Seattle Real Estate Market Update | November 2019

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

Video Summary

Here are my latest thoughts on the Seattle Real Estate Market: For the first time in a while, we are seeing Seattle home prices above where they were last year. We’re also seeing a slight rise in competition between buyers. In this video, I share a client story, current stats from the Seattle Real Estate Market, and applications for buyers and sellers in the market.

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Video Transcript

Hey all, Zach McDonald, your real estate agent with Real Property Associates and this is my Seattle real estate market update for the month of November, 2019. In this video, we’re going to talk about a story from last month. We’re going to talk about the stats in the Seattle real estate market from last month, October, 2019 and we are going to talk a little bit about some application for you.

Now, really quick before we jump in, I do one of these market updates every single month, so if you’re watching this video and you find value, which I know you will, please consider subscribing to my channel. Let’s jump right into the story of the month. This month we’re going to feature Greg and Rachel. They’re some friends of mine from church and they were also buying their first house.

When we met the very first time. They were definitely hesitant to go from this information gathering part to the actual purchase of the home. So in our initial meeting they said, “Hey, we’re not even sure if we want to buy a house in 2019. We’re thinking maybe spring, summer 2020. But heck, it would be nice to kind of learn about the process.” So in that meeting we talked about the home buying process and we talked about the importance of getting pre-approved. And after speaking to a mortgage advisor and looking at the numbers a little bit more and getting that approval, there was a lot more confidence that they had to move into that purchase process now if the right home came available. And so what we did, and we just slowly started looking at different homes that were on the market, things that fit their criteria. And after a few months we found an awesome house for them in Everett. It essentially was their dream home at this point in life.

It’s super close to work, convenient for their life and where they’re at right now. And what’s super cool about this situation is they were able to, and we were able to, negotiate down with the seller after coming under contract. So not only did we get the house below the asking price, but the seller was also willing to do some of those repairs that were needed. Even though the house was awesome and remodeled upfront, the seller was willing to do some of those extra repairs to get that house even better condition for the buyer. So now they get to move into this house. They’re super excited, they don’t have to do a bunch of repairs upon move-in and they’re going to be able to live in this house for a long time coming. So Greg and Rachel, super excited for you. Thanks so much for the opportunity to serve as your real estate agent.

And if you’re watching this and you’re somebody who’s thinking about making a home purchase here in the near future and you can relate to this story, you’re like, “Hey, I just don’t know how to get started,” I’d love to be a resource for you. My info is down in the comments below and you can pull it there, but feel free to also shoot me a message here in the comments and I’m happy to reach out and connect with you.

Now, let’s jump into the stats, which I know is why most of you watch these videos on a regular basis. Each month we talk about the stats from the previous month, so we’re going to be talking about the stats from October, 2019. Some of you have asked me, “Well, what stats are you using? I see different stats on different videos and in different places.” For the purpose of this video, we’re talking about residential sales in Seattle. We’re not talking about condos specifically. We’re talking about single-family residential sales in the city of Seattle. Okay? Any house with the Seattle address.

Last month in the city of Seattle, the median sales price for a single-family home was $750,000, which is actually up from the same time last year. Last year we were looking at $740,000 as our median sales price and now we’re at 750,000, which is just over 1% above last year. And if you have been listening to these videos over the past few months or even saw the video that I did at the beginning of the year on my predictions for 2019, I talked about a 3 to 5% increase in prices from where they ended last year. And so right now we’re starting to see that turn from, and that shift from, where we were below the year over year prices back in the summer. We were talking about, spring and summer, we were talking about almost 10% below where we were in the prior year.

And now here we are at the end of the year and we’re talking about prices being above where they were at the same point last year. So I think that’s interesting to point out and it’s reinforcing some of the things that we’ve been talking about over the prior months as we’ve been following the Seattle real estate market. Now, quick reminder, I’m not a prophet, I’m not an economist. And so in these videos I’m essentially talking about and reporting on what’s going on in real-time and also sharing my experience as a real estate agent and also making and doing the best job I can at predicting at least where we’re headed in the short term. So take everything that I say with a grain of salt, but I do think there’s a lot of value packed into these numbers and my thoughts.

So we’ll also look at a few other stats that I think are important to note. So listings, new listings in Seattle we had 843 new listings. Now, the number two you, maybe is kind of boring, but that’s fewer new listings than we had same time last year. And we’re going to get to why this is important. Pending sales were up 33.6% from last year. So that means that we had almost one-third more homes. Actually 33.6 is more than one-third more homes go pending or come under contract than we did at the same time last year. So we had fewer homes coming on the market, way more homes coming off the market. We also saw an increase of about 12.8% in closed sales. So we had more home sell, more homes getting under contract, and way fewer homes coming on the market, which means we’re seeing less inventory sitting on the market.

So looking at the supply numbers for Seattle, we ended the month with 1.8 months of inventory, which means if we didn’t have any new listings come on the market, we would sell out of all the homes in 1.8 months, which is 21.7% below where we were last year. So there was way more supply. We were, I think it was 2.3, 2.4 months of inventory, which either spot is still considered a buyer’s market. What we’re seeing is that supply number is starting to tighten up as we head towards the end of the fall and into the winter, which is a good sign for the housing market moving forward into 2020.

A few other things that are interesting to note, and questions that buyers ask frequently are, how long does it take for a house to sell? And in Seattle last month we saw that … at the median, we saw 12 days on market. What’s interesting though is the average is up considerably from where it was last year. We’re looking at about 28 days on the market, and in some of the suburbs we’re seeing an even higher in that 30 day range. And what we’re seeing really is certain homes are selling really fast and then other homes are actually taking quite a bit longer than that 28 days, right? If that’s an average, you having some that are way below and some that are way higher and that median number’s way down. So there’s quite a few that are selling pretty quickly. But then there’s a bunch that are taking longer to sell.

I have had a few listings like that recently where they’re good listings, good houses, and it’s just taking a little bit longer to move than it has in the past. So if you’re a buyer, there are still going to be multiple offer situations and we’re starting to see more of those. I’ve had multiple buyers that are competing for the homes where we haven’t seen that in a little while, but inventory’s tightened up. There are a lot of buyers in the market right now. I was talking about pending sales. What we’re going to see in the next month is a lot more homes sold than we did at the same time last year just based on the amount of pending sales.

But most of the offers I’ve read recently actually have multiple offers on them, which is interesting, right? We haven’t seen that for a while. So expect, as a buyer, to, if it’s a really awesome house, have some competition again. And if it’s a house that’s been sitting on the market for a little while, which was the case for the buyers that I talked about earlier in this video, you might have an opportunity to get that price down even more than where it’s at. You also might have the opportunity negotiate some repairs.

Let’s get rid of those notes now and we’re going to talk just really quickly about a couple of different applications here for you if you’re a home buyer or a home seller. So if you’re a buyer, interest rates are still in a really good spot. Historically, interest rates in the range that we’re seeing, we’re seeing right around 3.78% as of Freddie Mac’s data last week. That’s a great interest rate to have on your house and I think that’s part of what’s stimulating the real estate market right now.

Last year we were seeing rates that we’re even a percentage higher than where they’re at now and that was having the opposite effect on the housing market. I think the interest rates were a big contributing factor to where we saw the housing market specifically in Seattle go last fall and into the winter. So right now we have a lot better interest rates, which has increased people’s affordability and got people back out in the market.

But I also think there’s quite a bit of consumer confidence, specifically around buying a house, and that’s why we’re seeing so many more buyers that are jumping into the market now than were last year, and even the amount of pending sales is higher than what we’re seeing in 2015, 16, 17 at the same time of year. So I expect that as we head into 2020 that we’re going to see quite a bit of buyer activity continuing for the rest of the year. But I think we’ll also see that supply of inventory shrinking and a lot of the homes that haven’t been moving will move before the end of the year and we’re going to maybe even see a little bit more of a competitive market here coming up in 2020.

But again, stay tuned. Can’t make any promises, but I do think we will see a little bit more competition in 2020 than we did in 2019. Now, if you’re a seller, somebody thinking about selling, what you’re going to find and if you were to take this same information and then apply it to yourself, you’re going to see that there are more buyers out in the market right now than we have seen in the past. It’s not a terrible time to sell your house, but statistically speaking, this is the time of year where home prices are usually lower for the year. So if you need to sell right now, it’s not a bad time to sell. You’re going to still be able to make a pretty good amount on your house and get a pretty good sales price and also likely sell relatively quickly.

But if you can wait till the spring, early spring or early summer, that’s going to be your best time to sell your house in any given year. There’s always a little bit of a peak and a valley in the year. So if you can hold off just a little bit longer, that’s going to be your best time to sell. Something else to consider if are a buyer is the situation of the people that I talked about earlier in this video, Greg and Rachel. Now, I think there are a pretty good picture of what you might see and encounter as a buyer buying at this time of the year.

So as we know and as we see just historically, this time of year, there are typically fewer home buyers in the market. I keep talking about in this video how there are more buyers than normal this time of year, but you’re also going to see way fewer buyers now than you would see in the spring and summer. So if you’re a buyer and you can qualify and are able to make a purchase now, I think you might find that you’d be able to get a better price on your home right now than you will in the spring. Interest rates are also really low, like we had just talked about. So I think you’re also going to have more purchasing power, potentially. We don’t know what’s going to happen with rates, but we know right now that they’re good and we know that prices are probably going to be going up, come the springtime just based on the seasonal swings of the real estate market.

So if you’re a buyer right now and you’re thinking, “You know what? Sometime in the next five to six months, I want to make a purchase,” I’d definitely consider getting started with that process now. It does typically take three to four months in general anyway, to go from initial meeting and consultation and preapproval to the actual finding of a house you like. And then it takes another 30 to 45 days to even close on the purchase. So it is a long drawn out process and it wouldn’t hurt to get started now and maybe find something really good at a better price without having to compete before the competition starts to heat up in the spring and summer.

Well, that’s my take on the Seattle real estate market as it stands right now. And if you found value in this video, which I know you did, please consider leaving a comment down below or subscribing to this channel so that you can see other videos like this on a regular basis. We’ll talk soon.

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