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September Condo Report: Prices up 9.5%, Sales Down 2.6%

By October 16, 2010

This week Redfin released data on what happened with the Seattle Area market in September showing that for the city of Seattle the median condo price increased 9.5%(!) to $323,000 from August to September. Median price was also up year-over-year, 15.4%.

It is surprising that median price is up as sales were down 2.6% to 149 sales. This marks the four month of a decline in sales volume though this month sales volume declined much less than previous months; August sales dropped 13%, July sales dropped 30%, June sales dropped 18.2%.

Inventory Down 5.7% Month-over-Month

As we predicted last month, in September the number of condos for sale on the last day of the month decreased 5.7% month-over-month to 1,279 from 1,356 in August and down 4.6% year-over-year.

Anecdotally, I’m certainly seeing fewer and fewer interesting listings in the emails I get every day from Redfin letting me know what new has hit the market.

Here’s the number of condos for sale in September by neighborhood.

# For Sale September ’10Mo/Mo Change# For Sale September ’09Yr/Yr Change
Capitol Hill139-14.2%147-5.4%
Central Districtn/an/an/an/a
First Hill52-1.9%71-26.8%
Queen Anne158-4.8%159-0.6%
South Lake Union17-15.0%24-29.2%
West Seattle130-1.5%1272.4%

Sales Volume Down 2.6% Month-over-Month

As mentioned above, for the fourth month in a row we’ve seen a decline in the number of condo sales.

Here’s the # of condos bought in September 2010 by neighborhood:

# Sold September ’10Mo/Mo Weekday Rate Change# Sold September ’09Yr/Yr Change
Capitol Hill2938.1%277.4%
Central Districtn/an/an/an/a
First Hill716.7616.7%
Queen Anne15-11.8%20-25.0%
South Lake Union50.0%50.0%
West Seattle1362.5%22-40.9%

Median Prices Up 9.5% to $323,000

Contrary to my prediction, surprisingly with sales volume still decreasing, the median price has gone up to $323,000. Looking at median $/square foot, it has also gone up, 4.8%, to $370/square foot. Also up 2.8% year-over-year.

September ’10Mo/Mo ChangeSeptember ’09Yr/Yr Change$/Sq. Ft.
Capitol Hill$323,000-3.6%$292,50011.8%$395
Central Districtn/an/an/an/an/a
First Hill$227,000-3.4$234,000-3.0%$356
Queen Anne$255,000-19.0%$320,000-20.3%$322
South Lake Union$367,00039.-%$344,5006.5%$370
West Seattle$310,00011.1%$252,47522.8%$323


What Does the Future Hold?

I think next month sales will be flat as we see the Olive 8 condo units close. The number of condos for sale will continue to decline and prices, well, you think they’d be going down!

What Do You Think?

Have you been shopping for a condo recently? What do you think of what’s available for sale? Made any offers? How did those go?

Redfin has a spreadsheet available if you want to dig into the data for for a neighborhood or city not included here (or for single-family home and townhouse data.)

Disclaimer: I work at Redfin and run the marketing team. This is one of the projects my team works on.