Is it a Buyer’s Market or a Seller’s Market?

We are, for the most part, in a “normal market”, meaning that in some segments, it is a Seller’s Market, while in another segment, in the same city and price range, it is a balanced to Buyer’s Market. I used this sample to show how, in a small geographic area and price range, you can have two types of markets going on simultaneously.

What does that mean to you as a buyer? If you find one in the charted area that shows 0 available and 24 sold in six months, you need to act quickly and be less picky about condition and location. If you find one in the area that has 15 available and 149 sold in the last six months (same City and same Price Range, different Zip Code) then you can take your time, be more picky and even wait for a better one.

What does that mean to you as a seller? If you are putting your property on market in the first graph area and price, you can likely push the price based on supply and demand and still sell quickly at full price. If you are a seller in the second market segment noted by the second graph, you will have more competition and should price competitively and put the property in the best showing condition possible.

I have not highlighted the true “Buyer’s Market” segment, which is one where only 3-5 of every 10 homes for sale, will sell at all, meaning the ratio is 10 sellers for every 3-5 buyers. That is occuring in higher price ranges (over $1,500,000) and harder to define market segments, and not necessarily as relevant to the average RCG reader.

Perhaps other agents who work further out, like Sultan, Monroe, Des Moines, etc… can do some stats in those areas for us. Anyone seeing the ratio of buyers to sellers such that there are not enough buyers in the marketplace to absorb current inventory in a reasonable timeframe?

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ARDELL is a Managing Broker with Better Properties METRO King County. ARDELL was named one of the Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers in the U.S. by Inman News and has 33+ years experience in Real Estate up and down both Coasts, representing both buyers and sellers of homes in Seattle and on The Eastside. email: cell: 206-910-1000

4 thoughts on “Is it a Buyer’s Market or a Seller’s Market?

  1. Tacoma is pretty much a buyers market- recent News Tribune articles and signs around town back up this assertion. I’ve noticed there is at least one house per sale per block in some areas. Also noticed a condo complex on Jackson Dr that has three for-sale signs in front of it, rather funny. In May there was a little over 3 months supply with current inventory- so not overwhelming inventory yet, but it’s rising.

  2. Eric,

    I see some signs of improvement in Tacoma, doing some quick stats following your thoughts. For instance, for condos in the $200,000 to $250,000 price range, there are only 52 sold in six months, so about ten a month sold. 34 currently on market. But the “in escrow” numbers are more promising, in that 30 are in escrow. If sales continue as they have in the last few weeks, that would make only a one month supply in escrow, vs. 3 month supply based on YTD stats.

    I don’t know Tacoma well enough to break it down by area, but if you give me four border streets and a price range, I can run the stats for any area you are curious about. Or Zip Code, Any way you want to define and break it down to a relevant segment.

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