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Phinney-Greenwood real estate: record low inventory

By Mark Ashmun, real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Bain
In writing a blog post about December’s real estate numbers, I feel obliged to provide a brief summary of the year as a whole. Rising prices, low inventory, multiple offers, low interest rates and (did I mention?) low inventory. That about sums it up. Okay, now let’s get specific.
The following info is from the NWMLS for Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods combined (henceforth referred to in this column as Phinneywood).
In the fourth quarter of 2011 (October-December) the average sold price for a single-family home was $363,000. The same quarter in 2012 saw that figure increase to $453,000. That is a change of +24.8 percent. As a homeowner, I’d say that deserves a “woohoo.”
These gains are driven by the record low inventory I mentioned earlier. In December of 2011 there were 30 active listings in Phinneywood compared to only 13 in 2012. That amounts to 56.7 percent fewer homes on the market. Combine this with low unemployment, super low interest rates (3.5 percent with no points at the time of this writing) and the result is a whole lot of qualified buyers with very little to choose from.
Have you noticed a “For Sale” sign go up on your street followed by a “Sold” sign in less than a week? The stats back this up. The average CDOM (cumulative days on market) in December 2011 was 38. December 2012, that number fell to just 18 – a change of -52.6 percent. Another amazing stat along these lines is that pending sales outnumbered new listings in ALL of the last three months of 2012.
If you’ve talked to a real estate professional over the past year you probably have heard that multiple offers are back. It has not been unheard of for a home to come on the market on a Wednesday, have 200 plus people through and have 10 or more offers by Sunday night. With that being said, I encourage homeowners to have a professional CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) done before listing in order to accurately price their home. Some homeowners, seeing the lack of inventory, are jumping into the market with unrealistic expectations. Today’s buyers are savvy (particularly those who are represented by an experienced agent) and for the most part, patient. When a home is overpriced it will sit, regardless of the lack of available homes.
And of course, what real estate column would be complete without a multi-colored graph? I chose green and blue because frankly, I’m tired of green and red. I decided to run a seven-year picture of Phinneywood showing the numbers of pending listings versus active listings (a key stat for understanding market velocity). I found it illustrates very well the market metamorphosis in regards to inventory over the last seven years.
Lastly, I wanted to add a couple of pertinent links.

My email is [email protected]. If you are interested in having a professional CMA done for your home, regardless of if you are considering listing, I would be glad to oblige. Really, it’s what I do. If you are interested in receiving a monthly email from me with your neighborhood’s stats, simply drop me a line. You can also check out my Facebook page. It contains local/national news, market updates, and a bit of my Seattle photography.