July 2021 Housing Update for the Puget Sound

The Goelzer Home Team
Published on July 16, 2021

Summary

  • Buyers should take advantage of the summer months: As we enter the summer months in the Pacific Northwest, more resale homes will be coming on the market AND fewer buyers will be looking (many will be vacationing). So, if you’re a buyer, take advantage of the time of year and take a fresh look for your future home.
  • Fewer multiple offers: While multiple offers are still common on a typical listing, ot’s NOT the typical 10 to 20 offers… more like 2 to 3 offers. This offers buyers way better odds of getting their offer accepted and many homes are selling closer to list price.
  • Low interest rates: Low interest rates still exist… which is good news. We’ve even seen a few cases of rates lowering over the past few weeks.
  • Overpriced homes leading to longer days on the market: While prices have significantly increased year-over-year, sellers need to be cautious of overpricing their homes and pushing prospective buyers away. We are seeing homes stay on the market longer and seeing price reductions when homes are overpriced; a sign that prices have neared the top and buyers are being priced out of the market.

Details

Homebuyers may find some good news in the latest report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS). The number of active listings at the end of June, 6,358, reached the highest level since November when buyers could choose from 6,505 properties. The volume of new listings added last month was the highest number in 17 months (13,111 last month versus 14,689 at the end of November 2019).

For the tri-county area (King, Pierce and Snohomish), total active listings of single-family homes and condominiums increased 14.5% from May. System-wide, the report covering all 26 counties served by Northwest MLS shows month-to-month inventory improved 14.9%.

Brokers added 621 new listings to Kitsap County’s inventory, improving on May’s volume by more than 13%. That number also marked the first time since May 2019 that the number of new listings in Kitsap County topped 600.

Other industry analysts suggested the uptick in inventory might be short-lived, citing vigorous activity as Washington state lifts several strict coronavirus restrictions.

The latest report from Northwest MLS shows a year-over-year (YOY) drop in active listings of more than 34%, with only about two weeks (0.58 months) of supply available areawide. Last month marked the first time since July 2020 that the year-over-year decline fell below 40%.

Only 10 of the 26 counties in the MLS report have more than one month of supply. Of these, only one (Ferry) has more than two months of supply. Snohomish County’s inventory declined more than 44% from a year ago, leaving it with only about 10 days of inventory (0.35 months of supply), the lowest of all the counties served by Northwest MLS.

Pending sales rose about 3.5% compared with a year ago (from 11,916 to 12,328) but fell slightly from May when mutually accepted offers outgained the number of listings added during the month.

Fewer than 23% of June’s listings had asking prices under $400,000. About a third of the inventory was listed at $800,000 or above.

James Young, the director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington, said the decline in active listings volume suggests homes are selling and closing very quickly once listed. He noted that while listing levels for June were higher than two years ago, pending and closed sales are much higher. “This indicates that well priced properties are closing very quickly.”

Brokers reported 10,923 completed transactions during June, a 31.4% increase from twelve months ago, and up 16.5% from May’s total of 9,374. Prices on last month’s sales, which includes single-family homes and condominiums, rose nearly 27% from a year ago, from $465,000 to $589,000.

The single-family segment accounted for about 86% of the sales. The median sales price on those 9,417 transactions was $611,000, which was 27% higher than the year-ago figure of $480,950.

Condo sales jumped a whopping 59% from a year ago, with prices increasing more than 20%. For last month’s 1,506 closed sales, the median price was $440,000; a year ago it was $365,000.

A comparison of Northwest MLS figures shows the median price on last month’s completed transactions in King County was $779,919, while in Snohomish County it was about $105,000 less ($675,000). In Kitsap County, where the median price was $505,000, the difference is nearly $275,000. Pierce County homes that sold last month had a median price of $507,375.

Builders are also caught in the frenzy as they try to bring on new communities to meet demand. With building supply prices coming down a bit, increased building capacity could be in the works.

As crazy and challenging as the current housing market is, be sure to leverage the expertise of a 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.

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