- The Real Estate Market Has Shifted: The real estate market has definitely entered a ‘shifting’ market period, meaning sellers no longer dictate sales prices and terms.
- More Choices For Buyers: Active listings have nearly doubled from a year ago. Available homes for sale (a.k.a., inventory) is now over 2 months of supply across the NWMLS service area, similar to levels observed in January 2019.
- Some Good News For Sellers: Wanting to move, but previously not able to? With additional inventory and selection available, “contingent sale” offers are becoming more common… and accepted.
- A Warning To Sellers Regarding Pricing Expectations: Be sure to price your home competitively the first time or be subject to multiple price reductions or worse… limited / no offers.
- Builders Are Taking Swift Action: Builders of new homes have begun lowering prices significantly. In addition, they are providing more buyer incentives (e.g., price reductions, buyer closing costs paid, upgrades, etc.) to maintain sales of existing homes and pre-sale inventory under construction.
New statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service confirm reports of a shifting housing market, prompting one industry leader to suggest “all parties involved in a transaction today have to recalibrate.”
The MLS report summarizing July statistics show 2.01 months of inventory system wide. Inventory of single-family homes and condominiums across the 26 counties served by Northwest MLS has not exceeded two months since January 2019 when there was 2.3 months of supply.
Active listings have nearly doubled from a year ago, jumping from 7,948 offerings of single-family homes and condos to 15,381 (up 93.5%). The addition of 11,805 new listings during the month contributed to the boost. Compared to June, the selection expanded by 1,976 listings (up 14.7%).
Evidence of slower activity appears in the sales figures. Pending sales retreated about 24% from a year ago, dropping from 11,567 to 8,775 mutually accepted offers. The NWMLS report shows a nearly 30% year-over-year decrease in closed sales (declining from 10,919 closings to 7,645).
Despite fewer sales, prices still rose, but at a slower rate. The median price on last month’s closed sales of single-family homes and condos increased 6.1% from a year ago, rising from $589,000 to $625,000. For single-family homes only (excluding condos), prices jumped about 6.6% and condo prices gained more than 8.6%.
In the four-county Puget Sound region, price changes ranged from a gain of about 2.7% in King County (from $789,000 to $810,000) to a jump of nearly 12.7% in Pierce County (from $501,500 to $565,000). Kitsap prices rose 5.4% while prices in Snohomish County increased 9.3%.
Sellers in half the 26 counties accepted full price or above asking price offers. Based on the sales price to list price ratio, sellers of homes in Thurston County received 103.1% of their listing price to top the list. The other 12 counties where homes sold at or above the list price were Chelan, Clark, Cowlitz, Franklin, King, Kitsap, Mason, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, and Whatcom.
The market balance is favoring buyers. Noting King County had about seven weeks of inventory at the end of July (1.86 months) – about double May’s supply (0.83 months).
Like nearly every county in the Northwest MLS service area, Kitsap had fewer pending sales than a year ago (483 versus 580 for a drop of 16.7%), but compared to June, brokers reported 27 more pending sales (up 5.9%). Year-over-year prices on closed sales in Kitsap rose 5.4%, from $507,500 to $535,000.
Industry experts consider less than four months of inventory to be a “seller’s market.” Currently every county in the NWMLS report except San Juan and Columbia had less than four months. All four counties in the Puget Sound region had less than 1.9 months of supply.
Only two counties, Ferry and Island, reported a year-over-year drop in median prices, according to the MLS report. Nine counties experienced single-digit appreciation in July compared to 12 months ago, with the remaining 15 having double-digit gains.
The latest Northwest MLS report mirrors some of the findings from the National Association of REALTORS® and its Confidence Index for June. (Figures for July are not yet available.) NAR’s data showed the average number of offers per property dipped to three from a previous high of five. Median days on the market for homes nationwide was 14, a record low. Nearly a third (30%) of buyers waived inspection and appraisal contingencies, which NAR said has held fairly steady since the start of the pandemic.
To better navigate the ever changing real estate market conditions, it’s even more important for you to work with a professional real estate advisor. Whether buying, selling, or investing in real estate, be sure to utilize the talent and expertise of our trusted real estate team, The Goelzer Home Team.
Let us know how we can help you achieve your real estate Wants, Needs, and Dreams!
*Information and statistics compiled and reported by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.