Shortages in inventory along with new rules affecting home mortgages are certain to slow down home sales in the Northwest. The introduction of the new TRID banking and closing disclosure requirements that went into effect on October 3rd is being blamed for current closing slowdowns as buyers are being asked to expect 45 or more days for closings as opposed to the 30 days we’ve enjoyed in the past. The Expert Real Estate understands how we can keep this at 30 days or less.
Members of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) brought 8,772 new listings to market in September; a slight decrease from the 8,878 reported a year ago. The total listing count by month’s end was 19,724; a decrease of 23.3 percent from the same time last year when that number stood at 25,717. When looking at inventory in months supply, there was 2.39 months supply in September which was just about the same as August; King County weighed in at 1.4 months and Snohomish County at about 1.9 months.
Pending sales (mutually accepted offers) were reported at 9,574 units; slightly more than new listings by about 9.1 percent. Compared to August, pending sales were down 9.7 percent but compared to a year ago, they were up 7.9 percent.
Closed sales of 8,245 represented a 17.5 percent jump from the same time last year when we witnessed 7,020 closed transactions. 20 of the 23 counties served by the NWMLS reported double digit gains in closed sales from a year ago.
The median price of single family homes and condominiums last month was $312,000; up nearly 9.5 percent from last September’s figure of $285,000, but down slightly from August. Single family homes alone rose 7.6 percent from last year; rising from $297,500 to $320,000 area-wide. Single family homes in King County had the highest median price of $490,250; up 6.6 percent from the $460,000 reported a year ago but down from the high of $500,000 reported in June. The condo market boasted double digit increases in both sales and median prices from last year. There were 1,183 closed condo sales recorded in September (up nearly 30 percent) and prices climbed from $230,000 to $260,000 (up 13 percent).
With the shortages in inventory, the threat of increasing interest rates looming and the new regulations affecting the length of time for a successful closing, it is understandable why a buyer or seller would want to make sure their agent is up-to-speed with the market, understands how these changes will impact their transaction and the possible ways around it…that’s why The Expert Real Estate is definitely your best choice!