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).
To kick things off, here’s an excerpt from the NWMLS press release:
Market showing signs of adjusting
Home sales around Western Washington continued at a torrid pace during June, but a 10 percent year-over-year increase in new listings has some brokers with Northwest Multiple Listing Service suggesting a little relief may be emerging.
In the meantime, “We have a long way to go to catch up with the demand,” stated Mike Grady, president and COO of Coldwell Banker Bain.
Surprisingly, I completely agree with the release up to this point. As I said yesterday, there are some signs that the market might be at a turning point. We may be seeing some very early signs that the market is softening a bit, but since it has been so strongly tilted in favor of sellers for so long, it’s most likely going to take a long time to get back to anything resembling a balanced market.
Back to the press release:
J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott, Inc., described the market as “frenzy hot” in June, but suggested there was a “short breath of fresh air for homebuyers.” He credits the combination of more inventory coming on the market and lower interest rates with bringing some “welcome relief to the backlog of buyers who have been waiting to purchase a home.”
Here’s where I disagree with the NWMLS release. The market is still currently terrible for buyers. There really wasn’t any “breath of fresh air.” The data from June show signs that there might be some fresh air on the horizon, but it’s still a long way off. Of course, Lennox is never going to suggest that it isn’t a Great Time to Buy, so his spin is no surprise.
Read on for my take on this month’s local news reports.
Mike Rosenberg: Seattle’s devilish new home price record: $666,000
As home prices and rents continue to soar faster in the Seattle area than just about anywhere else in the nation, the city and its neighbors have set new highs for housing costs.
Seattle’s median single-family home cost $666,500 in June, easily beating out the record set in February, according to figures released Wednesday by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Seattle home prices have risen 15.9 percent just in the past year and an astounding 74 percent in the last five years.
The typical Seattle home now costs about $300,000 more than it did when the market bottomed out in 2011.
“I don’t see any end in sight, yet,” said South Lake Union broker Eric Shull of John L. Scott Real Estate. “We’re still going to see price increases. With all the tech companies moving our way and more employees moving this way, it’s just nuts.”
Oh definitely. Home prices can only go up, up, up—forever! There’s no end in sight! Hmm, now where have we heard this before.
Herald Staff: Housing market in Snohomish County continues torrid pace
Home prices continued to climb dramatically in Snohomish County last month.
And part of the reason for the increase is the continued lack of inventory on the market.
Unfortunately, the Herald article this month is basically just an excerpt from the NWMLS press release.
Travis Pittman: Listings down, prices up in June Western Wash. housing market
The tight real estate inventory in Western Washington led to a drop in listings and fewer multiple offers in June, but home prices continued to climb. It may be a sign of more people priced out of the market.
We’ve also got an extremely short piece from KING 5. Nothing much to comment on here.
Tacoma News Tribune / The Olympian
Rolf Boone: South Sound home sales cool from May
The South Sound housing market cooled to warm from hot in June, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service data released Wednesday.
That’s because more single-family residences came to the market last month in Pierce and Thurston counties, likely giving prospective buyers in a seller’s market a bit more time to find a house.
A fairly short, just the facts story in the Tribune and the Olympian. No real expansion on the numbers or local flavor in this online edition, anyway.