EducationMarket UpdateNWMLS Press Release August 9, 2023

August 2023 Seattle Housing Market Update

NWMLS Northwest Multiple Listing Service

Housing market downturn “inevitable” with higher rates, but brokers find bright spots

*NOTE* – the data we are looking at is from the full month of July. The NWMLS comprises 26 of Washington’s 39 counties, mostly in the western part of the state.

Here are my bullet points from the newest press release from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service:

  • A downturn in the housing market was inevitable given higher mortgage rates.
  • Statistics showed declines in listings, pending sales, closed sales and prices when compared to 12 months ago (and compared to June, with the exception of total active listings and months of inventory slightly up month-over-month).
  • Across the NWMLS, inventory was down 28.6% compared to a year ago. Listings in the Tri-County area (King, Snohomish, and Pierce) were lower than any July on record except for 2021.
  • “The overall market velocity is slow in all categories… Sellers continue to sit on the sidelines, and demand from buyers has cooled due mostly to rising interest rates.”
  • Last week’s interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 6.9%, according to Freddie Mac. A year ago, it was 4.99% and two years ago it was 2.77%.
  • With lower mortgage interest rates forecasted “we anticipate more buyers searching to purchase a home.” It’s estimated that 70% of buyers have a home to sell, which could provide additional inventory, but with demand exceeding the number of new listings, prices will climb.
  • “With mortgage rates unlikely to move tangibly lower during the balance of the summer, I don’t expect the market to move much over the coming months, both in terms of sales and prices. If the economy starts to soften this fall, rates could start to fall and this could revitalize the market.”

To read the full press release, click here.