The market for condominiums in the Seattle Area is quickly shifting from a Sellers’ Market to a Neutral Market. Sellers can no longer expect Buyers to waive their Inspection, waive their Financing Contingency, waive the Title Contingency, etc. and pay their List Price. In the last 30 days Listing Agents are rarely recommending an “Offer Review Date” but are suggesting that Sellers review each Offer as it’s presented to them. The number of days Condominiums are on the market for sale has double or tripled. We’ve seen Sellers drop the List Price in the first 2 – 3 weeks to capture the attention of Buyers.
We haven’t seen this many price drops in 10 years, since the financial crisis of 2007 – 2008. If this is a shifting market, how long will it last and where’s the bottom? What’s causing the slow down in the Seattle condominium market? I don’t think there is one answer to these questions but several. First, many of the first-time Buyers were entering the market as the owners of apartment buildings continued to increase the rents every year. With the glut of apartments on the market today property owners are lowering those rents. The rental market is flat. Thus, those Buyers feel less pressure to move. Second, I think Buyers across the spectrum feel residential properties have appreciated above the values they feel comfortable with and don’t perceive appreciation to continue. Third, higher and higher real estate taxes in the City of Seattle are causing potential to look at outlying communities where the taxes are lower and they can purchase nicer homes for their money. Forth, Buyers perceive the political climate in the City of Seattle to be detrimental to the protection of their investments. Fifth, the recent “Head Tax” passage, then reversal is causing companies to question whether they want to remain in the City of Seattle, thus their hiring has slowed down.
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Keller Williams Greater Seattle