I think you will agree that these are certainly interesting times we are living in. The real estate market in greater Seattle is no exception. The latest data from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service confirms what those of us on the ground are experiencing: The lowest interest rates in more than 20 years and sparse inventory has resulted in a very active market, with many homebuyers feeling frustrated. The market is moving fast, and staying on top of current statistics and trends is important if buying or selling a home is in your future.

Let’s dig into the most recent numbers:

For Denny Blaine, Broadmoor, Washington/Madison Park

2019 through September 25:

57 sold homes

Average Sales Price: $2,006,646

Average Days on Market: 74

Average Price Per Square Foot: $664

Lowest Sales Price: $395,000

Highest Sales Price: $6,895,000

Selling at 96.41 percent of last listed price

2020 through September 25:

87 sold homes

Average Sales Price: $1,987,405

Average Days on Market: 49

Average Price Per Square Foot: $754

Lowest Sales Price: $459,900

Highest Sales Price: $10,000,000

Selling at 98.5 percent of last listed price

Over $2.5M market time is 66 days, and there were 17 sales with an average price of $4,363,109

For 98112

2019 through September 25:

236 sold homes

Average Sales Price: $1,312,456

Average Days on Market: 39

Average Price Per Square Foot: $566

Lowest Sales Price: $255,000

Highest Sales Price: $6,895,000

Selling at 98.71 percent of original listed price

2020 through Sept. 25:

273 sold homes

Average Sales Price: $1,418,508

Average Days on Market: 37

Average Price Per Square Foot: $631

Lowest Sales Price: $265,000

Highest Sales Price: $10,000,000

Selling at 100.56 percent of original listed price

21 of these are $2 million+, and this market and the market time over $2.5 million is 132 days


In looking at Seattle as a whole:

In the period of Jan. 1, 2019, to Sept. 25, 2019, sales of homes over $2 million rose from 154 in 2019 to 171 in 2020. The average price of these sales was slightly lower — $2,872,514 in 2019 and $2,813,548 in 2020.

Since May 25 this year, under $2 million the number was 3,124, while during the same period last year the number of homes sold under $2 million was near the same at 3,027.

My takeaways:


  • The Seattle area housing market was very competitive before the coronavirus pandemic, and that has not changed.

  • The pause we experienced in the spring during the stay home order resulted in a very active summer market.

  • Year-over-year real estate activity in our neighborhood remains strong and steady with sales up and DOM down.

  • Overall in 98112, an 8 percent average price increase year over year.

  • The market time for homes over $2.5 million is over three times longer than those under that price point.

  • We continue to see multiple offer situations at certain price points and with unique, show-ready homes.

  • Historically, low interest rates mean would-be home buyers have more buying power.

     

Lack of inventory continues to be one of the biggest drivers in our market. During the stay home order, many sellers waited on the sidelines to put their homes on the market, either because of COVID itself, or because they were waiting to see the effects of the pandemic on the real estate market. So while the market took a pause in the spring, it came roaring back this summer. While typically we see a slowdown in the Seattle summer market, essentially the active spring market was delayed until summer. Real estate brokers across the area report seeing the busiest market ever in the last several months. When compared to last summer, 2020 saw a 57 percent increase in closings compared with the 2019 summer months.  


With children going back to school this fall, there is a chance the market will be quiet as many families take on remote-learning responsibilities. However, at this point we are experiencing a pre-Halloween burst of activity, and it certainly isn’t too late to list before the end of the year. If you choose to wait, use this time to prepare your home for market. No matter how tight the inventory, pricing and presentation will always be the key principles to a successful transaction. Take this time to make your home show-ready: First impressions count. Tackle projects that give you bang for your buck: painting, surface updates and landscaping. Declutter — packing more now means packing less later! Hire a broker to represent your home who utilizes staging services. 

Having an experienced broker who will analyze the micro-neighborhoods and the most recent sales data will help you price your home competitively. If a home goes on the market even a bit too high, it can sit, and that may result in a larger price reduction than if the home had come on the market at a reasonable listing price. It is important to work with a broker who can help you be objective about price. 

One of the biggest trends we are seeing is the emphasis on spaces for working and studying from home. Recent announcements in the tech industry and others tell us that the work-from-home lifestyle is here to stay. Homebuyers are juggling Zoom calls and homeschooling; separate spaces to accomplish all of these tasks is a priority. We are finding that homebuyers also seek larger lots to give all members of the household room to play during the day or when the work is done. Luckily, our neighborhood is less dense than in other Seattle areas; those seeking more space continue to be attracted to the 98112. 

Real estate was deemed essential early on in the stay home order, and brokers remain committed to safely listing and showing homes. While we are still unable to hold open houses and broker previews, we are blocking off periods of time to schedule tours, as well as private appointments on demand. In addition, we have placed an emphasis on virtual tours, FaceTime showings and a strong social media presence. 

In closing, thank you to everyone who has remained committed to supporting our local Madison Park Village businesses and help them through this unprecedented time. Having shops, coffee, cafés, fine dining and pubs within strolling distance is a valuable asset for our neighborhood, and we want as many of our small businesses to survive as possible. I want to give a special shoutout to my friend Ethan Stowell and congratulate him on the opening of How to Cook a Wolf in Madison Park. The restaurant is stunning, and we wish you a warm autumn so the al fresco dining option can continue as long as possible.

As of press time, there are 18 homes for sale over $2.5 million in 98112, 12 of which are in Madison Park/Broadmoor.  The highest priced home for sale in the area is a contemporary villa with 130 feet of Lake Washington waterfront. If you have given any thought to buying or selling, now may be the time for you to make your move. Our Compass experts have a long history in Madison Park and are ready to help you navigate this unusual time with the latest technology, top-notch marketing and proven pricing strategies. If you’re buying, our knowledgeable agents will help you achieve success in this still competitive market.

Evan Wyman
Broker/Partner
The Wyman Group @ COMPASS