February Market Watch

The start of the year has been lackluster to say the least. The small remaining inventory has been slowly disappearing without much in terms of new listings.

Numbers in King County for January are down over the 2018 final outcome. However, price per square foot is up meaning lower priced smaller homes were selling thus bringing the overall average price down.

Snohomish County is slightly lower across the board. However the inventory there created a more balanced buyer-seller market. Now that the market is back to 2.5 months of inventory numbers should swing slightly in favor of sellers again.

I believe early spring (Feb/March listings) will be more competitive than any time during the last 5 months.

Bottom Line

As a buyer the inventory is below what a balanced market typically presents. If you can find a home that has been on the market for 30 or more days there is plenty of room for negotiation. For sellers, listing in the next 6 weeks allows you to beat the typical spring influx of new inventory. We call this the “early spring” timeframe.

2018 Market Review

Even with the market slow down towards the end of 2018 the year finished strong with great gains in both King and Snohomish counties.

The year began with an inventory level under one month’s supply and ended hovering between 2 and 2.4 months in King County. A balanced market has a 6 month supply of inventory meaning if no new homes were listed it would take 6 months to sell the existing homes. It’s no secret that an inventory level at 1 month and below will create a market frenzy with an extremely lopsided supply versus demand. For the entire year, inventory levels were still well below half of what a balanced buyer/seller market looks like.

Seattle median home prices topped out at $800,000 mid-year and ended at $765,000 which is nearly $100,000 above the county average of $680,200. Bellevue saw a low of $959,000 in November while every other month boasted average sales prices well over the million dollar mark.

To put things in comparison, a few months back Las Vegas overtook Seattle as the fastest growing market in the U.S. While we have shown a slow down to our epic pace the Seattle area is still going strong. In Las Vegas 2018 ended with an average sales price of $350,000 and a list to sales price ratio of 98.9%, meaning buyers had some room for negotiation. And, the average days on market, from the time the home was listed to the home going under contract with a buyer, was 26 days. Inventory levels for Vegas ended 2018 at a 2.5 month’s supply. Basically, Seattle’s slow down (not including purchase price averages) was the hot year Vegas had.

Bottom Line:

Seattle still has a strong economy, a robust relocation market for jobs, and a highly desirable quality of life. While this market has slowed we still rival the next new hot market. It’s all about perception and after what we have been through our current situation seems slow. If you are looking to make your next move whether it’s renovation, refinance (cash out or line of credit), or are considering upsizing or downsizing, let’s set an appointment to talk more!