real estate mercer island Seattle eastside luxury market residential stats waterfront Monthly Reports Archives - Windermere Mercer Island

January 2017 Seattle Area Housing Report

Brokers report “high velocity” market, but with hope for homebuyers

KIRKLAND, Washington (Feb. 6, 2017) – Western Washington’s “high velocity” market continued during January with the number of pending sales (7,745) outgaining the number of new listings (6,507), according to new figures from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

“Properties are moving through the market at an unusually fast pace,” remarked John Deely, chairman of the board at Northwest MLS and the principal managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain. “Although we have a high number of new listings, they are moving into a pending or sold status within the typical 30-day reporting period. This phenomenon causes a low active listing count,” he added.

Brokers added 6,507 new listings to inventory last month (163 fewer than during the same period a year ago), while year-over-year pending sales jumped by 492 transactions for a gain of about 6.8 percent. New listing volume was the highest monthly total since October when members added 7,591 properties.

At month-end, there were 9,752 active listings in the MLS service area, which encompasses 23 counties. That total was 2,605 fewer than the year-ago volume of 12,357, a decline of 21 percent. Only three counties (Ferry, Jefferson and Kitsap) reported improvements in the number of active listings compared to the same month last year.

Measured by months of inventory, the selection is at historic lows in many counties. At month end, there was just under 1.7 months of supply system-wide, which compares to the year-ago figure of about 2.5 months of supply. Both King and Snohomish counties have less than one month of supply.

“If home buyers were hoping that January would start to bring more balance to the housing market, they’re going to be sorely disappointed. The number of homes for sale remains at record lows, and the growth in pending sales tells us that sellers are still firmly in the driver’s seat,” said OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate.

MLS director George Moorhead echoed Jacobi, pointing to five years ago when buyers could choose from 5,378 listings of single family homes in King County versus last month’s selection of 1,569 listings. “The real question is whether there will be relief in the near future, and the unfortunate answer is no,” said Moorhead, the designated broker at Bentley Properties, citing the combination of new jobs, a shortage of new homes, and a reluctance of sellers to list their home for fear of not being able to find their next one.

View the full press release

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership of nearly 2,100 member offices includes more than 25,000 real estate professionals. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 23 counties in Washington state. 

View the full JANUARY 2017 combined report by neighborhood

INDIVIDUAL NEIGHBORHOOD REPORTS

SEATTLE
West Seattle
South Seattle
Central Seattle
Queen Anne
Ballard/Greenlake
North Seattle
Downtown Seattle Condos
EASTSIDE
South Bellevue
Mercer Island
West Bellevue
East Bellevue
East Lk Sammamish
Redmond
Kirkland
Woodinville
Renton Highlands
Downtown Bellevue Condos

MONTHLY SNAPSHOT REPORTS

SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES
Seattle Metro
Eastside
King County
Mercer Island
CONDOS
Seattle Metro
Eastside
NEW CONSTRUCTION
Seattle Metro
Eastside

© Copyright 2017, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island |  (206) 232-0446 | mercerisland@windermere.com | 2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040.  Statistics provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.

Posted on February 10, 2017 at 11:07 am
Julie Barrows | Category: Monthly Reports, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

December 2016 Seattle Area Housing Report

Home buyer frustration continues due to limited selection
and ongoing increases in prices, interest rates

KIRKLAND, Washington (Jan. 5, 2017) – Like many other months of 2016, December was frustrating for buyers across Washington state as they encountered depleted inventory and rising prices. Post-election hikes in interest rates – with more on the horizon — added to would-be homeowners’ worries.

Northwest Multiple Listing Service statistics for December show year-over-year drops in new listings, but gains in pending sales, closed sales and prices. Pending sales (mutually accepted offers) in the four county Puget Sound region reached their highest level since 2005.

“The data just keep telling the same story – low inventory and increasing prices,” remarked Mike Grady, president and COO of Coldwell Banker Bain. “As one of our brokers put it, ‘Sellers received an awesome Christmas gift in December, but buyers, only a lump of coal.’”

Brokers added 4,217 new listings to the inventory during December to bring the supply up to 10,571 listings. The volume of new listings surpassed the year-ago figure of 4,041, but supply still fell, dropping to only 1.4 months for the Northwest MLS market area covering 23 counties. Both King and Snohomish counties reported less than a month of inventory.

Robert Wasser, owner/broker at Prospera Real Estate in Seattle, said his analysis of the MLS data
indicates the supply of single family homes for sale in King County just hit a post-recession low. “The only other time supply fell below one month was around this same time a year ago,” noted Wasser, a member of the Northwest MLS board of directors.

At month end, MLS figures show inventory (10,571 listings) was nearly 15.6 percent below year-ago levels (12,522 listings), with about 90 percent of the selection being single family homes.

Seventeen of the 23 counties in the MLS report had double-digit drops in active listings at the end of last month compared to December 2015.

Northwest MLS members reported 6,401 pending sales during December, up from 5,970 for the same month a year ago for a year-over-year gain of 7.2 percent.

“The housing market remains frenzy hot on a seasonal basis,” exclaimed J. Lennox Scott. Noting sales activity was substantially higher than the number of new listings, he said such conditions “continue to foster a competitive market where home buyers are just waiting for the next new listing to come on the market.”

Commenting on strong sales in the Central Puget Sound region, Scott noted King County recorded the biggest year-over-year jump in pending sales of single family homes, surging nearly 11.3 percent, well ahead of Kitsap (up 4.5 percent), Pierce (up 4 percent) and Snohomish (up 3.2 percent).

“Buyers pursued homes aggressively all through November and December with little to no slowdown amid fears of rising interest rates and worsening inventory levels,” said MLS director George Moorhead. “Inventory levels have dropped to their lowest level, which makes buyer frenzy even more intense as prices approach double-digit appreciation,” he added. Moorhead, the designated broker at Bentley Properties, calculates buyers have lost $37,000 in buying power due to interest rate increases. He likens the situation to having two cars, “one going forward, and one going in reverse. The gap is widening too fast for some buyers.”

Closed sales also finished on a strong note with brokers reporting 7,575 completed transactions during December. That’s up more than 6.8 percent from a year ago when members notched 7,091 closed sales.

Prices area-wide also continued trending upward, rising nearly 9.2 percent from a year ago. The overall median price for single family homes and condominiums that sold during December was $343,950; a year ago it was $315,000.

King County prices jumped 12.2 percent, from $450,000 in December 2015 to $505,000 for last month’s sales. For single family homes (excluding condominiums) the median price for December’s sales was $550,000, unchanged from October and November. Prices peaked this year in King County in June, reaching $573,522.

Condo sales slowed compared to a year ago, due at least in part to a sharp drop in inventory (down more than 19 percent). Pending sales were essentially flat (up 0.73 percent). Closed sales for December slipped nearly 6 percent, while prices on last month’s completed sales of condos rose 9.8 percent. The median price on last month’s closed sales of condos was $280,000. Condo prices in King County jumped more than 12 percent, from $279,975 a year ago to last month’s sales price of $314,000.

“Looking ahead to 2017, the Seattle market will continue to perform well, even with the expected interest rate increase,” stated OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate. The regional economy is in full stride, he noted, adding, “This will continue to create increased demand for housing across the board. Price growth should start to cool a little as inventory levels rise modestly, but overall, 2017 should be another banner year for the housing market.”

Consumers should expect prices to continue edging upward, suggested Moorhead. “NAR indicates we are 70,000 units short of meeting the housing needs in the Puget Sound area. Builders are just flat out running out of urban land to work with,” he said. Moorhead believes rising costs for construction labor are the driving force for price increases. Builder confidence continues to grow, reaching its highest levels since 2005, he noted, but added, “Naturally, some trepidation is heard as some feel this level of growth in the market is completely unsustainable.”

Grady believes the pattern of low inventory and increasing prices will continue. “We believe it is a
predictor for what to expect throughout 2017,” he commented. “There’s simply not enough new
construction to fill the needs of new employees being hired both locally and new to the state. The key is employment,” Grady continued, saying “There’s no reason to think that a new administration will cause employment to slow down; rather, it’s more likely we’ll see it increase in the Puget Sound region so we’re off to another strong start in 2017,” he stated.

View the full press release

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership of nearly 2,100 member offices includes more than 25,000 real estate professionals. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 23 counties in Washington state.

 

View the full December 2016 Report by neighborhood

Individual Reports

SEATTLE
West Seattle
South Seattle
Central Seattle
Queen Anne
Ballard/Greenlake
North Seattle
EASTSIDE
South Bellevue
Mercer Island
West Bellevue
East Bellevue
East Lk Sammamish
Redmond
Kirkland
Woodinville
Renton Highlands
CONDOS
Downtown Seattle
Downtown Bellevue

MONTHLY SNAPSHOT

Click on each report below to view an overview of the regional data:

SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES
Seattle Metro
Eastside
King County
Mercer Island
CONDOS
Seattle Metro
Eastside
NEW CONSTRUCTION
Seattle Metro
Eastside

© Copyright 2016, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Statistics provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.

Posted on January 6, 2017 at 5:04 pm
Julie Barrows | Category: Monthly Reports, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

November 2016 Seattle Area Housing Report

Real estate brokers expect no holiday breather
as sales stay strong and supplies remain low

KIRKLAND, Washington (Dec. 5, 2016) – Pending sales of homes hit an all-time high for the month of November according to the latest statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. The report covering 23 counties around Washington state also shows the number of new listings added during the month plunged to the lowest level in 11 months, prompting MLS leaders to predict a busy winter for residential real estate as buyers compete for the smallest inventory since March.

“Last year’s holiday season ended up being the best time to sell a home around King County as sellers took the winter months off, but buyers remained persistent. The supply of homes for sale hit a post-recession low, and so far, this year is mirroring last winter’s trends,” remarked Northwest MLS director Robert Wasser, owner/broker at Prospera Real Estate in Seattle.

Figures for November show a 13.2 percent drop in inventory of single family homes and condominiums, a 9.4 percent gain in pending sales, a 31.3 percent spike in closed sales, and an 11 percent increase in prices compared to the same month a year ago.
At month-end, there was only 1.69 months of supply system-wide, believed to be a new low. For the 4-county Puget Sound region there is only 1.22 months of supply, with King County having the lowest level at under a month (0.96).

Pending sales (mutually accepted offers) totaled 8,217, and eclipsed the number of new listings (5,779) by 2,438 units. That imbalance depleted total inventory, dropping the number of active listings to 13,303, down 13.2 percent from a year ago.
“November’s pending sales for the four-county area of King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap were the highest since 2005. There were 44 percent more pendings than new listings,” noted J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate, who described market activity as a mini power surge. “Every time interest rates increase 0.5 percent we see these surges because buyers become anxious about increasing rates – but on a historical basis rates are still amazing,” he remarked.

John Deely, vice chairman of the Northwest MLS board, said the Seattle residential real estate market is not taking time off for an end-of-year breather. “The seemingly inexhaustible supply of ready, willing and able buyers continues to purchase available inventory. This imbalance in supply and demand continues to fuel multiple offers and drive prices upward,” said Deely, the principal managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain in Seattle. Well-paying jobs in the tech sector are fueling demand, with “the increase in equity and tick up in interest rates enticing more sellers to the market.”

View the full press release

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership of nearly 2,100 member offices includes more than 25,000 real estate professionals. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 23 counties in Washington state.

 

View the full November 2016 Report by neighborhood

Individual Reports

SEATTLE
West Seattle
South Seattle
Central Seattle
Queen Anne
Ballard/Greenlake
North Seattle
EASTSIDE
South Bellevue
Mercer Island
West Bellevue
East Bellevue
East Lk Sammamish
Redmond
Kirkland
Woodinville
Renton Highlands
CONDOS
Downtown Seattle
Downtown Bellevue

MONTHLY SNAPSHOT

Click on each report below to view an overview of the regional data:

SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES
Seattle Metro
Eastside
King County
Mercer Island
CONDOS
Seattle Metro
Eastside
NEW CONSTRUCTION
Seattle Metro
Eastside

© Copyright 2016, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Statistics provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.

Posted on December 9, 2016 at 10:30 am
Julie Barrows | Category: Monthly Reports, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

October 2016 Seattle Area Housing Report

Home sales and prices still climbing around Puget Sound, but brokers expect slowdown

NWMLS Reports (Nov. 4, 2016) – Home sales around Western Washington outgained new listings again in October, fueling competition for scarce inventory and pushing prices higher. Some seasonal slowdown is still expected – and the Nov. 8 elections may be in play as well, according to brokers at Northwest Multiple Listing Service who commented on last month’s activity.

MLS members reported 9,950 pending sales during October, but they added only 7,591 new listings, the lowest number since January. A year-over-year comparison of pending sales shows there were 633 more mutually accepted offers last month than twelve months ago for a gain of 6.8 percent.

Closed sales improved even more, rising from the year-ago total of 7,769 completed transactions to last month’s volume of 8,554 (up 10.1 percent).

“While the stock market remains somewhat skittish regarding the upcoming presidential election, this feeling clearly has not transferred to the housing market,” remarked OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate. “Unfortunately for buyers who were hoping to have more homes to choose from this fall, listings in October fell to levels we haven’t seen since the 1990s – and at this point, we probably won’t see any sizable increase in inventory until the spring at the earliest,” he added.

Active listings dropped more than 13 percent compared to a year ago, with further shrinkage expected. At month end there were 15,690 single family homes and condominiums offered for sale in the MLS system, which encompasses 23 counties. That’s 2,378 fewer than the year-ago total of 18,068, and 2,446 fewer than September. All but two counties (Clallam and Ferry) reported year-over-year decreases in inventory.

Overall, there was only 1.8 months of supply. King County had slightly more than one month (1.1), with several areas within that county reporting less than a month’s supply. In Snohomish County, where inventory plunged more than 20 percent from a year ago, there was with 1.3 months.

“The further we move into November, the more we’ll start feeling the typical seasonal drop when new listings coming on the market decline by 50 percent on a monthly basis compared to spring and summer months,” suggested J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate. Buyers are still out there, he emphasized. “We’re heading into winter with a repeat of last year’s conditions: low inventory, a backlog of buyers, and historically low interest rates.” On the heels of the “best October on record” Scott predicts “a strong winter market where the inventory remains tight throughout the season.”

View the full press release

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership of nearly 2,100 member offices includes more than 25,000 real estate professionals. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 23 counties in Washington state.

 

View the full October 2016 Report by neighborhood

Individual Reports

SEATTLE
West Seattle
South Seattle
Central Seattle
Queen Anne
Ballard/Greenlake
North Seattle
EASTSIDE
South Bellevue
Mercer Island
West Bellevue
East Bellevue
East Lk Sammamish
Redmond
Kirkland
Woodinville
Renton Highlands
CONDOS
Downtown Seattle
Downtown Bellevue

MONTHLY SNAPSHOT

Click on each report below to view an overview of the regional data:

SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES
Seattle Metro
Eastside
King County
Mercer Island
CONDOS
Seattle Metro
Eastside
NEW CONSTRUCTION
Seattle Metro
Eastside

© Copyright 2016, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Statistics provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.

Posted on November 8, 2016 at 3:30 pm
Julie Barrows | Category: Monthly Reports, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

September 2016 Seattle Area Housing Report

Western Washington housing market still strong, but some see signs of rebalancing

 NWMLS Reports (Oct. 5, 2016) – It’s still a seller’s market, but some leaders from Northwest Multiple Listing Service think the imbalance may be easing in some areas, pointing to a slower pace of sales and moderating prices. Others aren’t convinced, citing mixed indicators.

Northwest MLS statistics summarizing September activity show year-over-year gains in the volumes of new listings (up 14.5%), pending sales (up 9.3%), closed sales (up 9.5%), and prices (up nearly 9%). Inventory for single family homes and condominiums across the 23 counties in the report dropped about 8 percent from a year ago.

Commenting on September’s activity, Northwest MLS director George Moorhead reported “rumblings on both sides of the fence” by buyers and sellers. “Buyers are getting antsy to make a move before interest rates rise and they’re looking harder at homes that have been on the market longer than 30 days.”

Sellers are considering remodeling instead of buying as they cannot find a suitable new home, according to Moorhead, the designated broker at Bentley Properties. He noted builders also face challenges in their searches for new development sites near metro areas.

MLS members continue to scramble to replenish inventory. Compared to a year ago, they added 1,275 more new listings during September, ending the month with 10,047 total new listings. Like most months this year, however, September’s pending sales of single family homes and condos exceeded the number of new listings. Brokers reported 10,463 pending sales (mutually accepted offers) last month for a 9.3 percent improvement over a year ago.

September’s new listings marked the lowest monthly total since February – but it may be an expected seasonal slowdown.

“We have one month until November when new listings coming on the market drop by 50 percent on a monthly basis compared to spring and summer months,” explained J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate. With the decrease typically lasting until the end of February, Scott said for selection, “the best opportunity for homebuyers to find a home will be in the next 30 days.”

The current selection includes 18,136 active listings, down about 8 percent from the year-ago inventory. Only two counties — King and Clallam – reported year-over-year gains in inventory during September.

Area-wide supply, as measured by months of inventory, improved slightly from August, rising from about 1.9 months to 2 months. Supply remained below two months in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties.

Demand for homes around Puget Sound remains strong, with the market showing “no marked change throughout the summer months,” remarked MLS director Dick Beeson, the principal managing broker at RE/MAX Professionals in Tacoma. Well-priced, well-conditioned homes continue to command attention and draw offers in record time, he noted.

September was “an interesting month for a few different reasons,” noted OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate. Among factors he cited were the modest increase in the number of new listings in the tri-county region (King, Pierce, and Snohomish) and the slowing pace of sales and prices. “The good news is that all of this points towards a market that is slowly beginning to rebalance itself.”

“The increase in listings is pretty unusual given that the number of listings usually declines between August and September,” Jacobi commented, adding, “Considering how desperate we are for inventory, I hope this trend continues as we head further into the fall months.”

View the full press release

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership of nearly 2,100 member offices includes more than 25,000 real estate professionals. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 23 counties in Washington state.

 

View the full September 2016 Report by neighborhood

Individual Reports

SEATTLE
West Seattle
South Seattle
Central Seattle
Queen Anne
Ballard/Greenlake
North Seattle
EASTSIDE
South Bellevue
Mercer Island
West Bellevue
East Bellevue
East Lk Sammamish
Redmond
Kirkland
Woodinville
Renton Highlands
CONDOS
Downtown Seattle
Downtown Bellevue

MONTHLY SNAPSHOT

Click on each report below to view an overview of the regional data:

SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES
Seattle Metro
Eastside
King County
Mercer Island
CONDOS
Seattle Metro
Eastside
NEW CONSTRUCTION
Seattle Metro
Eastside

© Copyright 2016, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Statistics provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.

Posted on October 7, 2016 at 9:21 am
Julie Barrows | Category: Monthly Reports, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

August Seattle Area Housing Report

Housing market still active, with overall direction “positive”

 NWMLS Reports (Sept. 7, 2016) – Home sales in Western Washington continued to outpace year-ago activity, but member-brokers at Northwest Multiple Listing Service say persistent inventory shortages are constraining activity.

Despite a sparse selection in many areas, an expected summer slowdown, and “appraisal conundrums,” Northwest MLS members notched 11,898 pending sales during August, eclipsing the same month a year ago by 1,295 transactions for a 12.2 percent gain. There were 8,628 pending sales in the four-county Puget Sound region — the best August for mutually accepted offers since 2005 when members tallied 8,874 sales.

Brokers added 11,411 new listings to the Northwest MLS database during August, but they presented offers for even more buyers (11,898) to keep inventory below two months of supply. At month-end, there were 18,336 active listings in the MLS system, a decrease of 11.6 percent from a year ago, resulting in only 1.9 months of supply. (Four to six months is generally considered to be a “neutral” or balanced market for buyers and sellers.)

“The market remains just as intense as July,” observed J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO at John L. Scott, Inc. “The best opportunity for homebuyers to find a home will be in the next 60 days,” he suggested, explaining the number of new listings coming on the market is likely to drop by 50 percent each month between November and February. “We expect a repeat of conditions from last winter when every available home that came on the market in areas with a shortage of inventory received quick action.”

“Buyers in the Seattle area are plentiful in all price ranges, but the entry-level housing demand continues to be the highest,” reported John Deely, principal managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain. As an example, he said a recent open house for a condo listing in the South Lake Union area drew more than 100 visitors in a single day. Tech workers continue to dominate the primary buyer demographic, he said, adding that a significant number of their parents are relocating here to purchase properties close to their children.

Buyers in most of the 23 counties served by Northwest MLS can expect to pay more than they would have twelve months ago, with most areas showing double-digit year-over-year price increases. System-wide, the median price for last month’s 9,767 closed sales of single family homes and condominiums was $350,000, up more than 11 percent from the year-ago figure of $315,000.

In King County, the median price on 3,656 sales that closed during August was just under $500,000. That’s up nearly 11 percent from the year ago figure of $450,700, but slightly lower than July’s median sales price of $505,000. Prices on single family homes (excluding condos) that closed in King County jumped 10 percent year-over-year, rising from $499,950 to $550,000.

Condo prices area-wide surged nearly 16 percent from a year ago, rising from $258,750 to $299,950. King County has the highest median sales price at $335,000, which is a 12 percent jump from a year ago. That county also has the most meager supply of condos, with only 28 days or so (0.91 months).

View the full press release

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership of nearly 2,100 member offices includes more than 25,000 real estate professionals. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 23 counties in Washington state.

 

View the full August 2016 Report by neighborhood

Individual Reports

SEATTLE
West Seattle
South Seattle
Central Seattle
Queen Anne
Ballard/Greenlake
North Seattle
EASTSIDE
South Bellevue
Mercer Island
West Bellevue
East Bellevue
East Lk Sammamish
Redmond
Kirkland
Woodinville
Renton Highlands

MONTHLY SNAPSHOT

Click on each report below to view an overview of the regional data:
Seattle Metro
Eastside
King County
Mercer Island

© Copyright 2016, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Statistics provided by the North

Posted on September 9, 2016 at 10:58 am
Julie Barrows | Category: Monthly Reports, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

July Seattle Area Housing Report

Western Washington real estate brokers see early signs of “a more balanced market”

NWMLS Reports (August 4, 2016) – NWMLS Reports (Aug.4, 2016) – Home prices are still rising but the supply of homes is improving, prompting brokers to suggest some relief is in sight for would-be buyers. “We might actually be starting to move very slowly back toward a more balanced market,” said OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate, in commenting on July’s figures from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

The MLS report summarizing last month’s activity shows active listings (including single family homes and condominiums) are at the highest level since September 2015 and the volume of new listings added to inventory topped the 12,000 marked for the third consecutive month.

With inventory shortages apparently easing in some areas, once-sidelined and frustrated house-hunters may be resuming their search, based on the latest statistics. Pending sales for the 23-county service area rose nearly 4 percent compared to a year ago, setting a new high for volume during July.

Member brokers reported 11,657 pending sales system-wide last month, a slight drop from June when they notched 11,995 mutually accepted offers. Despite that dip, the four-county Puget Sound region had its best-ever volume of pending sales for July (8,545), eclipsing last year’s record number (8,248).

“We are experiencing a record breaking market,” exclaimed J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott, Inc. “Last month was the best July in history in the Puget Sound real estate market. We’re in a frenzy hot market with a large backlog of buyers.” He credits improving inventory with spurring sales. “That additional inventory gave us the boost to not only be able to claim an all-time, best ever July, but to also position the last three months as the best in history for [pending] sales activity in the Puget Sound region.”

Some brokers, including MLS director Frank Wilson, expect the robust activity will slow in August as families focus on vacations and back-to-school preparations.

Brokers added 12,178 new listings to the selection during July, which compares to 11,198 additions during the same month a year ago for an improvement of nearly 8.8 percent. At month end, there were 18,287 active listings for sale versus the year-ago figure of 21,069. That represents a year-over-year drop of “only”
13.2 percent; it’s been hovering in the minus-20 ranges for most months since spring 2015.

King, Snohomish and Pierce counties still have less than two months of supply, with double-digit increases in prices compared to a year ago, prompting some buyers to expand their search to outlying areas.

The median price for last month’s 9,466 closed sales of single family homes and condos (combined) was
$350,000. That reflects a jump of 9.6 percent from a year ago when it was $319,250. Within the 23 counties in the report, the median price ranged from $57,950 in Ferry County to $505,000 in King County.

For single family homes (excluding condos), the area-wide median selling price was $358,150, a 9.2 percent gain from a year. King County had the highest median price for single family homes at $555,000. That’s a 14.4 percent year-over-year increase.

Condo prices for July surged 17.3 percent from a year ago, from $260,000 to $305,000. Inventory shortages persist, with less than 1.3 months of supply area wide, and less than a month (0.90) in King County.

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership of nearly 2,100 member offices includes more than 25,000 real estate professionals. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 23 counties in Washington state.

 

View the full July 2016 Report by neighborhood

Individual Reports

SEATTLE
West Seattle
South Seattle
Central Seattle
Queen Anne
Ballard/Greenlake
North Seattle
EASTSIDE
South Bellevue
Mercer Island
West Bellevue
East Bellevue
East Lk Sammamish
Redmond
Kirkland
Woodinville
Renton Highlands

MONTHLY SNAPSHOT

Click on each report below to view an overview of the regional data:
Seattle Metro
Eastside
King County
Mercer Island

© Copyright 2016, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Statistics provided by the North

Posted on August 9, 2016 at 11:46 am
Julie Barrows | Category: Monthly Reports, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

June 2016 Seattle Area Housing Report

Market showing signs of adjusting, but buyers still see double-edged sword

NWMLS Reports (July 6, 2016) – 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. Citing reports of projected job growth in the region (pegged at 70,000 new employees) but only 8,000 new residential units in the same forecast, he said this imbalance is rippling to outlying counties. Inventory is now shrinking at a greater rate in some of the outlying counties than in the tri-county area of King, Snohomish and Pierce counties. Pending sales in some of these areas sales are rising at a faster clip, noted Grady, a past chairman of the MLS board. “It’s as if the splash in the center of Seattle’s pond is finally making ripples to the outlying counties,” he concluded.

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.”

There were fewer multiple offers for each new listing, according to Scott’s analysis of the latest data, but he said 80 percent of new listings are still selling within the first 30 days in price ranges where 90 percent of the sales activity is taking place. That, he said, contrasts with a “healthy” (more balanced) market with only around 30 percent of listings sell in the first 30 days.

Northwest MLS members reported 11,995 mutually accepted offers last month for a 4.73 percent increase over the year- ago volume of pending sales. For the four-county Puget Sound area, brokers reported 8,869 pending sales, the highest total for the month of June since 2005.

New listing activity improved compared to a year ago with 12,759 sellers putting their home or condo on the market. That’s a 10.2 percent improvement from twelve months ago and marks the largest number of new listings added in a single month since March 2010 when brokers replenished supply with 12,994 new listings. Last month’s additions brought the number of total active listings up to 16,838 properties. A year ago, across the 23 counties in the report, buyers could choose from 20,333 listings.

With only 1.7 months of supply system-wide (for single family homes and condos combined), inventory is well below the four-to-six-month level many industry analysts use as an indicator of a balanced market. Both King and Snohomish counties have barely more than one month of supply.

Inventory of condos is more meager, hovering near 1.1 months area-wide. In both King and Snohomish counties there is less than a month of supply (0.80). For single family homes only, there is 1.82 months of supply – and even less than that level in all four central Puget Sound counties.

Not surprisingly, prices continue to escalate. In fact, a recent report from CoreLogic, a property analytics company, indicated home prices are rising faster in Washington than in any other state in the nation.

Last month’s 9,805 pending sales across all counties in the MLS report had a median selling price of $350,000, which is nearly 8.9 percent higher than the year-ago figure of $321,500. Seventeen of the 23 counties experienced double-digit increases, led by Grant County (up 24.9 percent), Jefferson County (up 24.4 percent) and Skagit County (up nearly 23.8 percent).

In King County, which accounted for about 40 percent of the sales, the median price surged 13.3 percent from a year ago, rising from $450,000 to $510,000. For single family homes only (excluding condos), prices in King County rose 14.7 percent, from $500,000 to $573,522. Condo prices skyrocketed nearly 22 percent compared to a year ago. The median sales price last month was $350,000; twelve months ago the buyer of a median-priced condo in King County paid $287,000.

Buyers are seeing rapidly-rising prices as a double-edged sword, according to George Moorhead, the designated broker at Bentley Properties. “On one hand, the market is a fabulous investment and a way to secure monthly housing costs,” he explained, but added, “On the other side, prices and scarce inventory are getting out of hand. For the first time, we’re hearing a common theme,” he stated. Buyers are willing to make “huge sacrifices,” such as significant concessions on a home’s square footage, in order to be closer to jobs and good schools, he said, and they’re foregoing once-desired “core features” for their family’s home.

Moorhead, a board member at Northwest MLS, characterized the current market as a “vicious cycle” and “predatory” but different than what led to the 2007-2008 housing crash, in part because buyers are making large down payments instead of relying on zero down programs. The high down payments (achieved at times by borrowing from family) are sometimes made to help cover the difference between the sales price and appraised value. When coupled with concessions on the “needs” or “wish” lists, Moorhead said these sacrifices are creating a market that cannot be sustained.

In the short term, activity continues at a brisk pace, and now Brexit (Britain’s vote to exit the European Union) may contribute to an uptick in home sales, according to some brokers and industry-watchers.

“Demand for U.S. real estate could rise,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors®. He attributes uncertainty before the Brexit vote as the likely reason the Federal Reserve decided not to raise interest rates in June and said the U.S. could face an influx of foreign buyers looking to pull out of the U.K.

Windermere president O B Jacobi agreed the U.S. housing market could end up benefitting from Brexit. “Uncertain economic times almost always lead to a ‘flight to safety,’ which means global capital pouring into the United States bond market at an aggressive rate. This ultimately drives down mortgage rates and makes it cheaper for home buyers to borrow money,” he stated.

On the flip side, Jacobi acknowledged in markets like Seattle this could also cause housing affordability to take another hit. “Lower interest rates will likely draw more buyers into the market, compounding already competitive conditions, and driving up home prices even further,” he noted.

“While the world is watching Brexit, oil prices and political theatrics, the average American still needs to transfer, take a new job, receive orders to a new duty station, move to a smaller or one-level home, or purchase a bigger home to accommodate growing family needs,” Wilson remarked, adding, “We continue to see good traffic at open houses, multiple offers on correctly priced homes, and people excited about the next phase of life that a new home brings.”

Despite the challenges, Scott believes the market is encouraging for owners who have been considering a move. “It’s a cause and effect situation: they find a home to buy, then put their home on the market, thus adding to inventory.” He believes the best opportunity for buyers to purchase will be within the next four months because of expected improvements in inventory and lower interest rates.

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership of nearly 2,100 member offices includes more than 25,000 real estate professionals. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 23 counties in Washington state.

 

View the full June 2016 Report by neighborhood

Individual Reports

SEATTLE
West Seattle
South Seattle
Central Seattle
Queen Anne
Ballard/Greenlake
North Seattle
EASTSIDE
South Bellevue
Mercer Island
West Bellevue
East Bellevue
East Lk Sammamish
Redmond
Kirkland
Woodinville
Renton Highlands

MONTHLY SNAPSHOT

Click on each report below to view an overview of the regional data:
Seattle Metro
Eastside
King County
Mercer Island

© Copyright 2016, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Statistics provided by the North

Posted on July 15, 2016 at 11:09 am
Julie Barrows | Category: Monthly Reports, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

May 2016 Seattle Area Monthly Housing Report

Housing inventory shortages persist despite increase in new listings

NWMLS Reports (June 6, 2016) – Just as expected, the month of May had an uptick in new listings (12,272), but just as many buyers (12,275) made offers on homes during the month to keep inventory depleted, according to the latest figures from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

 “Inventory is being squeezed from all directions,” reported Frank Wilson, branch managing broker at John L. Scott in Poulsbo. He said the pool of house-hunters includes young first-time buyers, renters whose rents are escalating, buyers who are returning to the market after recovering from a foreclosure or short sale, investors, and baby boomers who are purchasing for their retirement needs. Additionally, in Kitsap County where his office is located, there are military families who are transferring to a base there and want to buy.

 By month end, member brokers reported 15,198 active listings in the Northwest MLS database. That’s down more than 22 percent from a year ago when buyers could choose from an inventory of 19,515 listings across the 23 counties served by the listing service.

 “The May housing market was not just hot, it was frenzy hot,” commented J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate. “Brokers are working like bees in a hive as the housing market creates a buzz of sales activity in the Seattle-Central Puget Sound area.” By his analysis, 80 percent of the homes coming on the market in King and Snohomish counties are selling within the first 30 days. “Many sell within the first week,” Scott reported, adding, “A healthy/normal market would have 30 percent selling in the first 30 days.”

 MLS figures show there is only 1.76 months of supply system-wide. In both King and Snohomish counties, there is barely more than one month of supply – well below the 4-to-6 months that many experts use as an indicator of a balanced market.

 “With less than two months of inventory, every new listing seems to draw multiple offers,” Wilson remarked. He also said homeowners who want to move up in this same market know they face a conundrum: “If we sell today, will we be able to buy tomorrow?”

 Buyers are becoming more and more aggressive with offers and pricing, and that concerns some brokers, said Northwest MLS director George Moorhead. As the gap between pricing and value widens, some would-be buyers may overextend themselves. Also, appraisers are struggling with a lack of comparable sales versus multiple offers that escalate well beyond the listing price, said Moorhead, the designated broker at Bentley Properties. Since lenders base loans on appraised values, buyers will likely need to make up the shortfall.

 Even though brokers say paltry inventory is limiting sales, the year-over-year volume of pending sales rose more than 7.4 percent last month. Members reported 12,275 mutually accepted offers, up from the year-ago total of 11,425. MLS data going back to 2004 shows that one-month total is the highest on record.

 Prices also rose. The median price area-wide for last month’s 8,630 closed sales of single family homes and condominiums (combined) was $339,950. That’s up more than 7.2 percent from twelve months ago when purchasers paid $317,000 for the median-priced home. Ten counties reported double-digit price hikes.

 In King County, the median price jumped more than 11.7 percent, from $434,000 to $485,000. Prices on single family homes surged nearly 16.5 percent, rising from $480,942 to $560,000. Condo prices were up 9 percent, but finding one proved challenging as inventory dropped 29 percent in King County.

 

View the full May 2016 Report by neighborhood

Individual Reports

SEATTLE
West Seattle
South Seattle
Central Seattle
Queen Anne
Ballard/Greenlake
North Seattle
EASTSIDE
South Bellevue
Mercer Island
West Bellevue
East Bellevue
East Lk Sammamish
Redmond
Kirkland
Woodinville
Renton Highlands

MONTHLY SNAPSHOT

Click on each report below to view an overview of the regional data:
Seattle Metro
Eastside
King County
Mercer Island

© Copyright 2016, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Statistics provided by the North

Posted on June 14, 2016 at 12:48 pm
Julie Barrows | Category: Monthly Reports, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

April 2016 Greater Seattle Housing Report

Shift is in the air

April brought extreme price increases and bidding wars on the hottest properties and price ranges throughout the Seattle region. Some of those recorded sale prices are simply jaw-dropping. Those homes closest to core locations with neighborhood amenities and walkability are continuing to command the highest buyer interest. More sellers, seeing opportunity on the horizon, have begun to list their properties for sale. This flow of new inventory has given buyers new options and, as a result, buyers are passing on less desirable homes (requiring significant work, in a challenging location, or overpriced) in favor of those that offer more of what they want (turn-key, protected location/non-busy road, and well-priced).

This has been a shock to some sellers who had seen neighbors and friends sell difficult properties at ridiculous prices back when there was nothing on the market. To be sure, this happens every year as more homes come on the market for sale. The irony is those homes that are well-priced are receiving multiple offers and escalating above their listing price and those homes that are optimistically priced are sitting on the market unsold—most of which sell for less than their lower-priced competitors.

Our advice to sellers planning to come to market: Prepare your home to look its very best and then price it competitively. Remember that the price increases of 2016 have already occurred and the remainder of the year will likely be fairly stable if recent past years are a guide. Form our data, sellers who do these two things come out far ahead of those who do not.

The new inventory of homes for sale will continue to create much-needed balance in the market—making the Seattle area real estate market more sustainable—which is a good thing.

View the full April 2016 Report by neighborhood

Individual Reports

SEATTLE
West Seattle
South Seattle
Central Seattle
Queen Anne
Ballard/Greenlake
North Seattle
EASTSIDE
South Bellevue
Mercer Island
West Bellevue
East Bellevue
East Lk Sammamish
Redmond
Kirkland
Woodinville
Renton Highlands

MONTHLY SNAPSHOT

Click on each report below to view an overview of the regional data:
Seattle Metro
Eastside
King County
Mercer Island

© Copyright 2016, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Statistics provided by the North

Posted on May 13, 2016 at 9:26 am
Julie Barrows | Category: Monthly Reports, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,