Seattle Real Estate Market Update | June 2020
Here are my latest thoughts on the Seattle Real Estate Market: In May, the median sales price did drop just a bit, which could reflect a lag from the Coronavirus pandemic. County-wide, we saw a slight decline in the median sales price in King county, but actually saw an increase in Snohomish county. On average, homes are selling at or close to asking price and are selling quickly! Since the pandemic, we’ve seen a decline in new listings, closed sales, and a slight decline in pending sales, but inventory has still remained around one month of supply, which is fueling the continued pace of the Seattle housing market. Now the question is, will we see home prices continue to decline? Competition is ramping up, which means we might see an increase in the median sales price next month. For sellers planning to sell this year, it’s important to get prepped and ready to put your home on the market when the timing is right for you. We might end up seeing a prolonged selling season this year because of the pandemic. For buyers, it’s important to be set up for success when you’re ready to buy since the market is forcing buyers to act quickly.
Hey, y’all. Zach McDonald, your real estate agent with Real Property Associates, and this is my Seattle real estate market update for June 2020.
So what’s going on in the Seattle housing market? That’s the main question that everybody’s been having here over the past three or so months going through the COVID-19 pandemic, the stay-home order, and now the Safe Start proclamation. So what is going on in the housing market? We’ll talk about that here in a minute or so, but before we do that, I want to share a story with you from last month.
This month, I decided to feature Jeff. Jeff is one of my repeat clients. We’ve had the privilege of working together now three different times and in this case, we helped him sell his Edmond’s house is moving to be a little bit closer to his kids. So I’m excited for you, Jeff, if you’re watching this video. Really excited for you and what you’ve got coming up I am a little bit sad to have you moving farther away, but I know we’re going to be able to get a hike in here soon.
Now it is time for everybody’s favorite parts, the Seattle housing markets stats. Last month in May, the median sales price in Seattle was $748,000. This is down 3.5% year over year and last month we were up at 800,000 for the median sales price in Seattle. So we did see a little bit of a dip here, which would have been people looking at houses and getting under contract in April. Those would have been the closings in May. So I think we’re seeing a little bit of that lag due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Now in the last few months, I’ve been talking about how the activity has remained fairly consistent as far as the number of sales and the number of buyers, people looking to sell, people looking to buy. What we have seen significant drops in new homes on the market, as well as pending sales, but they’ve remained about equal and we’re still seeing similar things here.
So countywide in the two different counties that I service, King County and Snohomish County, we have a slight decline in median sales price in King County; 679,950 was the median sales price last month in King County, down 2.9%, year over year. And in Snohomish County, which is just north of King County, so that’s going to be like Edmonds, Lynnwood, Everett, and North, we actually had an increase in the median sales price, 2.1% up at $510,000.
So, a little bit of an increase in the suburbs to the north and a little slight decrease more in the urban core median sales price. On average, the houses we’re selling right at the asking price, just above in some cases, but pretty consistently hovering around the asking price but selling really quickly. So the average house median days on market was seven and that was pretty much across the board, which has been in the same way. It’s been in Seattle here over the past years, but we’re seeing homes selling really quickly and I’ll just add that I’ve had multiple clients in the last few weeks miss out because they slept on a home. Even in the middle of this pandemic, homes are selling really quick and I’ll talk about this a little bit more in the application section.
As I mentioned earlier on in the market stats section here, we are seeing a decline in new listings coming on the market, closed sales, homes for sale at the end of the month and we saw a very slight decline in pending sales, but honestly, compared to 2019 and 2020, pretty similar number of pending sales here coming into the month of June.
What’s really interesting is the amount of supply. So that’s the number of homes for sale versus the number of buyers eating up the houses or buying the houses. We’re still sitting at around 1.4 months of homes on the market, which year over year is 41.7% fewer homes available per buyer.
Last year in 2019, we saw 2.4 months of inventory at the same time. And for perspective, in 2018, when we were still in kind of the thick of the hottest part of the market ever in Seattle, we were at 1.1 months of homes available. So we’re still seeing a really low amount of homes on the market per buyer, which is what’s kind of fueling the continued pace of the Seattle housing market here.
So before we jump into the application part here, I wanted to answer one question or at least anticipate a question here and that question is, we saw a reduction in the median sales price. We saw home values, if you want to say, go down or at least that’s what it seems. Are we going to continue to see home prices drop here in Seattle?
It’s a question people have been reaching out about and asking about, clients are asking about it, and again, I don’t have a crystal ball but if I was a betting man, which I’m not really a betting man. But if I was, I would say based on the number of pending sales that we saw last month, that we’re going to see a substantial amount of closed sales in June. So June numbers that we’ll talk about in the next update.
Last month, for perspective, we had 546 closed sales in Seattle, and this month heading into June, we have 815 pending sales. Now they’re not all going to close but statistically speaking, we’re going to close a lot more houses in June than we did in May. So I’m thinking that we’re going to see more sales and what I’m seeing right now, just walking through the last few weeks, as more homes have been coming on the market, which we’ll see that reflected in the next update and there’s a lot more competition all of a sudden. I had six offers on a house a couple of weeks ago. I had six offers on a house a couple of days ago. There’s just a lot more competition. People are getting a lot more confident. The stock market has stabilized a bit and there are a lot of people starting to come out as the Safe Start proclamation here is going to take in effect in the Seattle area.
So stay tuned next month will be interesting as we talk about what’s been happening right now but I think what we’ll see is actually an increase in the median sales price, month over month.
Now, as an application for sellers, I think over the next few months is going to be maybe the prime time in the year to sell. The reason being, we did have this massive pandemic in the middle of the normal spring selling season, which would have been from maybe the beginning of March all the way through June. That’s typically when we see the most sales. Because we had this pandemic, people did hold off on selling but there are still people that need to sell their home this year.
So my guess is that over the next couple of months, maybe June, July, and might even push into August, who knows? I think we’re going to start to see that more traditional spring selling season popping up here over the next few months.
So as a seller, I would want to, if you were thinking about selling, get prepped, and ready to get your house on the market. I think that keyword this year is timing and not timing the market but putting the house on the market in your timing and when you’re ready to put your best foot forward.
Now, even as I say this, I do think we will see just a more prolonged selling season this year because of what happened and it could be that there isn’t much of a spike from where we’re at now and there might not be as much of a drop off as we typically see during the early winter. It could be that we don’t see as much of a spike as we normally do and it also could be that we don’t see as much of a dip when it comes to the late fall and early winter.
Buyers, the message is similar for you. I think buying in your time, just like I was advising sellers to sell when they’re ready, I think is really important. Getting yourself set up for success, going through that process and that usually involves getting pre-approved for a loan and doing a formal buyer consultation and learning how the process works. If you’ve done this before, it’s kind of more of a refresher course. If you don’t have somebody to talk to about that, I’d love to be a resource for you. The buying side and selling side, if you’re thinking about selling.
The reason you want to get set up for success is because what I’m seeing right now is the competition level picking up again. I’m seeing multiple offers. I’m seeing homes selling overnight and interestingly in the past, when the market’s been hot, sellers have stuck to an offer review date. They’ve picked the date, maybe a week in advance, where they’ve stuck to their guns and they’ve said, “I will not look at offers until this date.”
Interestingly, what we’ve been seeing now though, is sellers will pick this date still but they’re accepting an offer early if they get a good one because maybe they’re afraid of what might happen in the future, which there’s always unknowns in the future. But right now there’s a heightened sense of fear in the market and that goes for buyers and sellers, which is why we’re seeing fewer homes on the market, fewer people buying. But as a buyer, this is an opportunity to still purchase a house and there are still great houses available but the seller psychology is a little different. So you might not have to compete or pay as high of a price but you have to be able to act quickly.
So that’s my advice to you is to be able to get yourself set up for success if this is the right time for you. If it’s not, great. Keep sitting on the sidelines and observing what’s going on. But if you’re ready to jump in, I think it’s time to start that conversation, get set up for success, and when the time’s right to be able to jump in.
One other note for buyers. Interest rates are hovering right around all-time lows. We saw about a week and a half ago of the recording of this video, mortgage rates hit their bottom for the third time this year. So if you’re thinking about buying here soon and that’s important to you, it’s definitely something to consider.
Thanks so much for watching my latest Seattle real estate market update. If you watch this video all the way to the end, I know you got some value out of it. So please give it a thumbs up and if you want to see more videos like this on a monthly and even weekly basis, please subscribe to my channel.