Seattle Housing Market Watch 11/14/23
Hey, Zach McDonald, your real estate agent with Real Property Associates, and this is my Seattle Housing Market Watch for November 14th, 2023.
Well, we are heading into the holidays. Thanksgiving is just around the corner. In fact, Thanksgiving is next week, and I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to spend time with my family and some of my friends. I know Thanksgiving looks a little bit different for everybody, so I hope you’re able to enjoy it in the way that you do. And as we look at the housing market, we’ll get to the data here in a minute, but the normal trend during the Thanksgiving week is that we don’t see a lot of new listings coming on the market. I expect maybe we’ll see a few here before the end of the week, and then I think it’s going to be relatively quiet during the week of Thanksgiving and we’ll see a little bit more coming on the market the following week before the Christmas holiday. Typically slows things down as well.
So really the trend, and we’ve been talking about this for a few months, is that this holiday season and every holiday season is typically a slower time in the housing market. Things start to go into hibernation mode. There are still sales, people buying and selling again, mainly people that are need to move type of people, whether they’re buying or selling, they have a legitimate reason where they have to go versus people that want to move. You see a lot more want to move in the spring and summertime and early fall and a lot less during the late fall and early winter.
So let’s look at the data here with that stage set, and we’re already seeing the trend of listings declining the past couple weeks. We did not do a housing market watch. Last week we did the Seattle real estate market update video, the monthly recap.So if you missed that, go ahead and take a listen to it. If we look at the MarketWatch data here, and this is again a reflection back over two weeks. I’ll give you a little secret. I looked at it last week as well, and it was down about the same here, new listings last week, 374, which is a slight decline of the 400 in our last housing market watch again. Last week I did look at the data and we were about the same number of new listings, so hasn’t changed dramatically week over week, but over the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen things start to slow down. We saw that the list price reductions also declined 307 list price reductions versus the 345 a few weeks back. Some of that is because there are fewer listings coming on the market and you’re going to see fewer price reductions as a result.
There are still houses that are selling quickly, but there are also still houses that are sitting on the market. So we’re still in that place where some things are selling quick, some things are taking a little bit more time. If we look at the contingent sales about the same, we saw 14 versus 17 a few weeks back, expired listings exactly the same, 36. So that number’s remaining constant. I don’t expect to see a lot of expired. We’ve been seeing fewer and fewer of those as the market has been shifting and improving and really the market’s been stabilizing. That’s what we’ve been talking about here for months, is that things have reached a point of stabilization in the housing market, especially in the Seattle area.
Pending sales, the number of pending sales is up 601 versus 5 98. The sold listings were kind of mid month, so those have dropped off quite a bit 3 93 versus 5 21. Again, the last housing market watch we recorded was at the end of the month, which is where we see most of the sales. So not surprised to see a drop off here in the sold listings, but what we will see in November, most likely at the end of the month is a drop off month over month from October. It’s pretty typical to see a decline from October to November, and then again from November to December in the sold listings and typically in every single category, we’re seeing a decline in November and December. Again, because we’re in the holidays, things slow down. Now, the canceled listings, that’s remained about the same as well. And I would say that when you have a more stable market, you’re going to see fewer canceled listings and you’re also going to see fewer expired listings because things are selling quicker. And that’s what we’ve been seeing here in the Seattle area. Over the past, I’d say six to eight months, things have been selling quicker.
Early in the year, we were seeing the highest days on market we’d seen in a while in our market, and again, that has changed pretty dramatically. And now we’re seeing things selling in one to two weeks as the median and closer to the 20 plus days for the average, maybe three weeks or so. Again, that’s taking into account some of those houses that are taking longer to sell, and that even includes my own house that took, I was like 80, 80 something days and I shared before I priced high. I was hoping that I would catch the top of the market for the year, and I was just hoping somebody would be willing to pay what I was hoping to get from my house. And again, they didn’t. And what that means is I had to chase the market down, especially as it was cooling off in the summer and into the fall. So I got to suffer or experience what some people experience when they try to price on the high side of the market value, and I fell victim to it myself. It is hard to objectively look at the value of your house, and it’s even harder to be your own real estate agent because you are the objective one, giving yourself advice.
Anyways, let’s look at rates, because rates have been on the decline the past couple of weeks. We’ve seen rates drop from around 7.9 in mortgage News daily survey last week. We were at 7.48 this week, 7.4 on their daily survey average. And I suspect, and many are predicting, we’re going to continue to see these rates slowly climb down. No change in the fed rate, but again, the mortgage rate is not directly tied to that fed rate, so the fed rate has remained stable and we’re starting to see a decline in the mortgage rate. A lot of that has to do with the Fed signaling that yeah, we’re going to hold firm here for a little bit and also some of the inflationary data having a positive outlook. So again, that’s what the mortgage rates are most closely tied to the inflationary numbers.
Now, as we consider what’s going to happen the rest of the year, we’ve been talking about how things are going to slow down, and we also have been talking about how as rates start to come down, we’re going to see more people coming back into the housing market. So this is a unique window for buyers. Interest rates have come down a little bit. They most likely will continue to come down again at what pace that’s going to be. It’s hard to predict. It’s been kind of up and down. Some people are thinking we’re going to see high fives by the end of 2024. Again, I have no clue. And really they don’t either, but that is the prediction that some are making. I think we’re going to see rates in the fives again and possibly even the upper to mid fours, not immediately, but that’s kind of where we’ve been hovering here for, I don’t know, like 20 years. So I suspect that we’ll get back to that range eventually, but right now we find ourselves in a higher interest rate environment, which means there are less buyers in the pool, and prices are not as high as they once were. So there’s opportunity for buyers. I think for sellers, there is a increasingly larger demand for your property because there’s not as much inventory. So we find ourselves in this higher interest rate environment with fewer buyers, but we also don’t have a ton of houses available for the buyers. So it’s a weird place to be, and that’s why things are selling relatively quickly and the market is stabilized even though we’re in this higher interest rate environment.
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