Encouraging Signs Of Spring Selling In Downtown Seattle
Just a quick note. There are some encouraging signs of a traditional spring selling season in Downtown Seattle. While doing some research for an upcoming listing, I noticed that there seemed to be a pretty significant number of pending sales in the Downtown Seattle core.
Let me give you some context. In the last 7 days there were 14 pending condo sales. In the previous 2 weeks there were 15 pending sales total. Velocity seems to be picking up and that doesn’t surprise me.
Take a look at this chart published by the Seattle Times yesterday.
As you can see, pending home sales recovered to 95% of year-ago levels in Seattle Metro. In summary, new listings are way down and pending sales are steady. Listings are down because anyone that was considering selling doesn’t want to over expose themselves to the Covid-19 virus. Therefore, during a traditionally busy season for sellers, the total number of listings this year are down. That should change when the “Stay At Home Order” is lifted.
We have to remember that real estate is hyper-local but broad-base trends (city-wide) can reflect similar local market conditions in different areas of the city. The Downtown Seattle core isn’t nearly as hot as the residential (traditional home) markets in areas like Capitol Hill, Montlake, Queen Anne and others, but it does show a spike in activity.
I pulled some data from Redfin on pending sales to show the consistent rise in pending sales over the last 30 days. This looks like a strong uptrend.
So how about the luxury condo market in Seattle? To me right now, it is very obvious the temporary restrictions in jumbo financing has hurt this segment of the market. In the last 3 weeks, there have only been 2 pending sales between $1M-$2M. There were 5 units that sold in the last 3 weeks however – see those here.
I do expect the luxury category to pick back up. In fact, a major regional lender announced today that they are bringing jumbo loans back to the market. This can be attributed to the Fed keeping the bond market stable and by adding the necessary liquidity – despite the recent volatility in the stock market and the rising rate of unemployment. Lenders will look at all loans in a case by case basic. When lending such large amounts of money, banks will particularly scrutinize the buyers to make sure they are qualified with stable income, assets and credit scores.
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