NWMLS Brokers Predict Modest Holiday Slowdown
Normally, there is a pretty significant slowdown in Seattle home sales during November-December as people become busy with the holiday season. This year seems to be a bit different, with lower than normal inventories, low interest rates, and a strong job market. It is likely that the housing market will remain quite active trough the holidays.
The Seattle market is one of the best we’ve seen for sellers. There are buyers out there actively looking for properties, with a shortage of homes. This is actually a very good time to list your home, because many people wait to list until after the holidays, yet there are many buyers still actively seeking properties. Now is a good time to get a head start on the competition.
Pending sales are up 7.8% from a year ago and the Puget Sound region (King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish counties) had 6,977 pending sales, which was the highest October volume in over a decade.
October was the first month that the number of closings was below 8,000 since last April, but most brokers feel that this was due to a low inventory. If more homes had been available for sale, brokers feel there would not have been a slowdown.
During a stable market (neither buyer’s or seller’s market), there is typically a 4 to 6 month supply of inventory. We are currently sitting with a 1.29 month supply for King County residential homes, causing the market to remain a “Seller’s Market.”
Now is a good time for buyers
As a buyer, you can expect increasing prices and frequent multiple offer situations. Knowing this, the best time to buy in the near future is right now, during the traditional holiday slowdown. Although still competitive, we believe the competition is likely to increase after the 1st of the year.
Single Family homes increased nearly 8.4% (Market wide). In King County, the median price increased 7.3% over last year’s median, from $447,250 to $480,000.
The Seattle condo market experienced even stronger growth, with volume and prices increasing by double digit percentages. Area wide, the number of sales rose 13.2 percent, and prices rose a significant 16.2%. The supply of condos experienced a larger drop than residential with the number of listing down 26 percent from last year. In King County, there is less than 1.2 months of supply.