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Is This The New "Normal" for Seattle Area Real Estate?

Maybe this is how real estate is going to be in the Seattle area. Maybe we’ll have some local markets where things are “hot” just for the buyer, and, someday again, even for the seller.  But maybe the Seattle marketplace will be more balanced (yellow on the map below) between the buyers and the sellers.  Maybe this is the new “normal” real estate market. The majority of homes will sell in 3-6 months, some will sell for full price, some homes will sell with a small price reduction, and some will even have multiple offers.  Still others will undergo a number of price reductions before selling and some will not even get an offer.

Here’s what I wrote in my November post on the real estate market.  I shared similar thoughts then, so I’m wondering if we’re starting to see a pattern here.

Does this mean it’s no longer a challenge to sell a home?  Absolutely not.  The competition is still very stiff. There are a lot of homes for buyers to buy.  A market in which it takes homes 3-6 months to sell is still a challenging, but not a terrible, real estate market.   In a balanced market, some homes sell quickly for a good price, others take a lot longer to sell with a steep discount in the the asking price, and still others don’t sell at all.  I’m still going to be telling home sellers to have the best home out there and expect a sale to take a long time to happen.  Homes that sell have to be a really good value to be the ones that sell.   Believe it or not, this is pretty typical of a more balanced, realistic market. A realistic market is not a fast paced real estate market.  A realistic market will have some distressed home sellers.  Although this is a cause of major concern and I am not minimizing the situation for those who are distressed sellers, the majority of eastside homes are NOT distressed sales.

So maybe this is the new “normal”? What do you think?

The State Of Seattle Area Real Estate in December, 2010

Real Estate Markets in Seattle
Seattle Area Real Estate 11-30-10


What do the 3 digit numbers on the map mean?

The map is divided into the numbered areas as defined by our Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS).  Downtown Bellevue is area 520 and East Bellevue is area 530, as an example.

What do the colors mean?

Red means it’s a sellers’ market, a sellers’ advantage.  Homes take less than 3 months to sell.

Yellow means a balanced market between buyers and sellers.  Homes on the average take 3-6 months to sell.

Green means it’s a buyers’ market.  Homes take longer than 6 months to sell.

If you take each area as shown on the map and look to the area number on the side of the map, it will tell you how long it would take to sell every home currently for sale if no other home came up on the market in that area.