- Approaching a More Balanced Market: Good times ahead, where both buyers and sellers will need to negotiate on a fairly balanced playing field again. Negotiations regarding price, closing cost, and home repairs are back.
- More Homes to Choose From: Measured by months of inventory, November’s 2.36 months of supply was best since January 2019, when the overall selection reached 2.4 months of inventory.
- Price Appreciation for Homes Slows: 15 of the 26 counties reported price increases from a year ago, with 11 counties having declines. All 4 counties in the Puget Sound Region experienced modest price gains, ranging from about 1.1% in Kitsap County to 2.9% in Snohomish County.
- Interest Rate Mayhem is Calming: While interest rates continue to fluctuate based on economic uncertainty, rates are stabilizing a bit. Expect interest rates for home loans to hover around 6% throughout much of 2023. Beyond this, we just don’t know. Be sure to check with your trusted mortgage lender for their insights regarding current and future rates and lending options. If you need a lender, just ask, we have a few wonderful lenders who can help.
- Buyer Pre-Approval… Do It!: As inventory levels (selection) increase and prices begin to stabilize, you will want to be ready when your future home comes available. By being pre-approved, you’ll have a better idea of lending options and rates, clarity on your loan limit and budget, as well as being able to act quickly when that perfect home comes along.
Despite seasonal slowdown, Northwest MLS brokers report pent-up demand for housing. November statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service surprised few brokers. They point to holidays, inclement weather, and various economic factors for prompting pauses in listing and sales activity. Nonetheless, several industry leaders commented on positive signs, fueled in part by pent-up demand and evidence of easing inflation pressures.
King County experienced an average of 55 sales per day last month, with year-over-year (YOY) median prices in King County up $10,000, rising from $740,000 to $750,000.
Northwest MLS figures show both pending and closed sales fell sharply from a year ago, but median prices system-wide edged up slightly (0.88%), from $570,000 to $575,000.
Pending sales (mutually accepted offers) across the 26 counties in the report were down 40% (dropping from 8,571 a year ago to 5,106) while closed sales fell 42% (declining from 8,976 to 5,194). NWMLS figures show brokers closed an average of 173 sales per day across all counties.
The volume of closed sales, at 5,194, was the lowest level since February (5,147) and January (5,085). Compared to January’s median price of $555,000, last month’s buyers paid 3.6% more ($575,000).
Inventory statistics were mixed. Brokers added 4,890 new listings during November, a decline of 24.2% compared to the same month a year ago when they added 6,455 new listings. At month end, there were 12,245 total active listings, a whopping increase (about 165%) from the selection of a year ago when there were only 4,621 active listings. Measured by months of inventory, November’s supply, at 2.36 months, was best since January 2019 when the overall selection reached 2.4 months of inventory.
The latest statistics from Northwest MLS show both pending sales and closed sales in Kitsap County fell about 33% year-over-year. Median prices edged up slightly more than 1%, from $500,000 to $505,471.
Fifteen of the 26 counties reported price increases from a year ago, with 11 counties having declines. All four counties in the Puget Sound region experienced modest price gains, ranging from about 1.1% in Kitsap County to 2.9% in Snohomish County.
Looking ahead, Gardner said he does not expect supply to grow significantly with inventory levels remaining well below their long-term average. “It’s unlikely we’ll see a buyer’s market in 2023, but I do expect a return to a far more balanced one.” He believes the days of sellers “having the upper hand are behind us,” adding they will have to become more realistic “with accurate pricing becoming more important than ever.”
As the market continues to stabilize and becomes more balanced, it’s even more important for you to hire a professional real estate advisor with experience. Whether buying, selling, or investing in real estate, be sure to utilize the expertise, talent, and professionalism 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.