In assessing the Seattle market trends, The data for April 2020 was always going to be interesting as it was the first opportunity to get some meaningful insight the impact that the pandemic will have on the Seattle housing market. While there is undeniably a noticeable dip in inventory and closed sales numbers, the metrics seem to indicate that the market is churning along better than most had expected.
Pending sales in the Seattle real estate market came in at 62% of the level for April 2019 – 546 compared to 870. Interestingly, this metric performs even better as we moved into May. For the week ending 5/6/20, pending contracts were at 71% of the level for the corresponding week in 2019. It would appear that Seattle home sales have potentially been deferred by the pandemic and not lost. At Windermere Real Estate, we predict total sales will be down by roughly 1,000 for the three months after the Stay At Home Order is lifted, but that sales will catch up to comparable levels to 2019 towards the end of the year as sellers prepare to go to market.
Current inventory of home, condos and townhouses for sale in Metro Seattle is a meager 1.3 months – a significant indicator of a sellers market, but down somewhat from the red hot sub 1 month numbers we saw in February and March. The interesting take away here, that while muted in comparison to a normal year, inventory levels did still increase as moved into the typically busy spring season despite the restrictions that were put in place.
The net result of low inventory numbers was significant buyer competition. Of all sales in April, 50% went above asking price, with the average premium paid around 5%. Furthermore, 83% of all listings sold within their first 15 days on market.
While Seattle market trends in some areas have transitioned into a more balanced market, most areas including most of Central Seattle real estate remain firmly in favor of sellers. If you have any questions about the market or would like to discuss strategies for either buying or selling please feel free to contact me. If you would like to track average prices and days on market per MLS area, you can find that information here.