Pulse of the Market…

As you probably know, the real estate market around here has been beyond resilient since the COVID outbreak hit in March. (Yes, it’s been that long! The National Emergency was declared on March 13 and the Washington State Stay Home, Stay Healthy order was issued on March 23. Time flies…) The big technology companies that dominate the local economy are not just surviving in the current environment – they are THRIVING. Many companies are shedding employees, but they continue to hire, and their share prices are through the roof. Add in historically low mortgage interest rates and you get the picture: the demand side of the real estate equation is stronger than ever.

At the same time, historically low housing inventory keeps the market out of balance, pushing prices higher. According to the Case Shiller Home Price Index for July, home prices across the Seattle metro area were up 7% vs. a year ago. (See an interactive graph and all the numbers HERE) Transaction volume is also up. The number of new Pending transactions (i.e. listed homes going under contract) plummeted immediately after the stay at home order was implemented both in Seattle and across the Eastside. It climbed back quickly, however, and has been hovering about 30% ABOVE pre-COVID levels for the past three months. Amazing.

It seems counterintuitive, but while new listings continue to sell very quickly in all price ranges, a thriving market for private sales is also flourishing. Sellers worried about having their homes on the market during COVID or just not wild about the idea of listing their homes are being matched with eager buyers frustrated in the open market. So, if you have a wish list as either a buyer or a seller, let me know. I have quietly matched off-market buyers and sellers in some great deals over the past few months and would love to do the same for you.