Until recently, the Seattle real estate market headlines didn’t seem to change much, each remarking upon the area’s unprecedented home price growth and highly competitive climate for buyers. The past few months, however, have given way to a slightly different narrative, as increasing inventory and a less frenetic environment have pushed the market closer to a neutral one (though still decidedly in favor of sellers). Below we’ve outlined how these new market trends are playing out in the local real estate market with a look at Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty’s recently released market report for the third quarter of 2018.
Seattle Single-Family Homes
In the third quarter of 2018 there was 2.1 months of inventory for Seattle single-family homes, up just under 75% compared to the previous quarter (which settled at 1.2 months) and a staggering 156.5% from the third quarter of 2017. This marked the most inventory buyers have seen in the region since the third quarter of 2012, when inventory was also 2.1 months. Since that time, inventory has remained well below that, sinking down to a meager 0.4 months in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Though there is now a healthy supply and range of options for buyers, home values continue to appreciate, up 5.2% compared to the third quarter of last year ($770,000), though they were down on a quarter-by-quarter basis (6.8%). As was found on the Eastside and Bainbridge Island, the average days on market seem to have shifted into seasonal norms, with homes selling in just under three weeks.
In line with trends found in Seattle’s single-family market, the number of condominiums for sale is the subject of many real estate discussions, as there were 2.7 months of inventory for Seattle condos in the third quarter of this year, the highest number on record since the third quarter of 2012, when we nearly shifted to a balanced market with 2.9 months of inventory. Since then, inventory dipped significantly, well below 1 month in every quarter since the start of 2015. Given the lack of options out there, it doesn’t come as a surprise that condominiums in Seattle have regularly sold at or above list price since 2014, when buyers had more power to negotiate lower terms.
Though many would expect growing inventory to add to the average days on market, Seattle condominiums are still selling in roughly 18 days, a figure that has remained in the teens since the first quarter of 2017, when the average was 23 days on market.
Eastside Single-Family Homes
Though home prices continue to increase on the Eastside, the growth from Q3-2017 to Q3-2018 moderated significantly from the previous year-over-year growth, up 7.11% (compared to a 14.80% increase from Q3-2016 to Q3-2017). Buyers have definitely expressed relief over the slowdown in price gains, however rising mortgage rates are adding some concern as they are expected to increase again before the year’s end.
There were 1,523 homes for sale on the Eastside at the end of the third quarter, which was up 61.57% year-over-year, but it is still a seller’s market. And though other areas saw slight increases in market times, homes on the Eastside continue to sell in less than a month.
For the full report and look at statistic trends, head to the RSIR blog: Market Trends From Around the Sound.