Figures from Northwest Multiple Listing Service show us an increase in pending sales, closed sales, and home prices while buyers are having to compete due to a limited inventory.
“The current inventory of homes available for sale has never been lower in my 22 years as a real estate broker,” said MLS director George Moorhead, who is also a broker and owner at Bentley Properties.
Recent numbers show that the volume of pending sales went up to 7,658 and exceeded the amount of new listings, at 6,989.
Others also say that we are entering February with a serious shortage of homes for sale, including those that are located in neighborhoods near job centers. This shortage is expected to continue through the springtime market. According to NWMLS, “Buyers need to be ‘buyer ready’ so they can react quickly. Brokers recommend getting preapproved for a mortgage, which can give potential buyers an edge in a fast-moving market.”
Home prices for single homes and condos are also higher than they were at this time a year ago. Single family home prices last month spiked by roughly 8.7 percent and condo prices have spiked more than 13 percent. King County expressed their highest median price which went up by 6.9 percent placing it at $390,000.
Moorhead believes that sellers are being hesitant and might be holding off for a couple major reasons, “Either they cannot find the next home to move up/down to, or they purchased between 2005 and 2007 and may still be underwater…this will bring an altogether new segment of buyers who are more savvy and cautious so they won’t repeat past mistakes.” He adds that there are new loan programs, revised loan programs, and a general easing of guidelines for buyers that help making home buying more attainable. He suggests that the one holdback is inventory or credit scores.
Overall, brokers are definitely seeing an increase in traffic at their open houses and the number of interested buyers, and advice of Real Estate agents to sellers at this time is “If you’re on the fence, it’s time to jump off. The market conditions are so much in your favor right now.”