May 2007 data came in fairly strong – despite all the pessimists who were forecasting a steep decline in the making. In Belltown/Downtown, inventory shot up from 120 active listings in May 2006 to 308 active listings in May 2007. While this may seem like a major increase, closed sales went up by almost the same percentage from 26 sold in May 2006 to 67 sold in May 2007.
In contrast, Queen Anne, Lake Union, and Magnolia and Capitol Hill, Central, and Madison Park had active listings increase at a higher rate year over year than closed sales.
Offsetting this apparently disturbing trend for those two areas is the fact that there are only 2.8 active listings for every 1 sold listing and median prices rose almost 5% in both the Queen Anne, Lake Union, and Magnolia as well as the Capitol Hill, Central, and Madison Park. Indications are the sellers are still in the catbird seat in these neighborhoods.
Belltown’s/Downtown’s active to sold ratio on the other hand was a deeper 4.6. While this may seem a bit disconcerting, that ratio was almost identical for Belltown/Downtown the same time last year. Optimists will argue having 4.6 active listings for every 1 sold listing is fine so long as there isn’t a further surge in inventory and/or a contraction of sales in June. Given the local economy’s employment strength, they might be right. Pessimists will argue an active/sold ratio of 4.6 was ok in 2006 when there was an ample supply of speculators but those folks have moved on to other markets / investment opportunities in 2007.
With pricing still growing (albeit incrementally) and sales growing as fast as supply, it would appear the market is holding up quite well and the doomsday projections at the end of last year are not coming to fruition — at least not yet. One thing is for sure though: Belltown / Downtown is becoming a genuine owner and patient investor’s market which is good news for everyone in the long run.
Technorati Tags: Seattle Real Estate, Seattle condos, Seattle condo market, Seattle Economic Indicators
Great analysis and breakdown of the condo markets. Looks great — I tried accessing the nwmls information but it seems they have changed the name of the file. Do you have break outs for other parts of the city such as ballard and greenlake? It definitely looks like the Condo market is slowing down in Seattle and may dip into negative territory soon.
I don’t think it will go negative. There’s too many people who want to live downtown. I do agree with Wendy it won’t move up as fast as before but anyone waiting for the prices to go down is smoking something.
Yes, I cover Ballard and Greenlake in my monthly newsletter. You can sign up for the newsletter at this website. (http://tinyurl.com/2wa5v2)
Is there any reason why Matae is not included in your Condo Map?
I’ll include it in the map after i have reviewed it. Matae is in a list of condos that i’m planning to review. Please check back.
the Matae is actually pretty nice. We’ve rented there for over a year now (since it opened) and have really enjoyed the place. It has a young, hip vibe and is not stuffy at all. Kinda fits into the eclectic neighborhood that it is in.
I swear I only clicked the “post” button once!!!
The news in the long run is obvious. There is a incomprehensible increase in inventory levels. Something like this hasn’t been seen in a very long time. There really has never been a bubble the size of the one the realtor’s have created, well, ever actually. I still can’t believe that deceiving the public has gotten so acceptable. We would all like to believe this fluff of a great market but the numbers do not show it. Stop being biased. We have the fastest growing inventory in the country. Prices will fall very hard.
Joe, if the market were to fall so hard, why hasn’t it already? Certainly the inventory has been growing for years already.