The market offers hope for homebuyers, but Northwest MLS brokers say it may be temporary. Here’s what local real estate expert, Frank Hawkins of Hawkins-Poe Real Estate, Fircrest WA, along with Northwest MLS experts see regarding the July market for potential buyers and sellers.
Homebuyers may find some good news in the latest report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS). The number of active listings at the end of June—6,358, reached the highest level since November. The volume of new listings added last month was the highest number in 17 months.
“Homebuyers are recognizing that between May and June the number of listings in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties rose, giving them more options to choose from and possibly easing the pressure slightly,” remarked Frank Hawkins, President of Hawkins-Poe. For the tri-county area, total active listings of single-family homes and condominiums increased 14.5% from May. “These numbers are welcome news to Home Buyers who need some relief.”
Industry analysts suggested the uptick in inventory might be short-lived, citing vigorous activity as Washington state lifts several coronavirus restrictions. “It is exciting to see the Puget Sound Region at the top of national lists as one of the hottest housing markets in the country,” stated Hawkins.
The latest report from Northwest MLS shows a year-overyear (YOY) drop in active listings of more than 34%, with only about two weeks of supply available areawide. Last month marked the first time since July 2020 that the yearover-year decline fell below 40%. Only 10 of the 26 counties in the MLS report have more than one month of supply.
An analysis of last month’s statistics by price range illustrates the point. Fewer than 23% of June’s listings had asking prices under $400,000. About a third of the inventory was listed at $800,000 or above.
James Young, Director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington, said the decline in active listings volume suggests homes are selling and closing very quickly once listed. He noted that while listing levels for June were higher than two years ago, pending and closed sales are much higher. According to Young, “This indicates that well-priced properties are closing very quickly.”
Brokers reported 10,923 completed transactions in June, a 31.4% increase from 12 months ago, and up 16.5% from May’s total of 9,374. Prices on last month’s sales, which includes single-family homes and condominiums, rose nearly 27% from a year ago, from $465,000 to $589,000.
Due to high demand and very little inventory, “Sellers must remember, they can’t underprice a home in this market, but they can overprice their property. The market will find you out and drive the price to the appropriate market value,”