So much for the seasonal cooldown from my last post! The theme of this month’s update will be how the tightening supply of homes is pushing prices even higher. Speaking of seasonal cooldowns – the weather has really changed with the season since my last post. Fall rain, colder temps, and even bomb cyclones off the coast haven’t been able to keep a damper on the Seattle area real estate market. Data in this post is provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS).
King County has seen a big dip in available inventory. In the real world this is what I’m seeing too. For a hot home, it is not uncommon to see jaw-dropping offers that are taking homes off the market within 24 hours of their list date. The months of inventory, or how long it would take to sell all the homes in area, was .68 months in September. That’s about half of a year ago when King County was at 1.12 months of inventory! The .68 months is still slight above the lows of around two weeks earlier this year. As a refresher, a “balanced” buyers/sellers market is 4-6 months of inventory and only in the past year have I started talking about weeks of inventory. Supply in Snohomish County is even tighter with just .48 months of inventory in September.
In terms of number of available homes in September, King County had the sharpest decline in inventory across the region. Available single-family homes d from the year-ago volume of dropped from 2,420 in September 2020 to 1,634 last month (a decrease of 32.5%!). This continued shortage of inventory in the metro area is one of the biggest factors that continues to drive prices up.
Condo sales have been lagging behind the dramatic single family home price increases since before the pandemic, however that is starting to shift a bit. The price increase in condos is first noted by the shift in inventory. Compared to one year ago, there are only about half as many condos listings available now (1,078 in September 2021 vs. 2,129 in September 2020). For King County in September, the NWMLS reported a 20% increase in the number of condos that closed during September compared to a year ago.
Across all NWMLS member counties the median sales price for a home last month was $570,000. That number comes from the 10,289 closings which occurred last month. Comparing sales volume year-over-year, it was about even with 10,175 closed sales in September 2020. Across the region the median price has increased $70,000 or 14% over the past year. The regional price increases are actually outpacing King County as a whole. High prices and tight inventory that pre-dates the pandemic, plus the shift to remote work, has led to big price increases in the outlying metro counties. Over the past year, the median price has increased 18.18% in Snohomish County, 18.4% in Kitsap County, and 16.6% in Pierce County. That said, there are some hot areas in King County such as the Eastside which has seen a 22.62% median price increase in the past year!
As we observed the tightening condo supply in the prior section, the tightening supply of condos is driving those prices up as well. For King County, condo prices rose 8% last month for a median price of $466,501. Compare this to a median price of $431,000 in September 2020 and we see condos making some nice gains. For condos in King County the hottest price gains have been observed in Southwest, Southeast and North King County with gains of around 13.5% in the past year. In nearby counties condo pricing was performing even better than in King. Across the NWMLS over the past year condo prices have risen 15.7%. The leaders here are Kitsap with a 28.5% increase, Snohomish at 17.8% and Pierce County coming in third with a 16.7% increase.
Even though look purely at numbers can seem daunting as a potential buyer, I am continuing to win homes for my buyers in multiple offer scenarios. It all starts with excellent communication, knowing the market, and knowing how to write the best possible offer for the situation. I am happy to answer any of your Seattle and Eastside real estate questions, just visit my Contact Jennifer Beeler page and reach out.