A shortage of inventory continues to be the focus even though we added a large number of new listings to the market in March compared to February, and saw an increase over what was reported a year ago. Pending sales also soared in March compared to the previous month while closed sales kept pace with what was reported 12 months ago.
Members of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service added 9,598 new listings to inventory in March which was an increase of 33 percent over February (7,234) and about a 3 percent increase from what was reported in March of 2013 (9,332). The total inventory system-wide was 19,736; a gain of 6.7 percent from a year ago.
Pending sales were reported at 9,183; a drop of 3.2 percent from a year ago but an increase of 26.7 percent from February. This increase in pending sales from the previous month correlates closely with the addition of new inventory. Condos were the bigger winner; up 7.9 percent (1,345) from a year ago (1,247).
At month end, closed sales came in at just 8 more transactions than we saw a year ago…similar to the information we reported last month where February 2014 was just 9 short of it’s year ago number. Closed sales for condos saw a little more light; up 2.7 percent from a year ago.
Median prices for single family homes and condos in the 21 Counties served by the Northwest MLS are up from $258,500 (March 2013) to $274,000 last month; a gain of 6 percent. Last month, the median price of condos alone was up an impressive 14.7 percent ($220,000) from the previous year ($191,750).
At the end of February, there was about 4.6 months supply of inventory system-wide. Last month, there was only about 3.6 months supply; with King County weighing in at 1.8 months and Snohomish County, a little heavier, with 2.2 months.
All-in-all, the big questions are…when will inventory levels rise, will interest rates rise, will appreciation begin to level off, and is this the best time to get in on the market. I’d be happy to discuss the opportunities with you; as The Expert Real Estate is only interested in the best outcome for you!