Potentially Fatal Spring Fever

Spring is when the majority of buyers get spring fever and venture outside after a long winter and start shopping for a new home in earnest. In a crazy market like we’re in now, buyers typically get frustrated and their case of spring fever becomes terminal around June/July when the draw of a Seattle summer is greater than their desire to find a new home.

What’s different this year is that many buyers have been actively in the market all winter and are already showing signs of throwing in the towel. This week The Seattle Weekly did a cover story on people bailing out of Seattle to the outlying areas after being frustrated with the market.
On the supply side, we’ve heard from a few sources early in the home listing process that their demand is up, which means we should see a lot of new coming online in the next 4-8 weeks. This will be good for buyers. If you’re a seller, now is the time to get on the market before the new inventory hits.

Longer term on the supply side, the city is working on upzoning to add more units to meet the demand. The Seattle PI wrote a brief story with a great photo gallery of what some of our current, poorly thought out upzoning looks like when towering modern boxes are squeezed between tiny bungalows.
By the numbers

This week we saw 244 new listings come online in the Seattle / Bellevue / Kirkland areas that we’re closely monitoring and 39 are already sold. New listings are down 10% this week, but the percent sold the same week is up 16% from last week. With fewer listings and more of them gobbled up immediately, the trajectory is still in the wrong direction.

Here’s how it breaks down by each region we’re tracking. Again, most of the action was on the Seattle side of Lake Washington this week. What’s interesting is that this is the second week in a row we didn’t see much new inventory in North Seattle. Most of the new inventory coming online is south of the Ship Canal.

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