July figures continue to show a slowdown in activity in Seattle. Total active listings for July were 2.3% lower than the previous month but still 14% higher than same period last year. Even though the rate of new inventory added every month has gradually decreased, it is still a buyers’ market.
Median prices in Seattle have dropped by 4.45% from $313,945 to $299,975. This is the biggest drop for this year versus the same time last year. As for Belltown/Downtown area, total active listings remained the same as same period last year and 5% lower than the previous month. If this trend continues, we may see a gradual shift from a strong buyers’ market to more a balanced market.
Sellers who were holding firm on the their price earlier are now more open with a price reduction to move their condo with many of them opting to continue renting out their homes to wait for the market to pick up. Home buyers on the other hand are putting offers with 5-10% reduction in the price taking full advantage of the market conditions.
Ultimately, if you are in the market, now seems to be a great time to pick up your top choice at a good price. The biggest risk in my opinion are not the local Seattle market but the state of the national economy. To be fair, if buyers are not in a hurry and can continue to rent, there probably isn’t much downside to waiting if you haven’t found your ideal condo yet.
If you are a condo owner, my advice would be to rent it out if you can or price it really aggressively and understand that price reductions might have less impact than you think in a market where buyers are not ready to pull the trigger almost irrespective of price.