Seattle Real Estate Market Update | August 2021

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

Video Summary

We are starting to see a slow-down in the Seattle housing market, which is good news for buyers! Though houses are still selling for above the asking price, especially in the North-Seattle area, we are seeing homes pending with contingencies again and closer to asking price. If you are someone looking to sell and buy in the Seattle area, now could be a good time.

Video Transcript

Hey all, it’s Zach McDonald, your real estate agent with Real Property Associates. And this is my Seattle Real Estate Market Update for August 2021. In this update, I’m going to share a client story from the past month, going to talk about the stats in the Seattle area, and we’re going to talk about a little bit of application for you coming up. We’re going to start this market update off with a story which we do with every update. And this month we’re featuring the Sweeney family.

The Sweeney family worked with the McDonald Real Estate Group to buy and sell here in the last couple months in Snohomish County. They sold their house in Linwood for 8.5% above asking price. So big win on that end. And they were able to purchase their new house in Everett for 3.5% below the asking price. So a little bit of the best of both worlds for them. It’s a big adjustment. Their family’s been growing and they outgrew their Linwood house. And now decided to move over to Everett. Get a little bit bigger house.

I think we’re seeing very similar trends in this last year. Sometimes it’s a need that changes because of working from home. In this case, it was not related to a need for a different space for that reason, it was just a growing family. So everybody has a different situation and the Sweeney family made a great move here in the last month. We’re super grateful for the opportunity to work with them. If you know somebody in that same situation, thinking about maybe buying another house because they’ve outgrown their space, or maybe that’s even you and you’re watching, I’d love to be a resource for you.

All right, let’s jump into the stats, which is why I know most of you are here to watch these videos. And this month, we saw the Seattle median sales price come in at $869,970, which is an 11.8% increase year over year. So if we look back at last year, we saw quite a big jump. If we look at Bellevue’s median sales price, over on the east side, we saw a 36.6% jump in the median sales price in Bellevue, came in just behind their previous record last month at $1,639,000. And Seattle’s median sales price was actually a record high a couple months ago, back in May.

So for the region, Seattle Bellevue Metro area, we’re seeing home prices continue to climb. And Seattle actually is one of the slowest in appreciation over the past year. So King County as a whole, and Seattle and Bellevue are kind of the crown jewels of King County, if you want to call it that. King County’s median sales price was $875,500, which is more than Seattle’s median sales price was last month. And also King County appreciated 19.9% overall year over year, where Seattle was 11.8%. And we just talked about Bellevue 36.6%. So way more than the county average.

But overall, the surrounding areas around Seattle have been appreciating faster. And there’s multiple reasons that we could talk about that I’m not going to talk about in this video. But there has been a push outside of the city. I think some of it related to not needing to be in Seattle close to work, maybe they’re working from home, different types of houses, things like that. Maybe some of its politics. Again, I don’t want to spend too much time on this, but the fact is, a lot of the surrounding areas and suburbs of Seattle, and Bellevue being the biggest one, we’re seeing a lot of people moving there and prices going up faster in those areas.

As far as new listings and supply is concerned, we’re seeing fewer new listings coming on the market this year than we did last year, about 6% fewer in Seattle, and Bellevue saw 13.9% fewer new listings this year in July versus last year in July. Part of that’s probably COVID related. There was a bigger push to get houses on the market in the summer last year because people had waited. And this year people had put their houses on in the spring, which is more traditional for the hottest time of the year.

So we’re still seeing a lot of listings coming on the market. Don’t think that I’m saying otherwise. But Seattle had almost 1300 new listings over the past few months, each month, which is close to record territory. And we’ve seen a little tapering off. We had 1,129. So a little decrease in inventory, which is normal for this time of year. But even a little bit less than same time last year. And if we look at homes for sale and the supply numbers, we’re seeing about 27% fewer houses on the market in Seattle, this time versus last year, and same thing with Bellevue, we’re seeing even more drastic. We’re seeing a 72.1% decrease in the amount of homes for sale. So Bellevue’s market is even more inventory starved than in Seattle. There’s only 50 homes for sale and all of Bellevue, at least at the end of July.

This brings us to one of our favorite indicators to talk about, and that is the supply. That’s the amount of homes available versus the amount of people interested. And in Seattle we saw 0.9 months of supply. And in Bellevue we saw 0.4 months of supply. And both numbers are substantially down from last year. For the past six, seven years in the Seattle Bellevue area we’ve seen lower supply numbers, which means it’s a sellers market. I mean, sellers have the ability to dictate price and terms, quite frequently. The buyers are essentially competing over the same homes.

And in 2016 to 2018, beginning of 2018, we saw one of the hottest markets ever in Seattle. Seattle was on the top of the charts pretty much two years straight. And we saw a little bit of a drop-off in Seattle. And now we’re back to one of the hottest markets in the whole US. And if we look at those numbers and at that time we’re seeing even lower supply numbers now than we did back then. So it’s a super competitive market right now in Seattle and Bellevue and anywhere, really in the region. But right now, we’re seeing really, really, really low supply county-wide.

So King County’s at 0.7 months of supply. And so Seattle is just a little bit above that. And then Bellevue is a little bit below. Closed sales are up in Seattle, 17.3% year over year. And in Bellevue, they’re up 37.8% year over year. And Seattle being the largest city in King County accounts for almost 1/3 of the closings in all of the county with over a 1,000 closings, 1080 closings. And if we look at closings over the past few years in Seattle, we’re seeing even more this year than we have over not only last year, but the year before in 2019. And we’re seeing a lot more homes selling each month, essentially all the homes that are coming on the market are selling. And we’re seeing the same thing in Bellevue and county-wide.

Last couple of stats here. First off, we’ll talk about days on market. And the days on market median in Seattle, six days on market, which is down slightly year over year. If we look at the average though of 11 days on market, we’re down 42.1%. So the average house, if we look at all the houses, they’re collectively selling quite a bit faster this year than they were last year. The media number hasn’t changed as much, because the homes have been selling relatively quickly in Seattle and the surrounding areas for some time now. But the average being so low shows us how quickly all of the homes are selling.

If we look at Bellevue. Bellevue’s median days on the market was five days on market. Again, not a huge change from last year. But if we look at the average days on market of eight, we’re seeing a 61.9% decrease in the days on market across the board. So the average there is a lot closer to the media, even then Seattle’s number. King County as a whole is 10 days on market for the average. So Seattle just above, Bellevue just below. And as I mentioned, Bellevue’s quite a bit hotter than Seattle, and so is a lot of King County.

The last stat here is fun for sellers, not as much fun for buyers, but it’s good information. And that’s the amount over the asking price that people are paying to purchase homes. In king county, as a whole, we’re seeing a 7% increase over the asking price on average. So the average house is getting 7% over asking price. If we look at Seattle, we’re seeing 5.1% above asking price. And if we look at Bellevue, we’re seeing 11.1% on average above asking price. And both are up year over year. Now these numbers are slightly down from what we’ve been seeing over the past few months.

So back in April, May, June, we were seeing even more over asking price and we’ve seen a slight cooling in that. We’re still seeing multiple offers very frequently. We’re still seeing houses selling above asking price, obviously, but some of the houses aren’t selling with the multiple offer situation, which is pulling this number down a little bit. Let’s get to some points of application. Number one, the market has slowed down a little bit here this summer so far. We’ve seen a little bit more breathing room for buyers. We’ve seen opportunities for buyers to purchase homes at or below asking price, at least at the asking price, which, if you’re a home buyer, that’s a big, big discount.

If you’re paying 8, 10% above asking price on a home, well, you’re paying 8-10% more. And if sellers are pricing their homes similarly to where they were priced a month or two ago, and they’re not getting that bump on the multiple offers, you’re going to be getting your house at a little bit of a discount. So for those that are able to purchase a home that maybe isn’t the ideal house, that is a strategy as a buyer, where if you can find things that you can change about the house to make it a house that you like, and make it sellable, or more appealing to the masses, that’s going to be this next few months is going to be that opportunity for you to find a house like that I think.

Some of the houses are move in ready. Everybody likes them. And those are still going to be getting multiple offers. But there are houses right now that are not selling at their offer review date. There are houses that are sitting on the market for a couple weeks. And those are opportunities as a buyer where you don’t have to pay that premium, but you can also get a good house. Now, I always tell buyers that I’m working with, if it’s not selling now, when it’s super, super hot, it’s also going to be really hard to sell and even more difficult if the market’s not hot later on. The caveat there is, if you can change some things about the house to make it more sellable, then it’s a good opportunity. If the location’s terrible or the lot’s terrible, you can’t change anything about it, or it’s too difficult to do the improvements to the house. Then it’s probably one to pass on, even though it seems like a good opportunity. So as a buyer, you want to be discerning too about those opportunities that you pursue.

Another topic I want to bring up right now is inflation. So we’re seeing home prices shooting through the roof this year. We’re seeing reports about consumer goods going up dramatically. We’re seeing, at least I’m reading a lot, about how the government is currently handling the inflation situation. And they’re not really doing that much to stop it. In the last year, plus we’ve been pumping money into the economy. So I think we’re going to continue to see inflation and that’s going to continue to impact the housing market.

What happens is you have more money circulating around, which is ultimately going to impact the money and resources that people have. Now it doesn’t mean that everybody has those resources, but some people are getting those resources and that additional money. So what’s going to happen in the long run. And what does happen if we look back at history, is that home prices continue to go up. Cost of things, continue to go up. I mean, I remember when you could go and get gas for a $1.00 and even less, and now gas is $4.00. And that’s never going to go back to a $1.00. And I think when we look at the housing market, we think, “Okay, well, lets find that opportunity to get a house when the market crashes.”

I don’t know when that’s going to happen. And I think if you’re a home buyer, you want to find those opportunities if you can. And if you’re an investor, maybe you want to work on timing the market a little bit. But I think what’s happening and has happened to a lot of people I know is they’ve been priced out of the market here, pretty much for good, unless they get a different job, because home prices have gone up so dramatically. And I don’t think what we’re going to see in these next few years is some kind of massive drop-off in home prices.

I don’t think we’re going to see a 50% correction. I don’t think we’re in a massive bubble of home prices. I just reviewed offers on a house yesterday, where there were two buyers that could pay cash at or above the asking price and a couple others that were pretty close. And this house was well over a million dollars. There are plenty of people that are able to pay the prices for the homes right now. And that’s not encouraging if you’re a buyer, because as a buyer, you want to get the best price. You want to get things when the market’s down. But I just don’t think that’s what’s on the horizon here.

Now, supply and demand is a big factor in a housing market, specifically in a local market. Are people wanting to buy the houses? Are there enough houses? Those types of things. But the amount of money that people have, it’s also a big factor that contributes to the amount of demand for housing, and if people see it as a value or not. With that being said, I think there’s a lot of room for growth in this region. Even though prices seem to be really high, there are other markets in the US and outside of the US where prices are astronomically higher and affordability is even more difficult.

Yes, the housing prices in Seattle and the surrounding areas are at or near record highs. But I think we’re going to find over the next five to 10 years, is that prices are going to continue to climb and affordability is going to continue to be a challenge. So what are the applications here for a buyer? If you’re a buyer and you are planning to live here for the long haul, you want to live in Seattle area, Bellevue area, this is the time where you want to get your pre-approval done. And you want to start looking. The summer and fall is typically a better time to be a buyer, because there are people on vacation. There’s a little less competition. People are going back to school, and you have this little bit of a lull as far as buyer interest goes. Maybe instead of having 10 or 15 offers or even five, maybe there’s one or two on a specific house.

So it gives you as a buyer, a better chance to buy a house without the competition, which ends up saving you some money. As a buyer, you’re also going to most likely be facing that competition if you were to wait until the new year to start thinking about a purchase. So just something to have in the back of your mind. And I think anytime you’re buying a house, you want to have a longer time horizon. So some people thinking about a purchase, then they’re going to sell it in a year or two and make a profit. We don’t know if something like we just experienced over the last year and a half is going to continue where we’re going to see 15, 20% appreciation county-wide.

But if you’re somebody who is thinking about making a purchase and calling this area your home for the long haul, I think that’s a lot more safe bet as far as where our prices going to be in the future. If you’re a seller, I think this is a beautiful time to think about selling, specifically, if you’re planning to move out of the area, downsize because you’re able to sell and then buy, you’re kind of doing everything in the same market. But you might still be able to capitalize on those multiple offers and also maybe purchase without having the multiple offers depending on what type of property you’re buying.

So this might be a good time in 2021 to make that swap where you sell and buy at the same time. I also saw contingent property on the MLS the other day. So this could be that opportunity if you have to purchase contingent to maybe make that happen. It hasn’t been a thing all year, but maybe you can make it happen. Specifically on some of those higher priced homes. So just something to think about if you’re needing to buy and sell, this might be the time to start thinking about that and try to thread the needle a little bit.

Thanks so much for watching my Seattle Real Estate Market Update for August 2021. We covered a lot in this video, we talked about a buyer getting a house below asking price. We talked about the stats and how we’re still right around record prices. And we talked about the fact that we probably will see a little bit more of a level playing field here for the rest of the year, but that we’re still going to most likely see multiple offers on the good houses. If you found value in this video, please consider subscribing to my channel. I publish a new market update every month, as well as market updates for King and Snohomish County if you want a little bit more of a broad brush. And if you’re somebody looking to purchase a house in the Seattle and Bellevue areas, I’d love to be a resource for you.

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