The latest numbers from Northwest Multiple Listing Service show there are both cooler spots and hot spots, with the demand for housing and prices showing few signs of the typical late summer slow-down.
“Typically, the last two weeks or so of August cool a bit and the market picks up again full steam once school resumes,” says Northwest MLS director Frank Wilson.
Changing seasons will likely mean a drop-off in listing activity, agrees J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott, who was upbeat on summer sales that were “our best summer ever for sales activity with June, July and August.”
He credits strong job growth and attractive interest rates (“the lowest they’ve been since last November”) with propelling sales.
“It’s still a frenzy market in the more affordable and mid-price ranges,” Scott says, while also noting the luxury segment continues to outpace last year’s market “in a huge way.”
“Nobody likes this market, — not sellers, not buyers, not real estate brokers,” proclaims Northwest MLS director Dick Beeson, principal managing broker at RE/MAX Professionals in Gig Harbor.
The reasons vary, he explains. “Sellers aren’t necessarily happy because they think they could be leaving money on the table. Buyers think they’re paying too much. And brokers think sales are more complex and fraught with peril than previously, making them harder to close.”
Beeson believes Seattle and surrounding areas are “forever changed” by this market. “The change isn’t going to be painless. Housing scarcity and increasing prices are sore spots.” Whether price increases will subside is anyone’s guess, he added.
System-wide, 3,727 single family homes have sold for more than a million dollars during the first eight months of the year, surpassing last year’s total of 2,456 such sales during the same time frame – a jump of nearly 52 percent.