The final quarter of 2023 presented a market that has weathered continual challenges throughout the past two years. In October, mortgage rates peaked, hitting their highest rates in over two decades. Although they proceeded to decline, finally dipping below 6 percent, sellers were hesitant to list their homes and lose their lower interest rates, particularly ones who took advantage of the record lows seen in January 2021. Buyers were similarly discouraged by high rates and the lack of inventory. However, those who were determined to find their dream home, despite the obstacles, were rewarded with less competition and more negotiation power.
Additionally, the winter market is typically a less active period in real estate than spring and summer, with more people focused on winding down as the year ends than making any major real estate moves. If rates continue to go down – which is projected, albeit, slowly – then we should see the market thaw as we move further into 2024 and away from the chilly conditions that have affected both buyers and sellers.
Seattle | Single-Family Homes
Sellers participating in the Seattle market in the fourth quarter of the year saw similar sales prices to those who sold in Q4 2022, with a median sales price of $918,000 and an average price per square foot of $538 in 2023’s fourth quarter.
Eastside | Single-Family Homes
Buyers looking for their ideal Eastside home in the last quarter of 2023 had to contend with a dearth of inventory at just 0.8 months, which was the second lowest of all the neighborhoods analyzed in this report and down from the 1.4 months of inventory we witnessed in Q4 2022.
Mercer Island | Single-Family Homes
Mercer Island presents an interesting study in 2023’s fourth quarter, where 12.12% more homes sold from Q4 2022 to Q4 2023 (33 homes versus 37 homes) but a sizable 60% decline in homes listed for sale, from 30 homes listed in Q4 2022 to a mere 12 homes listed in Q4-2023.
Bainbridge Island | Single-Family Homes
Bainbridge Island remains one of the region’s most desirable enclaves even amidst a slow market challenged by a lack of activity and inventory. The median sales price saw a significant year-over-year increase of 19.42% at $1,433,000 compared to Q4 2022’s median of $1,200,000.
Seattle | Condominiums
There were very few new construction condominium opportunities offered in the Seattle market in 2023, similar to 2022, and this subset of the city’s market saw little year-over-year change.
Eastside | Condominiums
The Eastside condominium real estate market continues to see upward movement even as other markets struggle to rebound from obstacles like low inventory and hesitant buyers.
King County | Single-Family Homes
Despite the lack of inventory, homes still sat on the market for about the same length of time that they did a year ago, averaging 31 days. This indicates that both sellers and buyers were refraining from participating in a chilly market.
Pierce County | Single-Family Homes
Price growth remained relatively flat with a minimal 2.69% median sales price increase to $878,000 and a 6.09% average price per square foot increase to $505.
Snohomish County | Single-Family Homes
A year-over-year 46.98% decrease in homes for sale indicates that many sellers were not ready to give up their low interest rates, affecting inventory and leading to less than 1 month of inventory on the market.
Kitsap County | Single-Family Homes
(Excluding Bainbridge Island)
In analyzing the past three years’ Q4 median sales prices, we see minimal but steady growth, with the trend continuing this year with a 6.81% increase from $499,000 in Q4 2022 to $533,000 in Q3 2023.
Skagit County | Single-Family Homes
Although there was some price growth in Skagit County, with a year-over-year 13.37% increase in the median sales price to $568,000, it appears that sellers were still hesitant to list with a 26.67% drop in the number of homes for sale.
Island County | Single-Family Homes
Although the median sales price was slightly higher than last year’s fourth quarter at $582,000, and the average price per square foot was up from $337 in Q4 2022 to $345 in Q4 2023, these minimal increases are welcome but do not necessarily signal any major year-over-year shifts in this region’s market.
Whatcom County | Single-Family Homes
Whatcom County’s market seems to indicate a lack of both buyer and seller participation in the final quarter of 2023, where there were only 365 homes listed for sale, a 20.31% year-over-year decrease, as well as a 50-day average for the amount of time homes were listed on the market.
Cle Elum | Single-Family Homes
Patient sellers were rewarded with price growth as the median sales price increased by 33.62% from Q4 2022’s median of $925,000 to $1,236,000.
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