Sales Volume Drops Across the Land

Last week we pulled back the curtain to give you a behind the scenes look at what is happening in the real estate market in the Bay Area, the Washington DC Metro Area and Seattle.  Mixing our proprietary market data with our agents’ on-the-ground insights gave us a solid look into the trends that shaped the September housing market.

A few national trends caught our eye:

Sales Volume Keeps on Dropping: The Bay Area had one bright spot in Marin County, but other than that untouchable enclave the number of homes sold dropped anywhere between 7% – 23%. The Washington Metro Area experienced a huge slow down in the number of homes sold by as much as 23% – 45% across the board. In Seattle the slow down wasn’t quite as precipitous, but it was down by 16.6% overall. The bottom line is: Sales volume is down pretty much everywhere we looked.

Sporadic Bursts of New Listings: The number of homes coming onto the market has stayed extremely flat with some freak exceptions. Alexandria shot up by 19%, but this is mostly due to the lack of new listings the month before. San Francisco shot up by 21%; unfortunately our agents are not seeing a surge of fantastic new listings flooding the market, instead they are seeing the same old listings and that isn’t making anyone very excited.

Median Price is Not Budging…Yet: We are not seeing a huge swing in the median price of homes in any of the markets. This probably won’t hold true throughout the brutal days of winter and we expect to see some more movement in the coming months.

Have you seen any trends in the housing market? We’d love to hear war stories from people in the thick of the real estate market. Post something below and spark a discussion.


  • Jakob

    Don't sales generally drop as we head into fall?

    Perhaps comparing seasonally adjusted numbers would make more sense, or simply year over year numbers.

    Thanks for compiling these numbers!

    • Michelle Broderick

      Hi Jakob – You are absolutely right about seasonality. If you dig into each individual report you will see metrics for year over year numbers and a bit more analysis on what is seasonality and what is a new movement in the market. Hope that helps!

  • Shoreview MN Homes for Sale

    Seasonal sales information is especially relevant in heavy winter climates like Minneapolis (where I practice as a real estate agent). As of late, we are seeing some of the middle market (i.e. $300K – $500K) move some with the extremely low interest rates, but our sales volume is consistant with what Michelle has posted above. Thanks for the informative article.

  • STEVEH100

    I'm a broker in queens and manhattan so I see whats happening. The lower priced apartments are being sought after but credit and mortgages are holding people back. When the cash buyers come out, they want a super deal, but the sellers are dropping their prices like the buyers want. We have a stalemate. Buyers dont want to pay what the sellers are asking and sellers dont want to sell what the buyers want to pay. This problem comes because of the greedy pigs on wall street and the banks that destroyed real estate while they made billions. AND OBAMA BAILED OUT THOSE F&$%@ ASSES. Now that housing is way too high for 80% of the population because of the easy money, sellers are stuck with high prices and cant sell to most people at the over inflated prices. This is what happened.

    • NickR

      But what is the root cause of this stalemate? I think I know. Sellers don't need to sell, they have no motivation, the only reason they might sell is if they get their price and cash out, if not, they stay. Real Estate used to be a mutual transaction, a seller needed to sell, a buyer needed to buy, so the two came together. Now sellers only sell if they can make a huge profit, they aren't going anywhere, they aren't moving to another city and a new job, they aren't retiring, they are looking to turn their investment, that's it. Buyers compound the problem because they don't have to buy either, they just want to stop throwing rent money down the drain and they want to invest in real estate for exactly the sam reason a seller wants to cash out, to make a killing. It's excessive greed and seller power, there is nothing else going on. When and if people ever have to sell in order to eat, then prices will come down, but what are the odds of that ever happening?