NWMLS: Record Low For Listings, Sales Slip Slightly

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February market stats have been published by the NWMLS this week. Here’s their press release.

Housing Inventory Reaches Record Low

Home buyers are in a spring mood, but sellers are still hibernating, suggested one broker while commenting about the latest statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Figures for February and feedback from brokers indicate record-low inventory is spurring multiple offers, rising prices, fewer sales, and frustrated house-hunters.

“Our robust market has created extreme conditions, and we’re seeing frenzy hot activity on each new listing coming on the market,” reported J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott. “We’re also experiencing some of the lowest inventory levels on record,” he noted.

Frenzy hot! Mad hot! Crazy hot! Hot hot HOT!


NWMLS monthly reports include an undisclosed and varying number of
sales from previous months in their pending and closed sales statistics.

Here’s your King County SFH summary, with the arrows to show whether the year-over-year direction of each indicator is favorable or unfavorable news for buyers and sellers (green = favorable, red = unfavorable):

February 2017 Number MOM YOY Buyers Sellers
Active Listings 1,434 -8.6% -25.4%
Closed Sales 1,351 -14.6% +1.6%
SAAS (?) 1.13 +41.2% -12.8%
Pending Sales 2,084 +7.5% -9.4%
Months of Supply 1.06 +7.0% -26.6%
Median Price* $560,000 +5.7% +14.1%

The only glimmer of hope for buyers in this month’s numbers is the year-over-year decline in pending sales. Last year pending sales shot up 27 percent between January and February, but this year they only rose seven percent.

Here’s your closed sales yearly comparison chart:

King County SFH Closed Sales

Closed sales fell 15 percent from January to February. Last year over the same period closed sales actually rose one percent, so we’re definitely seeing some weakness in sales. That said, closed sales were still up slightly from a year ago (+1.6%).

King County SFH Pending Sales

As mentioned earlier, pending sales rose seven percent in February, but were down nine percent year-over-year.

Here’s the graph of inventory with each year overlaid on the same chart.

King County SFH Inventory

Listings fell nine percent from January to February, the largest decrease between those months on record. The previous record was a four percent drop in 2012. On average between 2000 and 2016 listings rose two percent. In other words, the change in listings last month is generally just terrible for anyone hoping to see more homes on the market.

Just to drive home the point of how terrible inventory is, here’s the chart of new listings:

King County SFH New Listings

Inventory isn’t just low because all the new listings are being sold quickly. There just aren’t many new listings coming on the market.

Here’s the supply/demand YOY graph. “Demand” in this chart is represented by closed sales, which have had a consistent definition throughout the decade (unlike pending sales from NWMLS).

King County Supply vs Demand % Change YOY

Everything is still strongly in seller’s market territory.

Here’s the median home price YOY change graph:

King County SFH YOY Price Change

Year-over-year home price gains inched up slightly from January to February, but are still below ten percent.

And lastly, here is the chart comparing King County SFH prices each month for every year back to 1994 (not adjusted for inflation).

King County SFH Prices

Still looks like we’re likely to hit new highs in just a few months.

February 2017: $560,000
July 2007: $481,000 (previous cycle high)

Here’s the article from the Seattle Times: Seattle and Eastside home prices, after brief slowdown, surge to record highs

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Case-Shiller: Seattle Home Prices Keep Edging Up

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More Homes Sold In Cheaper South King Neighborhoods

Get unlimited access to the full spreadsheets used to make the charts in this and other posts, and support the ongoing work of this site by becoming a member of Seattle Bubble. It’s been quite a while since we took a look at the in-county breakdown data from the NWMLS to see how the sales […]

Around the Sound: Even Far From Seattle, No Relief For Buyers

Get access to the full spreadsheets used to make the charts in this and other posts, and support the ongoing work on this site by becoming a member of Seattle Bubble. Let’s have a look at our housing stats for the broader Puget Sound area. Here’s your July update to our “Around the Sound” statistics […]

NWMLS: Scarce Listings But Prices Dip Slightly In December

January market stats have been published by the NWMLS. They haven’t put up their press release yet, so let’s get on with the stats.

Still no sign of hope for buyers here or on the near horizon. Listings are way down, sales are still strong, and while the median price did dial back a bit from December to January, it’s still within five percent of the all-time high.

January Stats Preview: A Dark Winter For Homebuyers

Now that January is behind us, let’s take a look at the local housing market stats for the month. Short story: Somehow the market got even worse for homebuyers. Nearly nothing for sale and still strong competition.

Sales came in a good bit stronger than a year ago, but listings dropped to another new all-time lows in both counties. Foreclosures are still at their historic lows…