For the first time this year, the number of Seattle condos for sale dropped below same period last year. This is a hopeful sign since the last thing we need is more people putting their property into the sluggish system. August 2008 numbers showed total active inventory of 1,503, 1.83% lower than August 2007. Looking at the numbers earlier this year, inventory was over 60% higher than the same time in 2007. This is largely due a number of reasons: developers holding off on their projects and waiting out on the market, a number of completed condo projects turning into apartments, apartments that were intended to convert to condo reverting back to apartments, and unsold inventory in completed condo projects becoming available as rental units.
The median price for last month’s closed sales of condominiums was $310,000, a drop of 6.03% from a year ago when the median price was $329,900. Comparing to the previous two months this year, median prices were about the same — $310,000 for August and $299,975 for July. The number of home sale closings in September was almost half of same time last year at 191.
The volume of year-over-year pending sales transactions for September was down 14.50%. On the other hand, months inventory (how many months it would take to sell all the inventory currently on the market) has improved from 8.9 in August to 7.8 in September.
Overall, September numbers indicate a modest shrinkage in inventory with pending sales still lower than last year but better than the last two months and median prices experiencing negative single digit % reductions.
The recent credit market crisis and negative news report has definitely hampered many home buyers’ confidence. Most now believe that prices will continue to drop and have adopted a wait-and-see approach. As we are moving to the seasonal slow period of the year, we probably won’t be seeing activity picking up until early next year.