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Condo Market in August: Sales Drop 13%, Prices Flat

By September 22, 2010

Market Report

Sorry I’m so way late in posting this!

Redfin recently released data on what happened with the Seattle Area market this August showing that for the city of Seattle the median condo price stayed the same at $290,000 from July to August. Median price was also flat year-over-year. It is surprising that median price has been flat as sales were down 13% to 147 sales. This marks the third month of huge declines in sales volume; July sales dropped 30%, June sales dropped 18.2%.

Inventory Down 5.2% Month-over-Month

As we predicted last month, in August the number of condos for sale on the last day of the month decreased 5.2% month-over-month to 1,331 from 1,404 in July and down 0.3% year-over-year.

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

# For Sale August ’10 Mo/Mo Change # For Sale August ’09 Yr/Yr Change
Ballard 50 -7.4% 58 -13.8%
Belltown 158 -6.5% 167 -5.4%
Capitol Hill 159 -11.2% 159 0.0%
Central District 46 -8.0% 19 142.1%
Downtown 384 -5.2% 409 -6.1%
Fremont n/a n/a n/a n/a
Queen Anne 164 6.5% 155 6.5%
South Lake Union 20 -13.0% 20 -13.0%
West Seattle 131 -7.7% 125 -7.7%

Sales Volume Down 13% Month-over-Month

As mentioned above, for the third month in a row we’ve seen double digit month-over-month declines in the number of condo sales. However, this trend is likely decreasing as the decline in August was much less than the 29.4% decline we had for July.

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

# Sold July ’10 Mo/Mo Weekday Rate Change # Sold August ’09 Yr/Yr Change
Ballard 14 n/a 10 40.0%
Belltown 19 -9.5% 22 -13.6%
Capitol Hill 22 4.8% 27 -18.5%
Central District 2 n/a 3 n/a
Downtown 40 -13.0% 50 -20.0%
Fremont n/a n/a n/a n/a
Queen Anne 16 -27.3% 42 -61.9%
South Lake Union 4 n/a 3 n/a
West Seattle 8 -46.7% 16 -50.0%

Median Prices Flat at $290,000

Surprisingly with sales volume really decreasing the median price has held steady at $290,000. I’d be really surprised if prices don’t start to come down next month in response to the decrease in demand (# of sales).

August ’10 Mo/Mo Change August ’09 Yr/Yr Change $/Sq. Ft.
Ballard $300,000 n/a% $295,000 1.7% $351
Belltown $439,000 20.3% $295,000 48.8% $480
Capitol Hill $351,250 13.3% $300,000 17.1% $438
Central District n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Downtown $398,500 7.7% $303,000 31.5% $461
Fremont n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Queen Anne $309,500 -8.3% $322,495 -4.0% $285
South Lake Union n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
West Seattle $279,000 27.4% $260,000 7.3% $360

For more color on sales in August check out our weekly series of recent sale posts.

What Does the Future Hold?

Sales will continue to decline but move into the single digits instead of double digits. In response to this decrease in demand prices will now start to decline. The number of listings will also continue to decline as folks enter hibernation mode in fall.

While there was a condo auction for Olive 8 last weekend we won’t see the impact of that until October and November since buyers at this auction will need about 30 days to close and are required to close by November 3rd (and are eligible for a further 15 day extension).

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.

I own and manage Urban Living, a boutique Seattle and Bellevue real estate brokerage. I love lofts, floating homes, new construction, and mid-century moderns, but I will help you buy or sell just about anything!

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