The statistics for August of 2007 from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service are out and there are some definite changes in the markets. I've posted the Absorption Rate Charts that our Lake Union Assistant Manger (Keith Brandt) so generously shared with us. The Absorption Rates is the ratio of pending sales to total listings for a given month. A higher number indicates that buyers are absorbing inventory at a greater rate.
One of the first things to note is the tendency to lower levels of absorption overall. This has been a steady trend for the last few months in the condo market, which has seen inventories swell recently. The overall absorption is about equal or a little above the 2004 levels, which was considered a strong Sellers Market at the time. We've grown accustomed to fast turnover times and having a white-hot market. But in reality this market is approaching what was normal just a few years ago. Sellers need to be aware that they cannot over-reach and ask more than market values and expect Buyers to scramble to offer more than asking price anymore. When looking at market value, Sellers need to concentrate on their competition rather than comparable sales from a few months ago when it was a different market. Properties that are priced right in desirable areas are still selling quickly. It's just not the high-anxiety market of 6 months or a year ago. Analysts still rank the Seattle area as one of the strongest real estate markets in the country with very healthy indicators for the future.