- It continues to be a very active real estate market fueled by low inventory, low interest rates, and the fact that more people are working from home.
- Northwest MLS brokers say September’s home sales reached the highest level since June 2018.
- Supply continues to be inadequate to meet demand. Inventory of available homes for sale hit the lowest level since February. Measured by months of supply, there is less than one month of supply (0.89) throughout the Northwest MLS market area.
- The median price for homes and condos that sold last month was $499,950, a hefty 19% jump from the year-ago figure of $420,000.
- In King County, the median price for single-family homes was $753,600. Within King County, where NWMLS tracks 30 sub-areas, six of these areas had median prices over $1 million.
- The median price for last month’s closed sales in Seattle (including single-family homes and condos) rose 11%, from $684,500 to $760,000.
Northwest Multiple Listing Service brokers completed 10,175 sales transactions during September – the highest monthly volume since June 2018 when MLS members reported 10,072 closed sales. September’s closings also marked a jump of nearly 28% from the same month a year ago, according to the latest statistical summary from the MLS.
The new report from Northwest MLS showed a sharp year-over-year (YOY) drop in inventory (down 43% from a year ago), a robust increase (23%) in pending sales (mutually accepted offers), and a sizeable surge (19%) in prices for single family homes and condos combined. Northwest MLS serves 23 counties, mostly in Western and Central Washington.
Whether the recent announcement from Boeing to consolidate to a single 787 production location in South Carolina resulting in the loss of about 900 Puget Sound jobs will dampen home sales is unclear.
Impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the housing market are prevalent, according to several Northwest MLS representatives who commented on last month’s activity. James Young, director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington, commented on shifting desires. “People working from home, especially those with kids being schooled at home, seek both space and value. Those who already have a home have little incentive to leave.” He described the current scenario of “too much demand and limited supply” coupled with low interest rates as “the perfect price storm.”
Supply continues to be inadequate to meet demand. Brokers added 11,210 new listings to inventory during September, a healthy increase from a year ago when they added 9,435 for a YOY gain of 18.1%. Compared to August, the volume declined by 733 listings (down about 6%). At the end of September, the supply totaled 9,099 active listings, well-below the year-ago selection of 15,982 listings (down 43%), and the lowest level since February. Measured by months of supply, there is less than one month of supply (0.89) system wide. In the Puget Sound region, only King County notched more than a month’s supply, but if condos are excluded there is only 0.85 months of supply. Mason, Thurston and Snohomish counties had the tightest inventory, with only about two weeks of supply. Statistics compiled by Northwest MLS for these three counties show there were 883 closed sales of single family homes and condos last month in the “luxury” segment based on selling prices of $1 million and above. A year ago, there were 429 sales in this category.
The median price for homes and condos that sold last month across the Northwest MLS market area was $499,950, a hefty 19% jump from the year-ago figure of $420,000. San Juan County had the highest median price at $850,000, followed by King County at $698,230. For single family homes only (excluding condos), last month’s median price system wide was $519,864. In King County, the median price for single family homes was $753,600. Within King County, where NWMLS tracks 30 sub-areas, six of these areas had median prices over $1 million; five of those areas were on the Eastside. One of the few counties that did not have double-digit price increases from a year ago was Kitsap. Prices there were up almost 8.9%. The median price for last month’s sales in Kitsap County was $418,000, according to the MLS report. That was $280,230 less than the price in King County.
MLS figures indicate YOY closed sales of homes and condos in Seattle jumped from 750 sales in September 2019 to last month’s total of 1,189 (up 59%). Notably, the Seattle map areas tracked by Northwest MLS showed a modest 8.4% gain in active listings compared to a year ago, fueled by the addition of 527 listings of condos. That’s up from the year-ago total of 308. The median price for last month’s closed sales in Seattle (including single family homes and condos) rose 11%, from $684,500 to $760,000.
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*Information and statistics compiled and reported by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.