Seattle Market Report for May 2010.
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A look at the Seattle Real Market for May 2010
In Seattle at the end of May, there were 4,577 listings. This includes single family homes, townhomes, condominiums and multiunit properties. A large inventory considering that there were only 774 closed sales during the month of May. What is also unusual is that there were 1,735 properties under contract. Was May an unusually busy month, or are there about 1,000 transaction in short sale limbo?
Anyway, this results in an Absorption Rate of 6.2, or there isa 6.2 month supply of properties for sale.
I searched further and found the following:
- There were 208 multiunit buildings on the market and only 8 sold. A 26 month supply of multifamily housing available.
- There were 1,611 condominiums for sale, and 190 closed transactions. An absorption rate of 8.5.
- As for single family homes, there were 2,758 homes on the market, including side by side townhomes. There were 576 closed transactions. A seller’s market at 4.8. Maybe, maybe not.
From talking with lenders, brokers, buyers and sellers, I’ve determined the following:
- It’s tough to get loans for multifamily purchases.
- It’s just as tough to get a loan for a condominium. Many of them were projects where they don’t yet have the lender number of required sales (50-70%) before they can close any transactions.
- Much (418 units) of the single family home market consists of connected housing, i.e. zero lot line townhomes. These homes have very much the feel of condominiums as they have shared walls and little land to enjoy as a homeowner. Townhomes are selling slower than stand alone homes.
There is the old saw, that at the right price, anything will sell. That may not be true for some condominiums, or buildings that won’t finance. If the homeowners whose homes are not selling would correctly price their properties, the absorption rate would come down.
It’s a great market for stand-alone single family homes. Financing is available at exceptionally low rates.
Condominiums are plentiful but financing is difficult.
Investor buying is slow because of the high down payment required and the high interest rates attached to the loan.
All data derived from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.