Keller Williams Greater Seattle

March 2009 Condo Update

By on April 8, 2009 in Feature, Market Updates, Real Estate with 3 Comments

With Spring now upon us, the real estate market is experiencing an uptick in activity as noted with increases in the number of new listings, pending transactions and closed sales last month. The median citywide condo price remained essentially unchanged at $275,000 compared to February, while compared to last March, it reflects the largest year-over-year percentage decline we’ve seen in years, down 16.7%. Though, the March 2008 median Seattle condo price of $329,975 was the second highest on record.

The number of active listings rose last month to 1,363 properties, up 6.3% from February though it’s 5.7% fewer compared to last March. Fortunately, pending transactions (properties going under contract) and closed sales increased over February by 2.9% and 19.4%, respectively. However, compared to last year’s activity, the market continues to underperform with sales only about 56% of the level we experienced last March.

The citywide inventory supply rate (absorption rate) inched up slightly from 9.2 to 9.5 months, not bad considering that the rate of new listings outpaced pending transactions. The downtown area and West Seattle reflected the largest increase in supply rate, both now around 15 months. Two areas did experience a one month drop in the supply rate, Queen Anne / Magnolia and North Seattle. With few new construction or conversion projects adding to inventory, those areas are likely to be the first to stabilize.

The overall citywide median price is the lowest since mid-2006 for the second consecutive month, so buyers can find good condo values. While it’s a little too early to tell how much impact the revised first-time home buyers tax credit will have locally, moderate priced units, where most first-time buyers fall, are moving. Condos under $350,000 remain the most active segment of the market.

At the other end of the spectrum there’s a large surplus of high-end inventory particularly with Olive 8, Enso, Escala, Alex, 200 West Highland and Rollin Street completing this year. With so much competition, and a smaller pool of qualified buyers, we can expect more price fluctuations and incentives as new developments do what they can to generate sales.

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About the Author

About the Author: Ben Kakimoto is a condo marketing specialist and publisher of The Seattle Condo Blog. Ben's focus is urban residential properties in Seattle's metropolitan core. Contact Ben to learn more about the Seattle condo and loft real estate market. Find Ben on Google+, Twitter and Facebook. .

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There Are 3 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Ben- As always a thorough review of the Seattle condo market. I put together a rundown of the Leavenworth condo scene on my blog for folks who might be interested.

    http://iciclecreekrealestate.com/2009/03/09/leavenworth-condo-market-spring-2009-update/

    The condo market here is the one part of our market that is overbuilt and there are some exceptional opportunities if folks are interested in a longer term investment.

  2. Very informative article. It is interesting to read about the markets in different areas. I’m reading a lot of possitive information indicating that each market area has it’s own ups and downs as far as real estate is concerned. The more we can inform the public about this the better for all of us.

  3. Seattle market seems to be trying to hold. The big speculative markets like Southern California, Florida, Nevada, Arizona and the like are on fire with volume. Their pricing however is as much as 60% off the top. The market like yours Seattle, are not having high volume because they didn’t contract as much, nor did they go up as much in the boom time. I think that the less speculative markets are making a slow rolling bottom and will kick in stronger soon. April, in our market has seen some sales picking up. Bergen County New Jersey is a very high price market. We finally have Jumbo loans now for about 2 months. This is making a difference.

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