Seattle Real Estate

I left December out, since most of the month end closings aren’t posted yet, and month end could be a large percentage of a month’s sales.  But we want to start off 2008 with some kind of benchmark and expectation for the year in front of us.

I could have called this “and then came September…”, but the single family market actually had a double whammy.

Condo sales in 2007 actually started out UP 3.8% over 2006 until we hit September closings.  (that’s units sold, not pricing)

Single Family Homes were conversely DOWN by 9.4% under 2006 when we hit September closings. (again, # of units sold and not pricing)

So first we had people priced out of the Single Family Market moreso than the condo market, and then the Mortgage Crisis hit both markets in August which reflects in the September and subsequent month closings. 

I posted most of the data for King County for 2005, 2006 and 2007 over at my blog, for those who want to pull the data and draw their own conclusions. 



I’ll come back to this topic, and include inventory issues, after December closings for 2007 are posted.

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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

12 thoughts on “Seattle Real Estate

  1. I wanted to catch the inventory on this first business day of 2008. As of 8.08 a.m. King County has.


    1096 shown as closed in December (not all postings in)
    1830 in escrow
    7,698 for sale


    389 closed in December (not all postings in)
    734 in escrow
    2,583 for sale

    Some of those in escrow will end up in the December closings. But wanted to catch the inventory out the gate first business day of the new year to later post with the final results of 2007.

    Sometimes a blog is my notepad 🙂 Can’t lose this slip of paper.

  2. Ardell could you shed some “insider” light on the common causes behind what looks to be a significant de-listing of properties in December? If I remember right the inventory for SFH sat at about 10000 in the November mls release? It seems that the inventory is down with more than 2000 units while there is only about 1000 closings? Is there a window at new year where properties can be de-lisred and re-listed with looser “rules”?

  3. tj,

    I’m working hard on all stats by zip code today to catch the breakdown of “out the gate” inventory for 2008.

    The simple answer is that some take the properties off for the holiday, but most let them expire out or cancel them so they will get a new listing number with a 28. MLS issues listing numbers in sequence starting with 2800000 or so after midnight of 12/31/07.

    It is a violation to cancel simply to get a fresh 28 starting listing number. But it is not a violation for a seller to take their property off the market during the holidays or to expire and then come back.

    Days on Market will still be cumulative, unless they have a very large gap from taking off market to putting back on market. But when we get into March and April, having a listing number starting with 27 will be a larger detriment than Days on Market.

    So the reduction is mostly about vying for better positioning in 2008. Some will stay off until April and that “may” drop the cumulative days on market for their listing.

    Again, it is against the rules to vie for position in the mls, but it is not against the rules to take your house off the market before the holidays and bring it back in April.

  4. tj,

    There is no “window of looser rules” but there is a special dispensation for substantial change in listing. I think you only need to drop the price by 5% to get the special dispensation or convince the mls that you did a substantial upgrade to condition. Remodeled baths and kitchen might be a good example of “substantial upgrade” even if the price is raised or stays the same.

    Not sure if that grants you the right to not have cumulative days or simply gives you a new listing number.

  5. wish you folks a happy new year. Ardell, i would be interested to see your 1) data 2) more importantly your interpretation of the data and prediction for 2008 east side SFH, condo

  6. I can’t believe I’m using a shot I just took of myself in the bathroom with my digital camera. Aren’t agents supposed to spend $350 for our “business photo” 🙂 I can’t get it square without the black lines though and Dustin will have to put it over in the sidebar. I can only play with the gravatar.

  7. I know, my kids do it too. Ines over at Active Rain turned it into that “face” shot. Apparently it’s more “real” and “modern”. She came up with three versions in the comments of this blog entry

    All from one photo I took in the bathroom when I got home from work. Didn’t even comb my hair. Don’t need to for these new “face” shots. She used and only cropped and colored. No touch up. I’ll have to check out picnik .com

  8. Jillayne,

    I’m breaking down the stats by zip code and posting just the opening inventory as raw data on my blog. Later I’ll turn them into solds by month for comparison and predicting 2008.

    Some are pretty scary, like 98033 Kirkland with 243 single family homes on market and only 42 in escrow. If I take out new construction there are 148 for sale and 31 in escrow. That’s a lot of new houses not sold.

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