Prices Continue To Increase, But Not As Fast: Throughout the region, single-family home (excluding condo), prices rose 16.3% YOY, rising from $515,000 to $599,000. Condo prices were up about 11.3%, increasing from $395,000 to $439,475
Inventory Supply Continues To Tighten: Yep, that’s technical lingo for “Not Enough Homes”… There are less than 3 weeks of inventory throughout the Puget Region (a slight decrease from last month).
Interest Rates Tick Up Slightly: There are still low interest rates on many types of mortgage options, but we are seeing a slight increase in rates across the board. Be sure to shop around and get a couple of opinions prior to signing for that loan. Remember to consider the entire cost of the loan, not just the % rate.
Still Time To Sell in 2021: Sellers who are thinking about waiting to sell until early 2022 may want to reconsider and sell now to avoid additional competition… taking advantage of the active buyers desperately looking for their new home now will most likely payoff.
Buyers Be Prepared: Have that pre-approval (or better yet, underwritten approval) complete prior to starting your search. This will help identify the ceiling for your budget and provide confidence to your sellers that you are a serious buyer.
Northwest Multiple Listing Service brokers are detecting indecisiveness by some buyers who are getting mixed “work from home” messages from their employers. The hesitancy, coupled with cooler, wetter weather and increases in mortgage rates were likely factors in slower listing and sales activity during October.
Northwest MLS brokers reported 10,620 pending sales last month, a drop of 3.8% from a year ago and a decline of 6.2% from September. Pending sales volume fell in 13 of the 26 counties in the MLS report, but tight inventory could be hampering the ability of buyers to find their dream home.
The latest report shows there were 9,983 closed sales during October. That was 823 fewer completed transactions than a year ago (down 7.6%) and 306 fewer than September (down about 3%).
House hunters were able to select from 9,219 new listings MLS added to inventory last month. That was 1,209 fewer than the same month a year ago for a drop of 11.6%. Compared to September, new listing activity shrunk nearly 19%.
At month end, there were 6,588 active listings in inventory, down 23.6% compared to a year ago, and the smallest selection since June, but the selection improved by double digits in eleven counties.
Measured by months of supply, there was less than three weeks of supply area-wide (0.66). Eleven counties, including eight in the Puget Sound region, had less than one a month of supply. Fourteen counties reported more than a month of supply, still well below the industry’s “balanced market” indicator of four-to-six months. “Inventory is still very tight,” said James Young, director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington. “Outer counties tended to record slightly more inventory.” Only four counties had more than two months of supply: San Juan (2.14), Okanogan (2.61), Adams (3.11) and Ferry (5.4). Even though inventory is scarce in many areas, brokers reported solid activity.
Would-be buyers will find prices for single-family homes and condos are 15% higher than a year ago, with most counties reporting double-digit gains. Area-wide, the price for last month’s closed sales was $575,000, which was $75,000 higher than twelve months ago. For single-family homes (excluding condos), prices rose 16.3% YOY, rising from $515,000 to $599,000. Condo prices were up about 11.3%, increasing from $395,000 to $439,475.
King County was the exception among the metro areas with double-digit price gains. Prices were up about 9.5% from twelve months ago, increasing from $685,000 to $750,000. Within the county, prices in Seattle registered the smallest gain at 5.3% while Vashon prices jumped more than 33% compared to a year ago. Homes that sold in the Southeast part of the county surged 19.7%, followed by the Southwest segment at 17.7%. On the Eastside, where the median price was more than $1.1 million, year-over-year prices were up 17.3%.
Commenting on King County’s comparatively small price gains, Young questioned when demand would return to cities. “The trends provide a mixed message as to whether demand will return to the cities as quickly as anticipated. With millennials looking for value and increased opportunities to purchase a home in the suburbs, it could be an interesting few months as to whether the lifestyle of the city and employers can change the balance of demand back to the city.”
Buyers may find some relief with condominiums, although the selection is limited.
Active listings of condos are down about 55% from a year ago, shrinking from 2,079 properties to 941. About seven of every 10 condos are located in King County. The median price on condos that sold last month system-wide was $439,475. That’s up 11.3% from the year-ago figure of $395,000. In King County, prices rose modestly, from $459,970 to $475,000 (up about 3.3%).
Whether buying, selling, or investing, be sure to leverage the experience 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.