Pending sales of homes hit an all-time high for the month of November according to the latest statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. The report covering 23 counties around Washington state also shows the number of new listings added during the month plunged to the lowest level in 11 months, prompting MLS leaders to predict a busy winter for residential real estate as buyers compete for the smallest inventory since March.

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Home prices are still rising but the supply of homes is improving, prompting brokers to suggest some relief is in sight for would-be buyers. “We might actually be starting to move very slowly back toward a more balanced market,” said OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate, in commenting on July’s figures from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

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April brought extreme price increases and bidding wars on the hottest properties and price ranges throughout the Seattle region. Some of those recorded sale prices are simply jaw-dropping. Those homes closest to core locations with neighborhood amenities and walkability are continuing to command the highest buyer interest. More sellers, seeing opportunity on the horizon, have begun to list their properties for sale. This flow of new inventory has given buyers new options and, as a result, buyers are passing on less desirable homes (requiring significant work, in a challenging location, or overpriced) in favor of those that offer more of what they want (turn-key, protected location/non-busy road, and well-priced).

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March was a month of competitive bidding wars if there ever was one. All but West Bellevue had average sale prices coming in at well above listed prices, 1-3% higher to be exact. And, if you were thinking about buying in the Ballard-Greenlake area, prepare to pay about 8% above the listed sale price according to the latest data released for the Month of March. Not far behind were South Seattle at 6%, North Seattle at 5%, and West Seattle at 4% above their respective average list prices. Oh and to be sure, there are no bargain prices in West Bellevue to be had—it’s just that at an average sale price of $1.8 million one can find a little wiggle room.

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