do the Seattle and Bellevue one, and we’ll do the King County and the Snohomish County one. But today we’re going to look at the King and Snohomish County stats here. Over the past week, we’re going to look at what’s been going on in the market. We’re going to look at interest rates, and then we’ll talk a little bit about some application for you as a buyer or seller here in the Seattle area. New listings in the Seattle area are down, as I predicted and talked about. It’s not much of a cool prediction because, well, I think it’s pretty easy to know based on historical trends that during the holidays we see fewer and fewer listings coming on the market.
Now, last week we had 467 listings, this week, 400, and we’ve been slowly trending down, but that trend is becoming increasingly large. And the back on the market number, we had 68 listings come back on the market, and that number, as we talk about regularly, is usually canceled. Listings that are put back on the market, they’re just canceled temporarily, or maybe they expired and they’re coming back on the market. There were a few listings that expired last week, 36 listings that expired last week, and 111 canceled listings. So again, a lot of those back on the market are listings that either recently expired or were canceled to relist.
Now, as we’re looking at the contingent sales, and this is just one of those things, it’s fun to follow along as there are many buyers that need to sell a house before they buy a house, and it’s much simpler if you can purchase contingent on the sale of your house so you don’t have to move twice. It’s essentially one smooth real estate transaction. And in fact, that’s what the people that just bought our house did. They sold their other house and at the same time were buying our house. So their offer on our house was contingent on selling the other house, and so they were able to list their house after they were under contract with us. They thankfully got a buyer relatively quickly, just a few days on the market. And then that sale wrapped up quickly. So it all happened within a month’s time, which was really nice. Now, that’s not always how it happens, but in our case, thankfully the buyers closed on their house relatively quickly and were able to essentially have a similar timeline to a normal length transaction.
Now, if we look at the pending sales over the last week down a little bit, 598 pending sales, but not down significantly from the 628 last week. And conversely, with sold listings, we’re actually seeing an uptick in sold listings over the past week, 521 sold listings versus 504 the previous week.
We are at the end of the month, so we’ve had a little bit more activity as the month ends, and we’ll see some more updates here over the next few days. Listings that maybe just sold a day ago or two days ago, or even listing selling in the next couple days, those will be recorded or put into the system a little bit late. It happens, and that will also reflect in next week’s data. So I expect that this week and next week are going to have larger numbers, but what we’re going to start to see is just things slowing down, and that’s completely normal for this time of year. And with the higher interest rates, it certainly doesn’t help the buyer activity. Right now, mortgage rates are at 7.88 today according to mortgage news dailies survey last week, they were at 7.92. So slight decrease in the mortgage rates over the past week.
I expect that we’re going to continue to see the volatility that we’ve been seeing here over the past few months in the mortgage rates. Now, as we head towards the rest of the year, we talk about how we’re not going to see as many houses coming on the market and we’ll likely not see as much buyer activity either. But this trend really matches up well with a saying that you’ve probably heard or are familiar with, and that’s the idea that the early bird gets the worm. And when we think about buying a house or selling a house, it’s nice to be on the earlier side of that here, coming into the new year. So most people, if they’re thinking about buying a house in the following year, are starting to think about it during October, November, December. They’re planning for the future. And that’s just what happens typically before you hit the new year.
Now, people that are thinking about selling might have a similar psychology. They’re thinking, let’s move. We’re going to be moving next year. Or, you know what? I think I want to buy something different. So that are thinking about selling are also thinking similarly, and even people that are starting to have conversations now are planning for maybe listing in January, February, March. And so I would encourage, if you’re thinking about buying a house to start those conversations now, get started with the process a little bit earlier. The benefits are you are ready to go if something great comes up now when there are fewer buyers in the market, but you’re also ready to jump in when the inventory starts picking up. If you wait until January, February to get started now inventory’s picking up and there’s all these other buyers that are more equipped and ready to go than you are at the same point in time. So I would say as a buyer, getting into it earlier or getting started earlier is going to only benefit you.
If you’re somebody who owns a house and you’re thinking about selling, I would encourage that getting your house on the market while inventory is lower, especially in a market that has been so volatile over the past few years, is a benefit to you as well. Last year in February, March, early April, but really it was February and March primarily, we were seeing multiple offers. We were seeing houses going over asking price. We saw a pretty big jump in the prices that people were paying for homes or home values. And then we started to see that taper off, and it happened pretty quickly. Homes that were under contract before May were the highest selling houses of last year, at least according to the data that we’re following. So I would encourage, as a seller, a lot of people think listing in the spring and as the summer are the ideal times, and I would almost say mid-winter to late winter and really early spring are going to be the prime times to list this year with interest rates being higher because you’ll be able to benefit from the low amount of inventory out there in the competition of new buyers coming to the market.
Thank you so much for watching this week’s Seattle Housing Market video. I hope that this video was valuable and helpful for you as you follow along with the Seattle Real Estate market. If you have questions about your situation and what it might look like to buy or sell in the Seattle area, I’d love to be a resource for you.