Usually as we approach the holidays, the real estate market in the Northwest, like the weather, tends to cool off. This year, that doesn’t seem to be the case. As inventory levels remain low and buyers closely watch the threat of increasing interest rates, the market remains robust.
Agents of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) added 8,094 new listings to inventory last month; about the same as a year ago when members added 8,102. Total inventory at month’s end stood at 18,068; well below the total in October of last year (23,501); logging in a decrease of 23.1 percent. Sales outpaced new listings in 19 of the 23 counties served by the NWMLS.
Pending sales were up 7.8 percent compared to a year ago; rising from 8,643 transactions to 9,317. About half the counties serviced reported double-digit increases and the Puget Sound region (King, Snohomish, Kitsap and Pierce counties) made up 6,977 of those units; the highest total in a decade.
Members reported 7,769 closed sales last month; an increase of 7 percent from October of last year when 7,257 was the number to beat. This was the first time since April that the total dropped below 8,000; members blame the shortage of inventory as a cause. There is a 2.33 months supply of listings compared to February when that number stood at 3.56.
The median price for the sale of single family homes and condominiums last month was up almost 9.7 percent from a year ago (from $290,000 to $318,000). For single family homes alone, that number was up 8.4 percent (from $299,950 to $325,000), and in King County, median prices rose 7.3 percent from a year ago (from $447,250 to $480,000) but decreased over 2 percent from September ($490,250). The condo market fared even better with area-wide median prices rising 16.2 percent from October of last year (from $228,500 to $265,500) and closed sales up 13.2 percent (from 990 to 1,121 units).
A few things to watch in the coming months: inventory, prices and interest rates…a sudden movement in any of these could change things; and not always for the better. At The Expert Real Estate, we’d like to help you best time your move so you take full advantage of the right time to buy or sell; let us know how we can help!