It’s time once again for the monthly reporting roundup, where you can read my wry commentary about the news instead of subjecting yourself to boring rehashes of the NWMLS press release (or in addition to, if that’s what floats your boat).
I waited an extra day because there were only four articles out there about this month’s numbers, but nothing new showed up all day yesterday, so this is all we get.
To kick things off, here’s an excerpt from the NWMLS press release:
Pent-up demand continues to fuel home sales around Western Washington with millennials, military families and relocating workers vying for limited inventory. Brokers from Northwest Multiple Listing Service say they’re not seeing a typical summer slowdown.
Commenting on a new report from Northwest Multiple Listing Services summarizing July activity, J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott, Inc. said, “The Puget Sound housing market is sizzling hot, with the best July on record.” He expects inventory shortages will continue into the summer of 2016.
Commenting on the possibility of a “bubble market,” MLS director Darin Stenvers believes it is unlikely. “With broader government controls and enforcement of new banking/loan programs, the underlying instability is now gone.” Buyers are feeling confident that “home ownership is still the best investment they can make right now, and homes are still within reach for most segments of the market,” added Stenvers, the office managing broker at John L. Scott in Bellingham.
This month’s press release seems like it’s a lot longer than the typical ones put out by the NWMLS, and that “not a bubble” bit was stuffed in right near the end.
Read on for my take on this month’s local news reports.
The median price of King County single-family homes sold in July slipped 3 percent over the month to $485,000, a surprising reversal for a month that brought peak prices in each of the past two years.
The drop comes after King County’s median home price hit a post-recession peak of $500,000 in June.
July’s median price, reported Wednesday by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, represented a 3.6 percent gain over the past 12 months, the weakest annual gain so far this year.
The numbers suggest a cooling in an overheated market. From April through June, prices had jumped 9 percent to 12 percent from their year-earlier level, a pace far above the market’s historical average of about 4 percent.
I agree with Sanjay that the market may be cooling just a bit, but I disagree that the one-month price fluctuation is anything other than a change in the mix of homes that were sold. Oddly, this means I actually agree with Lennox Scott about something:
Lennox Scott, CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate, said the lower price in July also could be due to the mix of homes that sold.
Of course, Lennox only offers up that explanation when the price falls, not when it shoots up.
Travis Pittman: No summer slowdown in home sales in Western Washington
It remained a seller’s market in Western Washington in July, something realtors say is due to more people moving to the region and not enough available homes to go around.
The Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS), a real estate industry-owned system which tracks home sales in 23 Washington counties, says realtors are not seeing the typical summer slowdown in home sales.
KING 5 took the opposite position of the Seattle Times, claiming that there is no slowdown. Of course, they pulled that claim straight from the NWMLS press release, so take that for what it’s worth.
Puget Sound Business Journal
Median home sale prices actually declined from June to July in some parts of the metro Puget Sound region, but other indicators show that unlike the weather, the housing market isn’t cooling off.
New numbers out Wednesday from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) show the median July sales price of single-family homes had a month-over-month decrease of 3 percent in King County and 4 percent in Pierce County. Yet based on the total number of properties that sold, it was still “the best July on record,” said J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Inc.
Everything is great. There are never any storm clouds on the horizon. Continue buying and do not fear.
Tacoma News Tribune / The Olympian
Rolf Boone: No slowdown in South Sound housing market
The South Sound housing market remained as hot as the weather in July, as sales continued an upward march last month, rising more than 20 percent in Pierce and Thurston counties, according to new single-family residential data released Wednesday by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.
But the hotter real estate market likely has been stoked by a key factor: There still isn’t much in the way of inventory for buyers.
All about that inventory.