Full disclosure: The Tim is employed by Redfin.
Last week Redfin released their September market data. Here’s an excerpt from the narrative:
“Most of my clients are taking a wait-and-see approach to buying this past month,” said Michelle Swierz, a Redfin agent in Bellevue. “With little to no new inventory coming on the market, a lot of house hunters aren’t even finding homes they want to tour, let alone homes they would seriously consider purchasing.”
“Most buyers think they need to wait to start house hunting until spring when more homes are listed for sale,” said Kathryn Rion, a Redfin agent in Redmond. “But what they don’t realize is that many of the people listing their homes right now are extremely motivated to sell. There are deals to be had if you are able to move fast to pounce on an attractive listing, willing to negotiate, and can be patient with the process of searching for the right home.”
I agree, now through December is indeed the ideal time of year to find a good deal. If you’re not dead-set on finding that perfect “move-in-ready” dream home, you might be able to find a nice below-market deal on some stale property with a highly motivated seller. Of course, if you think that the area you’re looking in has more than another ten percent or so still to fall, it will probably be pretty hard to find a deal good enough to offset that kind of future decline.
You can download the full spreadsheet from Redfin here, and as usual, I’m going to map them here.
In the map below each zip code with enough sales in September is shown as a dot, with the size of the dot determined by the number of sales in that zip code in September. Each dot is color-coded based on whichever measure you select below the map. You can view the month-over-month or year-over-year changes in inventory, sales, median prices, or median prices per square foot. There is also a county selector that allows you to narrow, expand, or modify the view to your liking.
Sales were scattered between August and September, with some areas seeing strong gains (such as Queen Anne’s 98119—up 18.2% MOM) and others falling quite a bit (such as Madrona/Leschi’s 98122—down 37.5% MOM). Year-over-year very few neighborhoods were up, and none in the core of Seattle.
Here are the zip codes with the most SFH sales in September in King, Snohomish, Pierce, Thurston, and Kitsap County:
- King: 98059 (East Renton) — 36 sales
- Snohomish: (tie) 98258 (Lake Stevens) & 98270 (Marysville) — 46 sales
- Pierce: 98387 (Spanaway) — 50 sales
- Thurston: 98501 (Olympia) — 54 sales
- Kitsap: 98370 (Poulsbo) — 33 sales
Although inventory often does not begin to decline until November, most neighborhoods saw a decrease in inventory from August to September. The notable exceptions are Queen Anne and most of Capitol Hill, where the number of homes for sale increased between 8% and 18%.
Prices (both the raw median and the size-adjusted median price per square foot) were fairly mixed month to month, with most neighborhoods turning in continued price drops, but a few marking slight increases.
As usual, the zip codes that saw the largest swing in median prices had only around ten sales in the month, which isn’t really enough data to draw a strong trend from. That’s the problem with returning to the slowest market in a decade—it’s difficult to measure useful price trends when your sale samples are so small.
Anything stand out to you about your neighborhood in this month’s data?