September’s NWMLS figures were a mixed bag for Seattle’s condo market. Overall, market values held their own, though sales plummeted.
Seattle’s citywide median condo price remained unchanged from August at $297,000. However, that was a significant one year increase of 14.56% over last September. That last time we experienced a double-digit year-over-year median price increase was back in October 2007, just when the market started to crash. Keep in mind, results varies by neighborhood and price points. With the exception of the Downtown/Belltown and Capitol Hill areas, every neighborhood realized declining values.
As we head into Fall the number of active listings will diminish, which we saw in September with a one-month reduction of 4.1%. Compared to last year, however, there were 5.8% more listings. Listed short sales and bank-owned properties (REO) accounted for 1 in every 5 condo units for sale.
The most striking stat was the huge drop in the number of sales (pending transactions), down 40.2% from last September and a 19.8% one-month decline from August. The number of closed transactions dipped as well…down 23.8% year-over-year and 7.7% month-over-month.
However, that was to be expected to some degree. Condo sales last autumn were spurred by the original November 2009 tax credit deadline, which generated a rush of sales in September and October of last year.
The higher number of sales last year kept the inventory supply rate low as well. Without the tax credit incentive this year, along with economic uncertainly and buyer weariness, the inventory supply rate rose to 9.5 months, even though the number of listings have been declining since June. As a result, Seattle remains ensconced in a buyers market.
Going forward, expect condo sales to slow its pace further, though I think we should see values hold their own (citywide median).