Property Views: Is love in the air for Seattle’s real estate market?

Property Views: Is love in the air for Seattle’s real estate market?

Property Views: Is love in the air for Seattle’s real estate market?

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted much of the seasonality we rely on in the Seattle real estate market, and it continued to do so as we said goodbye to 2020.

At the end of the year, when many are gathering for the holidays, real estate activity has historically slowed.

But in this unusual year, the number of single-family homes for sale in Seattle during 2020’s fourth quarter was up 24 percent. Buyer activity also remained strong, with the number of sales in the final quarter up 28 percent year-over-year and a sense of urgency in the market, with the average home spending only three weeks on the market.

With new contracts for purchase exceeding new listings, inventory levels are markedly low and contributing to a steady climb in median home prices, with Seattle single-family homes rounding out the year at $840,000.

Taking a closer look at our micro-market in the Central Seattle region (Area 390), we saw an even larger flurry of activity in Q4-2020, with the number of homes sold and pended both up over 30 percent.

Despite the disruption in seasonality, some trends we expect in our neighborhoods held strong. As is typically the case, the median sales price and days on market tend to be slightly higher here than in Seattle at large. In Q4-2020, the median sales price was $980,000, and homes spent an average of one month on the market.

So, what’s ahead?

The enviable market fundamentals of our region will keep primary residences here while attracting like-minded followers who will take advantage of the relative home values, lower cost of living and greater prospect for capital appreciation compared with West Coast peer cities.

We also expect to witness a massive downsizing cycle in the next decade, as Generation X’ers become empty-nesters, and retirees seek a “lock-and-leave” lifestyle and harvest equity for second homes in destination markets with a return to travel post-pandemic.

In the short term, the first three weeks of January 2021 have proven to be slightly busier than in past years. In our neighborhood, we’ve seen one condominium sale at $440,000 and three pending condos ranging in list price from $474,950 to $769,950. Six single-family homes went under contract, priced from $1,995,000 to $8,950,000, with another four homes sold ranging from $1,240,000 to $4,625,000.

At the time of this writing, there are seven condominiums listed for sale in Madison Park, ranging in price from $310,000 to $3.5 million. There are nine single-family residences currently on the market in Broadmoor, Madison Park, Washington Park and Denny-Blaine, priced from just $950,000 to $14.7 million.

Overall, inventory in our city is down an unbelievable 47 percent from last year. Month-to-date stats comparing the current year with one year ago also reveal that, while inventory is sharply down, pending sales are up 14.5 percent and sold properties are up 16.4 percent — spelling out that demand is far outstripping supply. If you are looking to sell this year, your timing could not be better.   

I’d love to connect with you to discuss how these market trends are impacting homes in your neighborhood. Here’s to a wonderful year ahead!


— Laura Halliday

Managing Broker, Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty