December ends with a “whimper,” and 2022 was “a tale of two housing markets”
*NOTE* – the data we are looking at is from the full month of December. The NWMLS comprises 26 of Washington’s 39 counties, mostly in the western part of the state.
Here are the bullet points from the newest press release from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service:
- “In the first half of 2022, we had low interest rates, rising prices, and little inventory. The second half of the year brought increasing interest rates, some lowering of prices, and increasing inventory.”
- December 2022 prices were modestly lower than December 2021, but the median home sale price for all of 2022 was about 8.9% higher than in 2021.”
- In December 2022, there was continued growth in the number of active listings compared to 2021, but sharp drops in the number of pending and closed sales. As a result, there is currently about three times the number of active listings compared to last year.
- “The market has slowed due to rising interest rates and economic news.”
- “As rents go up so do the number of folks who want to buy.”
- Quite a few buyers dropped out of the market as rates went up. Many of those people are still in the market but are reassessing their price ranges and search areas based on interest rate hikes and reduced buying power. With the median sold price flat in most counties and on decline in others, sellers are becoming more competitive.
- Gardner expects prices will continue to decline through the first half of 2023 but said “with mortgage rates expected to slowly fall from current levels, sale prices should start increasing again in the second half of the year. Ultimately, once prices pull back to where they would have been if the pandemic had never occurred, they will start to stabilize and then return to a more normalized pace of appreciation.”
- Finding the proper price will be important for sellers in 2023, while buyers can look forward to increasing inventory.
- Increased competition among sellers has been good for buyers, contributing to a more balanced market.
To read the full press release, click here.