The numbers are in from the Northwest Multiple Listing service. In July, we saw major increases in inventory as well as significant increases in closed sales for most areas. Queen Anne, Lake Union and Magnolia had a 18% dip in closed sales versus the same time last year - this followed a strong month in June 2007 with an increase of 23.33% of closed sale compared to June 2006 for Queen Anne.
As for Belltown and the downtown area, there has been consistently higher closed sales (ranging from 39.47% to 157.69%) for the last 3 months compared to same periods last year. Nevertheless, active listings are increasing at a major clip with July inventory more than double last years while sales were up about 50%. Over the next four months, we will start seeing major spikes in closed sales as new construction for projects like the Parc (Sep), Mosler Lofts (Sep), Trio (Nov), and 5th and Madison (Oct) come online.
The months' inventory in Seattle areas are still significantly below the national average of 8.8 months' inventory. Months' inventory is calculated by taking the number of homes available for sale and estimating the time it would take to sell the total number of homes available for sale right now at the current sales volume. Simply put, you divide total active listings by the recent month's total sold listings.
As you can see from the chart above, months' inventory is still favoring sellers in Capitol Hill and surrounding neighborhoods and is balanced in the Queen Anne, Belltown, and Downtown areas. Generally, 1-3 months' inventory is considered a sellers' market, 4-6 months is a balanced market, and more than 6 months is a buyers' market.
Hope this helps!
p.s. I'm hosting an open house for a top floor 2BR condo in Belltown this Sunday from 1-4PM. Feel free to swing by and say hello if you'd like to talk about the market or other projects.