Seattle Real Estate Market Update | November 2023
Hey all, Zach McDonald, your real estate agent with Real Property Associates, and this is my Seattle Real Estate market update for November, 2023.
Good news. Over the past week, mortgage rates have started to come down. Are they going to keep coming down? I don’t know, but rates on Mortgage News Daily’s website here today, 7.48%, which is nice given that they were up over 8% not too long ago. And a lot of this has to do with the Fed saying, Hey, we’re not going to raise rates this time around. We’re going to hold steady. And I think that gave some confidence. We saw rates drop down below seven point, it was like 7.3 something for a little bit, but they’ve jumped here in recent days, but still much better than 7.75 to the low 8’s like we were seeing. And if you’ve been following along, rates have been super volatile this year and that’s been a huge part of why the housing market has been slower here in the Seattle area and in much of the country.
Now. Each month we start these videos off with a story, and I think in the last video I mentioned that my house was under contract and I am so excited to announce that it is sold, my house is sold. And if you’re following along with the Seattle Housing Market Watch videos, these are weekly videos that I make, then you might already know that my house is sold. But if you haven’t, now you do. It’s really nice to have one mortgage versus two at the same time, especially given that we weren’t planning to make that a rental property and hold onto it for the long run. So it’s just nice to have that paid off and to be able to focus on what we’re doing at the house. And I’m not sure if I’ve shared this before, but my wife runs a swim school, and that was one of the big reasons we bought the house that we did because it has a swimming pool in the backyard and we’re currently working with the city of Shoreline on building a structure over the pool so that we can use it all year round, but also comply with their home occupation business requirement. So that’s something that’s in the works right now. I’ll share some more updates as I’m actively going through a construction process at my house. It’s kind of fun, a little bit of a different challenge than the normal everyday life and it’s also going to be really, really big for my wife’s business. So we’re super excited about that. And as we’re looking at the data, because I know you come for that not to hear about my personal life, let’s jump into some of that.
And when we look at the Seattle stats here over the past year, we’re seeing that the median sales price in Seattle eight 80, which is down 3.3% year over year, the numbers in Bellevue are a little bit different. Bellevue’s median sales price, 1,647,000 and some change up 11.3% year over year. Now, Bellevue took the biggest dive and so did much of the east side when prices corrected last year. And a big part of that is because those areas saw the most growth during the Covid pandemic. And when people were having to find a place to live, they were wanting to move where they wanted to be versus what was convenient for work. Now we may see a shift in that trend as people are returning to work, and I already know some people that were maybe casually looking or considering a purchase that are now looking a lot closer to work than they would’ve been looking if they didn’t need to return to the office. Now let’s shift to some of the other stats here that are going to be important.
Now, new listings. New listings in Seattle are down 13.9%. New listings in Bellevue, down 19.2%. This is a normal trend for the whole year. We’ve been seeing that the new listings are down in almost every single month. Actually, this trend has been a trend all year long. New listings are down, people are not selling their houses, whether they’re becoming accidental landlords and they’re just keeping that house or they are deciding not to move at all. That’s the more likely scenario or a more common scenario. There just aren’t as many houses available. And that also means there’s not as many buyers because the people that would’ve been selling their house and buying another one are just staying put.
Now homes for sale, we’re seeing a similar decline, 18.7% fewer homes for sale in Seattle. Again, similar trend all year long and a 31.5% decline in homes for sale in Bellevue. Pending sales are also down in Seattle not as much though as the reduction in the new listing, 6.6% down pending sales year over year. If we look at the pending sales, they’re actually up in Bellevue, 23.9% this month. So buyer activity has been picking up, at least when you look at the data year over year. And part of that might’ve been this time of last year, people were still extremely nervous about what’s happening in the economy and where the housing market’s headed. Things had been on the decline for well more than six months already. And people were thinking, we don’t even have any clue where this is headed. And at this point we’ve been able to see over a year span that things are about where they were last year. They haven’t changed very much. Prices are similar, interest rates are around the same place a little bit more, but we have an idea for what to expect and we maybe don’t expect things to get better immediately, but we also don’t expect them to get dramatically worse. So there’s a little less fear actually. There’s a lot less fear right now in the housing market, but that doesn’t mean that people are trying to buy a house and sell a house at the same frequency as we’re seeing that’s not the case. But closed sales in Bellevue are also up 10.1% in Seattle, they are down 11.6%.
And let’s look at days on market now, and this is the one where people are like, how fast are house is selling, right? How quickly do I need to make a decision? Well, last year you had a couple weeks to make a decision. This year homes are selling in about a week. There are some that take a little bit longer, which is why the average is higher. But when we’re looking at the median, that’s the middle number. Homes are selling in about seven days on the market in Seattle and also in Bellevue, a big drop off from last year and even more so early 2023. Another stat that is also exciting to most people is how much our house is selling above asking price or below asking price. We’re seeing that in Seattle the average over asking price is 1% above the asking price. And in Bellevue, we’re seeing that houses are selling for about 99.2% of the asking price. So whether you’re in Seattle or Bellevue and really King County or Snohomish County in general, you’re looking at paying about the asking price for a house. So houses are selling in a week or two, and they’re also selling for asking price. And really the biggest shift over the past year is that we’ve seen things stabilize. That means that sellers are listing their house for a more fair price. They’re listing for what the market is bearing and has been bearing over the past six to eight months. And buyers are also coming into this with a little less fear. And they’re also coming into this with the understanding of the reality that interest rates are higher, they’re getting a little bit of a discount. Well, in some cases, a pretty substantial discount on what they would’ve paid earlier in 2022 when houses were at an all time high. At the same time, buyers had a lot of negotiating power last year and they were able to get interest rate buy downs. They were able to do an inspection and maybe negotiate some repairs. That has changed this year. There is a lot less ability to negotiate repairs and also the closing cost requests are few and far between. If I’m a buyer, I am looking over the next few months at the rest of 2023, and I’m looking at it as an opportunity. I’m looking at it as an opportunity to get myself ready for a home purchase if that’s what that I’m thinking about doing in 2024. I’m looking at it as an opportunity to maybe get a house for a little bit less than what people were paying earlier in the year at the seasonal peak of the market. I’m also looking to get a better price than I would’ve paid in 2022. If I’m a seller, I’m looking at these next few months as an opportunity to either prep my house and get it ready to sell if I’m thinking about selling in early 2024, and also maybe an opportunity to get my house sold relatively quickly with some of the buyers that are excited to buy right now and capture those opportunities. So if your goal is to get your house sold quickly and not have to think about it, you’re not going to be sitting on the market right now. It’s going to sell relatively quickly, but you have to know that you’re going to get a little bit more for it, most likely coming into the new year. So this is either an opportunity to get a quick sale and move on, or an opportunity to get your house ready to capitalize on the beginning of the year, kind of the late winter, early spring push.
Thanks so much for watching this month’s Seattle Real Estate Market Update. I value your attention highly. So if you made it to the end of this video, thank you so much. If you haven’t subscribed to the channel yet, please consider doing so. And if there’s any way that I can bring value to your situation as somebody may be buying or selling in the Seattle area, I’d love to be a resource for you.