It’s been a very long time since we’ve seen anything but volume down. Often we look for the low end to move early in the year, as a sign that there will be some increased activity in the higher price tiers in the 2nd and 3rd quarters. Though I wouldn’t bet on that this year, as many who are selling will not be buying a replacement home.
The best story is in the $400,000 and under price range (single family). If I move that mark up to $500,000 and under, there is no increase.
Something good has to start somewhere, and that somewhere seems to be in the $400,000 or less price range. “North King County” was derived by drawing a line straight across downtown Seattle, and the stats are for anything in King County above that line. The increase is slight, but compared to the dramatic, continued decrease in the other price tiers, a little bit UP is big news. In the condo market there is also a slight increase in volume YOY in the under $200,000 market.
The worst news is for anyone trying to sell in the $1.2 million and above price range, where there seems to be a 5 to 6 YEAR supply of inventory. Even so, surprisingly many of those that did sell in 2009, sold in less than two weeks and at prices close to the 2009 assessed values. But the odds of selling at all are so slim to none for most sellers.
While you might not think there are many homes that sell for under $400,000 in North King County, the chart above shows that this price range accounts for a large % of all homes sold.
Not really a strong buyers market in the $400,000 or less range. To see the chart for the break down of properties for sale, vs. sold, I have all three graphs posted HERE. To get the absorption rate for current inventory, divide the amount sold by 4 and then divide total for sale by that amount.
I believe this is the first time we are seeing volume up YOY for pretty much anything, since the market turned in July of 2007.
An added sign that things are moving toward where more people can buy them. If I look at single family and condo sales combined, under $400,000 accounts for 52% of all solds vs. last year when that same price range accounted for only 40% of all solds.
Next week I’ll break that $400,000 to $800,000 down a bit, and see if the higher end of the tier is affecting overall performance. But at this point I do not see an increase YOY, even in the lowest price segment of that tier.
(required disclosure) Statistics are not compiled, posted or verified by NWMLS.