Washington’s housing market cooled in February in the wake of the region’s snowiest month in decades.
Pending sales in the state dropped 14 percent in February compared to the same month a year ago, according to statistics from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NMLS).
“The winter weather brought the market to a halt,” says John Deely, principal managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain.
The snowstorms that swept the state last month slowed the momentum that typically builds at the start of the year, Deely says. During the week with the heaviest snow, housing market activity dropped by 41 percent, although it picked up toward the end of the month.
Brokers added 6,247 new listings to the market in February, 1,037 fewer than the same time a year ago, but NMLS members reported 11,275 total active listings at the end of the month — a 42.3 percent increase from the same time last year. Thirteen of the 23 counties served by NMLS reported year-over-year inventory increases.
System-wide, NMLS reports a housing supply of 2.2 months, with four counties — Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish, and Thurston — reporting less than two months’ supply. King County’s inventory was slightly higher at 2.09 months’ supply.
Despite the snow, February saw nearly as many pending home sales, at 6,878, as homes coming onto the market, at 6,247, noted Mike Grady, president and COO of Coldwell Banker Bain. “In Snohomish and Pierce counties, the activity was even more impressive for this time of year, with our offices pointing to an uptick in the market,” he says.
Home prices continued rising in February. Median prices for the 5,145 sales of area single-family homes and condos that closed last month were up 5.7 percent from last year, rising from $385,000 to $407,000. Prices rose 6.6 percent between January and February. Single-family home prices rose by 7.44 percent, while condo prices were up 1.3 percent.