As we near the end of the year, we thought we’d take a step back to the macro level and look at market trends in Metro Seattle as a whole instead of honing in on just the Capitol Hill neighborhood. October was, once again, a seller’s market – which comes as no surprise. The number of homes available for sale last month was down 18% from September but relatively flat over the same period in 2015 with a mere 0.2% increase in inventory. The number of homes that sold city-wide was down 9% month-to-month but up 4.6% over October 2015. Additionally, the number of pending sales was up from September and over the year. This decrease in inventory is pretty typical for this time of year as many would-be sellers choose to wait until the Spring and Summer to list their homes.
So while some homeowners may be waiting until 2017 to list their homes for sale, there are still PLENTY of buyers who are active in the market and looking to snatch up homes. The number of days on market has been under a month for 9 months straight, with only 2 of the last 15 months slightly exceeding that threshold (32 days in December 2015 and 35 days in January 2016). Homes were selling in 25 days on average across the map in October, which is up just slightly from the same period in 2015 and homes were also selling for 1% OVER asking price on average. What is perhaps more impressive is that Metro Seattle has only seen 1 – yes, ONE – month out of the past 15 where homes sold for less than asking on average and that was in December 2015 when homes sold for 99% of the list price. Otherwise, homes are consistently selling at or above the seller’s list price across the board.
Again, these short periods of time on the market and offers exceeding list price are a direct economic function of supply and demand. Seattle’s growing population and the desire to live close to transit and corporate offices like Amazon, Facebook, Tableau, and soon, Expeida are all driving demand for housing in the Seattle market. Because demand is outpacing the number of homes available for sale, we’re continuing to see prices increase. Inventory levels continue to hover around 1 month’s supply, so we’ve got a ways to go before we reach a balanced market of 3 to 5 months of inventory.
While this is all encouraging for sellers, buyers may be feeling frustrated with the process. However, we’ve found that investing time with our buyer clients up front to not only educate them about the process but to develop a strategy for crafting and presenting their offer, helps dramatically reduce the number of homes our clients write offers on before “winning” in a multiple offer situation – which keeps our buyers engaged and get them into their new home faster. If you have a home to sell or if you are looking to purchase, we’d love to have a conversation and see if we are the right fit to help you achieve your Seattle home buying and selling goals. Call us at 206.331.3960 for a no obligations review of our services.