Seattle-Bellevue Market Update | March 2019
The real estate market is strong and active as of March 2019. Please refer to the following recent reports in reverse chronological order for trends and data that lead to this point:
The quantity of homes under contract is increasing more than the amount of homes coming on the market indicating demand is increasing more than supply:
Seattle: 22 percent decrease in supply (homes on the market) from January to February.
Bellevue: 31 percent decrease in supply (homes on the market) from January to February.
Assuming this trend continues the residential market should move towards equilibrium from a Buyer’s market to a Seller’s market.
There was pent-up demand over the last 10-12 days of February and into March because of the historic 50 year snow storms that impacted the region and limited Buyer activity for a week in February. However, there is still over 1.5 times more inventory (supply) on the market than demand (solds) in Seattle and over 2.6 times more supply than demand in Bellevue.
"Led by a 5.5 percent increase in FHA loan applications, purchase activity picked up last week and was almost 2 percent higher than a year ago," said Joel Kan, Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "Purchase applications have now increased year-over-year for four weeks, which signals healthy demand entering the busy spring buying season. However, the pick-up in the average loan size continues, with the average balance reaching another record high. With more inventory in their price range compared to first-time buyers, move-up and higher-end buyers continue to have strong success finding a home."
Some homes are overpriced, while some are not. At the lower price points (under a million) it is not uncommon for multiple offers to occur, which may be an indication of what’s to come at the higher price points. As of February 2019, the average sales price for single-family homes in Seattle is $789,000 and the averages sales price in Bellevue is $1,476,000 within King county.
The following graph illustrates single-family home sales in the city of Seattle:
The following graph illustrates single-family home sales in the city of Bellevue:
The following graph represents single-family home and condominium activity in King County:
It’s interesting to note above that 2,220 properties went under contract in February 2018 (during a white hot sellers’ market) and 2,107 homes went under contract in February 2019 (during Snowmageddon, the largest snowstorm in 50 years), which is only a 5.1 percent decrease. As of March 17, 2019, there has been a 15 percent increase in supply relative to February 1-17, however, there has been a 65% increase in properties going under contract. We’re watching the market transition from a Buyer’s market towards a Seller’s market as demand consumes supply.
The following indicates seasonal sales trends for single-family homes and condominiums in King County over 3 years:
The following indicates seasonal sales trends for single-family homes and condominiums in King County over 5 years:
Based on seasonal trends, sales will increase into June, flatten-out into August, and taper down into the fall.
Bottom Line: It’s a good time to buy and sell. It’s interesting to note, I’ve recently met quite a few home buyers that have been renting for the last couple of years and decided the time is right to purchase. This is a very common conversation now.
As I wrote on December 19, 2018, I believe there will be continued home price growth in 2019 that will be more moderate (slower) relative to the last several years of double-digit gains. See article, How to Time the Market. 60,000 new jobs are forecasted in the Puget Sound region year over year for the next 3.5 years.
If you’re a home seller, I recommend getting your property on the market before May 15th.
If you’re an investor and/or are doing a 1031, now would be an excellent time to purchase an investment property. The rental high season is from April to September.
Please contact me if you’d like representation and guidance to reach your real estate goals.