This week everyone came out with the their reporting on what happened with the real estate market in August. TL;DR: the median Seattle single-family house cost $625,000 in August, up 8.7 in the last year.
First up, the Seattle Times, Seattle home prices slow their climb, but shortage of inspectors raises anxiety:
About three-fourths of homes listed in Seattle now spark bidding wars, and most are sold within a week or two — ranking Seattle among the most competitive markets in the nation. That’s left buyers with few choices, and some are skipping inspections altogether or paying up to $1,000 for rushed reviews and appraisals.
We’re definitely feeling the bidding wars. For all the homes we offered on in August that weren’t new construction and had just hit the market, there was a bidding war. One home we offered on, and won, had 6 offers and sold for 15% over list price. We’re also definitely feeling the effect of slow appraisals. But haven’t had a hard time finding inspectors. I suspect part of the problem is that during August a lot of appraisals and inspectors were on vacation, in addition to it being a hot market.
The Times also reported on a Zillow study that found that many people want to move to Seattle, but few want to leave. That is not surprising :).
Next up is the PSBJ, In the Puget Sound region, more houses for sale doesn’t mean lower prices:
Experts don’t expect price hikes to keep moderating because they think new listings will drop by 50 percent each month between November and February. For selection, the best opportunity to find a home will be in the next 60 days, said Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate.
I agree with Lennox. If you’re looking to buy, your best bet is in the next 60 days. As we get closer to Thanksgiving, it is going to slow down. And if you’re looking to sell, I’d get your place on the market in the next few weeks before buyers tune out for the winter holidays.
And finally, here’s Tim from Seattle Bubble, NWMLS: Sales Up, Listings Down in August:
If the last few months had been showing some tiny signs of hope for buyers, August certainly snuffed those out. Both pending and closed sales were way up while listings were down. The only thing that was at least not extremely negative for buyers was that prices were basically flat month-over-month, and up “only” ten percent from a year ago.