Seattle weekly wrap-up: rate roller coaster
Mortgage rates are giving us all whiplash! Last week was wild – from almost 8% at the beginning of the week to ending the week at 7.38% (today we’re at 7.48%.) I’m skeptical rates would affect buyers and sellers so quickly, but last week we did see an uptick in new listings – in Seattle, we saw 194 new listings up 3.74% w-o-w (maybe up because some expired listings re-listed at the start of a new month) and we saw an uptick in buyers putting homes under contract – 149 up 16% w-o-w. But what caught my eye was that after 7 weeks of seeing ~1,650 homes for sale, last week that dropped to 1,564. Digging in, 86 sellers canceled their listings (a high for the year) and 56 listings expired (also a high for the year). Many sellers likely re-evaluated their plans as October came to a close and are pulling the plug for winter instead of lowering their prices.
Speaking of pricing, the data for October just came out, in October the median sales price for a single-family home in Seattle was $880,000. Seattle’s median price has been remarkably resilient considering high mortgage rates. Yes, this is down from this year’s high of $912,000, but I would have expected a greater seasonal decline in prices. Guess we’ll have to wait and see how the next three months shape up but with more and more sellers opting to pull their homes instead of cut prices, don’t expect steep declines. Note that our recent lows were $800,000 in January of this year and $775,000 in 2022.
It was a busy week on Lake Washington! For starters, there was this Kundig-designed $20m waterfront modern. And then this $34m on the north end of Mercer Island popped up. But if you don’t have the budget for either of those, here’s a very affordable $1.5m waterfront midcentury home down south. And finally don’t miss this $10m condo at the Four Seasons.