Seattle Real Estate Market Update | July 2019

 In #Market Updates, #Seattle Real Estate Market, #Thoughts

Video Summary

Here are my latest thoughts on the Seattle Real Estate Market: 2019 Seattle home prices possibly peaked in May this year, as we saw the median home sales price dip in June. The housing market is far from a buyer’s market, but I suspect home buyers may have more bargaining power again this fall. Stay tuned!

Oh, and I briefly discuss the new single-family zoning laws voted on and approved by the Seattle City Council. I interview Nick Ridgeway to discuss the Seattle zoning changes in more depth.

Relevant links

Video Transcript

Hey all. Zach McDonald, your real estate agent with Real Property Associates and this is my July, 2019 Seattle real estate market update.

Hey guys, we’re going to start off this month update with the story just like we do all the other ones. This month we’re going to talk about Matt and Andrea. They were home buyers, first time home buyers. They were referred to me by Dan Keller from Cross Country Mortgage, so huge shout out to you Dan. Thank you so much for the referral. I really value your trust and partnership. Dan’s one of the great lenders in Seattle that I do a lot of business with throughout the year. Matt and Andrea were somewhat serious home buyers, I’d say. They started off just kind of exploring and trying to see what they qualified for and we worked together quite a bit at the end of last year and then they took a little bit of a break and I got a call from them month and a half ago saying, “Hey Zach, I think we’re ready to get started again.”

And then sure enough like a weekend, we found them a house in one of the neighborhoods we’d been looking at in Bothell in the end of last year and they were really excited about it. So pretty much we already knew exactly what they wanted. We found it right away and we made an offer and got our offer accepted pretty much after seeing the house. So it was a fairly quick process this time around, but as I just shared it’s taken a little bit of time to move along for them, but huge step for them. First home purchase. Super excited for you guys. Matt and Andrea, if you guys are watching this, congratulations again. We’ll flash up the beautiful townhouse you guys purchased here on the screen. This is my favorite part of these updates honestly. I think a lot of you come here for the stats and my thoughts on the market, but really I love just sharing the stories about the people that I got to help buy a house or sell a house.

And so this month we get to talk about Matt and Andrea. So congratulations again guys. The market though, that’s why you’re all here. I know you watch these and subscribe to my channel because you get a lot of value from the market insights and thoughts there. So let’s talk about the market. I’ve mentioned this in a lot of the videos this year, so I don’t want to get too far into the weeds here, but the market has definitely shifted from where it was at the middle of 2018 to where we are now. So pretty much within the last year we’ve seen quite a bit of change and now we have that year over year comparison, which I think is kind of helpful. Last month we were about 4% down, just under like three point something, upper threes. And this month we saw prices a little bit lower, about 4.5% below what they were at the same time last year. Median sales price in Seattle this month, $750,000 and quite honestly not surprised.

I was thinking maybe we would see a jump this month over the prices from where they were in June with May’s numbers, but we didn’t see that. Typically the peak of the year is either last month or this month, so, well I’m assuming it was last month unless we see something funky in the market here in a positive way. Well, depending on your perspective, right? New listings were about the same as last year, which was when we started to get a bunch of this inventory that flooded the market. Seattle as a whole, we got to see quite a bit more homes for sale though. So we’re still up about 50% on the homes for sale on the market. And I’ve mentioned this in some of the other places, but in like Tacoma, we’re seeing median sales prices go up. So I was mentioning in Seattle, we’ve seen them down, up year over year. About 7.7% according to the stats that I have here. And in some of the suburbs too, little farther north of the city, not the direct suburbs, but some of those that maybe are more suburbs of Everett, we’re seeing home prices in a positive direction.

So kind of interesting to see some of those more affordable pockets maybe seeing growth and Seattle maybe cooling a little bit. And really just as a response to the market. Part of the recovery, I think, in the market this year from where… Now it doesn’t look like that looking at the stats, but we had quite a dramatic correction last end of summer and fall and we’ve seen prices rebound quite significantly since the winter in the Seattle real estate market and I think a big part of that is because interest rates have actually dropped down a little bit again, making the affordability issue in Seattle a little more palpable or a little bit more navigable, if that’s even a word. I might’ve just made that word up.

The biggest struggle last year is, first of all, you’re seeing a bunch of new homes coming on the market, but the demand didn’t keep up because all of a sudden you have all these people with interest rates rising that couldn’t quite qualify for that house that they wanted, so it might not have made sense to upgrade or maybe there was like a, “Whoa, wait a sec. Rates are going up a bunch. What’s going to happen in the housing market?”

And obviously we saw dramatic correction. Now homes are still selling above the asking price, the median amount above asking price and the average are both at or above the 100% range. And days on market, we’re still in that eight to ten days on market median range and around 20 days, 20 to 25 average days on market, so really healthy numbers to be honest. And what we’ve seen this year, in my opinion, is are reverting back to more balanced market. Now we’re still in a sellers market. It would be hard to say a market like ours is really a sellers market because it’s not, it’s really still tough as a buyer to negotiate the price a bunch and get a bunch of inspection items taken care of, but what we are seeing is more balance.

Sellers are willing to move off their asking price if their home’s been on the market for a little bit and they’re willing to negotiate. And I’ve seen this on both sides with buyers and sellers. And then also sellers are a little bit more agreeable to do some of the inspection items if they’re reasonable asks. And buyers as well are, you know, asking for things, right? And they’re not just moving along with the purchase or doing an inspection before they make their offers. So we’re seeing offers that are more favorable for the buyer. They can do an inspection after they purchase and they can include contingencies like a financing contingency. They don’t have to make their earnest money nonrefundable. But for the sellers, well they’re still getting good quality offers, but they to be a little bit more flexible. So that’s kind of what we’ve seen as a transition in the marketplace.

Now an interesting note for last month, we saw a bunch more pending sales than we did last year. And so last year we were seeing, “Whoa, wait a sec. Pending sales are dropping off, inventory is going up, this is going to potentially be a problem.” And it ended up being a problem. And what we’re seeing this year is, we saw a lot more pending sales than we did last year. We did see a little bit more homes coming on the market, but really about the same. We saw those pending sales numbers go up, so I think that’s an encouraging sign that people are active in the market and making purchases, which keeps the inventory numbers from skyrocketing and that’s really where you start to see the big adjustments in the price and the supply. Now, another big piece of news, this is, I’d say more interesting and FYI, I talk about this more in another video that you’ll see in a few days.

We have it. It’s going to take a little bit more editing. It’s a little bit more long winded, but I interviewed Nick Ridgeway. He’s a local builder, developer, land real estate agent, kind of the real estate extraordinaire, if you want to call… He’s been doing this for 20 plus years in different capacities, but we talk about the new zoning changes that were just voted on and approved by the Seattle City Council, and these changes are going to be single family zoning changes, so we’re going to see changes to density and also to a size of homes. So there’s going to be some restrictions on the size of homes, but also allowing for greater density, which really is a controversial topic amongst people in Seattle. My hope is that these laws will help preserve the overall character of the neighborhoods as far as keeping some of these really cool early 1900s houses, but also allowing for some more affordable rentals for people and also more affordable homes for people in different life stages because not everybody’s going to be ready to afford that $1.5 million dollar house.

Now, it’ll be interesting to see as Seattle essentially tests this out if this ripples out to some of the suburbs and some of the other places in the state of Washington because there are some of these other suburbs that might benefit from similar density requirements, but ultimately I think that the main focus should be in the city where people work and giving living in those spaces and more affordable housing. So I’m hopeful, but at the same time, I know there’s a lot of controversy about that topic itself, but nobody can argue that it hasn’t been an issue, affordability hasn’t been an issue in Seattle and I’m hopeful that maybe this is a step towards affordability in the city. As far as where’s the market heading, man, I don’t really have anything new to add really over my June monthly update or my May update.

I still think that we’ll see, by the end of the year, prices above where they were at at the end of 2018. That correction was so dramatic. I don’t think we’re going to see as dramatic of a correction. We always see a correction in this time of the year, so if you’re a buyer, this is the time to get preapproval and start looking because that’s when supply tends to go up. Maybe it’ll go up, we’ll see. It’s kind of flattened out the last few months, but if it does go up a little bit, you might have a little bit more negotiating power, prices might go down a little bit more. That’s normal.

I don’t think we’ll see it as dramatic as last year, which hopefully we’ll then end the year with a positive versus a negative on those year over year numbers. Those are my thoughts for the month. I know you found this real estate market valuable, so please consider subscribing to my channel for more monthly updates and other real estate news and fun videos like some of the park videos that I’ve been doing recently. I do value your attention, so thank you so much for watching these videos and paying attention and staying all the way to the end. If you watched this video to the end, go and hit that like button so that I know that you did it. We’ll talk to you next month. Bye for now.

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