Whatcom Co. has 3.47 months of advising inventory… last year same time 5.56 months supply.
According to Northwest Multiple Listing Service of Kirkland, Washington, pent-up demand continues to fuel homes sales around Western Washington with millennials, military families and relocating workers vying for limited inventory. Brokers from Northwest Multiple Listing Service say they’re not seeing a typical summer slowdown.
Commenting on a new report from Northwest Multiple Listing Services summarizing July activity. J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott, In. said, “The Puget Sound housing market is sizzling hot, with the best July on record.” He expects inventory shortages will continue into the summer of 2016.
Preparation is key, brokers emphasize. “Our brokers are helping their buyers get ‘buyer ready’ so they can act instantly when a new property comes on the market. More likely than not, they will find themselves in a multiple offer situation in order to get the home,” said Scott.
Neither buyers nor brokers seem worried about the possibility of rising interest rates, but several emphasized the importance of being poised to act. Moorhead said rising rates could slow the market and help replenish inventory, but added, buyers and sellers are commenting about “higher payments, less inventory and not ready getting what they want, but they’re willing to settle for something close.”
“In today’s market, sellers should understand the need to fully expose their home to the market to allow the current pool of buyers the opportunity to see it, structure offers, and possibly conduct preparation, meeting with a lender, and being “buyer ready” the moment the “right” house hit the market.
Veteran brokers tend to dismiss speculation of another housing bubble.
Commenting on the possibility of a “bubble market”, MLS director Darin Stenvers believes it is unlikely. “With broader government control and enforcement of new banking/loan programs, the underlying instability is now gone.” Buyers are feeling confident that “home ownership is still the best investment they can make right now, and homes are still within reach for most segments of the market.” Added Stenvers, the office managing broker at John L. Scott in Bellingham.
“This market is a bit unpredictable in that one day you can see multiple offers on a correctly priced home, buyers who lose out on a home because they won’t offer full price, and price reductions on homes that are overpriced,” reported the MLS director Wilson. Although the sentiment is “it is a great real estate market,” he said it comes with it’s own challenges.
Low appraisals are one of those challenges. They’re still an issue with some creating buyers and sellers frustrations due to differences between sale price and appraised value, said Haines. Nevertheless, she thinks “All indicators are that the current momentum in sales volume will be sustainable throughout this year and well into 2016.