Seattle weekly wrap-up: mortgage rates aren’t scaring off buyers (yet)
I just re-read last week’s newsletter because I feared I was about to repeat myself, but the news is basically the same – mortgage rates this week are even higher than they were before! But are these rates scaring off buyers? The data says not yet – over the last three weeks we’ve seen 180-190 homes go pending in Seattle each week. And at least for last week, that’s significantly more than last year at this time, but obviously below the years when buyers were enjoying low rates. Anecdotally – we had a client win the bidding war for this “re-imagined” midcentury in West Seattle which went 15+% over asking and we had a cash buyer snap up our waterfront Eastlake townhome. Buyers are out there, at least cash ones or first-time home buyers in the $750k to $1.25m range.
In terms of sellers, they put 241 new listings on the market, a 16% decline from the week before. Looking at the graph below, it seems we’ll have a very slow end of the year for new listings. With rates where they are, I’m guessing many listing agents will advise sellers to wait until 2024 to list.
With the slowdown in listings and a lot of canceled listings (71 last week, a record for the year), inventory is off its high for the year. I’d typically expect with rates going up that prices would go down, but if there aren’t many homes for sale, prices won’t see a sharp decline.