Property Views: The weather is cooling, but is the real estate market?

Property Views: The weather is cooling, but is the real estate market?

Property Views: The weather is cooling, but is the real estate market?

Buyers remained diligent as summer turned to autumn, with residential sales and pending listings up 30.9 percent and 42.4 percent respectively in Seattle.

There were notable gains in the average price per square foot — up 10.4 percent to $499.60 — and median sales price — up 7.4 percent to $859,000 — due to record low interest rates and less homes on the market, as months of inventory dropped 43 percent from the same time last year. Residences also sold more quickly in 2020 third quarter than they did in 2019 third quarter, selling in just under three weeks. Uncertainty still rings true in market times, however, with some homes going under contract quickly and others lingering.

In the area comprising our Madison Park, Washington Park and Capitol Hill neighborhoods, pending and closed sales were in line with Seattle at large, though these neighborhoods did not see as stark a drop in months of inventory (down 18.2 percent here, versus 43 percent in Seattle). The median sales price in the third quarter was $973,000, a 4 percent increase year-over-year and higher than the median in Seattle, which is typical of homes in our subset. Given the higher price point, it is not uncommon to see longer market times than in Seattle at large, though the former did see homes sell in an average of just one month in the third quarter. There are always homes that will fall to either side of the market time spectrum. Those well positioned for the market and priced appropriately still get snatched up in a heartbeat. Sellers that are too aggressive with price, or do not present a market-ready home, will find little interest from savvy buyers, however.

If there is one thing we can say about the state of the Seattle real estate market in 2020, it’s that it has been unpredictable. Thus far, my 2020 real estate activity has proven busier than past years, as I have helped clients acclimate to conducting business in a primarily virtual world and achieve real estate goals to meet their changing needs. It is hard to say, of course, how the market will react to the final quarter of the year, but early October numbers indicate sustained activity, with 72 residential sales in our area in the first three weeks of the month alone. Buyers are also increasingly interested in some of the great neighborhoods that surround Madison Park, including Leschi, Madrona, Madison Valley and the Arboretum, which offer great amenities close by and a breadth of product types.

At the time of this writing, there are just six condominiums listed for sale in Madison Park. Seven single-family residences are currently on the market, ranging in price from $1.499 million to $8.95 million.

If you are planning your real estate goals for the coming year, I would love to discuss market fundamentals with you. I am always open to a socially distanced in-person meeting, introductory phone call or virtual cup of coffee. Here’s to a safe and healthy finish to 2020.

Leslie Dickinson is a founding member of RSIR Madison Park Office.