Full disclosure: The Tim is employed by Redfin.
Last week Redfin released their latest monthly data, along with some interesting commentary and insights from their agents. Unlike the NWMLS releases which are always full of “I can’t believe what an amazing time it is for buyers” tripe, Redfin’s text is actually interesting and informative. Here’s an excerpt:
Here’s the word: after the first-time home-buyer tax credit expired, the few home sales that did occur were mostly high-end, driving median prices in King County up 2.6% compared to June.
But the truth is that demand was weak. King County sales volume fell 30.6% and inventory ticked up 1.0% at a time when home-buyers are usually snapping up whatever’s left on the market.
“Right now buyers want to ‘just try’ a low offer, only to have sellers get offended and refuse to respond,” said Robin McCue, a Redfin agent in Ballard. “The listing agent tells us what we would tell our listing clients: that a seller won’t take a 10% discount in negotiations without trying out that lower price on the broader market. Often both sides are unreasonable. We’ve seen buyers pushing a price that would drive sellers into a short sale, and a seller who rejected a 3% concession on a home 45 days on market. It’s crazy.”
This stand-off is taking its toll on sales volume. Last month, we predicted that King County sales in July would drop by 25% or more. This is exactly what happened, with a 30.6% decline.
You can download the full spreadsheet from Redfin here, but I still think an easier way to digest the numbers is in map form. In the map below each zip code with enough sales in July is shown as a dot, with the size of the dot determined by the number of sales in that zip code in July. 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. New this month: Townhomes.
Sales took a tumble almost everywhere last month. The notable exceptions for single-family homes were 98122 (Capitol Hill), 98008 (W. Lake Sammamish), 98119 (Queen Anne), 98105 (U. District), and 98020 (Edmonds). All fairly high-desirability and high-price areas, so it’s not too surprising that they would be somewhat unfazed by the tax credit expiration.
Inventory was flat to up month-to-month across most of King County, but flat to down in most of Snohomish. Meanwhile, the size-adjusted median price ($/sqft) fell in most of Seattle, but actually rose slightly on the Eastside and in parts of Snohomish County.
Queen Anne (98119) and Magnolia (98199) are especially interesting story this month, with sales increasing month-to-month, inventory down year-over-year, and size-adjusted median prices falling 15% to 30% from a year ago. There may be more buyers, but it certainly appears that they’re getting a lot better deals in those neighborhoods.
Anything stand out to you about your neighborhood in this month’s data?