NWMLS: Listings surge as sales and prices soften a bit

The big news in this month’s numbers is yet again the big bump in total on-market inventory. That said, prices look like they’re beginning to soften as well, which is unusual for what is normally the hottest time of year for price gains.

Inventory rose twenty-eight percent from May to June, and was up forty-three percent from last year. We’re definitely forming an interesting trend now. This year has seen listings building up a lot faster than any recent year. Meanwhile, sales are softening…

NWMLS: New listings hit highest point since 2007 as inventory finally grows

May market stats have been published by the NWMLS, but their press release isn’t out yet, so let’s just dive into the numbers.

The big news in this month’s numbers is the big bump in both new listings and total on-market inventory. The last time we had more than 4,000 new single-family listings in a single month in King County was July 2007.

NWMLS: Prices surge as sales slip and inventory inches up

March market stats have been published by the NWMLS…

Despite the big bump up in prices to a new all-time high, there is some good-ish news for home buyers in the March data. Compared to a year ago, new listings are up, total listings were basically flat, and sales were down. The overall market is still definitely heavily skewed toward sellers, but at least last month’s trends are finally moving a little bit in buyers’ favor.

NWMLS: Closed sales plummet, listings still scarce

January market stats have been published by the NWMLS. Here’s a quick excerpt from their press release:

Home Buyers Still Competing for Sparse Inventory in Western Washington, Driving Up Prices – Especially for Sought-After Condominiums

“The Seattle area real estate market hasn’t skipped a beat with pent-up demand from buyers is stronger than ever,” remarked broker John Deely in reacting to the latest statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. The report on January activity shows a slight year-over-year gain in pending sales, a double-digit increase in prices, and continued shortages of inventory.

“The decline in sales last month can’t be blamed on the holidays, weather or football. It’s simply due to the ongoing shortage of housing that continues to plague markets throughout Western Washington,” said OB Jacobi, the president of Windermere Real Estate.

Bummer for home salespeople that they can’t use the “football” excuse they usually throw out in January. Not that there’s really anything in these latest numbers for them to be concerned about.

Now let’s dive into the numbers for January…

Inventory is at its lowest January level ever, and new listings were only barely above last year’s record-low level. Despite having nearly the same number of new listings as last year, closed sales and pending sales are both down considerably. Meanwhile, prices are up nearly twenty percent year-over-year.

NWMLS: Listings drought intensifies, months of supply hits a new record low in December

December market stats have been published by the NWMLS. Here’s a quick excerpt from their press release:

“Exceptionally Low” Inventory Slows Year-End Home Sales, Contributes to Steep Price Hikes around Greater Seattle region

This is the lowest level on record (going back to 2000) for months of supply. The previous record low was December 2016 at 0.76, and the record low before that was December 2015 at 0.86. Supply and demand have never been as far out of balance in the Seattle area as they are right now…

NWMLS: Nearly everything about the Seattle-area housing market continued to tilt in sellers’ favor in October

October market stats have been published by the NWMLS. Here’s a quick excerpt from their press release:

Key indicators for Western Washington housing still rising, but brokers detect slowdown and uncertainty

Early seasonal snow and questions swirling around the tax plan unveiled last week by House Republicans could make the usual seasonal slowdown more pronounced, say industry leaders from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. For October, however, key indicators trended upwards.

“The challenge for buyers actually isn’t lack of choice, it is the rapid pace of sales,” suggested Ken Anderson, president/owner of Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty.

J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate, noted October was the “best ever for sales activity in the Puget Sound region.”

Compared to spring months, Scott expects volumes in the next few months will be at 30-to-50 percent of spring totals. “The stage is set once again for a frenzy housing market after the first of the year in the price ranges where there is a shortage of active listings for sale.”

Lennox sure likes that word “frenzy.” He seems to think that it has positive connotations. Personally I think it’s exactly the opposite. People do irrational and stupid things in a frenzy that they usually regret later. Is he saying that’s true of the current housing market? Maybe we actually agree more than I thought…

Now let’s dive into the numbers for October.

The only tiny shred of kind-of good news for buyers is that closed sales and pending sales are down slightly from a year ago. Of course, listings are down considerably more than sales, so the market overall is still trending in sellers’ favor.