This week’s activity cooled somewhat compared to last week’s marathon. The market is still active to be sure, but more buyers are taking their time to check out their options. Our 1.75 days of gorgeous weather possibly played a role…
“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.
Wow, just WOW! Buyers embraced the market in force following last week’s flood of new listings. Prepared to waive everything and give sellers added perks as icing on the cake in hopes of being the lucky bid winner of the home of their dreams, buyers are making some incredulous choices.
Good news for sellers as it pushes the real estate market to new highs. Not so good news for buyers who aren’t willing to give their blood to compete. As for Realtors, we prefer a more balanced market where everyone wins.
We saw an incredible uptick in homes for sale this week and some slowing in the volume of pending sales. That said, we are hearing crazy stories of hot Seattle listings being bid up 20-25%. Be careful out there! Know your limit before you get emotionally attached. Having a savvy Realtor can help you make smart decisions even when the market is bonkers.
Listing supply dwindled with little new listing activity in the Seattle area this Spring Break week. The rain dance worked though! Look for many new listings to come on beginning next week as we enter the peak of the listing season. Photographers, home stagers and other pros tell us they are helping prepare more listings for market in the next two weeks than they’ve seen all year. This will be most welcome news for home buyers everywhere.
Seattle area condos saw the Q1 median sale price increase by 14.5% over Q1 2016, while Eastside condos rose 17.3%. Both regions continue to experience stronger appreciation in condos than in single-family homes—a clear sign that affordability and in-city living are strong drivers in the local housing market.
The communities of Richmond Beach-Shoreline and Lake Forest Park-Kenmore were on fire in Q1. Their Median Sale Prices were up 18.9% and 24.7%, respectively, over Q1 2016. Representing an affordable region north of Seattle with many local amenities and a reasonable commute, it’s no wonder this area has been favored by local home buyers. Accessible to downtown without tolls, these neighborhoods are also an attractive alternative to communities located further out on the Eastside. North Seattle, while still a very popular region, showed the smallest gain—but of note is that it falls on the heels of exponential growth in 2016 and some moderation in its gains are a good sign of a healthy real estate market.
Many neighborhoods saw a slight cooling off this week with pending sales lower than the craze of last week. More new listings promised to come to market could ease the pain felt by buyers in this extreme seller’s market. Check out this week’s report neighborhood by neighborhood for details!
Northwest Multiple Listing Service brokers expected an uptick in the number of new listings during March, and that expectation was met with a significant gain – up more than 50 percent from February. Members added 10,321 new listings last month, but they also reported an even greater number of pending sales (10,447), leaving inventory near historic lows.
Sales increased this week at many price points in nearly every neighborhood throughout the Seattle-Eastside region. The $2 million and above price point continues to have more supply than demand, but otherwise the market very much favors home sellers.
News of substantial expected mortgage interest rate increases in 2017 may motivate buyers further to purchase while rates are low. Every 1% increase in interest rates equates to about a 10% reduction in purchasing price for the same monthly payment. So if you purchased a $600,000 home at 3.5% interest it would be about the same monthly payment as a $540,000 home at 4.5% interest.
This week saw the market shift even more extremely to the seller’s favor as inventory diminished even further (as if that were even possible). Our market continues to lavish sellers with a dream list of terms as buyers scramble to compete for the limited supply of homes for sale.
Home buyers are in a spring mood, but sellers are still hibernating, suggested one broker while commenting about the latest statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Figures for February and feedback from brokers indicate record-low inventory is spurring multiple offers, rising prices, fewer sales, and frustrated house-hunters.
Increased pending sales have further diminished the supply of homes for sale-leaving slim pickings for buyers-especially at price points below $1 million in core metro neighborhoods of Seattle and all of Bellevue. Word on the street among local realtors is that many new listings are coming to market next week. While very welcome news to the ravished home shoppers out there, it falls desperately short of the inventory needed in the market to keep us from teetering into the abyss of an unsustainable seller’s market.
Pending sales were up in more than half of the region’s neighborhoods. Diminished inventory of available homes for sale continues to be a huge obstacle for home buyers. With local employers such as Amazon adding more than 110,000 workers, regionally and across the globe, and a shortage of buildable land, it’s no wonder housing supply is so tight.
Pondering a remodel? Did you know some projects actually pay for themselves when it’s time to sell? Remodeling Magazine just released its 30th annual Cost vs. Value report, which provides a detailed analysis into how much popular remodeling projects cost—and the value they add to your home—in various regions across the county. Thanks to our robust housing market, the Pacific Region beat the national average for recoup on every single project.
Western Washington’s “high velocity” market continued during January with the number of pending sales (7,745) outgaining the number of new listings (6,507), according to new figures from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.
This week marked slower sales activity in many areas as many new listings trickle onto the market. Perhaps buyers are playing the wait and see game? With prices expected to rise further this spring, buyers may not want to sit on the sidelines too long.