2019 Year In Review – 2020 Inventory/Pending Predictions


Here’s our review of the highs and lows and trends of this last year’s in-city real estate market, along with our predictions for the first 4 months activity in what is now 2020!

Here are the highs and lows for last year, which can be seen on our daily statistics sheet: http://tinyurl.com/BPStatisticsDaily
Least Listings Available Most Listings Available Most New Listings Least New Listings Most Pending Inspection Least Pending Inspection Most Pendings Least Pendings Most 6- Day Least 6- Day Most 6-Day to NA Lowest 6-Day to NA Highest 6-Day to NA
12/31/19 7/12/19 5/12-5/18 12/22-12/29 7/21/-7/28 3/9-3/15 3/9-3/16 12/24-12/31 4/10-4/16 12/24-12/31 3/12-3/18 8/31-9/8 3/18
339 1046 251 13 98 5 157 20 71 4 68% 9% 68%

Most “listings on market” moment was the post-July 4th surge, most new listings hit mid-May, most Pending-Inspections were early March, most pendings were at the same time, and the most 6-day or less were early April. Highest ratio of 6-day-or-less pendings was mid March, at a whopping 68%!

You can view the statistics page shown here (along with the interactive InfoSparks page links) by clicking through to: http://tinyurl.com/BPStatisticsDaily

Below are the New Actives and New Pendings numbers for the first 4 months of the last 5 years:

New Actives 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
January 359 404 400 374 499
February 447 444 430 422 473
March 641 648 599 641 714
April 760 640 584 618 835


New Pendings 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
January 346 287 353 286 395
February 373 393 400 372 343
March 599 547 537 525 550
April 651 536 528 516 605

Inventory ramps up 2nd to 3rd month historically and pending activity follow suit 3rd to 4th month.

Here is a chart showing sales price differentials between 4 selected areas: Seattle Overall (black line), Ballard to Ravenna (green), Central Capitol Hill/Montlake/Madison, etc. (orange), and I90 to S Othello (purple):

An interactive version of this graph can be seen here: https://nwmls.stats.showingtime.com/infoserv/s-v1/8KiV-ko1

Using Ballard as the “Canary In The Coal Mine”, 2019 saw a median sales price lowering of approximately $33k.

Using Alan Pope’s inventory to pendings graphing (http://alanpope.com/Nov19/390_700-720.pdf), we see the following:

Inventory exceeded pending activity for the first time in 3 years, at June 2018. Pending activity stayed roughly constant with historical trending. Price decreasing experienced in the market has been caused by inventory surging. But, note that inventory numbers are declining rapidly. We will watch closely for the last set of numbers due this week and the daily numbers as we move into January’s upcoming weeks.

As a seller, you’d likely see best timing as April-May, for higher pending numbers. As a buyer, you’ll likely see gradual increase in inventory through the first few months (after surge replenishing from Dec holiday vacuum), and most inventory to pending ratio being post-September.

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Posted on January 4, 2020 at 6:42 pm
Bruce Phares | Category: Uncategorized

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