McGarty Minute: End of/or Beginning
Welcome back, it's your weekly reminder that it's Friday and, wow, did I need that reminder as this week was a blur. It all began with my 7pm flight from the conference in Texas, which ended up getting delayed until midnight. Activity in the field was slower than we've seen in a while, and there's still no clear logic as we'll dive into below. Typically the spring market peaks around Memorial Day, and this year it's looking like we're not getting a typical spring market.
But we are getting a return to office which is bringing life back to downtown and all the businesses that have been suffering since the pandemic. We can confirm that traffic feels back to pre-pandemic levels, if not worse, with Wednesday being nearly impassable, even in the middle of the day when we can typically zip from house to house.
The Seattle Times did a really well written review of the return to office with a quote that probably had more to do with the glorious weather than the return to work, "If anyone was unhappy about the three-day-a-week mandate, it didn’t show."
Jon ended the article with this Churchill quote that also sums up the current real estate market, "Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." The typical spring market is coming to a close and the next phase is our summer market which is typically marked by a significant slowdown of both buyers and sellers as everyone is distracted by the giant orb in the sky. The third act, after Labor Day, when everyone is back from Summer Break, typically sends the market back into action until we enter the rain, darkness and holidays. Then it starts all over again.
Here's an example of how the current market is defying logic. We found two really good comps for our new Broadview listing, that both went under contract this week. One was just two blocks to the east on Evanston. Another was over on busy 3rd Ave NW. Initially I ignored the one on 3rd because it's a terrible street.
After talking to the agent on Evanston, she said that she had great traffic, but only got one offer because several of her potential buyers offered on the house on 3rd instead. I called the agent on 3rd and was blown away to learn that they received 13 offers and are under contract for $231,000 over list price, 29% over!?! For a house on busy 3rd Ave. There are a few important takeaways here. First, buyers are flocking to the same shiny object. Second, there are still 12 willing, ready and able buyers in Broadview. Finally, it is critical that your agent is strategizing offer review timing. Think how many of those 12 could have driven the price of Evanston up.
For reference, here's our annual cycle of pending sales over the last five years. We are currently sitting at levels typically only seen around the holidays.
Finally, part of this slowness is likely tied to "Mortgage Rates Now at 2 Month Highs" of 6.7% according to Mortgage News Daily. Reminder, you can always refinance to a lower rate in the future.
By The Numbers
This week we saw 314 new listings hit the Seattle / Bellevue / Kirkland areas, up 18% from last week's 267. We're finally getting some inventory!