Seattle Real Estate Market Update | December 2023

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

Hey guys. It’s Zach McDonald, your real estate agent with Real Property Associates, and this is my Seattle Real Estate market update for December 2023.

Well, happy holidays and Merry Christmas everyone. We are in our last real estate market update of the year. Of course, we’ll still have a few more of the market watch videos here over the next couple of weeks, but this is the last one of these monthly updates for the year. So I’m excited to share a client story with you. In the past few months, we’ve been talking about my own buying and selling experience because I don’t get to do that all the time, but this month I want to highlight Sean and Susanna first time home buyers in Thena neighborhood of Seattle. They started looking before the summer and their big hope was that they’d be able to purchase during the summer while they were on summer break. But it didn’t work out exactly like that.

We looked at some houses in Greenwood and we were looking at houses in Maple Leaf and we made a few offers and according to them, they are really excited about the house they got there. In their opinion, it’s the best house that they looked at and made an offer on, but it took a little time to land where we did. And as you’ve followed along with these videos, if you have, and again, if you’re new welcome, the Seattle market has been interesting. It’s been a little neighborhood dependent. It’s also been, it was a little bit hotter earlier in the year and a little more competitive. And that competition has waned a little bit as interest rates climbed and they were able to purchase a house at the asking price after a sizable price reduction. And in fact, they pretty much paid the same price that these people that sold the house paid a few years before. So again, another story of how the market has been down and there’s opportunity in the market. So the people that sold didn’t walk away with much at all aside from the money they put into it.

Whereas my clients now are getting in at a lower price and looking forward to hopefully some growth here over the next few years. I mentioned that at the end of the year, at the end of 2023, we were going to have prices that were higher than they were at the same time last year. We’re not hitting all time highs right now, but we are hitting all time November highs. And if we look at the data here in Seattle residential homes, and again, we look at the residential single family data, and I think that’s how we have done these videos ever since the beginning. And the Seattle median sales price was 9 19 9 75. All right, that’s 3.4% above last year’s high in November, and it is the highest November on record for Seattle home prices. So in the midst of everything that’s been going on, real estate is seasonal, so it’s always peaking in the spring and summer as far as prices go, and then waning a little bit towards the end of the year.

At least that’s the normal flow. It didn’t happen in 2020 like that, but that is the typical flow Bellevue, 13.5% up year over year, 1,714,000, and that’s way higher than Seattle prices, but highest November on record in Bellevue as well. And so we have seen prices up year over year, but again, they’re setting new records for the month. So again, with all the ups and downs, we’re seeing the highest prices in the Seattle area that we’ve ever seen this time of year, and that’s as inventory is starting to decline, interest rates are starting to come down again and hopefully permanently new listings are down though, and that trend has continued for the year. Seasonally it’s normal to see fewer listings in the fall and heading into the winter. So November, December, we typically have the lower numbers. Now, year over year is a great comparison.

So we had an 11.2% drop off in listings from last year, which was, I would say about normal for listings. Typically, we see about four to 500 new listings this time of year, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. We’re in a relatively normal range, but 11.2% down year over year. COD was an extreme year. We had way more listings during 2020 in the fall because a lot of people were waiting to list their houses. And then also the housing market was starting to pick up. So it was just a weird year. You had people waiting and then all of a sudden everybody was trying to kind of catch up with the listing. So spring was light, but the fall and the summer were a little bit more than we normally see. Now, pending sales also down, but down minimally from last year, we had a 6.3% drop off in Seattle’s pending sales.

Bellevue, interestingly up 6%, but when we look at Bellevue, it’s a super, super small sample size compared to Seattle. So one or two, three houses skews the data. So we don’t focus on Bellevue’s data too much in this piece of the equation, but we do see a slight drop off from last year with the pending sales. And again, typically we’re seeing a larger number of pending sales this time of year, even though we’re seeing fewer listings. But again, we’re still seeing a drop off in inventory and we’ll talk about that here in a moment. Now, last year we had 456 sales in Seattle, 67 in Bellevue this year down 13.6% from that number in Seattle and down 4.5% in Bellevue. Again, we’re talking about three sales in Bellevue. So the sample size is smaller, but for example, 2020 and 2021, we had 700 plus closed sales in November.

But those were outliers. Normally we’re seeing between 400 and 500 sales in a given November in the Seattle housing market. So this year would be considered still well below that number, but not too far off. 3 94 is pretty close to the low end of what we would expect to see. We’re starting to see a smaller dropoff now in the year over year listing numbers. And I think a big part of that is because we’re used to seeing smaller numbers this time of year, but throughout the year we’ve been seeing significant dropoffs from the normal this time of year. The people that are listing are the same people that need to list this time of year anyway. We typically see more need to list people or need to buy people during the holidays than we see the rest of the year. And I guess percentage wise, it’s a little bit more dramatic.

So that means that we’re seeing a smaller effect of the higher rates in the market because the people that are selling, they need to sell either way and the buyers that are buying, they need to buy either way. Now, median days on market, the drop off from last year is pretty substantial as the amount of days is not 14 versus nine this year in Seattle or 13 versus six in Bellevue. The amount of days, it’s like one week versus two weeks, right? So we’re seeing houses selling faster, certainly, and last year we saw that the days on market spiked heading into the new year and then dropped off pretty dramatically in the spring. I don’t think we’re going to see a massive buildup of days on market this year in 2024, and we’ll have a separate predictions video coming out, but I would say right now we’re seeing houses selling about asking price in Seattle and in Bellevue for looking at the data here, about a hundred percent in Seattle and Bellevue.

And last year we were looking at 98.4% in Seattle and 95.1% in Bellevue. So prices have stabilized. It’s a lot easier I think to list a property right now too, as far as pricing goes because we’re not chasing the market down. If we look at the average percentage of the original price in Seattle and Bellevue, we’re seeing a little bit less of a drop off here, but 98.7% in Seattle, again, that’s factoring in price reductions. And in Bellevue, 99.2% on that number. And then inventory, right? This is a big thing, especially this time of year, but heading into the new year, where are we at? And Homes for sale? Last year we had 914 houses for sale, 7 59 in Seattle, now 146 in Bellevue, 97 in Bellevue now. So larger percentages right in Bellevue, but in Seattle still is pretty substantial dropoff in the amount of homes that are for sale in the market, and that’s caused our supply numbers to drop.

So we’re at 1.4 months in Bellevue, and we’re at 1.6 months of supply in Seattle, which is pretty much the same as we were last year in Seattle, and it’s down from where we were in previous months, looking back at October and September. And things are just tightening up in the Seattle housing market. So as we’re looking forward to the rest of the year during the holidays, we typically see fewer new listings. We see fewer transactions, less buyer activity. People are out celebrating having fun with their friends and their family, and they’re also starting to think about 2024. So if I was somebody thinking about buying in 2024, I would be getting started now. I would get my pre-approval done. I might meet with a real estate agent and go over the criteria that I have and start to tweak things and get lined up and set up for success because there might be a great opportunity in December before the competition picks up, but also you’re ready to go when more of the listings come on. And that’s typical.

Most people, at least that I’m talking with right now are thinking about January, February, March. And I know I’m not alone in those conversations. As a real estate professional on the seller side, this is a great time to be as well. Prepping for getting my house on the market in 2024. So that is having a conversation with a real estate professional. What’s my house worth? Where are we at? What type of prep work should I be doing to my house? And maybe I can even get a head start on some of that prep work right now. So I think for buyers and for sellers, there are a lot of action items and things that you can be doing as things are a little bit slower in your life maybe, or even as they’re a little bit crazier, there is less motivation to get your house on the market or buy right now, but you can start taking steps to put yourself in a position for success in 2024.

Thanks so much for tuning in to this month’s Seattle Real Estate Market update. I hope this was super valuable for you. And if it was, please consider subscribing and following along. And if there’s any way that I can bring value to your situation, whether you’re thinking about buying or selling, or even just have some questions about the housing market, I’d love to be a resource for you.

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