Last December only had 689 condos for sale in Seattle, a drop of 16% from the previous month, and 30% fewer than December 0f 2010. In contrast to shrinking supply, year-over-year December closed sales were up by 16%. In fact, December 2011 ended with 22% more closed transactions than January 2011, good improvement...but not a home run.
Median prices were off by 7% from twelve months ago landing at $234,000 in December and have been hovering under the $250,000's mark for the past 7 months.
Supply absorption rate (based on closed sales versus inventory) showed sign of improvement from the beginning of the year. In January, we had around 9 months of supply and the year ended with 5 months supply, moving from a strong buyers' market to a neutral market (favoring neither buyers nor sellers).
Overall, the year concluded with lower supply and higher sales from beginning of the year but median prices were still showing softness. If the market continues the same momentum as the last few months with lower supply and higher sales, we might start seeing gradual pricing improvement. Much like the national economy, things are getting slightly better, but it's a slow road.