As we wrap up summer and head into our fall real estate market, it's a good time to look back at how our condo market did over the summer months and see where the numbers fall in the areas we regularly track. In this update we are also adding a new area at the request of several readers who asked us to also report on the Ballard /Fremont/ Phinney/ Wallingford neighborhoods. This is known as area 705 within in our MLS.
In general, pricing for all of Seattle condo sales is up on a year-over-year comparison to 2012 summer months. Up 10% in June, 12% in July, and up 16% in August. Again these are over last year's prices for each respective month.
Despite the pricing increases, buyers still seem to be motivated to purchase and the numbers confirm this as we saw a consistent trend up for the number of closed condo sales throughout the Seattle condo market when comparing on a month-over-month basis throughout the summer. On a year-over-year basis we saw June being somewhat flat (slight decrease below 2012) but July and August showed large increases in the number of closed condo sales over 2012 at 21% and 24% higher respectively.
With both prices as well as the number of sales increasing, one big factor that is interesting is the number of new listings for buyers to choose from is not coming up that much. For the summer months, all three posted lower number of new listings over the same months last year. 21% less for June, July was 14% less, and August had 2% fewer new listings coming on the market over last year. My guess for this is that many would-be sellers are still upside down on what they owe on their mortgage balances in relation to their condo values, but as prices continue to edge up, it will be interesting to see when this turning point of increasing inventory will start to kick in. It is important to note , however, that month over month, the number of listings did trend up this summer from June through August, so perhaps that will continue. We will see.
Diving into the stats for the specific neighborhoods, this summer we saw area 701 (Downtown, Belltown, South Lake Union) with the highest median prices with a blended average of the median prices coming in at $418,000 and area 705 (Ballard, Fremont, Wallingford) at the lowest of the areas in this update that we track at $240,000 for the blended average of the median prices over the summer. In the middle was area 390 (Cap Hill, Madison, Central) at $296,000 and Queen Anne/Magnolia (area 700) at $303,916 for the blended average of the summer month's median sales prices. Just for comparison, city wide, the blended average of June, July and August's median prices came in $294,983 which was a 6% increase over the summer months of 2012.
So no major surprises that prices are up and sales are up, but with inventory remaining somewhat flat we still have some interesting times ahead in the Seattle condo market. Barring any major increases in interest rates, it seems to me that prices should still continue to inch up until we see more condo inventory coming to the market.
By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.