This week will likely mark the last active listing week of August as buyers, sellers and agents enjoy the last bit of summer vacations and prep for back to school. The second half of August is a great time for buyers to find the tables turned in their favor.
Look for a rush of new listings to come to market in the week following Labor Day as we enter the second most active season of the year.
SUMMER DOLDRUMS FOR HOME SALES “NOT HAPPENING” AROUND WESTERN WASHINGTON KIRKLAND, Washington (Aug. 7, 2017) – New figures from Northwest Multiple Listing Service indicate home sales and prices, like July’s temperatures, sizzled. Prices area-wide rose slightly more than 9 percent from a year ago, but several counties near job centers saw larger price increases, including King County where the median price jumped 18.6 percent. The latest report confirmed what most buyers and brokers know: inventory shortages persist even though MLS members added slightly more new listings last month than the same period a year ago.
Followed by last week’s record sales, and fewer new listings to market, this week marked an even more extreme shortage of homes for sale-with most areas having far less than one month of inventory at their mainstream price points. What is left on the market is often tired or lacking desirable features. Turn-key homes are golden right now and we need more of them!
The Q2 median sale price increased by 14.6% in Seattle and 17.2% on the Eastside over Q2 2016. The total number of condo sales on the Eastside remained about the same (829) while the number of units sold is Seattle (845) was down 17% from Q2 of last year. Fewer units available for sale in Seattle was the biggest contributing factor.
The East Bellevue region was up 24.8%, followed by Mercer Island and East of Lake Sammamish at 20.4% and 19.9% over Q2 of last year.
The Median Sale Price change Q2 2016 to Q2 2017 breakdown is as follows: Eastside South of I-90 (15.0%), Mercer Island (20.4%), West Bellevue (15.2%), East Bellevue (24.8%), East Lake Sammamish (19.9%), Redmond (18.9%), Kirkland (16.3%), and Juanita-Woodinville (12.0%).
As anticipated, many new listings entered the market this week. Coupled with fewer holiday week sales, Seattle area real estate is slightly leaning in buyer’s favor this week…at least in upper price points. This is especially true with Downtown Seattle condos where all but the lowest price points are either balanced or buyer-friendly.
KIRKLAND, Washington (July 6, 2017) – For frustrated house hunters, there’s hope: the volume of new listings added to inventory during June (13,658) was the highest total for any single month since May 2008 (14,176 new listings), according to the latest statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.
“This time of year, we see more new listings coming on the market than pending sales, and June didn’t disappoint,” stated J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott.
Noting the pace of sales is slowing and the number of multiple offers is moderating, broker Gary O’Leyar suggested a summer breather is under way (as anticipated), which could yield “the season for a successful purchase” for weary shoppers. O’Leyar, the designated broker/owner at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Signature Properties, said this mid-summer real estate market “seems to be following a fairly typical seasonal cycle” even though inventory is significantly lower than a year ago.
Whoa Betsy! What’s happening in Ballard this week? Virtually zero month’s supply of inventory on the market for sale below $1.5 million!! Other areas fare better for buyers this week…but a low supply of homes for sale is prevalent throughout the region as we head into this holiday weekend. Look for some relief in the form of new listings by next weekend as homes come to market after the holiday lull.
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.
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.