Keller Williams Greater Seattle

May 2011 Seattle Condo Market Update

By on June 8, 2011 in Feature, Market Updates with 7 Comments

With the exception of the median Seattle condo sales price, the local market did well in May: Condo sales activity was stable, the number of closed properties was up and inventory remained low.

Condo prices continue to fluctuate; last month’s citywide median sales price of $249,975 reflected a decline of 12.29% compared to last May. Keep in mind, this is the median sales price of all condos sold and not market value. A significant number of lower priced condo sales in May weighted the median sales price mid-point downward.

Half of all condominium sales in Seattle (50.3%) in May were priced under $250,000 compared to 35.2% for the same period last year. However, the increased sales were due to declining values, which have made condos affordable for many buyers.

Condo sales volume has remained stable over the past three months. Statistically, pending transactions (units going under contract) were up 52% in May compared to last year. However, condo sales crashed last May following the tax credit deadline so the 52% figure is anomalous. Nevertheless, we’ve had three solid months of steady sales activity without any artificial inducements as noted below.

More impressive then pending transactions was the number of closed sales last month. The 176 closed condo sales in May reflected a 22.2% increase over April and just a 10.7% decrease (21 fewer sales) compared to last May. That’s noteworthy considering that closings last year were buoyed by the tax credit deadline. Sales activity is recovering.

The number of active Seattle condo listings essentially remained unchanged over the past 4-5 months. The 1,111 condo listings in May represented a significant 28% drop in inventory compared to last year. We just haven’t seen the rise in inventory this year as we normal do from late winter through summer. Part of that is likely due to absorption of the remaining new construction units, sellers waiting for values to improve and reforms/programs encouraging mitigation over foreclosure.

The improved sales activity combined with fewer units for sale has resulted in a drop to the inventory supply rate. With the pending-based rate at 4.7 months and the closed-based rate at 6.3 months, we are for time being, back to a balanced market environment.

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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 7 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Very comprehensive info. This is good info as some people say a lot of dips and spikes trend from the northwest. thanks.

  2. Josh B says:

    Love the charts!! Nothing paints a better picture than raw data in concise charts. Not enough people utilize this IMO. I hope we’re starting to see an end to this nightmare. Good to see sales picking back up – hope the rest of the country sees this as well.

  3. Alex Cortez says:

    Wow, that’s a pretty significant share of sales being in the entry-level sector. What percentage of sold properties is from REO properties?

  4. Ben Kakimoto says:

    Alex – this is for May 2011 Seattle condo sales only…20.9% of sales were REO (bank-owned) and 8.5% were short sales.

  5. What a great and engaging presentation. Seattle is a very important market and keeping things going is a role that we all need to play. You have great content!

  6. Ben – this is another great report…very comprehensive and informative! Thanks for compiling this information.

  7. Jim Hoge says:

    Wow, Ben, thanks for such great details. Charts and graphs are fantastic. Overall it seems like things are looking up in the Seattle housing market.

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