Snohomish County Real Estate Market Update | January 2024

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

Hey y’all. Zach McDonald, your real estate agent with Real Property Associates, and this is my Snohomish County Real Estate market update for January, 2024.

What’s up, Snohomish County? This is our first update of the year and I’m really excited because we’re not only going to talk about the stats for last month, December, 2023, but we’re also going to talk about 2023 as a whole in Snohomish County. And speaking of that, let’s look at the recap of last year because we got this handy dandy information and I figured I would share it with you. So if we recap 2023 in Snohomish County, we saw a decrease in listings of 32.9%. So we saw a drop off in listings of 32.9% in Snohomish County. And if we dropped down to the close sales number here, we had 24.7% fewer closed sales. So we still saw activity, we were still seeing houses coming on the market, we were still seeing houses sell. But like we talked about and have been talking about in these updates all year long, what we saw is a dramatic, I would say, decrease in the amount of real estate activity in Snohomish County over the past year.

Now, days on market, the average days on market in 2022, this is going to be a little bit skewed because we had the super, super hot time of the year at the beginning. The average days on market was 18 in 20 22, 26 for the whole year of 2023, which is a 44.4% increase. If we look at how we finished 2023, we finished 2023 with 31 days on market versus the end of 20, 22, 37 days on market. And although I mentioned that the average in 2022 was lower, a lot of that data was pulled down by the quicker sales at the beginning of the year. So I would say as we finished out 2023, we actually saw an improvement in the days on market or home selling a little bit quicker. Now let’s look at the year to date average. So the median sales price, okay, not average, it’s a little bit different, it’s a type of average, but the median sales price in Snohomish County for the entire year was $730,000.

$730,000 was the median sales price in 2023. Last year’s median sales price was 759,170. So that was a drop off of 3.8% for the entire year. And if we look at the end of this year, we saw that home prices were down about 1.4% year over year as we wrapped up 2023. So not bad given all the crazy undulations in the prices. I used a big word there just for fun. Now the average sales price in Snohomish County here is down 4.5%, finishing the year at $806,451. And the average percent of list price for the entire year of 2023 was just over asking price 0.3% above asking price. That’s taking into account again, all the houses that sold in Snohomish County for the entire year, the slower times, the hotter times, putting it all together. And that was a drop off from last year at 3.6% above asking price.

I’d say overall, 2023 in Snohomish County was a year where things were stabilizing. 2022 was a little bit of a roller coaster. There was a lot of concern about the housing market where it was headed. There was a lot of change rates spiked, the economy wasn’t doing great, and well, it’s not doing amazing yet, but there was just a lot of uncertainty in 20 22, 20 23, we at least feel like we have some certainty. I think we also forget, we tend to forget what’s going on and become used to it. So for better or worse, people have accepted higher interest rates. People have accepted the economy is what it is. There’s a little less panic and a little bit more confidence in the housing market, specifically in the Seattle area, but also in the economy. I think hope’s the word right? Maybe it’s not as much confidence as it is hope, but if we look at how we wrapped up the year in Snohomish County, I think this is a good look at where we’re headed in 2024.

So we new listings, we saw a slight uptick year over year of 2.4% in the new listings. Traditionally, December is a really slow time of the year for someone to list a home in Snohomish County. It’s also a slow time for people to buy a house in Snohomish County. Pending sales, pretty much the same as last month, 525 this month versus 5 28 last month. But that’s significant because we saw a massive jump in pending sales, 31.9%. And that’s what I want to talk about just for a sec. I mentioned that it seems like things have started to pick up, and that’s because we’re seeing a large jump in the buyer activity, even though the listing activity didn’t necessarily cooperate for all the buyers, but there are certainly a lot of buyers entering the market right now, thinking about 20, 24 now that we’re there. I’ve experienced this on my own, but this data is showing just that there is a lot more active buyer activity than there was at the same time last year, 525 pending sales versus 398.

And again, we talked about a 31.9% difference. Closed sales are down slightly year over year, 4 83. And again, closed sales are usually sales that would’ve been under contract the month before, so that would’ve been November. So any or most of the sales that are under contract in December, which is what we’re looking at, would be closing in January. Our current month median sales price in Snohomish County, again, I mentioned down 1.4% year over year, $680,000 to finish out the year. And the average sales price was down 1.1%, finishing out the year at $763,441 in Snohomish County. Now asking price is pretty much what houses are selling for. In Snohomish County, we’re looking at about 99.5%. So what you see is usually what you get. There’s potentially a little wiggle room maybe for a house that’s been on the market for a few weeks, but this is not a market right now, at least in Snohomish County, where across the board you’re going to be getting a bunch of deals and discounts.

There are places where you’ll be able to get a house for below asking price. If you’re looking for a house below asking price, or maybe that doesn’t have as much competition, you got to find one that isn’t selling. You have to find a house or be willing to buy a house, maybe that other people don’t want to buy for a specific reason. Maybe it’s not quite move-in ready, or maybe it’s not as desirable for some specific reason. Maybe you can make it desirable or change that feature and maybe you can’t and you just have to accept it as it is. There are certain things you can change, certain things you can’t, but those are typically the ones you’re getting below asking price right now, last year houses were selling for 98.1% of the asking price, so there was more wiggle room across the board than there is right now.

And I think a big reason is because there were a lot more houses available. And we also mentioned earlier there was that fear or the uncertainty. Last year to this year, we saw a drop off in the amount of homes available of 49.6%. That’s almost 50%. If we round up 50% fewer houses are available heading into January, 2024 than there were heading into January, 2023, which is why we’re seeing that our housing supply number has dropped off quite a bit to the below one month. And what that means is there’s just going to be a lot of pressure. We talked about more buyers coming in on the existing houses. So if you’re a buyer thinking about buying in 2024, this is when you want to start. You want to start before it starts to pick up again in the late winter and in the spring, and you’re still on the beginning of that, there’s still a chance to get started now.

And sellers, I’d be thinking about getting my house ready to go on the market. The weather’s going to start changing. Well, that’s a little cautiously optimistic. Well, it’s not even cautiously optimistic. It’s going to be a few months, but it takes time to get your house ready to sell if you want to maximize the investment that you have. So I would consider getting my house ready for sale right now if I lived in Snohomish County. And overall, I just want you all to know that I think the market has stabilized, and we’ve been talking about this all year, but I think 2023 really was a year of stabilization in Snohomish County as we wrap this up. And I also think that 2024 is going to be a year where we start to see interest rates coming down maybe towards the middle to end of the year.

But the Fed has signaled that they are going to do some drops. And again, there’s no guarantee. But assuming that that happens and we head into a year where we have home interest rates coming down, I expect to see a lot more of the buyer activity picking up some of the buyers that have been sitting on the sidelines coming back, which we’re already starting to see. And I would expect that the spring housing market here in the Snohomish County market in the general Seattle area is going to be relatively competitive. Thanks so much for tuning into this month, Snohomish County Real Estate Market Update.

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