Seattle Real Estate Market Watch 9/14/23
Hey, I, Zach McDonald, your real estate agent with Real Property Associates, and this is my Seattle Real Estate Market Watch for September 14th, 2023.
Well, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve done one of these market watches and I’m excited to be back. If you missed it, go check out the Seattle Real Estate Market update from last week. We recapped the month of August and talked a little bit about where we’re headed here for the rest of fall. And one of the things I mentioned is that we were going to see more houses coming on the market here over the next few weeks, really into mid-October or so. So an uptick in the housing inventory. And so far that’s what we’re seeing in these numbers. So normally I do a week over week comparison and well, I took a few weeks off doing these market watch videos, so I will look back at a few weeks ago, which was end of August and just compare to where we’re at now.
So you’ll see the shift, it was a little less dramatic. It did slowly increase activity, new listings after the holiday weekend. So last week we saw some more houses coming on the market and then again this week even more so this comparison just for perspective is looking back a few weeks till today. And as a reminder, the data here, king and Snohomish County data over the past week. So it’s put together and shared with you here as the Seattle general area. And King County median sales price just for a little perspective was 1% up year over year at $910,000. So this August versus last August 1% up Snohomish County, $725,000 median sales price down 1% year over year. So again, 1% down from last August to this August. What that means is things have remained relatively the same as far as pricing goes over the last year.
Interest rates of course have increased as we’ve talked about here over the past few market watch videos, and as we look at some of the data here, we’re seeing typical September things, we’re seeing more houses coming on the market. We had 716 new listings versus the end of August 507. So we’ve had quite a bit more houses start coming on. That’s more of a normal number that we’re used to seeing on a weekly basis. Not anything spectacular, but more of a normal number. We’ve seen some more price reductions. We had 396 price reductions and that’s almost half the amount of the new listings versus 308 there at the end of August. Houses have been still selling relatively quickly is what we’re seeing from the data, but there are still houses as well that are taking some time to sell, and that’s my house included in Edmonds.
The houses, as we’ve mentioned in these videos that are selling the quickest right now are those that are on the lower end of the pricing scale and also maybe not updated. Those are selling pretty quickly and that’s also why they’re on the lower end of the pricing scale. And then the houses that are really nicely modern, updated, but also priced aggressively, those are attracting a lot of attention. There are of course pockets in the market where things are selling a little quicker no matter what, but in general, people are not jumping at the updated 10, 15 years ago, houses with as much enthusiasm as they are with the houses on the completely updated versus completely outdated scale. And the biggest thing here I want to emphasize is we’re talking about this, is that we’re still seeing a lot of pending sales, right? We had 728 pending sales over the last week in King Snohomish County.
We also had 575 closed sales. We’ll see those numbers as we always do pick up towards the end of the month, but we’re keeping that pace right, but we are seeing some more listings coming on. So what I think is we’re going to see a little bump in the inventory. We ended August with 1.6 months of supply in King County and 1.4 months of supply in Snohomish County, which are both down year over year. So we’ve seen that the supply of housing is less than it was at the same time last year, and I suspect the beginning of the month right now, we’re going to see an uptick and I think in September we’ll see those numbers climb just slightly towards the end of the month. When we see the new stats in October, I think we’re going to see them climb, but I do think they’ll start to drop off as we head towards the winter.
So right now, what that means for you, if you’re watching this, if you’re looking to buy a house, your window, your best window to see the most amount of houses is going to be most likely the next three to four weeks. If you’re like, Hey, I really want to make this happen before the new year. If you’re somebody that’s like, you know what? I want to make it happen sometime in the next four to six months, maybe you want to get started, but you have a little bit of a window of time. What’ll happen November, December, January, February are usually months where we don’t have as many listings overall. They’re usually lower months for the amount of new listings, and they’re also the months where buyers start getting back into the market or start thinking about buying a house for the year. So what happens is you have less houses available and even more buyers in the market.
So if you’re thinking about buying, it would behoove you. I think to start with that process sooner, potentially get something here where there’s more options or before some of that competition picks up. If you’re somebody who’s thinking about selling a house, of course there are reasons that you sell all the time, but I would say the ideal window is probably passed for a seller. Of course, everybody needs to make those decisions based on their circumstances and it’s, I would say right now, still a good time as a seller, but I would say you’re probably going to see a little bit more activity on a listing maybe early February or even into March for seller. So just a few quick thoughts there about what’s going on right now, what’s going to be going on here. Coming up. And I will say mortgage rates are one of those factors that we have followed a lot over the last year because it’s affected the affordability for buyers purchasing a home.
And last week we saw rates start to level off around the two and a quarter range, and we’re at 7.24 as of today’s data on Mortgage News daily. Again, I think it’s a great website to follow along with some of the mortgage rates. They do a survey three weeks back we were at 7.49, so almost seven point a half percent interest rates dropped off towards the seven mark right around the holiday and then have climbed back up and leveled off. I would say around the seven and a quarter. A big part of that’s inflation. So we saw some new data come out a couple days ago. We’re seeing rates remain about the same. I think it’s still going to be a while until we see mortgage rates drop off or start to decline. The biggest thing is we’ve seen the Fed continue to raise rates and indicate that they are working to get inflation under control, and that is continuing to keep mortgage rates in this, trying to figure it out mode.
And once we see the fed signal, Hey, we’re done. We’re not raising rates anymore. Inflation’s under control, we may be thinking about pulling back on rates at X point. I think we’re going to start to see those mortgage rates come down, but that’s most likely not going to be until first or second quarter of next year. So that’s the new perspective from a lot of the experts that I follow that we’ll start to see those rates coming down maybe Q two, maybe even Q three of next year. So right now as a buyer, someone looking at the market, you are going to have the higher mortgage rates. I don’t suspect that to change here in the next month or two, but I also mentioned earlier there’s going to be an opportunity for buyers where there’s going to be a little less competition still prices are still, they’re not down year over year, as I mentioned at the beginning of the video, but they are down from the peak, so there’s still an opportunity to buy at a good price.
And then as rates start to come down, I think the market will pick up and prices will start to push their previous highs in the not too distant future. And I think this year was a good evidence. If you look back at the spring updates, we saw prices jump considerably from the fall and winter in the spring. They’ve since come down a little bit, but marginally, and I think a lot of that was due to the fact that hey, supplies down rates had dropped a little bit. People were excited. They’ve obviously seen that we’re still working to get inflation under control. So I think it was a little bit of a sneak peek of what will happen when we start to see rates come down for good and the better sentiment in the market. But overall, I think there is a better sentiment on where we’re at in the housing market. I think that things have stabilized a little bit. So if you have questions or want to talk about some of this stuff, I’m happy to be a resource for you. Of course. I love having conversations with people that are just curious about the market as I am curious about the market. So again, thanks so much for your attention and looking forward to connecting with you here in the near future.