It’s still a seller’s market, but some residential real estate leaders from Northwest Multiple Listing Service think the imbalance may be easing in some areas, pointing to a slower pace of sales and moderating prices. Others aren’t convinced, citing mixed indicators.
NWMLS statistics summarizing September activity released today show year-over-year gains in the volumes of new listings (up 14.5%), pending sales (up 9.3%), closed sales (up 9.5%), and prices (up nearly 9%). Inventory for single family homes and condominiums across the 23 counties in the report dropped about 8 percent from a year ago.
“Buyers are getting antsy to make a move before interest rates rise and they’re looking harder at homes that have been on the market longer than 30 days,” observed NWMLS Director George Moorhead.
Sellers are considering remodeling, instead of buying a replacement residence, as they cannot find a suitable new home, according to Moorhead. He noted builders also face challenges in their searches for new development sites near metro areas.
September’s new listings marked the lowest monthly total since February – but it may be an expected seasonal slowdown. Area-wide supply, as measured by months of inventory, improved slightly from August, rising from about 1.9 months to 2 months. Supply remained below two months in Pierce, King and Snohomish counties.
Demand for homes around Puget Sound remains strong, with the market showing “no marked change throughout the summer months,” remarked MLS director Dick Beeson, principal managing broker at RE/MAX Professionals in Tacoma. Well-priced, well-conditioned homes continue to command attention and draw offers in record time, he noted.