October was an interesting month for Seattle’s condominium Market. Sale prices continued to rise while inventory skyrocketed and sales activity slowed.
The citywide median condo sales price rose 4.87% year-over-year to $495,000. That is lower than the prior month by 3.9%, though the sale prices cyclically trend downwards during the latter half of the year.
Most neighborhoods reflected year-over-year improvement in median sale prices with West Seattle and Northwest Seattle rising by double-digits. See table at bottom for neighborhood results.
Counter to our historically seasonal downturn, Seattle’s inventory of available condos for sale that are listed in the Northwest MLS rose 258.2% to 677 units. This does not include unlisted new construction properties so the actual inventory is a little bit higher.
The burgeoning condo supply and slowing sales activity resulted in a significant change to the inventory supply rate, which rose to 3.5-months of supply based on pending sales transactions.
That moves us from a seller’s market towards the normal market territory. The last time we had this level of supply was just before the market bottomed in early 2012.
Sales activity was tempered with 195 units going under contract into pending sales status in October. That reflected a 31.3% year-over-year and a 12.6% one-month decline, respectively. Though we historically experience declining sales volume towards the end of the year.
There were 195 closed sales last month as well, exhibiting a one-year decline of 32.1% but an improvement over the prior month by 14.7%. Since closings typically follow pending transactions by around 30 days, we can expect the lower number of sales in October will result in fewer closings for November.
The Seattle Condo Market is shifting and being impacted by more than the normal fluctuations we usually experience during the fall season. Approximately 90% of the condos for sale are resales; a significant number of owners are exiting the market.
There could be a number of reasons for that – economic outlook, moving up to single family homes as they are becoming more affordable, relocation or those seeking to sell before values start dropping.
The increased inventory may hamper the sales velocity that we’ve been used to over the past several years. That’s not good news for seller, but it is great for buyers who will have more choices and potentially better value.
Source: NWMLS. Some figures were independently compiled by SeattleCondosAndLofts.com and were not published by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.