Seattle Real Estate Market Update | March 2019

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

Video Summary

The Seattle real estate market slowdown may be coming to an end. Seattle housing prices rebounded in February after eight months of decline. Here are my latest thoughts on the Seattle housing market…

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Video Transcript

Hey, I’m Zach MacDonald, your real estate agent with Real Property Associates. This is my Seattle real estate market update for the month of March 2019. I’m going to start off this update as I do with all my other updates. We’re going to start with a story and then we’re going to talk about some of the stats, and then we’re going to talk a little bit of application to you as a home buyer or seller. Let’s talk about the story here first. Doris is a client of mine. We’ve been working together for quite some time now. She’s selling a condo in Edmonds, and we listed the condo back at the beginning of October.

If you’ve been following along with these market updates, that was in kind of the peak of our slow down that we had as the market had corrected or was almost corrected all the way. We sat for quite some time on the market. Now, her condo was a little outdated in a lesser desirable part of town. Just harder to sell in general, but really, really hard with the market correction. After 120 days plus on the market, the day I got the flu and was the sickest I’ve been in recent memory, we got three offers on her condo and are going to be closing here in a few days. She’s super excited.

Doris, if you’re watching this, I don’t even know if you watch these, congratulations. A little early congratulations, early high five, but I’m really excited for you and just your ability to be able to move on with life now. Now, let’s jump into the stats. Let’s transition over there. We are in an interesting spot. The numbers from February, according to the Multiple Listing Service, the City of Seattle median sales price is $715,000, which is year over year about 5.1% down from where we were the same time last year, but we had a $30,000 jump in the median sales price from last month to this month.

It’s normal for this time of year to see a jump, but it’s a pretty substantial jump. We’ll talk a little bit more about that on the countywide level here as we proceed through. But other stats you might be interested in, we had 10% more listings this last month in February than we did the year before, but we also had 20% more sales than we did in February last year than the year before. We also saw a shift in the median days on market. For a long time, a few years, we were in the seven-to-ten day range where if you didn’t … Pretty much if you listed a house in Seattle, it was selling. It was selling really quick.

We saw it go from seven days to 35 days as of January stats. Last month we dropped down to 18 days is the median days on the market. We saw quite a bit of a shift. Now, there are still a few houses that have been sitting for a long time. If you look at the average numbers, the average is going to be still skewed in a high direction, but even some of those houses that are taking a long time to sell like this one I just talked about, Doris’s house, those ones are selling. Interesting, supply. We’ve been hovering right around 1.7 months of supply, so still super low. Three to four months is considered more of a normal market.

We’re still in a seller’s market, but we’re not quite as frenzied as we were when we are looking at half a months of supply. Pretty much no houses for people to be buying. Now, I want to transition to the countywide numbers for King County. I think it’s interesting. I’m going to draw from the MLS stats and also an article that was published in The Seattle Times yesterday. Home prices countywide up 1.5%, about to $660,000. On a countywide level, we’re actually up from where we were last year even with the slowdown and that’s because we had a $45,000 jump in the median sales price from January to February.

Now, I mentioned earlier it’s normal to have the jump, but in this Seattle Times article, Mike Rosenberg mentioned that this is the first time that we’ve actually seen a jump on a month over month basis since back in the springtime, so eight months. That’s a long time to be essentially going backward or remaining flat. Interestingly also, this was about triple the average according to his calculations of what we see on a regular basis. Normally we have a jump in the late winter as we transition to the spring, but this was a lot more significant than what we’ve seen. Now, the article also provokes the question, are we seeing the end of the slowdown?

Is this the transition point? Have we come out of the correction and are we now headed in an upward direction? I think the data, it’s hard to really build a case off of one month. I wouldn’t strongly get on here and say, “Yeah. You know, we are heading for eight to 10% growth again.” But I think the data is encouraging to see that okay, we’ve been kind of heading in a downward trend and now we’re starting to see increases in the price rather than decreases in the price. I think that’s good. Sellers, probably excited. If you’re a seller, it’s a really good sign for you.

Buyers, it might be a little ominous if you were one of the people that were sitting out for a little while, didn’t take advantage of where we were and now are thinking, “Okay. Yeah, I want to buy.” Well, prices are and have been starting to go up again. It’s again no sure bet that we’re going to see 20, 30 offers on houses, but what we have been seeing just being on the ground, I’ve had clients that are competing for houses and losing. We’ve seen people in the office, one agent’s made two offers on the same day. There were nine offers on one, five on the other. That’s some competition. It wasn’t just to get to the asking price.

I mean we’re talking about going significantly over the asking price. Now, as a general rule, unless we really jump down into the half a month supply again, I don’t think we’re going to see the 10 to 20 to 30% over the asking price as a general rule for every house, but I do think if you’re a seller, you can expect to have some activity on your house, see some competition potentially and maybe even be going above the asking price rather than settling for a lower price. Now, buyers, I think the application for you is that the market is … I would say I think the market is potentially shifting here again.

It might be that you’re going to see a lot more competition than you would have seen here in the last few months. Maybe not to the same level that we had, but I think you’re going to start to see that yeah, there is going to be competition. You might have to consider doing a pre-inspection again. You might have to consider adding an escalation clause or being willing to pay a little more than the asking price to get a house. If you’re not, well, it’s likely that somebody else might be willing to do that. I think we are kind of at a shifting point.

The next few months really are going to be telling though. Before I declare the Seattle market has shifted back to a super hot market, first of all, I wouldn’t say that, but I think that we’re going to see a change here in the next few months and it’ll be interesting to really follow along with that.

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