Around the Sound: Still a dismal market for buyers everywhere

Get access to the full spreadsheets used to make the charts in this and other posts, and support the ongoing work on this site by becoming a member of Seattle Bubble.

Let’s take a look at our stats for the local regions outside of the King/Snohomish core. Here’s your October update to our “Around the Sound” statistics for Pierce, Kitsap, Thurston, Island, Skagit, and Whatcom counties.

Things are looking pretty similar all around the Puget Sound region—extremely low supply, high demand, and skyrocketing prices. The one tiny bright spot for buyers is that new listings are higher than they were a year ago in every county.

First up, a summary table:

October 2020 King Snohomish Pierce Kitsap Thurston Island Skagit Whatcom
Median Price $745,000 $579,972 $430,000 $437,000 $395,000 $449,000 $441,500 $474,450
Price YOY 12.9% 17.2% 17.8% 13.2% 13.4% 24.7% 17.6% 13.2%
New Listings 2,986 1,309 1,512 472 492 173 197 320
New Listings YOY 29.7% 20.6% 23.1% 27.9% 21.8% 29.1% 4.2% 4.9%
Active Listings 2,258 652 881 280 217 122 188 323
Active YOY -37.6% -59.2% -46.6% -42.5% -54.4% -60.3% -44.9% -51.4%
Pending Sales 3,007 1,403 1,658 524 549 182 219 331
Pending YOY 16.0% 12.4% 11.2% 10.3% 11.8% 16.7% -0.5% 2.2%
Closed Sales 3,027 1,438 1,520 527 522 179 232 344
Closed YOY 36.0% 36.0% 18.0% 28.9% 15.0% 32.6% 22.1% 19.0%
Months of Supply 0.7 0.5 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.7 0.8 0.9

Median home prices were up in every single county from a year earlier. King County’s 13 percent increase was actually the smallest around the sound, while the largest price gains were in Island County.

Median Sale Price Single-Family Homes

Year-Over-Year Change in Median Sale Price Single-Family Homes

Here’s the one sort-of bright spot for buyers: New listings are on the rise, especially in King County.

New Listings of Single-Family Homes

However, active listings are down dramatically from a year ago in every county. The biggest decline was in Island County (probably no surprise then that prices are up the most there), where listings fell by 60 percent from a year earlier. King County saw the smallest drop, but was still down 38 percent.

Active Listings of Single-Family Homes

Closed sales were up across the board in every single county. The biggest gains were in King and Snohomish Counties, which both saw closed sales increase 36 percent from a year ago. Pierce and Thurston had the smallest gains at 18 percent and 15 percent, respectively.

Closed Sales of Single-Family Homes

Months of supply is just absolutely abysmal for buyers everywhere. Every single county less than one month of supply in October.

Months of Supply Single Family Homes

In summary: It’s still a pretty terrible time to be a home buyer, across the entire Greater Seattle Area.

If there is certain data you would like to see or ways you would like to see the data presented differently, drop a comment below and let me know.

5.00 avg. rating (97% score) - 7 votes

About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.

3,260 comments:

  1. 3251

    RE: don @ 3191

    The unfair part is not that we are not in Q4 yet but rather the loosely defined “Seattle Metro Area”. If you’re including Pierce County in there…I’ve got nothing for you. :)

    I find myself wondering about Matt’s comment that there is standing SFH inventory in Bellevue. Wasn’t the case last time I did a transaction there and that wasn’t very long ago.

    I’ll check it now in your comment if you don’t mind, because it’s bugging me.

    Bellevue SFH

    Under a million. One house.

    $1M to $1.5M Eight. 2 were listed today. All but one of the remaining 6 are on market 8 days or less. Only one could be called “standing inventory”.

    $1.5M to $2M Sixteen 6 of which are listed today or within a week. So 10. I was looking through them and stopped at one and said…wow, why isn’t this one sold. Then I saw it was one of the ones listed today. :)

    20 over $2M…not even going to peek in there. Just wanted to make sure there wasn’t something happening in terms of a slow down/downturn I wasn’t aware of. Nope. :)

    The oddity of this market for 90 days or so is if you price it where it will sell, which you should do, it stumps the buyers who are prepared for a bid up and then it can linger a bit. It’s almost as if the bid up has to keep happening causing underpriced listings…because the buyers expect it to bid up and avoid it if it’s listed at true, current market value. I didn’t expect that to happen past end of May.

    Sorry for taking your question on my own tangent. :) I break down Seattle Metro Area into Primary and Secondary markets and don’t track anything below 2nd place. So I never get to Pierce and some other places. Even parts of Seattle Proper don’t make it to Second Tier status.

    But if you tell me what you consider Seattle Metro Area…I’ll take a shot at it.

  2. 3252
    don says:

    RE: ARDELL DellaLoggia @ 3197
    Yes “Metro” is open to interperetation, my bad.

    Lets say Burien to Bothell north to south, and bounded east-west by lake Wash to Puget sound. Whatever you consider Primary Market within those bounds.

    Thanks for the pro view, btw.

  3. 3253
    ruxpert says:

    The consequences of Kabul
    August 16, 2021
    https://www.usagold.com/cpmforum/2021/08/the-conseqeunces-of-kabul/

    note: A meditation from London-based Bill Blain on how it all weaves together
    beginning with the disaster in and around Kabul. For those of us old enough to remember,
    this will all be sadly reminiscent of the early 1970s.

    full article:
    Blain’s Morning Porridge/Bill Blain/8-16-2021
    https://morningporridge.com/blog/blains-morning-porridge/the-consequences-of-kabul/


    btw: What happens to RE prices during Stagflation?

  4. 3254
    ruxpert says:

    RE: ruxpert @ 3193

    Vaccine Mandates & The “Great Reset” ?
    https://mises.org/wire/vaccine-mandates-and-great-reset

  5. 3255
    David says:

    Shout out to the Flu. Somehow you just disappeared. We miss you. Suspect you might have been killed off by China Virus.

    By ruxpert @ 3200:

    RE: ruxpert @ 3193

    Vaccine Mandates & The “Great Reset” ?
    https://mises.org/wire/vaccine-mandates-and-great-reset

  6. 3256

    By ARDELL DellaLoggia @ 3197:

    The oddity of this market for 90 days or so is if you price it where it will sell, which you should do, it stumps the buyers who are prepared for a bid up and then it can linger a bit. It’s almost as if the bid up has to keep happening causing underpriced listings…because the buyers expect it to bid up and avoid it if it’s listed at true, current market value. I didn’t expect that to happen past end of May.

    “Price it where it will sell” is at best ambiguous. It’s not like you can have ten people look at sales data and all come up with the same number, or even a range of plus or minus five percent. Throw the fact that sellers have a say in the pricing of their property and the range gets even worse.

    Here is data from two listings down in my area that sold a few months ago within a few days of each other. The less expensive one was almost exactly half the size of the more expensive one, and the more expensive one was also in a far superior location in the development. It also had a larger lot and superior interior finishes. The less expensive one sold for more than 20% over the list price. The more expensive one sold for 0.6 percent over list. The sales price of the larger one only sold for 17 percent more than the one half its size. In comparison, the difference in assessed value, for whatever that’s worth, was 42%.

    The main difference between the two listings is one apparently generated a buyer frenzy and the other didn’t. One buyer got probably a decent price and the other a horrible price. That doesn’t mean though that if you were going to list a house similar to the smaller one that you would use the sold price of that listing as the list price of a new listing. If that smaller house had been listed for anywhere near its sold price it likely would have sat on the market.

  7. 3257
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    By ruxpert @ 3199:

    The consequences of Kabul
    August 16, 2021
    https://www.usagold.com/cpmforum/2021/08/the-conseqeunces-of-kabul/

    note: A meditation from London-based Bill Blain on how it all weaves together
    beginning with the disaster in and around Kabul. For those of us old enough to remember,
    this will all be sadly reminiscent of the early 1970s.

    Somehow I don’t remember the US giving the names of the people they were trying to protect to the North Vietnamese. And maybe I’m forgetting, but I also don’t remember poor planning resulting in 13 service members being killed during any of the last days when helicopters were evacuating people.

    We have a President who has been in office just over six months and in those six months his personal decisions have directly caused two humanitarian crises. One at our southern border and one in Afghanistan. And somehow he still has roughly a 50% approval rating.

  8. 3258
    David says:

    There is a high chance the US fails as a country in the next 30 years. If the USD reserve currency status ever implodes – waaaaaay sooner.

    The Chinese have a much higher IQ. If they can get their political situation worked out – the US is done as an economic power. The only thing holding the US together is money.

    People complain about the Taliban, but the Taliban isn’t forcing sex changes on 4-year-olds.

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 3203

  9. 3259
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    By David @ 3204:

    People complain about the Taliban,

    I think they at least learned their lesson about ISIS. They released an ISIS leader from prison and promptly executed him. They now view ISIS as a rival.

    https://www.theweek.in/news/world/2021/08/19/taliban-executes-is-k-chief-a-year-after-afghan-govt-jailed-him.html

    That said, I don’t expect good things out of the Taliban in the future.

  10. 3260
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    By David @ 3204:

    The Chinese have a much higher IQ.

    That’s not true. Their government just don’t listen to what stupid people say on social media. Policy is not affected by stupid people outside government, unlike the U.S.

    BTW, China has its own share of problems, economic and otherwise, so things are not all that rosy for them either.

Leave a Reply

Use your email address to sign up with Gravatar for a custom avatar.
Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Please read the rules before posting a comment.