RE/MAX National Housing Report for August 2019

Year-Over-Year Home Sales Slip 1.6% After Largest Inventory Decline in 13 Months

August 2019 existing home sales slipped 1.6% from a year ago, despite buyer demand exceeding available housing supply, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report. Following July’s year-over-year sales increase of 2.3%, the slight August decline marks the sixth month of 2019 that produced fewer sales than 2018.

Buyer demand outpaced homes listed for sale in August, causing the largest inventory decline in 13 months. An analysis of the report’s 53 metro areas shows August inventory shrank 5.5% year-over-year, the largest drop since 7.8% in July 2018. August’s inventory contraction followed July’s year-over-year inventory decline of 1.5% after nine consecutive months of year-over-year inventory growth. Months Supply of Inventory decreased to 2.8 compared to 2.9 in July 2019 and eclipsed the previous August low in the report’s 11-year history.

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Washington State NWMLS Market Snapshot for August 2019

Depleted inventory continues to frustrate would-be buyers in Western Washington. Many of these potential homeowners are expanding their search beyond the major job centers in King County, according to market watchers who commented on the latest statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

The MLS report summarizing August activity shows less than two months of supply system-wide, and only about 1.6 months of supply in the four-county Puget Sound region. The sparse selection is pushing up prices. For last month’s sales of single family homes and condos across the 23 counties served by Northwest MLS, prices rose nearly 6.2% compared to a year ago.

A comparison of year-over-year statistics for August shows the volume of new listings dropped nearly 13% system-wide and 18.5% in King County. Last month’s total number of new listings (10,488) declined 6.3% from July’s volume (11,193).

Brokers reported 10,602 pending sales (mutually accepted offers) during August for a 4.9% increase from a year ago. Pending sales rose nearly 6.6% in the Puget Sound region, led by Snohomish County with a gain of 15.8%. Six counties had double-digit gains while an equal number had declines.

The median price for the single family homes and condos that sold last month in King County was $615,000, slightly higher than the year-ago figure of $610,000. In Snohomish County, last month’s median sales price was $470,000, up about 1.8% from the year-ago price of $461,832. The Pierce County price of $369,000 is $246,000 lower than King County. It’s up 6.1% from a year ago.

For all counties combined, prices are up nearly 6.2%, rising from the year-ago figure of $405,000 to last month’s figure of $429,925. Compared to January’s area-wide median price of $381,900, prices are up nearly 12.6%. Brokers reported 9,392 closed transactions during August, a slight 1.12% improvement over the same month a year ago.

2019 Real Estate in a Digital Age

Did you know that the three most popular information sources home buyers used in the home search were:

  • Online website (93%)
  • Real estate agent (86%)
  • Mobile/tablet website or app (73%)

Outdoor Kitchens Continue to Be Major Draw

The appeal of outdoor living continues to be important to homeowners, and the outdoor kitchen is at the center of that. The latest American Institute of Architects Home Design Trends Survey shows that outdoor kitchens are among the most wanted kitchen features in new architectural projects.

Nearly 50% of the architect respondents surveyed reported the popularity of outdoor kitchens is still growing. The popularity is seen in markets across the country, and not just in warmer climates like Florida, Texas, and California—outdoor kitchens are also taking hold in colder areas like the Northeast.

Read more in REALTOR® Magazine…

Three Tips for Making Small Spaces Work for Your Family

Small spaces aren’t the traditionally sought–after spaces for growing families, but with more millennial parents choosing to live a minimal lifestyle — families are adapting to life in homes with less square footage. If your family is downsizing by choice, or by necessity, follow the tips below for creating a functional space that can support your growing family.

Channel Your Inner Marie Kondo

It’s time to purge! Take a tip from tiny home enthusiasts who have chosen to live a simpler life — downsizing means committing to decluttering. Re–gift, donate and sell unwanted items. Eliminate multiples and only keep items that spark joy — and have your kids help.

Every Item Has a Home, Every Space a Purpose

Being thoughtful about what items stay in your family’s space is just as important as figuring out where to store it. Families without the space for a designated playroom may want to consider where toys will be tucked away. Try rotating toys to save space, while helping kids get the most out of playtime.

Go Vertical

Some may say that floor space is the most valued space in a smaller home — but vertical is the way to go! Bookcases, coat racks and shoe trees are all great options for tiny spaces.

Looking for a new home, or know someone else who is? Contact me; I’ll be happy to help!

RE/MAX National Housing Report for July 2019

Home Sales Increase 2.4% in July,
Ending Nine Months of Inventory Growth

July home sales bounced back after a sluggish June by increasing 2.4% year over year, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report. This was enough to end nine months of year-over-year inventory growth as the number of homes for sale declined 1.4%.

A drop in home sales from June to July is typical in the report’s 53 metro areas. But the 0.2% decline from June to July 2019 was by far the smallest month-over-month decline since July 2013. And while June sales failed to top May for only the second time in the report’s 10-year history, July sales set a report record for the month.

July’s Median Sales Price of $273,000 – while down slightly from June’s all-time report record high – was 9.2% higher than July of 2018. It marked the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year price growth. Home prices have risen, year over year, in 88 of the last 90 months dating back to February 2012.

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Washington State NWMLS Market Snapshot for July 2019

The newly released MLS figures show last month’s closed sales reached a 12-month high. Member-brokers also reported the number of new listings (11,193) nearly matched pending sales (11,139).

A closer look at new listing activity shows last month’s total was down from both the previous month (-6.7%) and the same month a year ago (-8.2%). The total number of active listings of single family homes and condos, at 16,787, was about the same as June’s inventory (16,680) and the selection of a year ago (16,773 listings). A comparison of the 23 counties in the Northwest MLS report shows about half the counties have more inventory than a year ago, and half have less.

System-wide there is 1.76 months of inventory, with King, Kitsap, Mason, Pierce, Snohomish and Whatcom counties all reporting less than two months of supply.

Pending sales declined slightly from June (11,139 versus 11,573) but showed a 1.6 % gain on the year-ago total of 10,965 mutually accepted offers.

Closed sales were up from both the previous month and the same month a year ago. Northwest MLS brokers tallied 9,540 closed sales last month-the highest volume since June 2018 when they reported 10,072 completed transactions.

Year-over-year (YOY) prices rose nearly 3.6%, but declined about 2.9% from June. The area-wide median price for July’s completed transactions was $429,900; a year ago it was $415,000. Eighteen of the 23 counties in the latest report showed year-over-year price appreciation.