Is the Seattle real estate market slowing down?

August 2018 Seattle Real Estate Market Update

Summer hit it’s peak, the weather got hot and just as it did, it feels like the real estate market took a step to side to get in some shade. This has people asking me if the Seattle real estate market is slowing down. The answer to that is a bit mixed.

Seattle Condo Sales Update

Sellers in the Seattle area have gotten a bit too used to putting properties on the market and having them sell before the ink is dry on the listing agreement. June was a turning point for the Seattle market.  Starting with condo sales we can see that the number of condos coming on the market passed the number of units sold in June. We started the year with a half a month supply of condos and finished July with 1.3 months of inventory.

2018 July condo sales stats

July 2019 Seattle Condo stats

Obviously this surplus of available condos is going to affect the market and it is giving us longer times on the markets and even softening of prices. Sellers are now having to be more competitive to attract buyers and this will generally translate into lower prices.

Should you sell your condo right now?

In general it is still a good time to sell a condo in the Seattle area as long as you are realistic on your pricing and more patient when it comes to time on the market. Three years ago condos had an average market time of about 20 days and I’d expect we see numbers headed back that way again in coming months.  Nearly 1000 condos were sold in July in King and Snohomish combined so they are still moving, the competition for buyers is just getting stiffer.

Seattle Single Family Home Sales Update

Single family homes in King and Snohomish counties are seeing similar conditions to condo sales. Big difference here is that the oversupply issue is even more dramatic. We started the year with just less than one month’s supply of homes and ended July with 1.7 month’s worth and fewer homes sold.

From what I can see, what we are seeing the builders doing their normal thing of chasing the trends and going from under-supplying the market with new homes to oversupplying them. To some degree, this happens every summer as builders finish homes and drop them on the market. You can see this trend in the numbers below for 2017. This year however they have really overshot the target.

In addition on over-supply of homes, the vertical appreciation the Seattle area has experienced in the last few years has quite literally priced many home buyers out of the market. There is simply a limited pool of people that can afford homes above $400,000 or even $1,000,000 that we are seeing for single family homes in some areas.

July Seattle market update

July Seattle area home sales

Should You Sell Your Seattle Area Home Right Now

If capturing your maximum appreciation is your goal, then there is likely time to do that, accepting that the vertical appreciation, multiple competitive offers, and sales prices 110% of offered price are likely not going to be happening again at least not this year.

The reality is that even if we see some drop in home prices, most home owners will be looking at some sizable appreciation, so if you wait until later in the year when inventory has dropped some, you will likely still be in good shape.

In any event, plan for more competition and longer market times.

DO NOT TRUST ZILLOW ON PRICING! 

One thing I cannot stress enough is to not trust any automated pricing tool for estimating your home’s value. They are a great tool for generalizations, but cannot accurately take into account market forces, condition of your home, and your specific needs/situation.  If you are considering selling your Seattle area home or condo, call me at 425-773-3149 or you can fill out this form to get the process started.

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