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November 2012 Condo Market Report – Down Across the Board

By December 11, 2012

Market Report

Here’s our report on what happened with Seattle condo market in November.

For starters, we disagree with Ben over at Seattle Condos and Lofts who reported on the NWMLS numbers, Seattle Condo Update: Market Recovers – November 2012:

November marked another solid month for Seattle’s condo market recovery with robust sales activity and rising sale prices.

We don’t think November marked a solid month. Or that the market recovers. The quick monthly summary based on Redfin’s numbers is that prices are down 14.9%, sales are down 38.4% and the number of condos for sale is down 16.9%. The yearly summary is that prices are up 1.0%, sales are down 23.1% and the number of condos for sale is down 49.1%

What would mark a solid month? It’d be a month in which we saw a healthy amount of inventory for sale that a number of people transacted upon. We’re still far from that with the number of condos for sale at its lowest point (since January 2010), sales falling off a cliff (232 in October versus 143 in November) and prices ticking down month-over-month and barely up year-over-year.

Why do our numbers disagree with Ben’s? Ben is using the NWMLS numbers. We’re using the Redfin numbers. The main difference is that Redfin’s numbers are both more complete (includes MLS sales and off-MLS sales from public records) and more accurate (counts sales in the month they actually closed). The Tim at Seattle Bubble has a few posts on why the NWMLS numbers are generally fishy.

Here’s the full details…

Median Sale Price Decreased 14.9%

The median price for condos in Seattle was $239,900 in November, down 14.9% from $282,000 in October. Year-over-year median price is up 1.0%, as at this time last year it was $237,500. The median sale price for $/sq. ft. was $308 in November down 4.3% from $322 in October and up 8.1% from last November.

Sales Down 38.4%

There was 143 sales in November, down 38.4% from 232 sales in October. If we look at the number of business days in October versus November, sales were only down 35.6%. Last November there was 186 sales.

Fewer Condos For Sale

On the last day of November there were 403 condos for sale. On the last day of October there were 485. This is a 16.9% decline. Last November there were nearly twice as many condos, for sale, 791. It isn’t remarkable that inventory continues to decline as we head into the holidays but it is remarkable that it is at its lowest point since we started tracking it!

Months of Supply Keeps Ticks Back Up

After hitting a bottom, months of supply has ticked back up.

Sale-to-List at 97.9%

With so many sales and so few condos for sale buyers don’t have much negotiating room.

Data by Neighborhood

Wondering what your neighborhood or townhomes are doing? Check out Redfin’s spreadsheet with all the details. For many neighborhoods you’ll find 12 months worth of data.

What Does the Future Hold?

Inventory will continue to decline in December and hopefully we’ll see it bounce off the bottom in January as a new selling season begins. I suspect that sales will be a function of what’s for sale. I think there are more buyers on the sidelines waiting to buy than there are homeowners thinking of selling.

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.) You can also checkout the spreadsheet I have for putting the graphs together.

Disclaimer: I work at Redfin.

I’m a real estate broker and the publisher of Urbnlivn. I love lofts, floating homes, new construction and mid-century moderns but will help you buy or sell just about anything.

Get in touch to:

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