We’ve seen more listings come to market in the past week than during most weeks in April. That equates to more choices for buyers and possibly, just possibly, a little more balance (between buyers and sellers) in the market.
The frenzied market of last week has certainly cooled to a more moderate pace. Sellers: not to worry-you’ll likely still have multiple offers-maybe just not 10 of them. Buyers: the second half of the year is your opportunity to shine with more homes for sale and fewer competing buyers than in the spring.
The big winners this week were the Central and West Seattle neighborhoods and Downtown Bellevue condos-if you are a seller that is. For buyers-South Seattle, East Bellevue and Kirkland all had a nice jump in new listings to choose from.
This week feels a bit like watching a ping pong match in in the real estate market. On the tails of strong seller sentiment last week we find buyers more in the driver’s seat this week with more new listings on the market and fewer pending sales. A little more of this kind of balance does a market good!
KIRKLAND, Washington (June 6, 2017) – Would-be buyers who have been shut out of the real estate market should test the “real estate waters” during the summer months suggests one industry leader.
“Summer might provide some competitive relief for weary buyers,” said Gary O’Leyar, owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Signature Properties, pointing to some of the newly-released statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service as indicators.
Noting that the trend of multiple offers is still prevalent in the Seattle market, O’Leyar stressed that’s not always the case in areas outside the immediate Seattle area. In fact, he added, the market may “cool off” a bit during summer months as weary buyers find vacations and recreational pursuits more alluring than being in competitive bidding situations.
Sellers had the upper hand this week with fewer new listings on the market and pending sales depleting much of the existing inventory. This was especially so in Ballard and North Seattle. Several Eastside neighborhoods showed some balance in the $1.5 million range but were otherwise right in tune with Seattle. Expect many new listings to come to market in the two weeks following Memorial Day weekend.
Pending sales ruled the roost this week as buyers enjoyed the many new listings on the market. Some price points stagnated but all-around a very good week for both buyers and sellers.
Market activity was solid this week as buyers had many new listings to choose from. The result was a marked increase in pending sales in this peak market week.
This week’s activity cooled somewhat compared to last week’s marathon. The market is still active to be sure, but more buyers are taking their time to check out their options. Our 1.75 days of gorgeous weather possibly played a role…
“The real estate market is going absolutely gangbusters,” remarked OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate. “The remarkably low number of homes for sale can be blamed for the drop in sales,” he emphasized, adding, “The uptick in interest rates at the end of last year has clearly done nothing to slow things down.”
Inventory fell nearly 25 percent from the volume of active listings being offered a year ago. At the end of April, MLS brokers reported 10,679 homes and condos for sale across a 23-county area, which compares to the year-ago selection of 14,235 listings.
Viewed another way, there is only about 1.5 months of supply (about six weeks), which compares to twelve months ago when supply totaled about 1.85 months. (In general, four-to-six months is considered a balanced market.) There has not been more than two months of supply since September 2016.
MLS members continue to struggle to keep pace with demand. Brokers added 10,648 new listings to their database last month, down from 11,939 during April 2016, and they reported 10,514 pending sales. That total was down 893 transactions for a drop of year-over-year drop of 7.8 percent.
Wow, just WOW! Buyers embraced the market in force following last week’s flood of new listings. Prepared to waive everything and give sellers added perks as icing on the cake in hopes of being the lucky bid winner of the home of their dreams, buyers are making some incredulous choices.
Good news for sellers as it pushes the real estate market to new highs. Not so good news for buyers who aren’t willing to give their blood to compete. As for Realtors, we prefer a more balanced market where everyone wins.
We saw an incredible uptick in homes for sale this week and some slowing in the volume of pending sales. That said, we are hearing crazy stories of hot Seattle listings being bid up 20-25%. Be careful out there! Know your limit before you get emotionally attached. Having a savvy Realtor can help you make smart decisions even when the market is bonkers.
Listing supply dwindled with little new listing activity in the Seattle area this Spring Break week. The rain dance worked though! Look for many new listings to come on beginning next week as we enter the peak of the listing season. Photographers, home stagers and other pros tell us they are helping prepare more listings for market in the next two weeks than they’ve seen all year. This will be most welcome news for home buyers everywhere.
Seattle area condos saw the Q1 median sale price increase by 14.5% over Q1 2016, while Eastside condos rose 17.3%. Both regions continue to experience stronger appreciation in condos than in single-family homes—a clear sign that affordability and in-city living are strong drivers in the local housing market.
The communities of Richmond Beach-Shoreline and Lake Forest Park-Kenmore were on fire in Q1. Their Median Sale Prices were up 18.9% and 24.7%, respectively, over Q1 2016. Representing an affordable region north of Seattle with many local amenities and a reasonable commute, it’s no wonder this area has been favored by local home buyers. Accessible to downtown without tolls, these neighborhoods are also an attractive alternative to communities located further out on the Eastside. North Seattle, while still a very popular region, showed the smallest gain—but of note is that it falls on the heels of exponential growth in 2016 and some moderation in its gains are a good sign of a healthy real estate market.
Many neighborhoods saw a slight cooling off this week with pending sales lower than the craze of last week. More new listings promised to come to market could ease the pain felt by buyers in this extreme seller’s market. Check out this week’s report neighborhood by neighborhood for details!
Northwest Multiple Listing Service brokers expected an uptick in the number of new listings during March, and that expectation was met with a significant gain – up more than 50 percent from February. Members added 10,321 new listings last month, but they also reported an even greater number of pending sales (10,447), leaving inventory near historic lows.
This week was beyond eclectic as every neighborhood seemed to beat to its own drum completely oblivious to what was happening next door.
Sales increased this week at many price points in nearly every neighborhood throughout the Seattle-Eastside region. The $2 million and above price point continues to have more supply than demand, but otherwise the market very much favors home sellers.
News of substantial expected mortgage interest rate increases in 2017 may motivate buyers further to purchase while rates are low. Every 1% increase in interest rates equates to about a 10% reduction in purchasing price for the same monthly payment. So if you purchased a $600,000 home at 3.5% interest it would be about the same monthly payment as a $540,000 home at 4.5% interest.
This week saw the market shift even more extremely to the seller’s favor as inventory diminished even further (as if that were even possible). Our market continues to lavish sellers with a dream list of terms as buyers scramble to compete for the limited supply of homes for sale.
This week saw a significant uptick in new listing activity in many areas and price points. A sign of things to come? We can only hope!
Home buyers are in a spring mood, but sellers are still hibernating, suggested one broker while commenting about the latest statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Figures for February and feedback from brokers indicate record-low inventory is spurring multiple offers, rising prices, fewer sales, and frustrated house-hunters.
The market is beginning to wake up from a long winter’s slumber. Will it bring new listings and more balance between buyers and sellers??