What sold 2015? Nearly everything!
Looking back one year to January 2015, the monthly news release of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) stated: Figures show about 2.8 months of inventory system-wide. Commenting on the scarce inventory in some areas, the head of a real estate company advised, “Anyone thinking of buying a home should do it early in 2015!” So, what sold 2015?
If you thought inventory couldn’t go lower, think again.
In its January 6, 2016, release, the NWMLS quoted a member as saying: “The lack of inventory makes buyers twitch when a new listing hits the market.” No wonder, because area-wide there was a supply for just under 1.8 months. In King County, inventory dropped to less than one month (0.84). This is also referred to as the absorption rate, meaning that there would be no King County homes left to buy in less than a month if no new homes came on the market.
A four-to-six months inventory is considered to be a “balanced” level, favoring neither seller nor buyer. Alas, there was nothing balanced about the 2015 Seattle area housing market.
I’m sure you are curious about sales activity in your neck of the woods. Now a regular feature on SERENE, you will find the market trends for 35 Zip codes right here.
Cash is still king and multiple offers are nothing special.
Although the percentage of sales that are cash sales is dropping, they still account for a substantial portion of home sales. One reason that there are fewer cash sales is that foreign buyers have figured out that by making a sizeable down-payment they can finance a portion of the purchase.
The number of cash purchases for single family homes is still 40% in the 98004 Zip code area of Bellevue. In 2015, 135 of 330 sales were cash sales.
Here are seven examples of homes that sold for cash and, it is safe to say, all received multiple offers. Click on any of the zip codes for the local market trend.
|223 W Crocket St, Seattle 98119||$989,000|
|834 NE 84th St, Seattle 98115||$675,000|
|12559 20th Ave NE, Seattle 98125||$379,950|
|712 109th Ave SE, Bellevue 98004||$893,000|
|10259 NE 62nd St, Kirkland 98033||$2,150,000|
|10652 NE 45th St, Kirkland 98033||$625,000|
|10841 165th Pl NE, Redmond 98052||$424,500|
So, why this persistently low inventory? In my opinion, it is because of a general sense of unease with the economic and political situation. 2016 being an election year will add to the feeling of uncertainty. What sold 2015? Only the homeowner who had to sell sold in 2015. Houses sold because of relocation, divorce, and death. Short sales and bank-owned properties were few and far between. Home buyers are still enjoying historically low interest rates. Even after the Fed’s raise of the prime rate, mortgage rates have barely budged. There’s just not much out there to buy.
If you are anticipating a move for personal of job reasons you may want to consider selling your home this Spring. The market for sellers has never been better. There are well-qualified buyers willing to pay a premium for your home. To assess your specific situation, give me a call or text to 425-891-8213 or send me an email.