First, a word about condo prices on Seattle's eastside:
Even though the news media said condo prices were down in King County, they appear to be holding steady in the Seattle's eastside cities of Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, etc, when compared to August 2011 pricing. This is good news for condo sellers who have gotten beaten up by pricing in the last few years. With the low supply of condos for sale, prices are no longer declining, and, in fact, they may begin rising. In June, July, and August, prices on the eastside did increase, which brought us back to the pricing in the middle of last year. Unfortunately, prices did drop last fall through the early spring of this year, but we have now caught up to the prices we had in mid-2011. It appears that market pricing is holding steady now and has increased in the last few months.
Now back to the number of sales:
Condo sales numbers are actually not much higher than August, 2011 when 194 condos sold. This year, 201 condos sold in August. Because there's about half the number of condos for sale this year than in 2011, the percentage of those that sold, the absorption rate, skyrocketed. Last year, 19% of the condos sold and this year, 43% sold.
Time on the market has also dropped to an average of 68 days to sell vs.116 days in August of 2011.
So what does this all mean if you are thinking of selling or have your condo on the market?
If your condo takes a long time to sell, then it is either overpriced or is not marketed well. Make sure your condo has great online photos to start. Staging can also be a big plus. Good pricing and great photos are the two most critical marketing pieces to getting your condo sold. Remember this is how buyers and other agents "see" your home first, so the pricing and online marketing are crucial to getting buyers through the door to actually see your condo and make an offer to buy it.
What does this all mean if you are a condo buyer?
With the pattern of price increases, this means we're past the bottom of the market pricing. This may be the time to make a purchase. With the short supply, pricing could continue to increase. Remember, too, that interest rates are still incredibly low. Don't forget to check the financial viablity of an condo association you're thinking of buying into. In a blog post I wrote a few months ago, I listed some of the important things to look for when checking condos out. The post looks at the issue from the seller's point of view, but these issues should be important to any buyer. Fortunately for the buyer, the law requires a seller to provide the answers in the form of a resale certificate which is reviewed as one of the conditions of an offer.
If you have any questions about the condo market, please feel free to contact us.