Seattle Real Estate Market Update | March 2023
In February, the Seattle and Bellevue housing market continued to see some strength in many areas. The median days on market and percentage of list price are two indicators that confirmed a hotter market than we have been seeing.
- Last month’s market update – Seattle Real Estate Market Update February 2023
Hey y’all, Zach McDonald, your real estate agent with Real Property Associates and this is my Seattle Real Estate market update for March, 2023.
Interest rates are now hovering right around 7%. Inventory continues to drop and well buyer activity’s been picking up here after the new year. So what we’re experiencing is this weird unknown territory where we have the higher rate environment, we don’t have a lot of listings on the market and we have, well, a lot more buyer activity than we have new listing activity. And it has us in this place where we have low inventory and we’re starting to see competition again in the Seattle area. This is the case in Seattle, it’s the case in Bellevue and really across King and Snohomish counties. The numbers look terrible as far as year over year, but what’s starting to change is the monthly interest or activity based on the previous months and also showing some signs, I would say, of the market starting to heat up again. So let’s, let’s look at the data.
Before we do, I wanna share a quick story from last month. I always do that. client story. The Combs family came from California here. They were living overseas for a while and working overseas and they just moved here and relocated from California to Seattle. They bought a house in Magnolia with us and this is one of those that was listed in the summer and was listed for peak pricing. They ended up getting this house for a large decrease in the price compared to what houses we’re selling for in the summer. It sold for less than 90% of the asking price, the current asking price, but the Delta’s even larger from the original asking price. And so we’re really excited for our clients on this purchase, fully remodeled house and they saved a considerable amount of money here buying now versus buying then of course timing.
That was not what they were intending to do, but it’s working out in their favor for sure. Beautiful views, territorial views from Magnolia. One of my favorite parts about Magnolia are the views pretty much from either side of Magnolia. So again, congrats to the Combs family. What they got and what I think is available to other buyers right now are opportunities. Now, these opportunities, some keep chatting on the comments here, that these opportunities could get better in the future and they could, and I guess they could and they could also go away. But right now there are opportunities that we know about and we’ll start off with just the median sales price because I think this is where it’s starting to become more obvious that the opportunities are there because the data year over year is showing this, but we’ve been talking about it on the monthly basis.
If you look back at the history of these updates and the home values have been going down since the spring in Seattle though, the year over year numbers are now negative 9.4% negative, a little bit more than King County’s average. If you haven’t, by the way, seen the King County update, you might want to take a look at that one as well to get a holistic view of the whole county. Bellevue is one of the larger drop-offs in all of King County, 28.9% down year over year. Median sales price is $1.5 million in Bellevue, $815,000 in Seattle. So almost twice as expensive still to live in Bellevue, but fairly large drop-offs the two year look back. So if you look back at 2021, both Seattle and Bellevue are up from the two years back look, but the one year outlook looks fairly, fairly bleak. And it’s funny, if I look back, Bellevue in 2022 was up 50.2% from the prior year in 2021.
But then the drop off of 28.9% has put us not quite back all the way there. But those drop-offs actually have a larger effect than the increases. just how the math works I guess. But if we look at average percent of list price, this is what’s starting to change. Seattle, I mentioned this, we’re seeing over asking price and I’m not crazy, 0.3% above asking price was the average in Seattle, just barely. But this is is a welcome change for a homeowner who is seeing the number being negative here over the past six, seven months. Bellevue is still down below asking price 97.3% of the asking price, but at the same time, those numbers were quite a bit lower, getting closer to the 92, 93% of asking price in Bellevue. So it’s getting better last year though. Last year, 21.9% over asking price in Bellevue and Seattle was almost 10%, 9.7% above asking price.
So if we’re looking back at last year, yes, considerably down, but Seattle’s adjustment in median sales price is 9.4% and the amount last year is 9.7% over asking price this year 0.3, if I’m doing the math correctly, that’s 9.4% less, which is the amount of depreciation. So we’ve been talking about how the big difference right now is that junk over asking price that was happening last year and a lot of houses were being listed in the same range that they’re being listed right now last year in Seattle specifically. And those houses now are just selling at asking price instead of selling for, well, 9.7% above asking price. So that’s been the biggest difference. That big balloon in prices because of the competition is gone and we’re now kind of settled back into where well, maybe where the prices should have been and are without all of the, the craziness and the, the, the fomo, if you want to call it that.
Closed sales in Seattle down 11.7%. Bellevue was actually up 21.3% year over year on the closed sales. Both are down from 2021. So the activity was quite a bit higher in February, 2021 for closed sales in Bellevue and Seattle, but not much different from the previous year in 2022 days on market. And again, we’ve been talking about this for a little while, how things are starting to pick up, right? Houses are selling quicker. Well the data’s now showing, if we look back at February, average days on market in Seattle was 35 Bellevue, 36, but the median days on market, 13 in Seattle and 12 in Bellevue. So that middle number’s a lot lower than the average and we’re starting to see a trend of houses selling quicker as they get listed. So they’re still houses that are languishing on the market, maybe they’re still trying to find the right price, but new listings are starting to go quicker.
New listings in Seattle and Bellevue, Seattle down 31.8%. Bellevue down 28.7% pending sales in Seattle down 26.1% Bellevue, 21.8%. The pending sales number though percentage drop off is lower and that’s why we’re starting to see the inventory declining homes for sale is still up right year over year and so are the supply numbers. But Seattle’s now at 0.9 months of supply in Bellevue at 1.1, kind of right in line with King County as a whole. Bellevue a little higher than King County’s average Seattle right there compared to the last few years. Lots of supply, but in reality a month of supply is a really, really low inventory environment and I think a lot of that is because we haven’t seen that many listings coming on the market. It is, it is winter, it’s normal to see fewer listings and that’s why we like to look at those year over year numbers as far as some of these data points and specifically new listings because sometimes we think, oh well you know, it’s such a low amount.
It is, it is. But even if we compare back last year at the same time it’s substantial. 31.8% in Seattle and 28.7% in Bellevue. It’s a massive drop off King County, very similar drop off all across the county. And because of that lack of listings, things are starting to level off a little bit. We’re not seeing a massive influx of listings. People aren’t panic selling and as a result, well things are stabilizing a little bit. We’re seeing even in Seattle house is selling for above asking price even with the higher interest rates. And that has me encouraged as a real estate professional. Yeah, prices are down. I think there’s opportunities, could they get better? Yes, mentioned that earlier in the video, but the fact that even with the higher interest rates, the activity level is there, I think that’s an encouraging sign that confidence at least for buyers is starting to pick up homeowners.
If you are watching this video and you’ve been thinking about selling in 2023, this is that window right now. This is the window. I think it’s gonna be like this maybe for a few more months. I would suspect that we’re gonna see more listings in the summer like we normally do. And I would doubt that given the amount of buyer activity, if we do see the listing numbers picking up, that we’ll still see this amount of competition in the market. But if listings do stay suppressed like they have been, well it might be an interesting year, but historically speaking we do see a lot more listings coming on the market in the spring and summer. So if you can beat those listings to the market, I think strategically that’s going to give you an opportunity to capture a better sales price potentially and have a little bit more competition on your listing versus waiting until the weather gets a little bit nicer.
Potential home buyers, if you’re watching this competition, is certainly starting to pick up. I think interest rates are in a higher state right now. I think some are predicting interest rates to get better later in the year while still others are saying that we’re probably gonna stay in this environment for a little while. But I think getting yourself in a position is going to be the key and waiting for your opportunity, finding a house you really like, there’s no need to be compromising right now on a house. You don’t need to buy something just to buy something. There’s no pressure <laugh> to compete with buyers for whatever’s available now. Inventory is lower right now. It should start picking up here over the next few months. So if you are serious about buying and maybe getting a house for 10% lower maybe in Seattle or 20, 30% lower on the east side than you would’ve last year, this is going to be that window here.
Could it get better? It could, but we already know it’s 30% better, 20% better depending on the area. So as a buyer, I personally am looking to buy a house right now, full transparency. so I’m in that same boat also would most likely be a seller. And I think there are some opportunities out there. Are they perfect? No, the market’s not perfect. There is a lot of uncertainty right now. I think rates are high, which isn’t very fun when you start to look at what those monthly payments look like, but they won’t be like that forever. At least that’s what history tells us. So I think there’s opportunities to maybe get a better price, but you are gonna have to pay more for it in the short term. Thanks so much for watching this Seattle Real Estate market update. I hope you got a lot of value out of this video and in fact, if you made it all the way to the end, I sure hope you did. So please consider subscribing to the channel to see more content like this going forward. And if you wanna talk about buying or selling a house in the Seattle area, I’d love to be a resource for you.