Shrinking inventory putting “stranglehold” on sales around Western Washington as brokers continue grappling with challenges of multiple offers
KIRKLAND, Washington (May 4, 2017) – “Frustrating” is how brokers are summarizing the mood of buyers, brokers – and industry professionals – during the current housing market frenzy. New statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service show declines in inventory and sales, while prices continue their upward trajectory, but those numbers only tell part of the story.
“The real estate market is going absolutely gangbusters,” remarked OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate. “The remarkably low number of homes for sale can be blamed for the drop in sales,” he emphasized, adding, “The uptick in interest rates at the end of last year has clearly done nothing to slow things down.”
Inventory fell nearly 25 percent from the volume of active listings being offered a year ago. At the end of April, MLS brokers reported 10,679 homes and condos for sale across a 23-county area, which compares to the year-ago selection of 14,235 listings.
Viewed another way, there is only about 1.5 months of supply (about six weeks), which compares to twelve months ago when supply totaled about 1.85 months. (In general, four-to-six months is considered a balanced market.) There has not been more than two months of supply since September 2016.
MLS members continue to struggle to keep pace with demand. Brokers added 10,648 new listings to their database last month, down from 11,939 during April 2016, and they reported 10,514 pending sales. That total was down 893 transactions for a drop of year-over-year drop of 7.8 percent.
Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership of nearly 2,100 member offices includes more than 25,000 real estate professionals. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 23 counties in Washington state.
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© Copyright 2017, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island | (206) 232-0446 | firstname.lastname@example.org | 2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040. Statistics provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.