Seattle Residential: I Do That: A Look at the Seattle Real Estate Market for May 2010

A Look at the Seattle Real Estate Market for May 2010

Seattle Market Report for May 2010.

In This Post

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.





Glenn Roberts



Comment balloon 11 commentsGlenn Roberts • June 02 2010 01:50PM



Thanks for sharing the market update for Settle it looks like your market is nicely balanced and moving in the right direction.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) over 10 years ago

Glenn it looks like you really did your homework when it comes to the market in Seattle.  Good for you, staying on top of things is the only way you can make it happen for yourself.  Much success to you, and make it a great day.

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) over 10 years ago

Lou - It looks like a balanced market but it is skewed in favor of the single family home owner. Just as well.

Roger - I kept getting led on with that old stand-by - Why?

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) over 10 years ago

I'm not sure what you mean by "old stand-by" Glenn..............or maybe I'd have an answer for you.

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) over 10 years ago

I have no idea what I meant. Perhaps someone stopped by my desk and said something while I finished up that comment without looking at it. Maybe I was thinking of something Shaken...with a Twist. :-)

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) over 10 years ago

Now that's my kind of guy.  I always think about something "shaken...with a twist".........gets me through the day Glenn.

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) over 10 years ago

Glenn - you always do a great job. Thorough, to the point with no fluff.  I will throw in my 2 cents if I may?  Washington and Oregon have always been the last to fall and the last to rise in our national economy.  Don't know why but it's true.  I think WA state is nearing or at its bottom while other areas are already seeing significant turn around.  Vegas, San Diego are a couple that are moving right along if you don't count high end housing.  I bet by end of year you start to see a shift and less inventory.  True that townhomes on zero lot lines aren't as desirable but as values and mortgage rates begin to rise this may become a non issue as these will be the remaining affordable housing options.  Not saying I'm right, just saying...

Posted by Nevin Williams, Senior Mortgage Advisor (Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation) over 10 years ago

Nevin - I always appreciate your insights. Washington and Oregon are one thing. Seattle/Belevue are another. (Verb agreement doesn't seem to work in this case) Seattle currently is building huge projects just north of the downtown core for and for biotech companies, and therefore for others. That bodes well for our housing market as these are all good paying jobs. I feel Seattle is already recovered but the state lags.  

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) over 10 years ago

6.2 months of inventory is very nice for Seattle. We finished our month at about 6.6 months here in Vancouver Washington. Of course that number reflects the tax credit market that we are finishing up. The next few months should be interesting.

Posted by Mark Hall, Homes for Sale Vancouver Washington (Realty One Group Cascadia) over 10 years ago

Over here in Wenatchee the market is doing well also.  I just sold a duplex.  It did take a little longer for the buyer to get financing compared to what the single family homes require, but it happened.  Thanks for the May recap.  It's great to get an idea of where we've been and take a guess at where we'll be.

Posted by Aaron Schreiner (AMS Inspection Services) over 10 years ago

Mark - I look forward to a pretty ormal market for a few years.

Aaron - Glad ot hear that things are selling in Wenatchee too.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) over 10 years ago