There’s good news and the bad news about the Seattle-Eastside real estate market in March—and it all depends on which side of the fence you are on.
Let’s start with the bad news. If you are a buyer looking for a great place to call home, you found even fewer homes to choose from last month. Inventory was down 14.5% (Eastside) to 32% (Mercer Island) compared to March 2014. What really smarts is we thought we had very low inventory then. This is a whole new reality.
The Seattle market saw the biggest squeeze with a minuscule 0.7 months of inventory for sale…the lowest this author can remember. The Month’s Supply of Inventory is the length of time it would take to sell through all available inventory, assuming no new listings came to market. For perspective, we typically say a buyer’s market is more than 5 months of inventory; a seller’s market is less than 3 months of inventory; and a neutral market is 3 – 5 months of inventory. Seattle had 1.1 months of inventory on the market this time last year. Ouch!
The Eastside and King County both have exactly 1 month of inventory for sale, down from 1.5 months last year. Mercer Island has 1.3 months, down from 1.9 months last year—but the biggest challenge on the Island is only 2 of the homes for sale are priced below one million dollars.
On the flip side, much more inventory appears poised to enter the market in April; rates are even lower than they were at the start of the year; and buyers have become a pro at the multiple offer bidding war process.
If you are the seller of a reasonable-priced market-ready home, well, let’s just say it’s all good news. What’s not to love—with offers well above full price, no contingencies, 60 day rent-back agreements, and many buyers agreeing to release cash on offer acceptance and pay above appraised value—you get to call the shots. Almost makes up for the pain of the bust market a few years back….almost. Forget all of those years you were under water, now is your time to shine. And year-over-year prices up a manageable 6.2% (Eastside) to 9.7% (Seattle) throughout most areas of King County doesn’t hurt any either.
Click on the reports below for details.