Eighty percent of professional economists have declared the recession over and most predict the economy will grow 3% for each of the next 2 years 🙂 Of course, real estate prices don't necessarily snap with GDP predictions but let's hope they're positively correlated.
So how did Seattle condos fare in September 2009? The answer is, like most recent months, mixed. The good news is that for the first time all year long, pending sales saw a double digit jump versus the same month in 2008. Specifically, there were 251 pending sales in September 2009 versus 224 in September 2008 (a 12% jump). For context, year over year pending sales were up 1.5% last month and were negative 40% in March.
The bad news is closed sales in September were down 10% year-over-year and median prices were down 16% year over year. In fact, as far as closed sales are concerned, this was not as bad as March when closed sales and median prices were down 48% and 17% but there's no two ways about it, September closed numbers were pretty ugly.
So like every month, we had something for everyone. The doomsday crowd can dance on the weak September closed numbers. The optimists can point to the strongest pending sales month all year long.
Wendy, does the Sep pending sales number include the 80 units at Gallery and Brix?
The auction results really made me wonder whether there are further price rooms to fall for Belltown condos. Seems that nicer units would easily go for $450 / sq feet. That’s a little disappointing because I am still hoping for pre-2005 price level. =)
Most of Gallery auction homes are not on the MLS. Almost 50% of the pending sales in Belltown/Downtown area came from Marselle and Enso. If we include Gallery auction homes, it will drive up the pending sales number.
Wow, who would’ve thought, some people actually (gasp!) want home prices to go down.
Don’t start fretting just yet, Seattle home prices are still too high for its fundamentals (e.g. rents, incomes) to support … that’s why Seattle was one of just three metros in the latest Case Shiller seasonally-adjusted home price index to decline (for the 24th consecutive month). The other 17 metros have already starting going up, and the national index has gone up for two consecutive months now.
Further declines in the Seattle market are likely, but nothing extreme, I’m expecting 5-10% more. So if you have high rent, it may still make sense to buy now, with the tax credit and low lending rates. I think it’ll be an better time 3-5 months from now though.