The news all over the front page of the papers and the top story in the news today was, can you guess...that's right, the REAL ESTATE MARKET. Contrary to the story on Yahoo!'s home page("Last Of The Red-Hot Real Estate Markets") right now, the median price of homes has declined in Seattle to just around $405,000. Home sales have gone down every month since May, and inventory is up by 40%.
Being a real estate agent, I can see this happening; I see perfectly great homes on the market that should be selling but aren't. Lots of buyers are lookingI(or "lurking" on the 'net) but not taking that next step for some reason. I realize that those of you in other parts of the country that are reading this are wondering why I sound like I just crawled out from under a rock, but here in the Northwest we are still coming to terms with this market correction.
Though we still have a relatively low foreclosure rate compared with the rest of the country(around 1%), those numbers are projected to move upward in the next 18 months or so. At least the Feds came in to freeze mortgage rates for subprime borrowers; hopefully that will help keep the foreclosure rate low.
My marketing area is mostly within West Seattle, Burien and unincorporated North Highline in zip code 98146. There are homes in every price range represented here. In the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, area 130 represents West Seattle and area 140 represents Burien/North Highline.
Active listings: Average Days On Market:
Area 130: 105 72
Area 140: 69 92
Expired listings: Average Days On Market:
Area 130: 7 89
Area 140: 6 86
Pending listings: Average Days On Market:
Area 130: 10 58
Area 140: 4 92
Sold listings: Average Days On Market:
Area 130: 11 85
Area 140: 9 60
**Out of the 11 homes sold in November 2007 in Area 130, the average sales price was $248,423 and the median sales price was $258,700. The lowest priced property sold for $155,000 and the highest sold for $335,000.
**Out of the 9 homes sold in November 2007 in Area 140, the average sales price was $523,717 and the median sales price was $530,000. The lowest priced property sold for $319,000 and the highest sold for $925,000.
To summarize, in 98146 there were 174 active listings as of November 30. Only 34 of those properties went under contract. That gives us an absorption rate that is just about in line with the rest of King County at just over 5 months; that is, if we stopped taking listings today, it would take just over 5 months for all of the homes that are currently listed to sell.
So sellers, hang in there, because this is not the market of years gone by; it will take some time to sell your home. Please take the time to get your home in the best condition possible so that it will stand out to buyers. Those who'd like to buy a home? There's lots more to choose from, and you never know when interest rates are going to creep back up, so why not consider taking that next step?