Seattle Real Estate Market Update | April 2020
Here are my latest thoughts on the Seattle Real Estate Market: The Seattle real estate market had median sales prices in March higher than we’ve seen in, at least, the last few years. Even amidst COVID-19, home prices are still pushing their limits! March 2020 set a new record for the highest median price per square foot ever in the city of Seattle! Homes are still selling relatively quickly and that is keeping the supply at one month. What does this all mean for buyers and sellers? Right now is a great opportunity to have conversations about buying and what that might look like for each buyer. For sellers, there’s a lot of uncertainty about what will happen in the market, but rest assured, buyers are continuing with their home searches. So far, supply and demand are staying consistent with each other. I know these are uncertain and unprecedented times, and I am happy to be a resource for you.
Hey, ya’ll. It’s Zach McDonald, your real estate agent with Real Property Associates and this is my Seattle Real Estate Market Update for April 2020. As you can see, we’re shooting this video in my bedroom and this is the first time I think I have shot my market update from home in quite some time. And just given the situation, this is the best I can do. I’m shooting this video on an iPhone 8 and if you see me looking at my self in the camera instead of looking at the little tiny camera here in the corner, that’s because I’m forgetting that I’m not supposed to be looking at myself while I film this. Now I know many of you are here to get the stats and get my thoughts on where the housing market is headed and it is currently based on the COVID-19 situation, but before we do that, I want to start this market update off with a story, just like we do in all the other ones.
This month we’re featuring the Ray family and they’re friends of ours from church who wanted to get a bigger house for their growing family. And unfortunately, in their situation, they needed to sell their current house before they could buy another one. And I think a lot of people find themselves in that situation and maybe you’re watching this and you’re like, “What’s going on in the housing market? What’s happening if I was to sell my house? And also, what’s happening if I was trying to buy another one?” And if you’re watching this video, you’re in the right place because that’s what we’re going to talk about. And in the Ray’s situation, they were able to make an offer on another house.
Now it took a little bit of searching, but we found a seller who was willing to accept an offer contingent on the sale of their house. They were able to sell their house, get it on the market really fast, sell their house and on the same day, we closed on both their purchase and their sale. And ultimately, that’s a dream scenario. It was super smooth and it was super fun to make that happen, but it doesn’t happen for everybody and you might be in that same boat where you need to buy and then also sell your current house. And I just want to thank you, Ray family. It was really fun to work with you guys and I’m really appreciative of the opportunity to work as your real estate agent, but I also want to thank you for being an example for all those other people who are thinking about buying a house, but also need to sell their current home.
All right. Now, let’s jump into the stats. In this update, we’re going to talk about March 2020 stats, so the previous month’s stats. And we’re also going to compare year over year with 2019 and also look back at 2018. If this is your first time watching one of my Seattle Market Updates, first of all, thank you so much for joining us. And if you want to see more updates like this, please hit the subscribe button right now.
So last month, the median sales price in Seattle was just under $785,000.00, which was up 5.6% over 2019. In 2019, we saw prices at $743,000.00. In 2018, prices were at 780. And this year is the highest we have ever seen prices in the month of March and we have finally eclipsed the 2018 numbers here. So really interesting, even in the midst of this COVID-19 situation, home prices are still pushing their limits. And actually this month, March 2020, was the highest price per square foot of single-family houses on a median, ever, in the city of Seattle. So last month, 466 was the median price per square foot in the city of Seattle and that’s one dollar more than the previous record of 465 back in 2018. Crazy.
For a little broader perspective, we’re going to look at the two counties that I service in general, so you can get a little bit broader perspective. King County, which has Seattle and Bellevue and Kirkland and Shoreline in it. And then you also have Snohomish County, which has Edmonds, Lynnwood, Everett and some of the other cities up north. And these two counties give us a little bit more perspective. In King County, the median sales price in March was $725,000.00, which is 7.4% above last year when the median sales price was 674,925. And in 2018, the median sales price was higher than it was last year at 700,000. In Snohomish County, median sales price, $605,000.00. 2019 there, $600,000.00. And then in 2018, $550,000.00. So what we’re seeing in Snohomish County is that home prices have slowly been climbing from 2018 to where we’re at now. In King County, there was quite a big dip in home prices from 2018 into 2019, but then we’ve seen them start to climb again and even get passed where they were at least in March 2020.
Some other stats you might be interested in. New listings in Seattle last month, 920 new listings, which is actually about 10% lower than the amount of listings that we had in 2019 when we had over 1,000 homes come on the market, but the 920 listings last month was actually a little bit more than the amount of new listings that came on in 2018. Pending sales in Seattle down about 14%. It came in at 675 last month. Last year we had 783 pending sales and in 2018, we had 735. So this year we had fewer pending sales in the month of March than we did in the previous two years, which is an indicator that we might have fewer closings.
The closed sales on the hand were up in Seattle. 642 closed sales, which is 25% above where they were at the year before. But remember, when we’re talking about pending sales we’re talking about the sales that are coming under contract and will be closing next month, whereas when we’re talking about closed sales we’re talking about sales that went pending back in February. So it will be interesting to see what happens in April when we look at this data again.
Okay. A couple more for those that really love the numbers. Homes for sale in Seattle at the end of the month. 710 homes for sale, which is 28% below where we were in 2019, but significantly up from where we were in 2018. Median days on market, 6, in the city of Seattle. 2019, 8. And in 2018, 7. So we’re actually seeing homes still in the median, that middle number is selling faster than we were seeing over the past few years. And really the way to look at this is, those really good houses, those houses that you really like, that everybody really likes in good spots and on good streets are selling quickly. The houses are maybe not in as desirable of a location or they’re on a busier road, those ones are still taking a little bit longer to sell and that’s why we’re seeing the average days on market at 23 days on market, but it’s still a lot less than the 30 days on market in 2019. So what we’re seeing is that homes are still selling relatively quickly in Seattle and that’s keeping the supply numbers down.
If no new listings came on the market in Seattle over the next month, we’d be out of houses to sell. That inventory number, that supply number, is down around one month of supply and in a more balanced market, you’re going to see three to six months of supply where the buyers and sellers have a little bit more back and forth. And right now, we’re still down in that one range, which means that sellers still have a lot of power in the negotiations.
Okay. So what does it mean if you’re a buyer or a seller? I’m going to share a few thoughts with you guys here in just a sec. Buyers, this one is for you. Right now is a great opportunity to start having conversations and getting set up for success. I’ve had probably, on average, two or three new conversations with people like you on Zoom to discuss their individual situation, what the next steps look like, and to get set up for success when everything opens up again. And I have some buyers that are jumping in, right now, because there is less competition in the market and they are able to get into a house without having to bid up and pay above the asking price.
Some people are asking me, “Zach, what’s going to happen to housing prices? Are they going to crash? Am I going to be buying a house now and seeing my house worth significantly less in a few months?” And my honest answer is I have no clue. I really don’t. I don’t know and that’s an unknown that none of us can really answer and anybody that’s trying to answer it does not really know. The housing market is not like the stock market. So the stock market’s going like this. Every day it’s different. The housing market is not like that. It moves a lot, a lot slower., but what we’re still seeing is a lot of demand in the market.
We’re still seeing homes coming on the market. We are seeing less demand, but we’re also seeing less homes coming on the market. So so far, supply and demand are staying consistent with one another. It’ll be interesting to see what happens and if anybody has thoughts, feel free to put them in the comments section. I am trying to take an approach and a stance of not knowing because I don’t, but people do ask me my thoughts and so here I am sharing what I can and giving updates on what’s going on. But really, at the bottom of my heart I don’t want to sit here and try to predict what’s going to happen because this is not like any other situation that we’ve seen unless you were around for the Spanish flu.
But seriously, when is the last time you can remember the entire city and the entire country going into a shutdown state, where you can’t go to work. You’ve got to work from home. I mean, I haven’t talked to somebody that’s like, “Yeah. I remember that.” So this is completely different than something that we’ve ever come up against and really to sit here and try to predict it, not the best idea.
If you’re a seller though and you’re thinking about selling here in the near future, you might also be concerned about your home values. You might also be concerned with is my house going to sell? Are people actually going to come take a look at it? And I do want to tell you that people are still coming to take a look at houses. There are lots of precautions that we’re taking for showings. If you’re owner-occupied and you live in your house and you want to sell it while living in it, that’s a conversation we can have about what that looks like, but people are still coming to take a look at houses.
There are lots of buyers still out in the market. I’m getting multiple showings per day on all of my listings. And buyers are out there. People need to sell. The world hasn’t come to an end. I know it seems a little bit overwhelming. I know for me, it’s been an adjustment. I know for my family it’s been an adjustment. And for some people, it’s been a lot harder. They’ve lost jobs. They’ve lost family members. I’ve lost a family member from this crisis, but what we do know is that this is going to pass. But what we don’t know is what’s coming down the pike.
What I want you to know though is that I am here for you. I’d love to be a resource for you. I’d love to answer any questions that you have. Buying, selling, I’m available on Zoom and happy to chat with you if you want to. Thanks so much for tuning into this month’s Seattle Real Estate Market Update. I know, a little different than normal, but trying to bring you as much value as I can, even from my home. So if this video was valuable for you, please subscribe to my channel if you haven’t already. And if you know somebody that can benefit from it, please consider sharing it with them.