The Slow Down Slows Down

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 Seattle, the Bay Area, the Washington Metro Area and Chicago. Mixing our proprietary market data with our agents’ on-the-ground insights gave us a solid look into the trends that shaped the October housing market.

A few national trends caught our eye:

A Gentle Decrease in Sales Volume: Last month we saw sales volumes plummeting in just about every major metropolitan area we covered. This month most of the numbers are still heading south, but nowhere near the precipitous drops we saw going into October. There were a few areas that bucked this trend, most notably Seattle with an increase of 7% and Washington DC with an incredible increase of 20.8%.

Inventory is Scarce: The inventory numbers, without exception, are down across all the metro areas. Sellers are pulling their listings off the market and waiting for spring before they try again. We should see more of the same next month with some relief coming after the first of the year.

Same Old Same Old with Prices: The expectation was for median price to head down as we head into winter, but it looks like it’s holding pretty steady in most areas with a downward trend of 1% – 3%.

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.

You can also dive into a local discussion about our reports on, or the Bay Area’s


  • Waterdogs

    Here's my question: Is unemployment disproportionately affecting non-homeowners? Where is the demand coming from? How is the supply staying so low in light of 9.6% unemployment and very negative participation rate and employment to population ratios?

  • Michelle Broderick

    All very good questions due to the fact that they are very difficult to pin down.

    1) I have not seen any data examining unemployment rates of homeowners vs non-homeowners.

    2) Demand is generally coming from people still needing a place to call home. Here are some anecdotes to give you a better picture of why someone would buy right now:
    Alex Payne:

    3) A lot of the foreclosed inventory is being held back by the banks. That could be one of many reasons, including seasonality, that are contributing to your concern about supply staying low.

    Good questions – hope that helped.

  • Janet the nurse

    This post is just another evidence that the economy's situation in our country is not that good as we might think. Not only the real estate market is suffering.We can only wish that we could see an improvement in the future.

  • Houses for Sale MN

    Here in Minneapolis, our real estate market is highly seasonal (supposed to be a high of 5 degrees this weekend….whoa!). Who wants to brave the cold and trudge through crunchy snow to see homes for sale? Well, I have a number of active buyers who are eagerly trying to buy! And with the interest rates beginning to creep upwards, I can see more motivation coming from my buyers to continue to find an adequate property on which to make an offer. Hopefully, more agents are also seeing this actively (especially in the seasonal markets) to help keep things stable over the historically bumpy winter months.