Anxious about what is happening to the condo market over the next few months in Seattle?  Join the club.  May numbers are in and here are some highlights. 

The bad news is we continue to see high inventory compared to the same time last year and pending sales were down compared to the same time last year.  The good news is median prices actually went up 4%. There was also a small increase in median prices of 2.5% compared to last month.

In summary:

  • The market has definitely softened compared to same time last year but the situation does not seem to have worsened over last month. Prices seem to be stable (and actually rising in some neighborhoods).
  • Even though inventory is stacking up, prices are moderately firm in areas like Capitol Hill/Madison/Central, Greenlake/Ballard and Queen Anne/ Magnolia/Lake Union.
  • Statewide stats are not nearly as strong as Seattle.  Seattle is doing far better than the Eastside and cities like Renton, Kent, Auburn, Normandy Park, Federal Way and Burien when looking at inventory levels and median price changes.

The million dollar question seems to be the same every month for the last 2 years: will sellers continue to resist slashing prices in hopes of a June surge or will they capitulate to move inventory?  So far, sellers have stuck to their guns notwithstanding promotions and incentives like scooters. 

Something tells me this summer, sellers and buyers will meet in the middle.  It’s always dangerous to make predictions, but what the heck.  I think many (but not all) sellers are gonna come down 5-10% in final prices and I also think long-standing wait-and-see buyers will come back in very healthy numbers this summer.   Anecdotally, I’ve personally seen sellers open to reasonable offers 5-10% off of asking price and at the same time, I’m also seeing many buyers decide it’s time to pull the trigger looking to make a purchase in June-August time frame.

Ok, now I’ll let the bears and bulls spar in the comments.