EducationMarket UpdateNWMLS Press Release February 7, 2024

February 2024 Seattle Housing Market Update

NWMLS Northwest Multiple Listing Service

Prices and number of sales increased despite reduced inventory

Here are my bullet points from the newest press release from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (data is from the full month of January):

  • Interest rates held steady through the month of January to end at 6.69%.
  • The number of closed sales transactions was up 3% year-over-year.
  • The median price of single-family homes and condos combined was up 6.5% compared to January 2023.
  • The volume of homes on the market for sale has continued to decline throughout Washington. There was a decrease of about 14% compared to January of last year.
  • Despite the decrease in available inventory, many areas have seen an increase in the number of homes sold.
  • Overall, seller reluctance has led to low inventory levels and, coupled with buyer demand, competition and bidding wars has led to higher prices.

To read the full press release, click here.

EducationMarket UpdateNWMLS Press Release January 8, 2024

January 2024 Seattle Housing Market Update

NWMLS Northwest Multiple Listing Service

Signs of optimism despite reduced inventory

Here are my bullet points from the newest press release from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (data is from the full month of December):

  • Interest rates proceeded to drop through the month of December to a current rate of about 6.61%.
  • Inventory levels are typically low this time of year. However, they was a 20% decrease in the number of active property listings compared to December 2022. Part of the reason for the low inventory is that current owners with lower mortgage rates are reluctant to sell.
  • The low inventory levels continue to keep home prices from falling, and they were actually up about 5% year-over-year.
  • Condos seem to be faring better at the moment, with a 6% decrease in the number of sales (compared to 11% for single-family homes), but a 7% increase in median price compared to last year.

To read the full press release, click here.

EducationMarket UpdateNWMLS Press Release December 8, 2023

December 2023 Seattle Housing Market Update

NWMLS Northwest Multiple Listing Service

Reduced inventory motivates increased home prices

Here are my bullet points from the newest press release from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (data is from the full month of November):

  • A slight decrease in interest rates has raised cautious optimism – interest rates had fallen to around 7.2% as of December 1, 2023, in comparison to 7.8% in October 2023.
  • The decline in seasonal inventory continues to drive home prices upward, spurring an increase of 4.6% in prices from November 2022.
  • Closed sales are down about 16% compared to November 2022. This is due to less homes for sale in general.
  • Number of sales and housing inventory usually drop in the fall and winter months, but the seasonal trend is lower than usual because of the high interest rates.
  • “With the 30-year fixed mortgage rate currently just over 7.2%, the purchasing power of prospective buyers remains stunted relative to a few short years ago.”
  • “Current owners with low-rate mortgages continue to be reluctant to sell.”
  • Expect new listings to start increasing slowly in the new year. Buyers will beat sellers to the market and be out shopping before the inventory can keep up, increasing competition and prices.

To read the full press release, click here.

EducationMarket UpdateNWMLS Press Release October 11, 2023

October 2023 Seattle Housing Market Update

NWMLS Northwest Multiple Listing Service

Indicators point to a continued market slowdown, optimism on the horizon

Here are my bullet points from the newest press release from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (data is from the full month of September):

  • “The real estate market typically slows down in the fall and winter months. However, the high-interest rate environment has further decreased the purchasing power of prospective buyers leading to a continued decline in year over year transaction volume with overall median prices stagnating.”
  • When compared to the same month last year, September 2023 experienced a -20% change in active property listings on the market.
  • Most counties covered by the NWMLS (23 of 26) saw a decrease in the number of homes sold.
  • With mortgage rates at a 23-year high (7.31% for a 30-yr fixed rate mortgage as of 9/28/2023), Freddie Mac indicated more and more buyers and sellers say they are holding out for better circumstances.
  • Early in 2023, economists predicted gradual declines throughout the year, but in fact rates have trended higher.
  • It is unlikely mortgage rates would drop below 6% before the end of the year, “and most homeowners wouldn’t be motivated to sell unless rates dropped further.”
  • A recent study found that 92% of homeowners with a mortgage have a rate below 6%, and nearly a quarter (24%) have a rate below 3%.
  • “For buyers who are not in a hurry, the fall and winter months could bring better values and a less competitive environment to find the right home.”
  • “Any meaningful decline in mortgage rates could lead to a rush of buyers later in the year and into next.”

To read the full press release, click here.

EducationMarket UpdateNWMLS Press Release September 12, 2023

September 2023 Seattle Housing Market Update

NWMLS Northwest Multiple Listing Service

Northwest MLS housing market “still lacks direction”

*NOTE* – the data we are looking at is from the full month of August. 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:

  • Prices on homes that sold during August rose 2.5% from a year ago, marking the first year-over-year (YOY) increase since January.
  • The number of new listings was down about 17.8% compared to August 2022.
  • The number of pending sales during August was down about 25% compared to last year.
  • Brokers and other industry-watchers point to upticks in mortgage rates as the culprit for declining sales.
  • The average interest rate on a 30-year home loan reached 7.23% as of August 24, the highest rate since 2001, but it subsequently dropped to 7.12% for the week ending September 7.
  • Along with forcing buyers to sit on the sidelines, the escalating rates are a deterrent to would-be sellers who bought or refinanced home in recent years and don’t want to swap their 3% rate for a 7% mortgage.
  • Active listings at the end of August were down more than 21.5% compared to a year ago.
  • Over the next two months home buyers will experience the best selection and availability of homes for sale until March 2024, due to the reduced number of homes that come on the market over the winter months.
  • Home prices will rise after the first of the year, particularly in the more affordable and mid-price ranges.
  • Inventory levels are still well below pre-pandemic averages, so the market remains tight.
  • Some hopeful homebuyers are turning to new construction where some builders are offering discounts or other incentives. About 25% of builders have been cutting prices to bolster sales.

To read the full press release, click here.

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.

EducationMarket UpdateNWMLS Press Release June 7, 2023

June 2023 Seattle Housing Market Update

NWMLS Northwest Multiple Listing Service

Brokers report improving inventory and year-to-date gains in sales, prices

*NOTE* – the data we are looking at is from the full month of May. 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:

  • Home buyers around Washington state found the largest selection of listings last month since December.
  • Both pending sales and closed sales reached their highest volume in months.
  • High mortgage interest rates (about 7%) are crimping activity.
  • The median price across the entire MLS (26 of the counties in WA) is down 6.8% compared to last year, but up 10.4% since January. In King County, the residential median home price increased 16.5% since January.
  • “In May, there were both fewer resale listings and a lower number of homes going under contract compared to the same month a year ago.”
  • Inventory is at the highest level since December, but is still low. More than one-third of properties are sold above their list price due to limited inventory.

To read the full press release, click here.

EducationMarket UpdateNWMLS Press Release May 8, 2023

May 2023 Seattle Housing Market Update

NWMLS Northwest Multiple Listing Service

“We’re moving in a positive direction”

*NOTE* – the data we are looking at is from the full month of April. 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:

  • The latest report from NWMLS, summarizing April activity, shows year-over-year drops in new listings, pending sales and closed sales, an increase in total active listings, and lower prices.
  • With “very constricted” inventory, homes that are well priced continue to receive multiple offers.
  • In King County, the median price of $790,244 was 10.2% lower than last April’s median price of $880,000. However, a comparison with January shows prices are up 9.3%.
  • April marked the fourth consecutive month of rising prices.
  • New listings are down compared to last year, but slower sales means more total supply than a year ago.
  • “We’re moving at a slower pace than last year. We are maintaining a seller’s market given the lack of inventory along with multiple offers, as a healthy number of buyers absorb what is being listed. The key is we can’t compare today’s market to the record years we had during the pandemic.”
  • Freddie Mac data show the 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate near the end of April was 6.43%. That compares to the year-ago rate of 5.1% and a rate of 2.98% on 4/29/2021.
  • Matthew Gardner, Windermere’s chief economist, expects rates will continue to move lower with occasional spikes, and that they will hold below 6% in the second half of this year.

To read the full press release, click here.

EducationMarket UpdateNWMLS Press Release April 7, 2023

April 2023 Seattle Housing Market Update

NWMLS Northwest Multiple Listing Service

Brokers around Washington state say spring market is “finally showing up”

*NOTE* – the data we are looking at is from the full month of February. 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:

  • Stats show declines in some key metrics for March compared to 12 months ago, but steady gains when compared to February and January.
  • “Despite the year-over-year comparisons showing declines, the year-to-date trends indicate the market is moving in a positive direction, towards a healthy market, albeit at a lower velocity than last year.”
  • “With interest rates dropping and less competition overall, people who have been sitting on the sidelines are jumping back into the market.”
  • “Open house activity is up and we continue to see multiple offers on well-priced homes, with seller concessions starting to wane.”
  • At the end of March, active listings in the MLS database were up more than 73% from a year ago and up about 10.7% from February.
  • Prices overall were down about 7.5% from a year ago, however there is considerable variation depending on the area.
  • Freddie Mac’s chief economist said economic uncertainty continues to bring mortgage rates down.
  • “Over the last several weeks, declining rates have brought borrowers back to the market but, as the spring homebuying season gets underway, low inventory remains a key challenge for prospective buyers.”

To read the full press release, click here.

EducationMarket UpdateNWMLS Press Release March 7, 2023

March 2023 Seattle Housing Market Update

NWMLS Northwest Multiple Listing Service

Brokers say housing activity seems to be trending in direction of a normal seasonal market

*NOTE* – the data we are looking at is from the full month of February. 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:

  • Softening prices are enticing some would-be buyers, while others remain on the sidelines hoping fluctuating mortgage rates will stabilize or decline.
  • The data show upticks in new listings, pending sales, closed sales and median prices compared to January, but when compared to the same month a year ago, figures for those metrics declined.
  • “Buyer demand remains at reasonable levels considering the high interest rate environment we’re in. Multiple offers are still seen on the right properties.”
  • “Although the number of homes for sale in the tri-county area of King, Pierce and Snohomish counties is more than double from a year ago, there were still fewer homes available to buy in February than in January.”
  • “Year over year, home sales prices are down, but that isn’t surprising given that a year ago homebuyers were scrambling to buy in the face of mortgage rates that were about to skyrocket.”
  • “Many homebuyers are making their buying decisions now while inventory is available, and they’ll refinance at a later date.”
  • “The reason there’s so little inventory is because sellers are worried about finding a replacement home and are reluctant to give up their sweetheart 3% and 4% mortgages.”

To read the full press release, click here.