Hi, I’m Doron Weisbarth with Weisbarth & Associates. Welcome to my October 2023 Market Update SPOOOOOKY report!
For several months, I’ve been reporting on the slow and steady increase in home sale prices, and that, if done correctly, you can expect to sell your home quickly and for a good price when you put your home on the market. It’s been true, and it continues to be true.
At the same time, while prices are going up, the number of homes sold has remained sluggish for several months.
And now that the summer sale season is officially over, it’s becoming clear just how strange this year has been.
Consider these two graphs, which show data for single family homes in King County for nearly 11 years, basically starting in January 2013 and going through September of this year. And while I present data from King County, these trends that I’m going to show you hold true for many of the counties in the Greater Seattle area, and even beyond. So don’t think that this is somehow exclusive to only King County.
The BLUE line represents the median single family home sales price, and you can see how it’s been steadily increasing at a pretty predictable rate. And you can see the annual cycle of activity in the data for ‘Closed Sales’, that’s the ORANGE line.
Notice that, in most of the previous years, the peak market activity took place around late spring or early summer, with about 2,500 to 3,000 homes sold during those peaks. It’s a bit harder to pinpoint it on the graph, but most of the sales in September of each of the past years were about 2,000 to 2,500 homes.
And then there’s 2023.
No, you don’t have to adjust your glasses or clean your screen – that huge drop-off is real! The month with the highest number of sales this year reported only about 2,000 homes sold. In September of this year, we only had about 1,400 homes sold in King County. That’s about 23% fewer homes sold this September compared to last September. And if you compared it to the September before that, meaning, 2021, the drop is 47%! That is just incredible!
By the way, if you want to look at all this information and read my report at your pace and leisure, you’ll find all this information in my October newsletter, available online and for download, for free, at Weisbarth.com/Newsletter, that’s Weisbarth.com/Newsletter.
And, as I’ve been reporting, throughout all this slow market activity, home prices have pretty much held steady. With such low inventory of homes for sale, you’d expect to see great pressure on the market that would push prices up much faster. This is where the higher mortgage interest rates are helping keep the appreciation manageable, almost perfectly countering the effects of the low inventory.
So, I think that, in many way, the real surprise here is just how much demand we still have, despite the high mortgage interest rates, which really speaks volumes about the kind of pent up demand that we have in our area.
And it also bring up the question about what will happen once mortgage interest rates drop – which, most if not all expert agree, will happen sooner or later. Will lower mortgage interest rate bring back to the market a lot of buyers, which will increase the demand so much that prices will start rising fast again? It certainly sounds plausible. Or maybe the inventory of homes for sale will then also increase, as seller feel more comfortable listing their homes, which will then help keep the price increase in check. This too sounds plausible. What will actually happen? Well, only time will tell.
For now, if you are looking to sell, here’s what you need to know: we still have more buyers than sellers. In fact, waaay more buyers than sellers. But that doesn’t mean that you can be sloppy about how you list your home. Understanding and following the proper marketing principles is absolutely critical, if you want to get a better a outcome from your home sale. If you do things correctly, without cutting corners, you can 100% expect a good sale, fast and for a good price.
So, if you or anyone you know who is looking to buy a home or sell their home, please refer them to me and my team at Weisbarth & Associates by phone, email or fill out a form on our website. My team and I are in the top 1% of all brokers in the state of Washington. We reached this level because we know and understand how the market works, how the system here works, how to implement the correct marketing principles, how buyers and sellers think and see the world. And we have the numbers to prove that our success is not just a fluke, but rather based on sound planning and well tested strategies. More than that, we make sure to educate our clients about all this too, so that they can make correct and informed decisions.
The best way to reach me is by phone at 206-779-9808, that’s 206-779-9808.
And remember that we donate a substantial portion of our income from each sale to the kids at Childhaven, so your business and referrals help the kids at Childhaven, so you get a good deed out of it too!
Please remember to like, subscribe and follow for more great insights, charts and tips on my monthly vlog, and read our monthly newsletter at Weisbarth.com/Newsletter.
I’m Doron Weisbarth with Weisbarth & Associates. Have a wonderfully spoooooky Halloween, and I’ll see you next month!